Benefits of passion fruit include good for expecting moms, immunity booster, good source of fiber, maintain a healthy blood pressure, improves the heart’s health, decrease the risk of cognitive decline, improves digestive health, promotes restful sleep, offers relief to Asthma patients, improves insulin sensitivity, promotes skin and eye health, prevents Osteoporosis and more.
The seedy Passion fruit comes from Passiflora edulis, a flowering tropical vine species, that grows in South America, Australia, South Africa, and India. A type of berry, it is one of the richest, safest, and healthiest fruits on the planet. But as wellness enthusiasts, we’re also happy to tell that Passion fruits are nutrient powerhouses.
These yellow or dark purple fruits are packed with immune-boosting vitamins, disease-fighting phytonutrients, and nearly 20+ vitamins and minerals. And, there are also more health benefits to share. To start with here are the top 15 health benefits of Passion fruit.
15 Amazing Benefits of Passion Fruit
1. Good for expecting moms
Are you an expectant mother? You should definitely incorporate passion fruit into your pregnancy diet. Loaded with antioxidants, fibers, vitamins, minerals, and many other essential nutrients, it is considered one of the healthiest fruits to promote fetal growth and development.
Vitamin C boosts your immunity, fiber prevents constipation, high calories keep you energized. Best of all, there are no side effects of consuming passion fruit in pregnancy.
2. Immunity Booster
Passion fruit is a storehouse immunity boosting antioxidants, says the study by Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Florida. It also contains plenty of Vitamin C (30mg per 100g serving), alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, which can remarkably step up your immunity. These dietary antioxidants neutralize the free-radicals, prevent cell damage, and reduce oxidative stress.
Furthermore, vitamin C enhances the activity of white blood cells and the rest of the immune cells, and build resistance against cold, flu and other infections, too.
3. Good source of fiber
The passion fruit pulp is rich in dietary fiber. Fiber is crucial in the diet as it helps regulate the digestive system and keeps the gut healthy. According to the American Heart Association, fiber also offers cardiovascular benefits.
The recommended fiber intake is 33.6 g for men (ages 19–30) and 28 g for women (ages 19–30) though most of us get only around 15-16 g, say the studies. The soluble fiber in passion fruit cleanses toxins and waste materials from colon and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
4. Passion fruit has a lower glycemic index value
This tropical fruit has a low glycemic index (GI) value of 30. The sugar from Passion fruit will be absorbed slowly into the bloodstream. That means there will not be any steep increase in blood sugar after eating it, making it a great fruit to maintain insulin levels in diabetic patients. It cuts sugar craving and mood swings as well.
Though most fruits have a low GI, melon and pineapple aren’t good for diabetic patients as they have a high GI, says the American Diabetes Association.
5. Maintains a healthy blood pressure
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts excessive strain on arteries and may lead to heart attacks and strokes. Passion fruit has alkaloids which maintain the blood pressure low and offer sedative and antispasmodic benefits. The fruit with its high potassium and low sodium profile relaxes the blood vessels and improves blood flow. A cup of Passion fruit contains 821 mg potassium, compared to 66 mg sodium.
So, eat the fruit to keep your blood pressure in check.
6. Improve the heart’s health
Fiber, vitamins C and B6, and potassium are heart protective in nature – Passion fruit contains plenty of these nutrients. Passion fruit is also a low-fat fruit with almost no cholesterol. As we already know, cholesterol is probably the number one enemy of your heart. It blocks blood flow and deprives the heart of oxygen by blocking arteries. The fiber content of Passion fruit increases HDL cholesterol and reduces LDL cholesterol to safeguard your heart.
The antioxidants in Passion fruit further reduce and clean out the fat deposits along the inner lining of arteries.
7. Decrease the risk of cognitive decline
Several nutrients present in Passion fruit, such as potassium, folate, and a variety of antioxidants provide neurological benefits. Folate is linked to reducing the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Potassium has been linked to promoting blood flow to the brain and enhancing cognition, concentration, and neural activity.
Also, Passion fruit contains a fair amount of vitamin B6, the deficiency of which is shown to cause depression and nausea. Remember not to consume vitamin B6 above 100 milligrams.
