Officially known as the Passiflora edulis, this tropical flower that originated in South America is more commonly known as the passion fruit in most parts of the world. With a purple exterior, the passion fruit is technically a berry that has a soft inside packed with seeds. Most people would agree that passion fruit tastes very good, and it has been growing in popularity in recent years in places where it wasn’t very commonly known at one point.
We’ve also been learning more about benefits that passion fruit can bring to your body when you add more to your diet. Because of its great nutritional content, passion fruit has been considered by many to be a superfood that people should be eating more of. To back up those claims, we’ll look at the nutritional value of passion fruit, and some of those proven health benefits that you’ll get.
Nutrition of Passion Fruit
While passion fruit might be a bit higher in calories than some other fruits, getting just under 100 calories out of 100 grams of anything is pretty good. There’s a hint of protein with four percent of your daily value in each serving, and nearly half of your daily recommendation for dietary fiber. Another dash of good news includes the fact that there’s less than one gram of fat in passion fruit, and no cholesterol at all. Vitamins play a big part here, as you get half of your recommended vitamin C intake, and a quarter of your daily vitamin A.
Passion fruit is also a good source of other vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6 at around 10 percent. In terms of minerals, iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus all check in at about 10 percent of your daily needs, as well. In smaller amounts, you’ll find copper and calcium. There may only be two vitamins that really stick out here, but those are ones that you’ll need a lot of in your body.
As we mentioned, eating 100 grams of passion fruit will provide you with half of the vitamin C that’s recommended each day. The good news is that you can intake more than the daily recommended amount, as your body will expel the vitamin C that you don’t need. Your body will use up the vitamin C needed to improve your immune system, fighting off potential attackers that include viruses and bacteria that can cause a wide range of illnesses.
Vitamin C and other nutrients found in passion fruit are antioxidants that work with the body to fight off free radicals that can attack your cells and cause cancer growth. Passion fruit has some unique antioxidants, as well, including flavonoids that are especially helpful in preventing certain types of cancers that include mouth cancer and lung cancer.
Good For the Heart
They say that passion comes from the heart, but it’s not quite as well known that passion fruit is good for the heart. Passion fruit contains a lot of beneficial nutrients that allow for better circulation, including iron and potassium. The iron alone will help to bring oxygen to the blood, helping you avoid fatigue through anemia. This helps all organs in the body, but the heart sees a huge benefit.
With about one quarter of your daily potassium recommendation, passion fruit has been shown to affect your blood pressure in a positive way. Potassium helps sooth your blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow. While there hasn’t been a strong connection between passion fruit and cholesterol, specifically, we do know that fiber has often been linked with better cholesterol levels overall.
Another thing that fiber is known for is helping to improve your digestive system. Few foods have a higher concentration of fiber than passion fruit, which is vital if you want to become more regular, avoiding common discomfort like diarrhea and constipation. In terms of the latter, patients that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or constipation are often told by doctors to eat more passion fruit to get a quick fiber boost that alleviates symptoms.
Having a digestive system that’s working efficiently helps in a long list of ways. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll notice that your body is burning more calories, making passion fruit a great weight loss tool. Finally, you’re preventing several different potentially deadly diseases in the digestive system, especially colon cancer.
Breathing and Seeing Clearly
While heart health and brain health are typically things that you think about in the long term, you usually notice sudden changes in your vision or breathing right away. This is especially true if you have asthma, as attacks can bring on wheezing and coughing that can potentially be life threatening. Passion fruit has been linked with helping asthma symptoms because of bioflavonoids that can be difficult to find.
As for your eyes, passion fruit provides a boost thanks to high concentrations of antioxidants such as vitamins A and C. Vitamin A is the first thing that doctors suggest you increase your intake of if you want to prevent age-related problems such as macular degeneration. People who sit in front of screens all day long will see almost instant benefits as the vitamins help relieve pain and stress.
Another part of the body that you don’t tend to think about immediately is your skeletal system. Unfortunately, bones can start to deteriorate with age, especially if you aren’t getting the proper nutrients in your diet. Passion fruit contains many different nutrients needed for bone health, such as iron and magnesium. These will make your bones stronger without losing density as quickly. Getting these minerals reduces your chances of getting osteoporosis or arthritis in your later years, and you’ll certainly thank yourself later when you see those in the same age group that are experiencing these problems.
Summing it Up
We’ve seen all of the great pros when it comes to eating passion fruit, but what about any cons that might pop up? One thing that you have to watch out for is the amount of fiber in each serving. Since passion fruit is very high in fiber, it can affect you temporarily if you’re not used to getting much in your diet. This is an adjustment in your digestive system, and is usually both temporary and mild in discomfort. Once you get adjusted, you’ll start feeling fantastic.
The only other thing that you have to look out for is allergies, as some people might not be able to digest passion fruit. This is a pretty rare allergy to have, so most won’t have to worry about missing out on the great health benefits. With those minor details out of the way, you can feel free to add as much passion fruit to your diet as you see fit and start getting the great taste and health boost that your body needs today!