Food & Recipes

Ward Off Signs of Aging and Boost Heart Health With This Antioxidant-Rich Fruit

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If passion fruit isn’t already on your go-to list of fresh and tasty sweet treats, you should definitely consider changing that. These petite yellow or purple fruits are not only delicious, but will also give you nice health boost. 

To unpack the many passion fruit benefits, let’s start with a breakdown of the nutrients found inside each one: only 17 calories, just over 2 grams of net carbs thanks to the high ratio of soluble fiber, 5 milligrams of magnesium, 63 milligrams of potassium, and antioxidants like vitamins A, C, beta-carotene, and a polyphenol called piceatannol.  

That’s all pretty impressive considering it’s such a small fruit — and snacking on a few of them at a time will make the perks add up quickly, too.  

Passion Fruit Benefits 

The high ratio of fiber content in passion fruit not only makes it keto-friendly with those two little net carbs per bulb, but also super helpful with anti-aging issues like re-growing thinning hair, fighting chronic inflammation, maintaining a healthy weight, and even adding a few more years to our life. Eating a full cup of passion fruit will give you 24.5 grams of fiber, which is just under the 25 grams recommended each day.  

Magnesium is another essential element our bodies rely on to turn food into energy, keep our muscles and nervous systems healthy, help maintain a healthy weight, relieve anxiety, get better sleep, and more — but most of us aren’t getting nearly enough of it. Although the amount found in passion fruit is lower compared to other magnesium-rich foods or supplements, noshing on the pulp and seeds will still help you achieve optimal levels of the mineral. 

The cancer-fighting and immune-boosting antioxidants from vitamin A, C, and beta-carotene are fairly well known, but you’re probably less familiar with the antioxidant piceatannol — a polyphenol that’s packed inside passion fruit. A study from 2018 found that piceatannol-rich extract from passion fruit seeds helped a group of women who frequently battled dry skin see a massive improvement their skins ability to hold moisture. 

The researchers were inspired by previous reports showing piceatannol’s amazing antioxidant effects on the skin, “including promoting collagen production” — a potent anti-aging protein that can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. The also study noted a bonus benefit: participants reported a significant decrease in perspiration and fatigue. So basically, it can help you achieve glowing skin without being sweaty all the time, plus amp up your energy. (P.S. The potassium levels in passion fruit will also help put extra pep in your step!) 

Another recent study uncovered one more important nutritional powerhouse in passion fruit: ascorbic acid. After giving participants just one serving of passion fruit juice, they saw enhanced cardio autonomic function (which regulates heart rate and bloop pressure), making it a great way to lower our risk of developing cardiovascular disease. 

How to Eat Passion Fruit 

OK, those benefits are great and all, but what does passion fruit taste like? Food52 uncovered a quote from culinary author Steven Raichlen in his book Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine ($21.71, Amazon) that described it nicely saying, “Passion fruit flesh has the tartness of lime juice, the sweetness of honey, the fragrance of jasmine, and a perfumed flavor reminiscent of guava, lychee, and pineapple.”  

Unlike other fruit that looks nice and shiny when its ripe and ready to eat, you should wait for the skin of passion fruit to get wrinkly before you crack into one for peak freshness. Food52 recommends letting them sit at room temperature until they look “tired and slumped.” Once opened, you can nosh on the gooey, gelatinous looking pulp and the seeds (just like watermelon). The fruit can be enjoyed as a snack on its own, used inside baked goods, or as a sweet topping for things like yogurt or ice cream. 

However you decide to eat passion fruit, you should be sure to check your grocery store (or delivery service) for this scrumptious, healthy treat the next time you’re stocking up! 

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