Passion fruit is native to growing in warmer climate South American countries. Passion fruit has a thick rind that is considered inedible. The edible portion of passion fruit is the inside with the seeds which has a sweet/tart taste.
Like other tropically grown fruits, passion fruit is shipped all over the world. When passion fruit reaches your grocery store, they may be ripe or may need to continue ripening.
Ripe passion fruit will have a wrinkled skin and may have a few brown spots (1).
Like other fruits, passion fruit is very low in calories but high in nutritional value.
It is a rich source for vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
Passion fruit juice is also sold, but eating the whole passion fruit with the seeds provides fiber.
The passion fruit rind is considered inedible, but some research studies suggest compounds in the rind could have beneficial effects on health.
More research is needed with these studies, but in the future the rind of passion fruit may be considered a source of many beneficial compounds.
Nutrition profile of passion fruit
Eating two passion fruits only provides 35 calories. This also provides 4 grams of fiber, 10% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A (as beta carotene), 20% DV vitamin C and 4% DV iron.
If you eat more like 4-5 passion fruits for about 100 gram serving, it provides 50% vitamin C, 25% DV vitamin A, 8% DV iron, 7% DV magnesium and 5% DV vitamin B6.
This serving of passion fruit is less than 100 calories and also provides about 10 grams of fiber.
Eating foods like passion fruit that are low in calories but high in nutrients can be a healthy way to eat foods that satisfy you from the high fiber and water content.
Eating more foods like passion fruit can help you get more nutrients in your diet without adding a lot of energy.
The value of passion fruit antioxidants
Passion fruit and other fruits and vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants. Vitamins A and C are considered antioxidants, but there are other compounds in fruits and vegetables that also act like antioxidants in the body.
Antioxidants help protect cells from oxidative and free radical damage.
Oxidative damage can be the precursor for many disease states including: cardiovascular disease, dementia and cancer.
Therefore, getting plenty of antioxidants from food can help boost protection against oxidative damage.
Studies (2) have shown people who eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables have a lower risk for some chronic diseases.
Researchers are studying what compounds in fruits and vegetables offer protection, but it appears antioxidants are at least part of the reason.
The many compounds in fruits and vegetables all work together to offer many health benefits.
Interestingly, taking an antioxidant supplement has not been shown to offer the same health benefits as eating fruits and vegetables.
Taking antioxidant supplements is not a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables.
Passion fruit rind: potential for health benefit
Even though the inside of the passion fruit is considered the edible part, research studies with the rind of the passion fruit show promise it too can have potential health benefit.
Most of these studies researchers take certain parts out of the rind not use the whole part.
Before you start eating the passion fruit rind, keep in mind more research is needed in this area.
A 2008 study (3) suggests the rind of the passion fruit is a good fiber source and may help protect against diverticular diseases.
Another 2008 study (4) suggests extracts from passion fruit rind may offer benefit for relieving symptoms of asthma.
A 2010 study (5) also suggests extracts from purple passion fruit rind could help alleviate symptoms related to osteoarthritis.
A 2007 rat study (6) found when extracts from purple passion fruit rind were given to hypertensive rats their blood pressure was lowered.
These studies suggest the health benefits associated with the rind of passion fruits may be from the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Are there side effects from passion fruit?
Passion fruit is a good source of fiber. If you drastically increase your intake of fiber, it may cause short term distress in the gastrointestinal tract.
However, this should go away as your body adjusts to the change in fiber intake.
Passion fruit, like all other fruits, are considered safe to eat. If you notice any unusual symptoms in your body after eating them, it may be from an allergic reaction. Speak with your healthcare team before eating more.
Passion flower supplement
The passion flower can be in supplemental form. It is promoted for being a calming agent to help with anxiety or sleeping problems.
Web MD (7) suggests this supplement is most likely safe for most people for short term but should not be taken in excess.
It should also not be taken when pregnant or breast feeding. Any supplements can have interactions with medication or underlying health conditions, so make sure to speak with your healthcare team if you want to take this supplement.
Juice versus whole fruit
Keep in mind drinking passion fruit juice can have a different effect on the body than eating passion fruits whole.
The juice does not offer fiber which can help slow the release of sugars into the blood stream.
A study from Harvard School of Public Health (8) concluded greater consumption of fruit juice was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, but eating more whole fruits was associated with a lowered risk for type 2 diabetes.
If you have never tried passion fruit, consider buying it the next time you are at the super market.
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is recommended to get the most benefit from antioxidants they offer.