Passionfruit is widely eaten around the world, and has been for hundreds of years. There are more than 500 varieties of it, and their appearance varies widely. In terms of color, they are usually yellow or dark purple and look somewhat like a grapefruit. The interior is filled with a firm, juicy meat and an abundance of seeds. The fruit is regularly squeezed for the highly beneficial juice, and you often see it added to other juices to improve the flavor and add an exotic taste. Passion fruits are grown in nearly any warm climate in the world, provided they are frost-free throughout the year. This includes the South Pacific, Central America, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and various subtropical locations throughout the world. These individual cultures utilize it in their cuisine, because the need for exportation is relatively slim, considering that it is grown in so many different places and varieties around the world.
Benefits of passionfruit
- Boosts Immunity – Passion fruit has a significant number of antioxidants, which further enhance the body’s immunity. Since ancient times, passion fruit has been cultivated and enjoyed because of the belief that it provides a boost to the immune system. It was however unknown to most people until modern times that this immune strengthening property was due to the presence of vitamin C, carotene, and cryptoxanthin. In fact, a single serving of passion fruit (100 grams) provides about 30 mg of vitamin C. All of these vitamins act as antioxidants, which scavenge free radicals from the body and neutralize them before they can harm the organ systems and result in conditions like cancer, heart disease, or premature aging. Furthermore, vitamin C stimulates the activity of white blood cells and the rest of the immune defense system, thereby protecting you from common illnesses and serious diseases at the same time.
- Anti-carcinogenic Potential – Passion fruit is also a powerful source to enhance anti-carcinogenic activity in the body. Antioxidants in passion fruit primarily eliminate free radicals, which are known for mutating the DNA of healthy cells into cancerous ones. According to the Food Research International journal, passion fruit also contains vitamin C, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds, all of which have been linked to anti-cancer properties.
- Rich in Vitamin A – Vitamin A is linked to benefits in eye health, including the prevention of macular degeneration, cataracts, and night blindness. Furthermore, a high antioxidant content of passion fruit is helpful in reducing wrinkles, and promotes the proper functioning of membranes throughout the body, including the skin, to keep it hydrated and glowing!
- Aids in Digestion – Passion fruits are a very strong source of fiber, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. A single serving of this fruit provides the human body with approximately 98% of its daily requirement. Fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet since it is the substance that facilitates healthy digestion of food and the regulation of bowel movements. Passion fruit is a good source of soluble fiber, both in the pulp and in the rind, which acts as a bulk laxative, moving food through the digestive tract and reducing exposure time of the colon to any toxins. It can reduce signs of constipation by regulating bowel movements, scrubbing the blood vessels clean of excess cholesterol, and even preventing gastrointestinal conditions.
- Reduces Blood Pressure – One serving of passion fruit each day can satisfy 1/4 of potassium needs immediately. Potassium is a vital mineral in the human body for a number of reasons, one of which is its role as a vasodilator, says a study by Dr. Robert Brace, who is associated with Oregon Health & Science University and is the author of Fetal and Neonatal Body Fluids. It relaxes the tension of blood vessels and promotes increased blood flow. This reduces the strain on the heart and increases overall cardiovascular health. Furthermore, potassium is necessary to maintain the proper fluid balance of the body’s cells. Movement between membranes is often only allowed through potassium-regulated channels, so proper amounts of this mineral are of extreme importance.
- Improves Circulation – When combined with the vasodilation properties of potassium, the high iron and copper content of passion fruit can really make an impact. Iron and copper are both essential components of red blood cell production. Once the RBC count increases and the vessels are dilated, then healthy, oxygenated blood can flow freely to necessary areas of the body, stimulating the metabolic activity in all the organ systems and boosting productivity and efficiency. Healthy blood flow is essential for proper functioning!
- Improves Bone Health – Since passion fruit is such a rich source of minerals like iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus, it is a very important fruit for increasing bone mineral density and bone strength. Some of these minerals play an integral role in creating additional bone matter, strengthening existing bone matter, and speeding up repair. This can be a means of eliminating, preventing or alleviating the symptoms of osteoporosis and the associated pain and inflammation that occurs when bones deteriorate with age and activity.
- Reduces Insomnia – One often overlooked compound in passion fruit is a medicinal alkaloid, Harman, which functions as a sedative. This compound of passion fruit has been connected to a reduction in restlessness, insomnia, and nervous anxiety, which can keep one from getting a good night’s sleep.
- Soothes Respiratory Conditions – A study has shown that a combination of various extracts from the purple passion fruit peel creates a novel mixture of bioflavonoids. This mixture has an expectorant, sedative, and soothing effect on the respiratory system. It has been positively connected to a reduction in asthma attacks, wheezing, and whooping cough.
Adding passionfruits to your diet
It is a popular breakfast food and snack and is also used in making juice. Passionfruit flavor is also used as an additive to salsa, salad, and desserts.
Passionfruits are in season from March to April and from July to August. They can be consumed anytime in the day but the best time is at morning or at night before going to bed.
Word of caution
There are no inherent risks of eating passion fruit, and its wealth of nutrients and health benefits take care of most bodily concerns. However, most of the calories of this fruit do come from sugars, so people with diabetes should be careful not to eat it excessively, or at least be aware of their blood sugar levels. Other than that, enjoy passion fruit and start feeling better in countless ways in no time.
Recipe for Passion fruit sorbet
Calories – 212, Total Time – 15m, Prep Time – 5m, 2 Servings
100 ml water
100 gm caster sugar
4 passion fruit
2 tablespoon lemon juice
Place a pan over medium flame and add water in it. Add sugar in water and boil the mixture for a minute or two. Stir to dissolve sugar in water. Once a thick sugary syrup is formed, remove from flame and set it aside.
Now peel and remove the seeds of passion fruit and reserve the seeds in a small bow. Take a blender jar, add passion fruit, sugar syrup, lemon juice and water in it. Blend to form a smooth paste and strain it in a medium bowl. Add the reserved seed in the bowl and mix well.
Transfer this mixture in a container and cover it with a lid. Place it in the refrigerator for some time. Once it is frozen, take it out and transfer it in a blender jar. Blend the mixture until small granules remain. Scoop it in a serving bowl and serve chilled.
Recipe for Passion Fruit Cheese Cake
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes, Serves:4, 240 calories
180 g – digestive biscuit
50 g – Butter
200 ml – fresh Cream
400 g – Cream cheese
100 g – Sugar
4 – passion fruit.
1 tsp – vanilla essence
For jelly glaze
100 ml – water
1 tbsp – Sugar
Pulp of – 1 Passion fruit
1.5 tsp – gelatine powder soaked in 1 tbsp of cold water
Pulp 4 passion fruits and strain the juice.
Grind biscuit and butter together. Line the bottom of 18 cm cake pan with butter biscuit crumbs, gently press them uniformly so that they are firm. Refrigerate it for about 30 mins.
Combine, sugar fresh cream and vanilla essence and beat them until stiff single peaks are formed.
Next soften cream cheese in a separate bowl, very gently.
Now gently fold in fresh cream, cream cheese and passion fruit juice together until they are uniformly mixed.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture and spread evenly on the cake crust.
Let the cake rest in the refrigerator
For gelatine glaze:
In a heavy bottom pan, add water and sugar let them simmer on medium heat. Occasionally stir them till sugar dissolves, next add in passion fruit pulp and gelatine soaked in water. Bring it to simmer till the gelatine dissolves.
Let the glaze cool in ice water bath till it becomes syrupy, immediately pour it on top of the cake. Cover with fresh wrappers and refrigerate it. Serve the cake cold.
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