Passion fruit is a nutritious tropical fruit that is gaining popularity, especially among health-conscious people. Despite its small size, it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and plant compounds that can benefit your health. You can find more information below.
Are there any benefits of passion fruit?
Although the benefits of passion fruit are not well known in our country, it is quite a lot. Passion fruit is usually purple in color and resembles a grapefruit. The fleshy interior is made of firm, juicy flesh and a few seeds. The fruit has a sour taste. The fruit has recently been described for its health benefits. Research notes that it may help treat diabetes. Its high fiber content also improves digestive health. The fruit also contains antioxidants that regulate blood pressure and support heart health.
What are the benefits of passion fruit?
Here are the benefits of passion fruit:
1- It can contribute to the treatment of diabetes
The low glycemic index and high fiber content of the fruit may make it beneficial for people with diabetes. The fruit is also rich in pectin, a type of fiber that keeps you full without increasing your calorie intake. The high fiber content allows the fruit’s sugar to be absorbed slowly into the bloodstream. This prevents sugar problems and cravings.
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Research shows that passion fruit can be used as a dietary supplement for the treatment of diabetes due to its hypoglycemic potential. The fruit can also lower high cholesterol levels and improve the functioning of insulin, that is, reduce insulin resistance.
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2- It can regulate blood pressure and protect the heart
Passion fruit is also rich in potassium, an important mineral that regulates blood pressure levels. Potassium relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow. This reduces cardiac fatigue and improves overall heart health.
A study in rats states that passion fruit peel extract can be used as a remedy for hypertension. However, more research is needed to understand the effect of its extract on blood pressure control in humans. The piceatannol in passion fruit may help lower blood pressure.
Related article: All about high blood pressure (hypertension)
3- May help reduce the risk of cancer
Passion fruit is full of antioxidants that fight cancer-causing free radicals. It also contains vitamin A, flavonoids and other phenolic compounds. These can help prevent cancer.
The flower of the passion fruit contains chrysin, a compound that has shown anticancer activities. Piceatannol, another important compound found in the fruit, has been found to kill intestinal cancer cells.
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The fruit also contains vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can fight free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer.
4- It can strengthen the immune system
Passion fruit contains vitamin C, carotene and cryptoxanthin – these nutrients help boost the immune system. Vitamin C also stimulates white blood cell activity. This results in a stronger immune system and protection from related common ailments (such as autoimmune diseases).
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5- May improve digestive health
Passion fruit is an ideal addition to a digestive-friendly diet as it is a great source of fiber. Soluble fiber is found in both the flesh and the peel of the fruit. Dietary fiber acts as a laxative and improves bowel movement. Fiber also helps prevent constipation and lowers total cholesterol levels by excretion through the stool.
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6- It can improve skin color
This fruit is a great source of vitamin A, which is a particularly beneficial nutrient for the skin. Other antioxidants such as vitamin C, riboflavin and carotene found in the fruit also improve skin health and complexion and delay the signs of premature aging. Passion fruit is rich in piceatannol, which may have an anti-aging effect.
However, concrete research in this area is limited. More studies in humans are needed.
Related article: What are the skin benefits of aloe vera?
7- May contribute to cognitive health and reduce anxiety
Potassium and folate in passion fruit play a role here. Potassium improves blood flow and cognitive health, while folate helps prevent Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline.
Some sources also state that passion flower can help reduce anxiety. The fruit contains antioxidants that fight inflammation. Also, it should be noted that it can have some soothing effect on anxiety.
8- It can strengthen bones
Among the benefits of passion fruit is that it strengthens bones. This fruit; It is rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Therefore, including fruit in your diet is a good way to complement the effects of other bone-strengthening foods. These minerals, when taken with other rich sources (such as green vegetables and milk), maintain bone density and may prevent osteoporosis.
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Studies have shown that passion fruit peel extract also has anti-inflammatory properties. These can also help relieve osteoarthritis symptoms.
9- May help treat respiratory diseases
The new bioflavonoid mixture in passion fruit may have positive effects on the respiratory system. Studies show that these fruit extracts can help relieve asthma, wheezing and coughing.
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However, more information is needed to understand the fruit’s therapeutic effects on respiratory conditions.
10- May help with sleep
Passion fruit contains blend that can have soothing properties. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the fruit may help treat insomnia and restlessness. However, research is limited and more information is needed.
11- May improve blood circulation
Scirpusin B, a compound in passion fruit seeds, acts as a vasodilator. It relaxes the blood vessels and this can increase blood circulation.
Also, the potassium in passion fruit may have vasodilation properties. The iron and copper found in the fruit can further increase circulation as they are essential components involved in the production of red blood cells. However, this needs further investigation.
12- May be beneficial during pregnancy
The folate in passion fruit helps the growth and development of the fetus and prevents neural tube defects in babies. Folate is very important before and during pregnancy, and the need for it increases even more during breastfeeding. As seen earlier, the fruit can also boost immunity and bone health during this period.
13- May help with weight loss
The fiber in fruit keeps you full for longer. However, there is no direct research indicating that passion fruit can aid weight loss. You can add this fruit as part of your diet for weight loss.
Related article: What to do to lose weight fast?
What are the possible harms of passion fruit?
Passion fruit is generally safe for most people, although some may experience allergies. You should always see your doctor if you experience any side effects after consuming this fruit.
1- May cause latex-fruit syndrome
People with a latex allergy may be more sensitive to passion fruit and experience allergic symptoms. Therefore, such individuals should avoid consuming this fruit.
2- May cause problems during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Although passion fruit may be beneficial during pregnancy, studies state that it can cause contractions and should not be taken during this period. Consult your doctor before taking this fruit during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
3- May cause problems during surgery
This fruit can interfere with anesthesia during surgery, as it can stimulate the central nervous system. You should stop consuming at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery. Research in this area is limited. Therefore, consult your doctor.
As a result
Passion fruit is rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It can help treat diabetes, regulate blood pressure, and also reduce the risk of cancer.
This versatile fruit is available in many varieties. It is easy to include in your diet. However, you should be wary of the side effects. If you are easily prone to food allergies, you should consult your doctor before consuming passion fruit.