Passion fruit nutrition facts and Heath Benefits
Pleasantly sweet and tart, passion fruit, also known as granadilla, is brimming with numerous plant derived health benefiting nourishment essentials for the optimum growth. Passions are native to subtropical wild regions of South America, probably originated in Paraguay. The plant is a avid climber (vine) which grows on anything that it can grapple around through its tendrils.
Botanically, this exotic fruit belongs to the family of Passifloraceae, in the genus; Passiflora. Scientific name: Passiflora edulis.
The passiflora plant requires well-drained fertile soil, and good moisture to flourish. Once established, it grows quickly and reaches about 15-20 feet per year. The plant has an average life span of about 5-7 years.
Over five hundred cultivate types of passions exist; however, only two main types, purple and yellow cultivars, are widely cultivated. Banana passion fruit (P. tripartita var. mollissima), known locally as curuba de castilla, features small banana fruit like shape with rounded ends. During each season, the vine bears greenish-white fragrant flowers which subsequently develop into fruits.
Passion fruit features round to oval shape, 4 to 8 centimeters in diameter, have a tough outer shell (rind) as that of in mangosteen. Average weight is about 35-50 g.
Inside, the fruit consists of membranous sacs containing light orange-color, pulpy juice with numerous small, hard, dark-brown or black, pitted seeds. Yellow passions are generally larger than the purple varieties, but the pulp of the purple fruit is less acid, richer in aroma and flavor, and has a higher proportion of juicy pulp.
Health benefits of passion fruit
Delicious, passion fruit is rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. 100 g fruit contains about 97 calories.
The fruit is a very good source of dietary fiber. 100 g fruit pulp contains 10.4 g or 27% of fiber. Good fiber in the diet helps remove cholesterol from the body. Being a good bulk laxative, it also helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxic substances in the colon and wiping off cancer-causing toxic substances from the colon.
Passion fruit is good in vitamin C, providing about 30 mg per 100 g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against flu-like infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
The fruit carry very good levels of vitamin-A (provides about 1274 IU per 100 g), and flavonoid antioxidants such as ß-carotene and cryptoxanthin-ß. Current research studies suggest that these compounds have antioxidant properties, and along with vitamin A are essential for good eye-sight.
Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A, and flavonoids may helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Fresh granadilla is very rich in potassium. 100 g fruit pulp has about 348 mg of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cells and body fluids, and helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
Furthermore, granadilla is a very good source of minerals. Iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus are present in adequate amounts in the fruit.
By Nutrition and You