8. Improves digestive health
Being loaded with dietary fibers – about 25 g per cup, Passion fruit eases out the bowel movements, besides supporting digestion. The fruit is not only rich in fiber but also plenty of water content that is a must for improving digestion. When consumed, it promotes digestion with the help of its enzymes that increase the digestive juices in the stomach. Plus, it can provide great relief from many other gastric ailments as a result.
Dietary fiber also scrapes cholesterol out of your arteries and blood vessels.
9. Passion fruit promotes restful sleep
Trouble sleeping? Eat Passion fruit. It contains medicinal alkaloids and several phytonutrients that serve as powerful sedatives. Regular consumption of Passion fruit is recommended for insomniacs because the alkaloids reduce sleeplessness, restlessness and relieve anxiety.
It was also found that the magnesium content of Passion fruit also helps with quality, duration, and tranquility of sleep. Passion fruit also regulates your metabolism to reduce the occurrence of sleep disorders.
10. Offers relief to Asthma patients
Oral administration of the purple passion fruit peel extract will reduce wheeze and cough besides improving shortness of breath in asthmatic patients, says Dr. Ronald Watson et al. The results showed a significant increase in forced vital capacity in subjects treated with purple passion fruit peel (PFP) extract, the mixture of bioflavonoids.
It was also deduced that the bioflavonoids have antiallergic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Next time someone in the family coughs or wheezes, give them Passion fruit.
11. Improves insulin sensitivity
Research suggests that a bioactive compound present in Passion fruit seeds could improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of many diseases, including diabetes. In a 2017 study, 39 human subjects (10 overweight men and 9 overweight women with BMI ≥ 25 and 10 non-overweight men and 10 non-overweight women with BMI < 25) were given piceatannol (20 mg/day) or placebo capsules for eight weeks.
The analytical results showed a significant reduction in serum insulin levels, heart rate and blood pressure in overweight men. No beneficial effects were observed in the other three groups.
12. Promotes skin and eye health
Another great reason to include Passion fruit in your diet is that it is a great source of Vitamin A. Hence, it takes care of vision problems that arise due to vitamin A deficiency. The vitamin A in the fruit prevents the risk of cataract, night blindness, and macular degeneration.
Furthermore, it is good for boosting skin health by reducing wrinkles. Studies say that Vitamin A is directly involved in the proper functioning of cell membranes. Eat more Passion fruit to win compliments for glowing skin.
13. Good to keep anemia at bay
Iron makes the major part of hemoglobin, the oxygen-transporting metalloprotein in the red blood cells. When your blood level is low, it usually indicates hemoglobin deficiency called anemia. Anemic symptoms include persistent tiredness, breathlessness, blackouts, and dizziness. Though it is not a serious condition, if it remains unchecked and unattended for long, it can lead to serious health issues.
Passion fruit is rich in iron (about 20% of the daily recommended value) to increase hemoglobin in the blood. Vitamin C in passion fruit assist with iron absorption.
14. Prevents Osteoporosis
Consuming Passion fruit can increase bone mineral density and bone strength thanks to its magnesium, calcium, iron phosphorous, potassium and sodium. These minerals are also important for speeding up the recovery of bones. Moreover, they alleviate the symptoms of osteoporosis including pain and inflammation.
15. Passion fruit is cancer protective
Besides genetic factors, free radicals are one of the prominent causes of cancer. Passion fruit contains a high amount of Vitamins A and C, the antioxidant vitamins. They neutralize free radicals and protect from cell damage and cancer.
The flavonoids in Passion fruit further enhance its potency against various types of cancer. Recent studies have also shown that flavonoids are effective in anticancer therapy.
Passion Fruit Side Effects
Though it is one of the safest and healthiest fruits out there, you should consider these points.
- The sedative alkaloids in Passion fruit may interfere with drug action. If you are on anti-anxiety or anti-depression pills, consult your therapist about the allowable dosage of Passion fruit.
- For similar reasons, you should avoid overeating Passion fruit. It may temporarily make your brain sluggish.
- If you are on aspirin or blood thinners, limit Passion fruit intake because it has a pro-anti-coagulant property and may interfere with aspirin’s action.
Wrapping It Up
The sweet and tart, seedy Passion fruit is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and offers a range of health benefits.
That said, we would want you to remember fruits or natural dietary sources aren’t a replacement for medicines and treatment.
Do not consume in large quantities. Add them as small servings. Monitor blood sugar levels if you eat Passion fruit on a regular basis.