Tropical fruit with yellow skin and pulp with a slightly acidic and sweet flavor, very appreciated in juices and desserts. What few actually know is that passion fruit is a rich source of health benefits. This is because it is composed of several nutrients, including vitamin A, B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and also soluble fiber (pectin).
Together, these nutrients help to calm, prevent obesity, improve sleep quality, reduce inflammation, improve intestinal transit, among other many benefits.
Do you want to know more about this typically Brazilian fruit? Find out below.
4 benefits of passion fruit
Passion fruit is a good source of nutrients, especially fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A. It is also rich in plant compounds, including carotenoids and polyphenols, it even has more polyphenols than most tropical fruits, such as: banana , lychee , mango and pineapple . ( 1 )
These chemical substances are powerful antioxidants for the body, acting in cell protection. In the long term, daily consumption of this component can help ward off diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and various types of cancer.
1- Prevents diseases
Free radicals are a great enemy of health. When in large numbers they damage cells and can favor the emergence of various diseases. Abundant in passion fruit, antioxidants , in turn, help to eliminate these radicals, providing a healthier body for longer.
One of these antioxidants is beta-carotene, which after ingesting becomes vitamin A, helping to maintain healthy bones, hair, and vision, among others. A diet high in beta-carotene can help prevent many types of cancer, such as breast, colon, and prostate cancer. ( 3 )
2- Cardioprotective seeds
Passion fruit seeds not only can be ingested, they also bring a series of health benefits. One of the main targets of studies regarding seeds is their power to promote vasodilation, improving blood flow between arteries. The result is a decrease in blood pressure and, consequently, a person’s probability of having a stroke.
Another benefit acquired through passion fruit seeds is the improvement in insulin sensitivity, thanks to the presence of piceatannol, reducing the risk of diabetes 2, which is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. ( 4 )
3- Powerful anti-inflammatory
It is not only the interior of the passion fruit that can be used. Passion fruit peel has potent anti-inflammatory properties when ingested as a food supplement. It is possible to notice a significant improvement in the symptoms of asthmatic patients who ingested the supplement for a month.
The same compounds also help to reduce pain in patients with osteoarthritis, reducing inflammation and swelling. ( 5 )
4- Diuretic and soothing effect
The passion fruit leaves can also be used by the body. It is known that fluid retention is a very uncomfortable problem, which results in increased measurements, cellulite , among others. The leaves, in turn, help to eliminate excess fluid retained by the body through urine, reducing swelling and discomfort.
passion fruit leaf tea
They are also used as a potent natural tranquilizer, helping to combat insomnia , anxiety and agitation. To consume it, it is necessary to make tea from passion fruit leaves through an infusion. Use 4 fresh passion fruit leaves to 3 cups of water, boil for 10 minutes and then serve.
Does passion fruit lose weight?
No food makes you fat or slim. It all depends on how it is used and under what circumstances. Passion fruit, as well as its leaves, seeds and bark can indeed help in healthy weight loss. This is because, in addition to the diuretic effect, ensuring a visibly drier body, it helps to reduce anxiety, which is beneficial for people who suffer from binge eating.
For this purpose, passion fruit can be used in its most diverse forms. The most common and easiest to prepare is the juice, however, if your intention is to reduce some numbers on the scale, the ideal is to avoid the use of sugar. It is also possible to drink tea in order to reduce anxiety and retention. However, the best way to consume passion fruit for weight loss is through the shell flour, which is very rich in fiber and increases the feeling of satiety.
According to Professor of Nutrition at PUC Paraná, Gisele Pontaroli “we do not use the bark but the inner bark (the white part that remains after removing the pulp and seeds), which can be roasted to dehydrate and then crushed to be used in preparations. However, this part of the passion fruit is a little bitter, which can be circumvented through the use of industrialized passion fruit flour, which can be found in natural food stores and in pharmacies”, he explained.
Passion fruit traps or releases the intestine?
Many people wonder if passion fruit traps or loosens the intestine. As is known, passion fruit has a high content of soluble fiber, which favors intestinal transit. This compound also helps to increase the volume of stools, decreasing diarrhea . This is due to the fact that passion fruit has approximately 10% fiber in its composition.
However, care must be taken with the amount of fiber ingested, as an excess of this component can result in hard stools and abdominal pain.
|100 gram serving||Amount per serving|
|Energetic value||68 Kcal|
|C vitamin||19,8 mg|
* Daily reference values based on a 2000kcal or 8400kj diet. Your daily values can be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. Data taken from TACO, revised and expanded edition. ( 6 )
Everything you need to know about passion fruit
The passion fruit comes from South America and its name, of Tupi origin, means “food in the gourd”. This is because one of the main characteristics of this fruit is its thick and resistant skin, occupied by the liquid and thick pulp with a strong aroma.
