Dense with vitamins, this intensely fragrant fruit with edible seeds is not only delicious, it is an effective energy booster and research has found that it provides relief for asthmatics as well as many other disease-fighting benefits.
Passion fruit comes from the passionflower plant and the most commonly consumed types are the New Zealand purple passion fruit and the Hawaiian yellow passion fruit. They both have a similar sweet and tart taste, but the purple passion is less acidic and juicier than the yellow variety.
Passion fruit is a good source of Vitamin A and an excellent source of Vitamin C, as well as potassium, calcium and iron. When eaten with the seeds, a serving is an excellent source of fiber, which is needed to cleanse the colon and improve digestion. Passion fruit contains B-vitamins, which help keep the muscles and nervous system healthy and maintain steady energy levels. It is also rich in a number of phytochemicals including passiflorine, lycopene, and carotenoids.
Phytochemicals found in passion fruit were able to increase apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cell lines. The common phytochemicals thought responsible were carotenoids and polyphenols.
An extract of passionflower significantly lowered systolic blood pressure in hypertensive rats.
A passion fruit extract was found to cut down severe wheezing and coughing among asthma patients. The extract, taken from the peel of a purple passion fruit, resulted in 90% of subjects being cured of breathlessness and wheezing at the end of the trials.
Tips for Using Passion Fruit
- Mourvaki E, Gizzi S, Rossi R, Rufini S. Passionflower Fruit-A "new" source of lycopene?. J Med Food. 2005;8:104-106.
- Watson RR, et al. Oral administration of the purple passion fruit peel extract reduces wheeze and cough and improves shortness of breath in adults with asthma. Nutrition Research March 2008, Volume 28, Issue 3, Pages 166-171
- Rowe CA, Nantz MP, Deniera C, Green K, Talcott ST, Percival SS..Inhibition of neoplastic transformation of benzo[alpha]pyrene-treated BALB/c 3T3 murine cells by a phytochemical extract of passionfruit juice. J Med Food. 2004 Winter;7(4):402-7.
- Ichimura T et al. Anttihypertensive Effect of an Extract of Passiflora edulis Rind in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2006 Mar;70(3):718-21.