In addition to being your favorite blended margarita flavor, passion fruit is loaded with health benefits. Its robust nutritional profile and is rich with antioxidants, powerful plant compounds, as well as vitamins and nutrients. We’re going to talk about how this exotic fruit can add substantial benefits to your overall health and nutrition.
What Is Passion Fruit
Passion fruit is widely grown in tropical climates, such as South America, Australia, and Asia. Despite it’s relatively small size, passion fruit packs a powerful little punch, rich in vitamin c, antioxidants, and powerful plant compounds. It’s tough outer rind protects its juicy pulp and seed filled center. There are several different varieties, types, and sizes of passion fruit, however purple and yellow the most common varieties.
Passion Fruit Nutrition
So what powerful plant compounds and vitamins does passion fruit have? To start, passion fruit is rich with vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber at 9% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and A. Though it doesn’t seem like much, for a single small fruit, roughly the size of a plum and only 17 calories, they’re stacked.
Passion fruit also contains powerful plant compounds such as glycosides, polyphenols and carotenoids, which are classified as antioxidants. Think of antioxidants as a sort of invisible armor, protecting your body from the free radical army, that can hurt you by causing oxidative stress and destroying cells.
- Calories: 17
- Carbohydrates 4.21g
- Fat 0.12g
- Protein 0.4g
- Magnesium 5.22mg
- Calcium 2.16mg
- Fiber: 2 grams.
- Vitamin C: 9% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin A: 8% of the DV.
- Iron: 2% of the DV.
- Potassium: 2% of the DV.
Passion Fruit Benefits
Since passion fruit is rich in antioxidants, several studies have shown that passion fruit has potential therapeutic benefits, especially the polyphenol Piceatannol. In addition to the benefits below some evidence suggests that passion fruit may have sedative effects, reduce anxiety, as well as boost your immune system.
1. Can Improve Skin Health
Piceatannol has been reported to have a wide variety of effects on skin health, including promoting collagen production, inhibiting melanin synthesis, and eliminating reactive oxygen species aka free radicals.
In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, a group thirty-two Japanese women aged 35-54, were selected to partake in a trial to clinically evaluate the effects of piceatannol-rich passion fruit seed extract on the skin. Women with dry skin received either passion fruit seed extract (5 mg piceatannol) or a placebo (dextrin) for 8 weeks. Skin hydration and other parameters on the face were assessed at 0, 4, and 8 weeks. e results showed that consumption of passion fruit seed extract led to significant increases in the moisture content of human skin after 4 and 8 weeks compared with that before the trial [R].
2. May Have Analgesic Effects
Passion fruit has been observed to help reduce pain through its powerful anti-inflammatory properties when taken as an oral supplement.
Knee osteoarthritis is a common degenerative disc disorder and major cause of pain. In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial, thirty-three osteoarthritic patients were evaluated for pain, stiffness, and physical function with the intake of a supplement made with passion fruit peel extract. Patients received either placebo or PFP pills (150 mg, daily) in a double-blinded fashion for 2 months. The OA clinical symptoms were evaluated monthly with Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index.
The study showed a significant improvement in total WOMAC score and WOMAC sub scale score of physical function after 30 days and pain after 60 days. At 60 days, patients exhibited a reduction of 18.6%, 18%, 19.6%, and 19.2% in pain, stiffness, physical function, and composite WOMAC score after supplementing with passion fruit peel extract [R]
3. May Improve Metabolic Health
Metabolic health means that your body is able to respond to food in a beneficial way, that can reduce your risk of conditions such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
A study published in the journal Nutrients evaluated the effects of Piceatannol on metabolic health. 39 subjects 19 obese and 20 non-overweight received piceatannol (20 mg/day) or placebo capsules for eight weeks in randomized manner. Results showed that Piceatannol had a significant effect on insulin sensitivity with overweight men as well as blood pressure, and heart rate, however showed no effect on any other group. Therefore, piceatannol may have potential health benefits on insulin sensitivity in overweight men [R].
Passion Fruit Benefits: Takeaway
The next time you see passion fruit at your local grocer, load up your cart, make a smoothie, or grab a spoon and slice that juicy oval in half. Passion fruit contains powerful plant compounds, with beneficial antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and help improve overall health and wellness.
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