Passion fruit is a little off the beaten path. You don’t find it at a hotel breakfast bar or in a fruit salad. It doesn’t seem to accompany apples or bananas (most of the time, more on that later). It’s a unique tropical fruit with a flavor that doesn’t quite compare to any mainstream fruits.
While passion fruit may be a little bit of an outsider, it would definitely add value to the bowl of fruit sitting on your counter. Passion fruit has a sweet, slightly tart taste — when not yet ripe, it can be very, very sour, but at its peak ripeness, it’s deliciously sweet! Passion fruit boasts some surprising benefits that make it an invaluable midday snack or complement to your morning meal.
What is a Passion Fruit?
Passion fruit is the fruit that grows on the passion flower vine. The vine uses the seeds inside the passion fruit to replant itself. Unless, of course, we eat the fruit. Then we have to plant more passion flower vines on our own. Passion flower is often used as an herbal supplement to promote relaxation, emotional wellness, and support better sleep.
Much like the flower, the fruit is also beneficial to our wellbeing. It’s packed with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and key nutrients to support the health of many crucial systems within the body.
Passion fruits often look like small red or gold potatoes upon first glance. They’re similar in size and hue, and the skin texture is just about the same. The rind of a passion fruit is very thick. When you slice it in half, you’ll see that it’s mostly hollow on the inside. The yellow pulpy seeds stick to the rind, and you slide them right off with a spoon.
The seeds of a passion fruit are kind of crunchy, but they’re the good kind of crunchy. They’re comparable to sesame seeds in size and texture. The pulp of the fruit is similar to the texture of fruit jelly. The perfect passion fruit is both sweet and tart. You definitely don’t want your passion fruit to taste sour. It’s difficult to describe the unique flavor of a passion fruit, but the closest approximation would be mango with a little bit of fresh lemon juice squeezed on top.
The Benefits of Passion Fruit
First things first: passion fruit is absolutely delicious, and that’s reason enough to eat it. The benefits of passion fruit give you even more of a justification to indulge in its tangy tropical goodness.
1. Passion Fruit Has an Impressive Antioxidant Profile
Antioxidants are vitamins and polyphenols present in plants that help to counteract the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are cells that can steal electrons away from other cells, damaging the healthy cells your body needs to grow, recover, and function. Free radicals offer up their electrons to the bad guys. They’ll take these easy electrons and leave your healthy cells alone.
Cell damage can lead to severe illnesses, and antioxidants are your first line of defense. If your body is full of antioxidants, chances are higher that the free radicals are going to leave your important cells alone.
Passion fruit has a very high antioxidant content, making the fruit a delicious way to add a little more cell protection to your diet. Passion fruit truly lives up to its reputation as a superfood.
2. Passion Fruit is Designed to Fuel Your Body
One passion fruit has 9% of your daily vitamin C, 8% of your daily vitamin A, and 2% each of your daily iron and potassium. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but a single passion fruit is very small, comfortably fitting in the palm of your hand. It contains less than 20 calories. You could easily add 4 passion fruits to your breakfast and quadruple the benefits. Every time you eat a passion fruit, you’re supplying your body with smart fuel.
3. Passion Fruit Keeps Your Blood Sugar Stable
Passion fruit is low on the glycemic index, and it contains fiber. It also contains a compound called piceatannol. These factors work together to keep your blood sugar stable. When you eat a passion fruit, your blood sugar won’t spike and drop, leaving you hungry just a few moments later. Fiber makes the fruit satisfyingly filling for such a low volume, helping to reduce the amount of food it takes to help you feel full and stay full.
Piceatannol is a plant compound being studied for its ability to improve insulin sensitivity issues and increase metabolism. So far, the results have been promising. Pinceatannol is still being studied, and we’ll probably learn more about how it works and why it’s so effective as research continues.
4. Passion Fruit is Packed with Fiber
Occasional constipation isn’t a pretty subject, but it’s an important one. If you can’t regularly move your bowels, you’re going to feel bloated and uncomfortable. Adding a little more fiber to your diet can help to speed things along the natural way. Fiber draws water to your intestines, making it easier and more comfortable to go to the bathroom.
Fiber ferments in your digestive tract and becomes the perfect food source for your healthy gut bacteria. Over time, your gut microbiome will become stronger from regularly consuming fiber. This helps to promote natural balance, keeping bad bacteria at bay.
Since fiber also contributes to the feeling of fullness, it might help you curb snack attacks between lunch and dinner. A couple of passion fruits can serve as a healthy substitute for your favorite mid-day junk food pick-me-up and leave you feeling full until dinner time.
5. Passion Fruit is Good For Your Heart, Your Muscles, and Your Bones
Passion fruit contains both potassium and magnesium. Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte that your heart requires to function properly. Potassium deficiency can lead to cardiac ailments and dehydration. That’s why so many sports drinks contain potassium. If you’ve been moving around or sweating all day, you need to replenish your potassium stores along with your water reserves.
Magnesium is a mineral linked to bone health and neurological health. Your body needs magnesium to fortify your bones, build muscle, repair nerves, and create DNA. Your brain needs magnesium to preserve your memory and transport signals to your limbs.
The best way to get potassium and magnesium in bioavailable forms is through your diet. Incorporating foods like passion fruit can help you meet your recommended daily values. Consuming nutrients through your diet is important. Make sure you’re getting enough potassium and magnesium from passion fruit, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, edamame, and carrots.
Here’s a little hint: meal prep a vegetable stir fry with passion fruit sauce for a healthy, well-rounded lunch.
When you find a food that’s both good and good for you, it’s harder not to incorporate it into your diet. Passion fruit is a delicious snack, packed with fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and electrolytes that your body needs to be healthy.
That’s why Snow Monkey makes a passion fruit pint. Passion fruit is a tasty flavor that fits within our philosophy. Our ice creams are designed to be healthy enough to eat every day, any time of day. Our products are made with only fruits, seeds and superfoods. You won’t find any dairy, gluten, eggs, refined sugar, or unnecessary additives in our formula. Taste is everything, but so is nutrition. Passion fruit helps us make a healthy dessert so delicious you’ll want to eat it every day. Your body will thank you for it!
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