Are passion fruits good for you?
What is passion fruit and is it healthy? Registered nutritionist, Nicola Shubrook, discusses this sweet and tangy fruit's top health benefits and shares her favourite recipes to enjoy them in
What are passion fruits?
Passion fruits are small, tropical fruits that come from a type of passion flower. They have a hard inedible skin but, when cut open, they reveal a yellow, juicy seeded centre that is edible. The most common variety seen in the UK is a round passion fruit, a bit bigger than a golf ball, which has a brown-purple outer skin. You can also get a variety that is slightly larger and yellow on the outside.
They have a sweet yet tart flavour, and can be added to breakfasts, smoothies, salads and desserts.
Nutritional benefits of passion fruits
Despite being small and only the seeds being edible, passion fruits are highly nutritious.
One passion fruit (approx. 18g) provides:
- 17 calories
- 0.4g protein
- negligible fat
- 2.3g carbohydrate
- 1.9g fibre
- 62mg potassium
- 229 IU vitamin A
- 5mg vitamin C
- 2.2mg calcium
- 5.2mg magnesium
What are the top 5 health benefits of passion fruits?
1. They help reduce dry skin
Passion fruit contain an active ingredient, a phytonutrient, called piceatannol which has been shown to help support healthy skin. In a 2018 study, 32 women aged 35-54 years old were given passion seed extract daily for up to eight weeks and the results showed a significant increase in the moisture content of their skin.
2. They help manage blood sugar levels
The same active compound, piceatannol, has also been found (in animal studies) to help reduce blood glucose levels in diabetes.
3. They may help protect against cancer
Passion fruits are naturally anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants – together with the piceatannol it gives them potential anticancer properties against certain cancers such as leukaemia, breast cancer and prostate cancer.
4. They help support healthy vision
Passion fruits contain both vitamin C and are a good source of Vitamin A (beta carotene), both of which are important in the health of our eyes, especially as we age.
5. They may help support heart health
Passion fruits are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, and a 2019 study found that passion fruit juice may be beneficial in helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Passion fruit recipes
Frozen tropical fruit yogurt
Mango & passion fruit smoothie
Frozen fruit sticks with passion fruit & lime drizzle
Guava & passion fruit lollies
Caramel & passion fruit slice
Lemon curd, mascarpone & passion fruit tart
This article was published on 29 November 2021.
Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.
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