Passion fruit or passion fruit is a food that brings many benefits, especially to the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular system. Discover the properties of the passion fruit.
The passion fruit or maracuja belongs to the Passifloraceae family and is native to Brazil. It boasts a particularly fragrant pulp, which can be yellow or purple in color.
You can easily find products made from passion fruit, especially fruit juices that are often used to create alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.
The nutritional properties of passion fruit
Abundant, gelatinous and very fragrant, the pulp of the passion fruit is mainly composed of water and represents a good source of beta- carotene and dietary fiber; it also contains a fair share of other nutrients, including iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, vitamin C and Omega 6. As for calories, passion fruit provides about 97 Kcal.
The seeds of the passion fruit are usually destined for animal feed, while an oil is extracted from the peel which is mainly used in the cosmetic industry. We see below the table with the nutritional values of this exotic fruit.
Nutritional values per 100g of passion fruit:
- Waterfall: 72.93 g
- kcal: 97
- Proteins: 2.2 g
- Fat: 0.7 g
- of which saturated: 0.059 g
- Carbohydrates: 23.38 g
- of which sugars: 11.2 g
- Fibers: 10.4 g
- C vitamin: 30 mg
- Iron: 1.6 mg
- Potassium: 348 mg
- Magnesium: 29 mg
- Vitamin A: 64 µg
- Vitamin B2: 0.13 mg
- Vitamin B3: 1.5 mg
- Glycemic index: 30
- Cholesterol: 0 g
Benefits of passion fruit
After seeing the nutritional properties, let’s delve into all the benefits that passion fruit offers to health.
✓ The passion fruit against aging
Passion fruit is a generous source of antioxidants, substances that help the body protect itself from cellular aging and, therefore, from all the diseases that can derive from it, in particular neoplasms and cardiovascular problems. Antioxidant foods cannot therefore be missing in a healthy and balanced diet. In particular, being rich in beta-carotene, passion fruit helps protect the skin from atmospheric agents and aging.
✓ Passion fruit and gastrointestinal health
Passion fruit is particularly digestible. It is also very rich in pectin, a soluble dietary fiber, also contained in large quantities in apples and pears, which promotes intestinal regularity. The passion fruit therefore helps to fight constipation and to preserve the colon. Thanks to its characteristics it is useful in the prevention of colitis; it can also be of some benefit to gastritis sufferers.
✓ Fruit of passion and health of the heart and vessels
The pectin contained in the passion fruit forms in the stomach a substance similar to gelatin which satisfies and delays the absorption of carbohydrates; it also has a beneficial effect on the metabolization of fats and on the accumulation of cholesterol.
According to a study, the yellow pulp passion fruit would have a beneficial effect even in subjects suffering from type 2 diabetes. The passion fruit, in fact, according to the results of this research would be able to reduce insulin resistance. Diabetic patients usually have resistance to insulin action and for this reason they need insulin administration to control blood glucose levels. Therefore, any substance capable of reducing insulin resistance can help control blood sugar in the diabetic patient.
The results of the aforementioned study, conducted on 43 patients aged between 57 and 73 years, cannot be considered conclusive, but suggest a positive effect of passion fruit in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.
✓ Supports the immune system
Passion fruit is a food rich in vitamin C, a substance with well-known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. It is precisely the good presence of this vitamin that gives passion fruit useful properties to support the immune system. Furthermore, vitamin C helps the body to better absorb the iron contained in plants.
How to choose and eat passion fruit
Passion fruit belongs to the food category of fruit and, as such, a portion is equivalent to about 100/150 grams, equivalent to about 4 or 5 fruits, depending on the size. This exotic fruit can now be found in many supermarkets or health food stores. The price is not exactly the cheapest and can even cost 20-25 USD per kilo, depending on the manufacturer. Passion fruit has a very aromatic, sweet-sour taste with floral and exotic notes.
To buy ripe passion fruit it is necessary to check its peel and smell: if possible, buy fruits with a soft, not smooth skin and an intense purple color. Furthermore, it must give off a certain scent, if the fruit is odorless it means that it is not ripe. Another way in which you can tell if the fruit is ripe is to shake it with your hand: if you feel liquid inside it, it means that the fruit is ripe. Let’s now see how this fruit is eaten.
To eat the passion fruit you will have to cut it in half and, with the help of a teaspoon, you will have to extract the juicy and fragrant pulp, while the seeds can be eaten even without being chewed. Its flavor makes it a great ingredient for making delicious exotic extracts or smoothies. It goes well with other tropical fruits such as mango, pineapple or papaya. Also, we can experiment by adding it to our homemade non-alcoholic cocktails!
Contraindications and side effects
Passion fruit has no particular contraindications, unless there is an allergy to passion fruit or to the substances contained in it. This fruit is contraindicated in people allergic to latex. It should not be abused because excessive consumption could cause transient stomach upset.
The name passion fruit is sometimes associated with aphrodisiac properties; in reality, the passion fruit is called in this way due to the characteristic shape of the flower that recalls the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; observing it carefully, it is easy to see how the corolla resembles a crown of thorns, while the pistils can bring to mind the image of the nails. This is therefore the passion to which the name of the fruit refers.