Passion fruit is known locally here in Hawaii as lilikoi and is also commonly known as granadilla in other parts of the world. This fruit is a staple in our household. I’ve had so much fun playing with this tasty and sour fruit in different low fat, raw vegan recipes, like passion fruit smoothies and raw, vegan passion fruit pies. I also love to eat lilikoi with papaya fruit, a wonderful combination and match made in heaven. We have both yellow and purple varieties growing on our property that both have a glossy, smooth and slightly egg shaped exterior.
Waking up and picking passion fruit first thing in the morning off the lawn surrounding our house reminds me of Easter egg hunting when I was a little kid – makes me smile every time.
Passion fruit grows on a vine that can grow up to 15 to 20 ft per year with a lifespan of only 5-7 years. The flower that produces this fruit is purely magical. Its subtle aroma is such a sensory tease for what’s to come. Such an incredible process that nature has blessed us with witnessing – the birth and creation of fruit from such a spectacularly beautiful flower that is nourishing to the soul on so many other levels than simply physical. This is the power that nature has – to nourish all of our being.
Health Benefits of Passion Fruit
Like most fruit, passion fruit is a super rich source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, anti-oxidants and water – closely mimicking the nutritional requirements of our bodies. It’s also low in calories and contains zero cholesterol.
Passion fruit is high in soluble fiber: A 236g serving of passion fruit contains 25g of dietary fiber, a whopping 98% of daily value. Not only does fiber help in weight-loss but it also helps ward off the potential threat of many diseases. The fiber found in fruits also helps to slow the entrance of glucose in the bloodstream, thereby preventing large spikes in blood sugar. It also helps to further lower cholesterol levels.
Passion Fruit is high in Vitamins: Passion fruit is especially high vitamin A, C, B2, B3, B6 and folate. The sour taste of passion fruit is a clue it is high in ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, a powerful water-soluble anti-oxidant. In one serving of passion fruit (236g), there is over 70mg of vitamin C compromising almost 120% of our daily value. Passion fruit is also particularly high in vitamin A, playing a key role in helping you maintain a healthy immune system, healthy eyes, skin, teeth and bones. The best way to get vitamin A in your body is through whole, ripe, fresh fruits and vegetables. One serving of passion fruit provides about 60% of our daily value of vitamin A.
Passion Fruit is high in Minerals: Passion fruit also serves up a healthy dose of minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and copper. Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte. It helps the body maintain its water and acid balance. It also plays a key role in maintaining normal blood pressure and in transmitting nerve impulses. It’s also important to maintain a proper sodium to potassium ratio in the diet. High sodium to potassium consumption has been linked to increased risk of heart disease. Fruits provide the perfect ratio of potassium to sodium balance for us to be optimally healthy. One serving of passion fruit contains over 20% of our daily need for potassium.
Macronutrient Breakdown of Passion Fruit
- Carbohydrates: 86%
- Fats: 6%
- Protein: 8%
Passion fruit has a low glycemic load, and is mildly anti-inflammatory, making it an ideal, healthy snack.
There are so many wonderful and amazing fruit to enjoy. Do you want to experience the wonderful taste of this exotic fruit? Check out our raw food Hawaii retreats.
Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii,
Laura Dawn, Registered Holistic Nutritionist