Passion Fruit Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Passion fruit
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Passion fruit (Passiflora) is a round or oval-shaped fruit with a tough, waxy rind. It comes in two basic varieties: purple and yellow. If you're not familiar with the sweet, musky taste of passion fruit, it might take some getting used to. However, passion fruit loaded with fiber and beneficial antioxidants, making it a unique and nutritious treat that's enjoyed in cultures all over the world.

Passion Fruit Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (236g) of purple passion fruit.

  • Calories: 229
  • Fat: 1.7g
  • Sodium: 66mg
  • Carbohydrates: 55.2g
  • Fiber: 24.5g
  • Sugars: 26.4g
  • Protein: 5.2g

Carbs

Passion fruit gets the majority of its calories from carbohydrates, with 55 grams total per cup. Of this, about half comes from fiber and the other half comes from natural sugars. Eating 1 cup of passion fruit provides 24.5 grams of fiber, almost 100% of the daily value. Fiber helps prevent the glycemic impact of passion fruit from being high.

The glycemic index of passion fruit is low, between 4.5–27.5, and the glycemic load of passion fruit is also low, between 0.8–5.2.

Fats

Passion fruit is low in fat. Even a large, 1 cup portion has under 2 grams total.

Protein

A cup of passion fruit has 5.2 grams of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Passion fruit is high in potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also provides some phosphorus, choline, calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, niacin, and vitamin K.

Health Benefits

Passion fruit is loaded with fiber and nutrients that help prevent disease and promote optimal health.

Lowers Blood Pressure

A cup of passion fruit has 821 milligrams of potassium, which is 24% to 32% of the daily recommended intake for most adults. Potassium increases the excretion of sodium in the urine, reducing blood volume and pressure as a result.

Potassium also enhances vasodilation, or the ability of arteries to expand and remain flexible. Eating lots of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables like passion fruit keeps blood pressure down, reducing the risk of stroke and kidney damage.

Supports Weight Loss

Plant-based eating is associated with greater weight loss results than conventional ways of eating. Studies show that lower-fat vegan diets are more effective in promoting weight loss than higher fat eating plans.

This observation is likely due to the high fiber content of plant-based eating. Fiber's ability to boost satiety is a well-established benefit. Passion fruit is high in fiber and low in fat, fitting perfectly into an eating plan geared towards weight loss.

Reduces Risk of Cancer

Fruits and vegetables are known to reduce overall cancer risk, especially the vibrantly colored ones, like passion fruit. Passion fruit owes its color palette to powerful antioxidants present in the seeds, pulp, and skin, including beta carotene and anthocyanins.

Passion fruit comes in a variety of different colors, each with its own antioxidant profile. As a result, passion fruit extract is suggested by researchers to provide therapeutic effects by enriching the food supply.

Promotes Skin Repair

Passion fruit is an exceptional source of vitamin C, especially if you eat a decently sized portion. Consuming a full cup of passion fruit over the course of a day would amount to almost all the vitamin C required by the body. Because we are unable to synthesize vitamin C, getting a regular supply through food is essential.

Along with its antioxidant effects, vitamin C is a precursor to collagen, a main structural component of skin. Passion fruit helps provide adequate stores of vitamin C to build new skin and heal wounds as needed.

Helps Prevent Iron-Deficiency Anemia

Iron-deficiency anemia produces symptoms including impaired cognitive function, poor immunity, and weakness or fatigue. People who eat a plant-based diet like vegetarians and vegans sometimes struggle to maintain adequate iron stores due to the fact that plant sources of iron are less easily absorbed.

Luckily, plant foods also tend to be high in vitamin C, which vastly improves the bioavailability of iron. A cup of passion fruit provides between 21%–48% of the recommended intake for iron, with almost a day's worth of vitamin C. This winning combination is helpful for reaching the desired blood levels.

Allergies

Passion fruit allergies are often associated with latex, pollen, or other fruit allergies. If you've never had passion fruit but have other known allergies, you might want to consider an allergy test before giving it a try.

Be mindful of possible allergic reactions including hives, throat tightness, dizziness, weak pulse, or in severe cases, anaphylaxis. If you suspect an allergy to passion fruit, see an allergist for a full evaluation.

Adverse Effects

Passion fruit contains low levels of cyanogenic glycoside, a natural toxin. It is most concentrated in unripe passion fruit and degrades as the fruit continues to ripen. Although this is not a major concern, avoid eating large quantities of unripe passion fruit to limit your exposure.

Varieties

There are 550 different species under the family Passifloraceae. The majority of species are not cold-hardy enough to survive in the United States. Edulis produces a popular fruit and grows well in the milder areas of California.

Different species of passion fruit can range in size and shape from an egg to a tennis ball. Colors range from purple to yellow-orange and hybrid varieties are somewhere in-between. Certain varieties are sweeter or more fragrant than others.

When It's Best

Because passion fruit is harvested all around the world, it may be found any time of the year. If you can't find passion fruit at your local supermarket, you may have better luck at an Asian grocer.

Passion fruit grows best in humid regions at temperatures of 68–82 degrees. Once the fruit ripens from green to yellow or purple, it can be harvested. Rather than being picked from the vine, passion fruit is often collected shortly after dropping to the ground. It's OK if the peel has started to wrinkle when you purchase it.

Storage and Food Safety

Passion fruit can be stored at room temperature for 2–4 weeks. It ripens faster in warmer temperatures. In the refrigerator, passion fruit will last up to a month. Wash passion fruit under running water prior to cutting into it. Once cut, cover passion fruit with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for consumption within a couple of days.

How to Prepare

To eat passion fruit, simply cut it in half and scoop out the pulp and the seeds with a spoon. If you want to make passion fruit juice, press the seeds through a fine strainer to extract the juice. The seeds are large and soft, so this process doesn't take much work. Pressing passion fruit seeds through cheesecloth or a sieve turns the juice into a syrup.

Add passion fruit to fruit or vegetable salads, yogurt dishes, and grain bowls. Passion fruit seeds also make an interesting decorative addition to cocktails, frozen treats, and non-alcoholic beverages. In Mexico, the whole passion fruit is prepared with lime and chili pepper, while in Australia, it's typically topped with cream and sugar.

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