It is the fruit of a climbing plant of the Passiflora genus, which can reach up to 9 meters in length and which adapts well to hot and tropical regions. Its ornamental flower is well known for its calming properties. Currently, Brazil is the largest commercial producer of passion fruit. The most common in Brazil is sour, with a yellow and slightly wrinkled skin.
- Vitamin C . Passion fruit is full of this powerful antioxidant. The body uses it to produce blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen, which keep the skin firm and lush. It also helps to heal the body, reduces inflammation and protects cells from various damage. By taking the recommended daily dose of vitamin C, you decrease the chances of getting the flu, colds and opportunistic illnesses.
- Vitamin A . The pulp and seeds of passion fruit have 8% of the dose of vitamin A that the body needs every day. This is the key to healthy eyes, up-to-date immunity and strong hair.
- Fiber . Passion fruit is rich in this compound. Fiber keeps the intestine healthy and functioning regularly, and it increases and prolongs the feeling of fullness. “This fiber is important to maintain stable blood glucose levels in diabetics, help reduce cholesterol levels and also provide satiety (so it can help those who want to lose weight)”, stressed Gisele Pontaroli.
- Nutrients . Passion fruit also provides your body with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and folate. This helps your kidneys, nerves, muscles and heart rate stay healthy and fully functioning.
How to grow passion fruit at home?
Many people don’t know, but it is possible to grow passion fruit at home using the seeds. The great advantage of doing this is that, in addition to having the fruit available at home whenever you want, you can still be sure that you are consuming a completely organic food, without pesticides or pesticides that are harmful to your health.
Before planting passion fruit, it is important to remember that it needs space to stand and bear fruit. Also for this reason, the cultivation is more suitable for those who have a little larger spaces for the passion fruit to spread its branches.
Knowing this, the first step in growing the fruit at home is choosing the seeds. It is possible to find them in specialized houses, however, as they are dehydrated, they can take time to germinate. Therefore, the best option is to remove the seeds from the pulp itself. Wash them to remove any remaining pulp and let them dry in the shade for at least 24 hours.
Prepare a vase with fertilized soil and make holes to receive the seeds, approximately 5 cm apart. To facilitate germination, the seeds should be about 2 cm deep. To neutralize soil acidity, which is harmful to the plant, add limestone.
Moisten the soil whenever it is dry until the seeds germinate. After reaching about 20 cm in height, the seedling can now be transferred to its final location, and must be watered daily. In approximately six months you will start to see the first fruits.
How to choose passion fruit?
Look for passion fruit that has a thick skin and is free of dents or holes. Observing the color of the skin is also important – if it is green, the fruit is not yet ready to be consumed.
Another tip to know if the passion fruit is ripe is to lightly press its shell with your thumb. If it’s too hard or sinks, it’s not on point. Ripe fruit should wrinkle slightly, without suffering any deformations. To choose fruit full of pulp, always choose the heavier ones. To consume it, just break the skin in half and remove its pulp with a spoon.
Passion fruit recipe
There are no limits on the use of passion fruit. Although juice is the most common way to consume it, it is possible to prepare varied and completely different dishes with the fruit. Proof of this is that it can be used in ice cream, mousses, salads, teas, smoothies, shakes with or without alcohol and even as a sauce to accompany meat and fish. Want to learn this recipe? So check it out below:
Passion fruit sauce for roasting
- 3 passion fruit
- 1 cup (of tea) of water
- ½ cup (of tea) Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup (of tea) of brown sugar
- 1 bay leaf .
- Cut the passion fruit in half and, with a spoon, transfer the pulp to the blender jar. Add water and beat quickly just to extract the juice and not break the seeds too much.
- Sift the juice and set aside. Yield may vary according to the size of the passion fruit. For the recipe 2 cups (of tea) of juice are needed – if necessary, add a little more water to complete the measure.
- In a small saucepan, add the juice, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well to dissolve all sugar and add bay leaf.
- Bring to medium heat and cook until boiling. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until thickened. To check the point, dip and cover the back of a spoon with the sauce, swipe your index finger and check: if it forms a path and the sauce doesn’t run, it’s in the right spot.
- Transfer to a bowl and let it cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes – it should be served cold or at room temperature and lasts up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Serve as an accompaniment to roasts or grills.
This recipe was taken from the Panelinha website
So, did you like the tips? Whether picked from your backyard or brought directly from the market, how about exploring a little more of the passion fruit flavors and benefits?