The passion fruit, native to South America has many amazing health benefits to all who eat this sweet and aromatic fruit. Passion fruit was a staple of Aztec society and once Spanish missionaries laid eyes on the blossoms of the passion fruit, they named it thus as they said that the blossoms resembled the crown of thorns on Christ's head during the crucifixion.
Passion fruit has a very aromatic smell and can either be yellow or purple on the outside. The skin of the passion fruit is wrinkly and its pulp is a yellow, jelly-like substance with black seeds.
Now, one of the many health benefits of passion fruit is that its seeds (one cup) contains almost 25 grams of fiber. Passion fruit seeds are a great source of fiber that the body needs to cleanse the colon, improve digestion, and help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Fiber attaches itself to the buildup found in the colon wall, pulls it out and makes the colon clean and clear from disturbances. This makes it easier for the body to digest food and in the long run, prevents the development of colon cancer. A similar process takes place in the valves of the heart whereby fiber flushes out the buildup of fat and cholesterol in the heart, protecting the body against heart attacks, heart disease and strokes.
Passion fruit also benefits those who eat it by providing the body with high doses of Vitamin A and C. Vitamin A helps the body to remove free radicals that cause skin and tissue damage, and it helps to improve our vision. Meanwhile Vitamin C helps to repair tissue, helps prevent heart disease and cancer and helps our bones.
A 2008 study found that subjects who took passion fruit extracts and who suffer from asthma, got relief from symptoms of coughing and wheezing by 76 percent. The antioxidants found in passion fruit is believed to block histamine, reduce allergy and inflammation; passion fruit therefore has the health benefit of reducing the symptoms of asthma.
The antioxidant and flavonoid found in passion fruit have also been found by some researchers at the University of Florida to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Passion fruit can be found in market stands anywhere, so if you want to reap the rewards of the many health benefits of passion fruit, you may want to pick some up at your local supermarket.