Most people are familiar with passion fruit juice or puree. But maybe you are wondering – is it possible to eat fresh passion fruit. The answer is yes. And you probably want to eat this fruit fresh, because passion fruit contains vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients.
This tropical fruit has a long history of use in places like Brazil, India, and Hawaii, where locals believed the benefits of passion fruit include reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and protecting the skin. Today, we know from research that he can also offer protection against inflammatory conditions such as insulin resistance and heart problems.
What is the passion fruit
Passion fruit is a type of berry that gets its name from the plant on which it grows (mainly Passiflora edulis and Passiflora flavicarpa). These plants are several of the approximately hundreds of passion fruit species that belong to the Malpigiales plant family.
Passion fruit is a shabby fruit that is usually yellow or golden in color, although it depends on its type. For example, Australia grows purple varieties, as well as many hybrid species that contain a mixture of different colors.
The passion fruit plant is a tropical species found in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Today it grows in these countries, as well as in all tropical regions, including parts of Australia, India, Africa and Hawaii. Depending on the language, the plant bears different names, such as granadilla, Krishna Phal and Marakuya.
Species of passion fruit grown around the world include:
- Brazilian golden
- Red rover
- Golden Giant
- Black Knight
- Paul Ekke
What is the taste of passion fruit? The taste of passion fruit is described as sweet and sour (or sour) and very fragrant. It has a strong, signature smell that stands out among other tropical fruits. This fruit also has a unique appearance, with a solid outer peel and a juicy center that is filled with small, edible seeds.
Nutritional Information of Passion Fruit
Passion fruit is a good source of antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin C, polyphenols, beta-cryptoxanthin and carotenoids, as well as other minerals in small quantities.
One passion fruit contains approximately:
Calorie content – 17 kcal
Cellulose – 2 gr.
Carbohydrates – 4 gr.
Sugar – 2 gr.
Fats – less than 1 gr.
Proteins – less than 1 gr.
Vitamin C – 5.5 mg (9%)
Vitamin A – 11.5 mg (8%)
Iron – 0.3 mg (2%)
Potassium – 63 mg (2%)
Health Benefits of Passion Fruit
Let us consider in more detail the scientifically proven beneficial properties of passion fruit.
1. A good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
According to studies, the beneficial properties of passion fruit include the fight against free radicals and oxidative stress due to the presence of phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoid polyphenols.
Passion fruit seeds contain polyphenols, including a type called piceatannol, which is associated with protection against insulin resistance in overweight adults. Pikeatannol is a natural polyphenolic stilbene found in various fruits and vegetables that may also exhibit anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, according to recent studies.
A randomized, placebo-controlled study conducted among 39 adults in 2017 examined the positive effects of piceatannol on metabolic health. The results showed that piceatannol has a positive effect on glucose metabolism, including insulin sensitivity, compared with placebo when taken for eight weeks.
2. Has a high fiber diet and low glycemic index
What are the benefits of passion fruit for those on a low glycemic index diet? This fruit contains a lot of fiber, especially pectin, which is low in sugar compared to other fruits. Although it has a slightly sweet taste, passion fruit can help provide you with nutrients without raising your blood sugar.
This is especially useful for increasing fiber intake when you consume fruits and seeds, not just juice.
3. Good for skin health
Thanks to its antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties, this fruit can help keep your skin healthy, including helping to prevent wrinkles and supporting wound healing. Research results also show that passion fruit seeds that contain certain peptides have antifungal activity and can contribute to collagen synthesis.
A 2018 study, which was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, showed that pizzaatannol from passion fruit extract is associated with “a wide variety of effects on the skin, including stimulating collagen production, inhibiting melanin synthesis, inducing glutathione antioxidant and eliminating reactive oxygen species” when used from 4 to 8 weeks.
According to a 2013 study, piceatannol and other strong antioxidants present in passion fruit can reduce photoaging. Apparently, the protective properties of this fruit are due to its ability to suppress the formation of reactive oxygen species caused by ultraviolet light and protect the fibroblasts that form the skin matrix.
4. Contains essential minerals
As a decent source of essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, the benefits of passion fruit can include maintaining bone health, cardiovascular function, and physical performance.
How to eat passion fruit
How to find out that passion fruit is ripe and ready to eat? Look for fruits that are large, puffy and have slightly wrinkled skin rather than smooth skin. After ripening, the fruits usually acquire a green, dark yellow or purple color. And then they fall to the ground because of their gravity.
To store passion fruit, wash and dry the fruit, and then store them in a package, ideally in a cool place, for a period of 2 to 3 weeks. You can also freeze both fruit and juice so that they stay fresh longer.
You can eat this fruit raw. To do this, you first need to get rid of the hard outer shell, which is considered inedible. To eat passion fruit, you can cut it in half and get all the edible flesh and seeds with a spoon.
You will get the most benefit from eating passion fruit seeds, which contain most of the vitamins and fiber.
However, due to its astringent taste, many people prefer to combine it with other sweeter fruits or creamy ingredients, such as coconut milk, cream or condensed milk. The passion fruit taste also goes well with citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit.
Here are some ideas for using it in healthy recipes:
Make a tropical smoothie using fruits, seeds or mashed potatoes from your favorite fruits (mango, pineapple, etc.) and coconut milk. For greater health benefits, use unsweetened mashed potatoes or slices of whole fruits rather than sweetened juice, which will provide less sugar and more fiber.
Mix it with other sweet berries in homemade jam or jelly.
Use passion fruit puree or syrup to make cocktails. Sip iced passion fruit tea to avoid dehydration.
Add passion fruit to the sauce or marinade to enhance the sweet and sour taste
Potential harm to passion fruit
What are the side effects of passion fruit? Most people can tolerate this fruit well, but there is a risk of possible allergic reactions. Although these two factors may seem unrelated, people who are allergic to latex seem to be prone to respond poorly to passion fruit because of the similar chemical composition of the two substances.
To minimize the risk of side effects, it is best to consume this fruit in small and moderate amounts, especially if you drink passion fruit juice. Due to the sugar content, do not consume more than 250 ml of juice per day.
Passion fruit is a tropical fruit that gets its name from the plant on which it grows.
Since passion fruit contains vitamins, a large amount of antioxidants, including carotenoids and vitamin C, the benefits of passion fruit include supporting healthy skin and eyes, strengthening the immune system and reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
Seeds are also a good source of fiber, plus this fruit is relatively low in sugar.
Here’s how to have passion fruit: look for large fruits with rich color, heavy weight, and wrinkled skin. You can eat raw passion fruit seeds, or fruit juice, or use mashed potatoes. However, a hard peel should not be eaten.