Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer!

passion fruit juice

Passion fruit facts

Passion fruit is an exotic tropical fruit.  It belongs to the family called Passifloraceae.  There are two distinct forms of these species.  The yellow passion fruit is found in Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador, and is also widely distributed in Guyana.  The purple passion fruit is called Passiflora edulis and is found in Africa and India.  Both forms differ not only in color but also on other factors.  The purple passion fruit is less acidic, has a better aroma and flavor, and has slightly higher juice content.  The yellow passion fruit is called Passiflora flavicarpa and is larger and has a thicker wall than the purple fruit.

passion fruit juiceBoth make an excellent juice blend.  Passion fruit vine is a shallow-rooted woody, perennial, and climbs by attaching its tendrils to objects.  The leaves are finely toothed and grow from 7.5 cm to 20 cm long.  The stems and tendrils are tinged with red or purple.  The flower is fragrant and grows around 5 cm to 7.5 cm wide and is borne at each node.  The bloom is grasped by 3 large green leaf-like bracts.  The yellow passion fruit flower grows slower with more intense color than the purple passion fruit.  The leaves and flowers of passion fruit can be used as a nerve tonic.

The passion fruit can be consumed naturally as a good appetizer.  The fruit is also used to cleanse upset stomach.  The fruit is a good source of vitamin C.  The fruit is mixed with water and sugar to make a clenching thirst fruit juice.  Passion fruit seeds contain a high amount of fiber, which is helpful to clean the colon, improve digestion, and help prevent heart attack and stroke.  Passion fruit is also high in vitamin A.

How to store these?

Yellow passion fruits can be ripened and stored at the 68º F (20º C) with a relative humidity of 85 to 90%.  Ripening is too rapid at 86º F (30º C).  Fruits stored in unperforated, sealed, polyethylene bags at 74º F (23.1º C), have remained in good condition for 2 weeks.  Coating with paraffin and storing at 41º to 44.6º F (5º to 7º C) and relative humidity of 85 to 90%, has prevented wrinkling and preserved quality for 30 days.

Nutritional contents of passion fruit

  • It is a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. A 100 g passion fruit contains about 97 calories.  The passion fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber.  A 100 g passion fruit pulp contains 10.4 g or 27% of fiber.
  • Passion fruit is rich in vitamin-C, which provides 30 mg of vitamin C per 100 g.
  • Passion fruit also contains high levels of vitamin-A. It provides around 1274 IU per 100 g.
  • Fresh passion fruit is rich in potassium. A 100 g fruit pulp has about 348 mg of potassium.
  • Passion fruit is an excellent source of minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Why should you eat passion fruit?

Builds Strong Immunity:  Passion fruit is well known for its healing benefits.  Passion fruit is rich in Cryptoxanthin, carotene, and vitamin C.  Vitamin C stimulates white blood cells and the body’s immune defense system, which protect the body from bacteria.  The antioxidants help flush out harmful toxins out of the body and this helps the body to stay away from many forms of cancers and infections.  A single serving of passion fruit every day provides us the daily required intake of potassium, which is an important mineral used to relax the tension of blood vessels and supporting good blood flow.

Due to this effect, there is a natural improvement in overall cardiovascular health.  Potassium is useful to maintain a good fluid balance in the body.  The passion fruit has been used since ancient times as it has the ability to enhance the body’s immunity and helps the body to stay away from infections and viruses.

Fights Cancer:  Passion fruit is a rich source of antioxidants and also has anti-inflammatory compounds.  These compounds help reduce carcinogenic activity in the body.  The antioxidants present in passion fruit can take care of free radicals in the body and eliminate them out of the body, which in turn helps prevent many types of cancers, and particularly the lung cancer.

Passion fruit is a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin A.  Vitamin A, which is present in the fruit along with many phenolic and flavonoids are known to act as a cancer-fighting element.

Improves EyeSight and Nourishes the Skin:  Passion fruit contains an important component, namely vitamin A, which offers incredible benefits to the eyes and also provides a wide range of other advantages.  People who are suffering from a family history of eye diseases can use passion fruit in their diet to prevent many eye conditions such as night blindness, cataracts, and macular degeneration.  Passion fruit is also known to reduce aging signs such as wrinkles.  Consuming passion fruit keeps the skin hydrated and ensures a healthy looking skin.

passion fruit digestionSupports Digestion:  Digestion seems to be a problem these days due to the lifestyle of many individuals.  Since people these days have a sedentary lifestyle and hardly have time to exercise, digestion becomes a big issue.  Passion fruit is a rich source of fiber, which is easily digested in the stomach and can take care of many problems, which arise due to poor digestion.  Each serving of passion fruit offers the human body with roughly 98% of its daily fiber requirement.  Passion fruit also helps to regulate the bowel movements.

