Passion Fruit Health Benefits
If passion fruit is not on your radar for delicious and satisfying sweet snacks, you should consider adding it. These small yellow or purple fruits are tasty and good for your health.
Passion fruit has a long history of use in Brazil, India, and Hawaii. The locals thought it had benefits like reducing inflammation, enhancing digestion, and improving skin health.
Many studies show that this small fruit is very healthy and can help with many health problems. After all, it is rich in antioxidants, plant compounds, and vitamins that are known to be good for your health. This is particularly true of 8th Wonder Sparkling Green Tea, which includes a proprietary blend of superfoods, including passion fruit, ginseng, and lemongrass!
Read on to learn everything you need to know about passion fruit.
What Is Passion Fruit?
Passion fruit is produced by the tropical flowering vine Passiflora, which thrives in warm regions like South America, Australia, South Africa, and India.
It is a fruit with seeds that are often yellow or gold; however, the exact color depends on the variety. For example, purple varieties are grown in Australia, and there are also hybrids with a mix of colors.
Passion fruit contains a delicate pulp and numerous seeds inside a tough peel. People can consume the seeds and pulp, extract juice from them, or mix them with other juices.
Native to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, the passion fruit plant is a tropical species. However, some types can live and thrive in sub-tropical regions, which is why they are grown worldwide.
The flavor of passion fruit is described as sweet-sour (or tart) and intensely fragrant. It has a distinct aroma that distinguishes it from other tropical fruits.
How Did Passion Fruit Get Its Name?
The passion fruit was given its name by priests in the 1500s who believed that certain aspects of the passion flower represented Jesus' "passion," or his suffering and death. . The name was also given to the fruit, which is also known as granadilla and maracuya.
A healthy fruit with an excellent nutritional profile, passion fruit has significant amounts of vitamin C, an essential antioxidant, and vitamin A, which is crucial for healthy skin, vision, and the immune system.
It’s also a great source of polyphenols, beta-cryptoxanthin, and carotenoids, plant compounds shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help various health issues.
Additionally, passion fruit contains trace amounts of minerals.
One passion fruit contains approximately (1):
- Calories: 17
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 9% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin A: 8% of the DV
- Iron: 2% of the DV
- Potassium: 2% of the DV
Benefits of Passion Fruit
Rich Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants, substances that aid in the body's defense against dangerous free radicals are found in abundance in passion fruit (2).
Antioxidants are crucial for maintaining the health of bodily systems. For example, scientists have determined that antioxidants increase blood flow to the brain and neurological system. They also reduce stress on the cells and inflammation in the body, both of which have been linked to heart disease and Alzheimer's.
Within the seeds of passion fruit are polyphenols, notably piceatannol, which is associated with protection against insulin resistance in obese individuals. Recent research suggests that piceatannol, a naturally occurring polyphenolic stilbene in various fruits and vegetables, may also possess anticancer and anti-inflammatory characteristics (5).
The favorable effects of piceatannol on metabolic health were examined in randomized, placebo-controlled research involving 39 adults. Piceatannol was found to have beneficial benefits on glucose-metabolism, including insulin sensitivity, when taken for eight weeks compared to a placebo (6).
Rich Source of Dietary Fiber
Passion fruit has approximately 2 grams of fiber per serving, which is quite a lot for such a small fruit.
Most people do not consume enough fiber, despite its importance for maintaining digestive health and avoiding constipation (3). Passion fruit is a tasty way to increase your fiber intake.
Fiber also provides other health benefits. For instance, soluble fiber helps your body break down food more slowly, which can keep your blood sugar from rising too quickly. So, a high-fiber diet can help prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.
And this is not just an opinion or theory. Instead, numerous research studies show an association between a high-fiber diet and reduced risk of several illnesses, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease (4).
Has a Low Glycemic Index Rating
Passion fruit, like the kind in 8th Wonder Organic Sparkling Green Tea, is low on the glycemic index (GI), meaning that it does not induce a sharp rise in blood sugar after consumption, making it an excellent choice for diabetics (7).
This is true of most fruits. However, high-sugar fruits like melon, pineapple, and dates are high on the GI (8).
Supports Insulin Sensitivity
Some research indicates that a chemical in passion fruit seeds may enhance insulin sensitivity. Improving insulin sensitivity can aid in reducing the risk of numerous diseases, including diabetes.
A small human study published in 2017 indicated that a natural chemical called piceatannol in passion fruit could enhance metabolism. These results corroborated similar findings in animal research.
Compared to males who took a placebo, the overweight men in this study who took 20 mg of piceatannol daily for eight weeks had improved metabolic health, including insulin sensitivity (9).
