Passion fruit, also known as granadilla, is native to tropical and sub-tropical region of South America. More than being used to cool the body in the summer due to its exotic taste, passion fruit is well-known for its incredible benefits on human health as it is highly nutritious.
Passion fruit boasts some impressive nutrition facts. For starters, it is a great source of fiber and protein. A cup of passion fruit with both pulp and seeds contains 24.5 grams of fiber which is as high as 4 cups of bran cereal. Passion fruit is typically rich in folate and vitamin A, B3, B2, B6, C. One cup of serving from passion fruit contributes 120% of vitamin C and 60% of vitamin A we need a day. Passion fruit also confers a healthy package of minerals, consisting of phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. More amazing, passion fruit is especially low in calories and contains zero cholesterol.
It seemingly takes forever to list all remarkable health benefits you can gain from daily intake of passion fruit. Below are some of the most well-known and outstanding benefits backed with scientific proofs.
1. Prevent cancer
The concentrated contents of vitamin A and vitamin C in passion fruit make it a real anti-cancer agent. Both types of vitamins are strong anti-oxidants which hold the power to protect our body against free radical cell damage before they infect the healthy cells, as well as repair the damaged cells and aid the regeneration of new cells.
2. Improve immune system
High amounts of antioxidants in passion fruit like vitamin A, C, beta-cryptoxanthin, and alpha-carotene can help you strengthen your immune system by the same mechanism it does for fighting cancer. It neutralizes the free radical activity, eliminates damaged cells, thus optimizing the immune function of our body. Hence, when you feel susceptible to flu, cold or other infections, drinking a cup of passion fruit can promote the healing and recovery process more quickly.
3. Improve blood circulation
The high iron and copper content present in passion fruit are both essential components of the production of hemoglobin. Once red blood cell count advances and the vessels are dilated, highly oxygenated blood can circulate freely to all parts of the body thus operating all the organs properly and productively.
4. Promote skin and eye health
It is a common knowledge that vitamin A is good for eye health and vision as well as prevents the risks of cataract, night blindness, and other eye related problems. Furthermore, flavonoid, an active antioxidant found adequately in passion fruit can provide additional protection to the cornea. Flavonoid is also good for the production of collagen which has function to tighten and rejuvenate your skin. Several types of antioxidants in passion fruit are popular for their ability to prevent pre-mature aging. Therefore, a cup of passion fruit can be a secret to a healthy vision and perfect skin.
5. Regulate digestion
Passion fruits are a very strong source of fiber, especially the soluble fiber which is of great importance for a healthy digestion of food and the regulation of bowel movements. Fiber also works harmoniously with water content in passion fruit to improve capacity of the body in absorbing the nutrition from food and eliminate light symptoms of irritable bowel syndromes.
6. Improve your mood
Passion fruit can be an effective mood booster thanks to its moderate yet sufficient amount of a sedative content called Alkaloids. It makes passion fruit become effective for enhancing your mood and doctors are currently applying this natural supplement to ease some symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
7. Battle insomnia
Passion fruit can improve sleep quality with its high content of magnesium, a compound closely associated with the quality, duration, and tranquility of sleep. The calming and soothing effect of alkaloid are also of great help in fighting against insomnia. If you are having difficulties in falling asleep, adding passion fruit to your daily diet might be something you should really consider.
8. Stabilize blood pressure
Having great amount of potassium makes passion fruit highly practical in protecting from high blood pressure. High potassium content helps relax the blood vessels, improve blood flow as well as reduce strain on the heart and enhance overall cardiovascular health. One cup of passion fruit a day can satisfy 1/4 of your potassium needs immediately.
9. Control respiratory conditions and asthma
A thorough study carried by Ronald Ross Watson proved that the peel of this fruit with a great deal of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and allergic properties can provide a good source of relief for Asthma patients. The anti-allergic, antioxidant along with anti-inflammatory properties in passion fruit have been positively associated to minimize asthma attacks, wheezing, and whooping cough.
There are some cautions you should consider before adding passion fruit to your daily menu, especially if you are a diabetes patient. And the sedative property in passion fruit – alkaloid as mentioned above can be a real danger to our nerve system if consumed excessively.
Still, the wealth of nutrients and health benefits of passion fruit is abundant and undeniable. So you can start drinking this exotic and highly nutritious fruit, and prepared to feel the difference in your health in no time.