by Amber Charles-Alexis, MSPH, RDN
September 27, 2021
I have fond (and exciting) childhood memories of slicing a large bag of passion fruits in half for my mother to blend them to make juice.
As much as I enjoyed smelling passion fruit, its juice is an all-time favorite of mine, and it surely is popular in the Caribbean and among the diaspora.
As an adult, I now eat passion fruit straight from the rind, or maybe use it as a topper for my yogurt snack (try it before you knock it).
Here is another installment to the Caribbean Market.
Alternate names: purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis), yellow passion fruit (Passiflora flavicarpa), maracuya, granadilla
Passion fruit is believed to have originated in South America but can be grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions and are now found world-wide.
The passion fruit is quite versatile, though it may be tart.
It can be eaten directly from the rind, or made into a juice or concentrate for alcoholic beverages.
It may even be used to create jelly, much like the lilikoi jelly which is a staple part of the Hawaiian breakfast.
You can use it as a topping for your yogurt and smoothie bowls, or add flavor to baked goods such as cakes.
Passion fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber - with an astonishing 25 g in just 1 cup of passion fruit (seeds included)! This is 88% of your daily needs for fiber (3).
It is also a rich source of vitamin C and iron, and provides moderate amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamin A and phosphorus (3).
It is mainly made up of water, although it is naturally high in sugars (not that this is a bad thing for this fruit).
Treat anxiety & depression
A dated review study found that passion fruit extract was as efficient as benzodiazepine (an anti-anxiety drug) and resulted in less drowsiness than mexazolam (1).
However, clinical research is scant and more human research is needed to prove its efficacy and determine safe doses.
Lower blood sugar
A 2020 study demonstrated that passion fruit extracts lower blood sugar levels in rats with diabetes (7).
It is important to note that these studies were conducted in animals, and more human research in this area is needed.
It is also unclear whether the whole fruit elicits the same response, although it is anticipated to support good blood sugar control, given its high dietary fiber content.
Ensure that the surroundings are clean, well-lit, and well-ventilated
Inspect the passion fruit for holes, or damage to the rind that may pose a health risk for consumption
You may want to avoid passion fruit that are shriveled - although the fruit on the inside is usually still viable
Passion fruit can be stored at room temperature, for 10 to 15 days
If refrigerating, it can last for up to 30 days
When frozen, you can store passion fruit for up to 6 months. However, you may want to remove the rind first and store the seeds and flesh in an airtight container.
The Caribbean Market highlights the nutritional facts and health benefits of fruits and vegetables found in the Caribbean, with the goals of instilling pride and ownership in the diaspora and promoting local eating.