Supports Skin Health
Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics, this fruit can help maintain good skin by preventing wrinkles and promoting wound healing, among other benefits. Additionally, research indicates that passion fruit seeds, which contain specific peptides, offer antifungal properties and can stimulate collagen formation (10, 11).
A 2018 study found that passion fruit extract effectively promotes skin health. The researchers concluded that when used for 4 to 8 weeks, passion fruit extract appeared to exert a “wide variety of effects on the skin, including promoting collagen production, inhibiting melanin synthesis, inducing the antioxidant glutathione, and eliminating reactive oxygen species.” (12)
Plus, researchers discovered that piceatannol extract from passion fruit seeds significantly increased skin moisture in a group of females who had previously suffered from chronically dry skin (12a).
Additionally, piceatannol and other potent antioxidants found in passion fruit can slow the effects of photoaging, according to a 2013 study (13). The term "photoaging" refers to premature skin aging due to frequent exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), typically from the sun but also artificial UV sources.
This fruit appears to have skin-protective properties because of its capacity to reduce reactive oxygen species production brought on by UVB exposure and to defend fibroblasts, which make up the skin matrix.
In other words, passion fruit may have a powerful anti-aging effect on the skin.
Strengthens the Immune System.
Vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical damage, is abundant in passion fruit.
Vitamin C strengthens the immune system by allowing the body to absorb more iron from plant-based diets; it may also enhance its ability to fight infections.
Protects the Heart
There are 3 main ways passion fruit protects the heart.
- Passion fruit is rich in the heart-healthy mineral potassium and low in salt.
- When consumed with seeds, passion fruit is rich in fiber, which can aid in the removal of excess cholesterol from the inner lining of blood vessels. Numerous studies show an association between a high-fiber diet and a reduced risk of heart disease.
- It may assist in lowering blood pressure. After all, low-sodium, high-potassium diets help to reduce blood pressure.
Another secret weapon against heart disease is ascorbic acid, which is plentiful in passion fruit. In one recent study, participants who had consumed only one serving of passion fruit juice experienced improved cardio autonomic function (which regulates heart rate and blood pressure), making it an excellent strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (13a).
Harman, a pharmaceutical alkaloid with a calming effect, is an often-overlooked component of passion fruit. This component of passion fruit has been associated with decreased agitation and insomnia, making it easier to drift off to sleep. (8th Wonder Sparkling Green Tea combines passion fruit with ginseng for an effortless, relaxing sleep.)
So, instead of reaching for a glass of warm milk at bedtime, you might want to drink passion fruit juice like the kind in 8th Wonder Sparkling Green tea.
May Soothe Feelings of Stress and Anxiety
Magnesium, an essential element associated with reduced stress and anxiety, is present in passion fruit.
A 2017 systematic review reveals that magnesium can assist with anxiety management. However, the authors state that the evidence is of poor quality; thus, additional research is required (14).
However, you should not rely solely on passion fruit for your magnesium intake. Passionfruit has only 5 mg of magnesium (15), a scant 1.1% of the recommended daily allowance for this mineral.
May Defend Against Cancer
Passion fruit has a comparatively high amount of vitamins A and C. These two vitamins have a reputation for being potent antioxidants that prevent free radical damage to cells.
Numerous factors can lead to free radical damage to cells, such as pollution, unhealthy diet, smoking, exposure to UV rays, etc.
Antioxidants are potent anti-cancer substances that not only eliminate free radicals routinely before they harm healthy cells but, in some situations, can also help repair damaged cells and promote the growth of new cells.
That’s why an antioxidant-rich fruit like passion fruit can be a valuable weapon against cancer.
May Provide Asthma Relief
Passion fruit is a potent antioxidant and possesses anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to help relieve asthma symptoms in patients.
Asthma is not a disease that can be cured, so the best way to deal with it is to avoid its triggers or any scenario that could provoke asthma. And that’s where passion fruit comes in.
The most common cause of an allergic reaction is exposure to an allergen. The flavonoids in passion fruit possess potent anti-allergic properties that can stop an allergy attack before it begins. Additionally, flavonoid has a calming impact on the respiratory system.
According to a study published in Nutritional Research, combining several extracts from the purple passion fruit peel produces a unique bioflavonoid mixture. This concoction has expectorant, sedative, and relaxing effects on the respiratory system and is associated with a decrease in asthma episodes, wheezing, and whooping cough.
Improves Bone Health
Passion fruit is important for enhancing bone mineral density and bone strength due to its high mineral content, including iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus. Numerous of these minerals play a crucial part in forming new bone tissue, strengthening existing bone tissue, and accelerating bone regeneration.