Treats Gastrointestinal Disorders:  It can be referred to diseases involving the gastrointestinal tract.  Passion fruit is known for its laxative effect.  It serves as a great laxative to keep the digestive tract in good shape and is also helpful in preventing colon cancer.  It can relieve constipation and flushes out excess cholesterol from the blood vessels to prevent a large number of gastrointestinal conditions.

Reduces Bad Cholesterol and Improves Circulation:  Bad cholesterol can be referred to LDL (low-density lipoproteins).  Due to the hectic lifestyle, it is difficult to maintain a healthy diet.  Due to the consumption of unhealthy diets, such as fast foods and other high fat containing diets, there is an increase in bad cholesterol in the blood.  Bad cholesterol causes fluctuations in the blood pressure and also blocks the arteries and increases the stress on the heart.  Passion fruit is rich in copper and iron. 

These components with a combination of potassium help in reducing the thickness of the blood and can be helpful in people suffering from heart ailments such as narrow arteries.  Copper and iron are also important elements for the production of red blood cells.  Consuming passion fruit regularly boosts the RBC count, which helps the blood vessels to dilate and maintain the free flow of oxygenated blood throughout the body.  This process stimulates the metabolic activity in all the systems of our body.  Due to these effects of reducing LDL and increasing HDL and dilating the blood, passion fruit is important for heart health.

passion fruit pain reliefProtects Bone Health and Prevents Osteoporosis:  Bone health is important for a healthy human body, which includes ambulation and other daily activities.  Decreased bone mineral density has been a problem with many individuals and mainly with women.  Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones deteriorate or become brittle and fragile due to low bone mass and bone tissue loss Passion fruit is a rich source of important minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus.

All these minerals are important for increasing bone mineral density.  The mineral content in the passion fruit promotes superior bone health and protects us against many bone disorders and medical conditions.  Passion fruit is useful in treating inflammation and pain due to bone and joint problems such as osteoporosis.

passion fruit vit cTreats Respiratory Disorders:  Respiratory disorder can be defined as a variety of pathogenic conditions that affect respiration.  Some of the common respiratory disorders are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, emphysema, lung cancer, mesothelioma, pulmonary hypertension, and tuberculosis.  Purple passion fruit peel extracts contain a unique mixture of bioflavonoid.  These bioflavonoids have a sedative and soothing effect and are helpful in treating respiratory disorders.  They act as an expectorant to treat many respiratory conditions, including persistent cough and/or an asthma attack.

Relieves Anxiety and Cures Insomnia:  Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.  Insomnia is a sleep disorder, which is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep.  Passion fruits are known for their soothing and calming effect due to the presence of bioflavonoid.  Passion fruit also has medicinal alkaloids, which act as powerful sedatives.  These compounds reduce restlessness and can relieve anxiety.  Daily consumption of passion fruit has also proven to be helpful in combating insomnia.

Method of preparing passion fruit for medical uses

  • The leaves and flowers are boiled with water to make a nerve tonic.
  • The fruit can be eaten raw by chopping the fruit in half and eating the seeds as well as the orange juice sac in the center.
  • We could also squeeze the juice from the fruit and drink it naturally to cleanse the stomach.
  • We can squeeze the fruit gently to extract the juice, which is in the form of a rich, natural extract, and can be diluted with water and mixed with sugar to form a refreshing drink.
  • The rind of the fruit can be chopped, dried, and combined with molasses as cattle or pig food.

Side effects of passion fruit

Passion fruit is generally safe to consume, but can also cause some side effects.  Since passion fruit has a high content of fiber, continuous use of passion fruit can lead to some gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea.  These symptoms are minimal and generally go away immediately when the consumption is stopped.  It should be avoided if undergoing surgery.  It is known to stimulate the central nervous system and might interfere with anesthesia during surgery.

It is recommended to stop consuming the fruit at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.  The skin of the passion fruit should be avoided since it contains cyanogenic glycosides, which is the source of cyanide.

Is it right for you?

Passion fruit is an exotic tropical fruit.  It is the answer for a nutritious drink or snack.  It has properties of low calories and high nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.  The side effects of consuming passion fruit are minimal to nil and the benefits outweigh the risks and thus can be concluded that passion fruit is indeed a good choice to add to our diet.

 

 

 

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