Have you ever wondered why passion fruit is called “passion fruit”? Well, it is believed that the name of the fruit is given by Spanish missionaries in the 16th century in Brazil because the flower of passion fruit illustrates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The passion fruit flower is called flower of five wounds; the purple flower is believed to resemble the five wounds of Jesus Christ. Passion was the last period of Jesus Christ when he visited the Jerusalem which leads to his crucifixion.
Passion fruit is tart and sweet in flavour and is a native subtropical region of South America in Paraguay. This plant needs fertile soil and moisture to expand then it grows faster and reaches to around 20 feet in a year.
There are various types of passion fruit, but the popular are of two types yellow and purple ones. The fruit is oval or round, 5 to 9 centimetre in diameter; its outer rind is hard and inside of the fruit contains the membranous sacs of orange colour with juice and many small blacks or dark brown pitted seeds.
Purple fruits are intense in flavour and aroma, and juicier than yellow fruit, however yellow fruit is larger in size than purple fruit. The average weight of fruit varies from 35 to 50 grammes.
Nutritional value of passion fruit
The fruit is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A, B – riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine, C, E and K minerals such as Iron, copper, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. It contains electrolytes like potassium and sodium, dietary fibre, carbohydrates and protein.
Herein are the benefits of passion fruit:
1. Dietary fibre and protein
Passion fruit is an excellent source of fibre. A bowl of fruit with pulp and seeds together has 25 grammes of fibre that is equivalent to four bowls of cereal and 6 grammes of protein. The fibre content in the fruit helps to eliminate the cholesterol from your body. Bulk provided by tissue can aid as a laxative and protect the colon by reducing the toxic substance in the colon and prevent the harmful disease caused by toxins.
Passion fruit contains nonsense which is a plant based iron. According to the “Institute of Medicine,” one cup of passion fruit provides 4 milligrammes of iron. In combination with multi cereal, broccoli, beetroot and the result in the diet can be boon to people who only eats vegetarian food. The fruit also contains the vitamin C which is useful in the absorption of iron in your body.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent water-soluble antioxidant which protects your body from infections caused by harmful free radicals. Passion fruit is a rich source of vitamin C and consumption of the fruit in regular basis can boost your immunity and prevent you from all viral infections.
Passion fruit consists of 13 kinds of carotenoids such as alpha, beta, zeta carotene, lycopene and b-cryptoxanthin. These all are non-nutritive phytochemicals which help your body to produce vitamin A. Eating the seeds of passion fruit increase the fat content and helps in the absorption of vitamin A.
5. Vitamin A
Passion fruit contains vitamin A which is essential for maintaining healthy eyesight, soft and glowing skin and health of mucosa. Eating passion fruit is helpful to combat oral cavity and lung cancer.
Fresh passion fruit is highly recommended as it has far more benefits. The fruit has a good amount of potassium which is required for the formation of cells and body fluids. It can maintain the blood pressure and heart rate. The passion fruit is an excellent source of copper, iron, phosphorus and magnesium the minerals which are necessary for the optimal health of your body.
How to select and store the passion fruit:
Always buy the fruits which are plump, ripe and have more weight than it’s visible. The fruit that has wrinkles are intense in flavour and sweeter in taste. However, do not buy overly ripe fruits. Minor spots and cuts are reasonable to find.
Store the fresh fruit in a basket and put in cold and dark place. You can store for maximum two days. Once it’s ripe, you can store in the refrigerator for about one week. If you want to save for a longer time, just scoop the pulp, add sugar mix and store in the freezer.
Tips to serve passion fruit:
Fresh fruit can be eaten by scooping out the flesh with a spoon, and the outer shell is discarded.
The fruit can be used to prepare syrups, jellies, ice cream and different kinds of desserts.