Thus, passion fruit may be used to prevent or alleviate the symptoms of osteoporosis and the pain and inflammation caused by age- and activity-related bone loss.
Supports Eye Health
Passion fruit is a rich source of vitamin A, a nutrient essential for eye health.
Vitamin A can help keep your eyes healthy by preventing macular degeneration, cataracts, and night blindness.
The high amount of antioxidants in passion fruit also helps reduce wrinkles and improves the way membranes in the body, including those in the skin and eyes, work. This keeps the skin hydrated and glowing and may slow age-related changes in the eyes.
Supports Colon Health
There are two forms of fiber, soluble and insoluble, and passion fruit is particularly high in soluble fiber. The primary property of soluble fiber is its gel-like consistency when combined with water, which binds toxic or unneeded molecules in the colon.
Therefore, consuming passion fruit will offer your colon and intestines sufficient soluble fiber to remove toxins. If these toxins are not removed regularly, they could eventually cause intestinal problems to develop and make your liver's job more difficult.
May Reduce the Risk of Arthritis
Reduced incidence of arthritic disease is another advantage of the beta carotene found in passion fruit. Arthritis is characterized by inflammation, causing pain and stiffness in the affected joint. There are many different types of arthritis, and consuming beta-carotene from passion fruit is not a cure-all.
But it can soothe some of the pain and discomfort in the short term without the side effects of anti-inflammatory medications.
Side Effects or Potential Risks of Consuming Passion Fruit
Most people can safely consume passion fruit, but a small percentage of people develop allergies to it (16, 17).
Passion fruit allergies seem more common in people with a latex allergy. This is due to the similar structure between latex proteins and some of the proteins in passion fruit that can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals.
Additionally, cyanogenic glycosides may be present in the skin of purple passion fruit. In large quantities, these substances can react with enzymes to create cyanide, which is toxic (18, 19).
Fortunately, the fruit's tough outer skin is generally regarded as inedible and is not typically consumed.
Eating this fruit in moderation is essential to reduce your risk of experiencing adverse effects, especially if you drink passion fruit juice. Limit your intake to 4 to 8 ounces daily due to the high sugar content.
How to Prepare and Eat Passion Fruit
To consume a passion fruit uncooked, halve it and use a spoon to separate the pulp from the rind. The peel is inedible. People can consume both the pulp and seeds or simply the pulp.
How do you tell if the fruit is ready to eat? Well, a ripe passion fruit doesn’t look like you think it would. It doesn’t look firm and shiny, which defines other ripe fruits. Instead, you should let a passionfruit sit at room temperature for maximum freshness until it becomes wrinkled. Normally, when ripe, the fruit will change from green to a rich yellow or purple color, with wrinkles.
Fun fact: Passion fruit does not ripen on the vine. When the fruit becomes heavy enough, it drops off the vine and begins the ripening process.
You’ll then crack it open and eat the gooey pulp and the seeds. (It’s similar to eating watermelon.)
If you’d like to remove the seeds, simply push the pulp through a strainer or cheesecloth. You can then drink the tart juice by itself, or add it to another fruit juice. Adding juice to other juices will minimize the tartness and enable you to take advantage of other superfood juices at the same time. For example, 8th Wonder Sparkling green tea contains a blend of organic superfood juices, including passion fruit, lemongrass, and ginseng!
You can also mix the pulp or juice into yogurt or a smoothie or blend it with milk. Passion fruit juice is also a great addition to sauces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Passion Fruit is Edible?
The Passiflora edulis species of passion flower is the most prevalent one that produces eatable fruit. It blooms with white and purple hues, and when the fruit is fully grown, it is dark purple and oblong in shape.
Is Eating Passion Fruit Seeds Harmful?
You may eat both the seeds and the flesh of this fruit. The only part of the passion fruit you should not eat is the rind.
Is Passion Fruit the Same as Passion Flower?
The same plant may produce both passion flowers and passion fruit.
However, the name "passion flower" typically refers to a particular plant belonging to the passiflora genus that may have its own medical benefits, particularly for treating pain, sleeplessness, and anxiety.
The tropical fruit known as passion fruit takes its name from the passion flower plant on which it is cultivated.
Because passion fruit is high in antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin C, it helps maintain healthy skin and eyes, strengthens the immune system, and reduces inflammation and oxidative stress.
The fiber content of passion flowers comes from their seeds; therefore, you should eat the seeds whenever possible to take advantage of the health benefits of dietary fiber.
Passion fruit is an excellent option if you're looking for a healthy and delicious snack.
Passion fruit is an ideal supplement to a healthy, well-balanced diet. It is low in calories and rich in minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
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