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What Is Passion Fruit?
Passion fruit sounds exotic, but it doesn’t look that way. At least at first. It grows on climbing passion flower vines in tropical regions like Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii, and from the outside, it looks small and egg-shaped, with yellow or purple skin. You might confuse it for a small lemon or plum — until you slice it in half.
Inside, it’s filled with crunchy seeds in juicy yellow pulp.
The passion fruit got its name because priests in the 1500s thought parts of the passion flower symbolized the “passion,” or suffering and death, of Jesus. The fruit, also called granadilla and maracuya, ended up with the name, too.
Passion fruit tastes sweet and tart, and it has a distinct smell often reproduced in bath products and candles. Only the pulp and seeds are OK to eat, and there are a lot of health benefits in just a few spoonfuls.
- Vitamin C. Move over, oranges. Passion fruit is full of this antioxidant. Your body uses it to make blood vessels, cartilage, muscles, and collagen, which keeps skin looking young. It also helps your body heal, lowers inflammation, and protects your cells from damage. When you get enough vitamin C, it lowers your chances of getting colds and certain types of cancers.
- Vitamin A. Passion fruit’s pulp and crunchy seeds have 8% of the vitamin A you need every day. It’s a key to healthy eyes and cells, reproduction, and immunity.
- Fiber. Passion fruit has a lot of it. Fiber keeps your bowels healthy and moving, and it makes you feel fuller longer. It also lowers your cholesterol and your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and certain kinds of cancer.
- Nutrients. Passion fruit also gives your body calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and folate. These help your kidneys, nerves, muscles, and heart rhythm in big ways.
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