Passion fruit (or granadilla) has gained popularity world-wide due to its sweet taste and medicinal properties. It was found by Spanish explorers around central South America in many Native settlements and taken back to Europe where it spread throughout the world. Its true origin is unknown, but many believe that it was from Amazonian Brazil. This exotic round fruit has numerous health benefits that should make people seriously consider adding it to their diet.
Granadilla is low in calories and glycemic index while maintaining high amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 100 grams has: 97 calories, 0.7 grams of fat, 10 grams of dietary fiber (over 27% of the recommended daily intake), 11 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. The fiber within helps regulate and maintain a healthy digestive system which helps prevent colon cancer and other digestive disorders.
The sweet fruit has a plethora of vitamins which provide optimal health:
- Over 50% of recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, which is known to have antioxidant properties that help combat cellular damage caused by free radicals
- Provides good levels of vitamin A, which helps prevent certain diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. Studies have shown that it may also protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
Enzymes inside the granadilla have been studied and show that it helps oxygen circulate around the body. It helps reduce inflammation in bronchial tubes and helps reduce many respiratory infections. People that eat the fruit have been shown to have an increased resistance to common allergies.
Recent research has shown that this delectable fruit may help in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, by decreasing insulin resistance and regulating blood sugar levels. The passion fruit should be eaten as is or made into a juice/smoothie to greatly enjoy the sweet flavor and its benefits. It is a great alternative for any diabetic with a sweet tooth in the proper amounts.