Passion fruit, commonly known as Granadilla or 'Krishna Phal, in India is a vine species native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The fruit has been named after its flower which comes from one of the hundred species of the passion flower. Passion fruit is a type of berry which is sweet-sour, highly aromatic and seedy. It has varieties from purple passion fruit to yellow and golden one and also hybrids like the Kavery. Being a tropical plant, it needs well-drained soil with a high amount of humus and neutral pH to grow. So, it is commercially cultivated in the Nilgiri hills, north-eastern areas like Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya in India. The juicy fruits also has some great health benefits. Here are five surprising benefits of passion fruit:1. Good for diabeticsPassion fruit has a low glycemic index (GI) and high fibre content (10.4%). This makes it a great fruit to maintain insulin levels for diabetics. -Fruits like passion fruit are high in fibre like pectin that can make you feel full without increasing the calorie intake,- says Dr. Sandhya Mishra, Diabetes Specialist.
2. Younger looking skin
We all know that antioxidants are good for our skin. Passion fruit has many types of antioxidants in it like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, riboflavin and carotene. These antioxidants reduce the production of free radicals in our body. Free radicals are generated by our body cells as a by-product and can cause skin aging. The anti-inflammatory properties of passion fruit tend to soothe our skin. (Also read: 7 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Must Eat)
3. Enhances immunityStep up your immunity with the jelly, juice or squash of passion fruit. Passion fruit is highly rich in Vitamin C, beta-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene that boosts your immunity. It also has iron which increases haemoglobin in our red blood cells. 4. Keeps your heart healthy The rich content of riboflavin (Vitamin B6) and niacin (Vitamin B3) in passion fruit helps in regulating the thyroid activity in our body. It also prevents hardening of the arterial walls of the heart (atherosclerosis), keeping your heart functions running smoothly. The phenolic compounds and alkaloids can also help in relieving anxiety and treating insomnia to a certain level.
5. Prevent osteoporosisPassion fruit is known to be rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron phosphorous, potassium and sodium. These minerals maintain bone density, help in speedy recovery of bones and prevent osteoporosis. The ripened fruit is large, plump and a bit wrinkled. The smooth one may not be ripe. You can have passion fruit with its seeds for more fibre content. Blend it in your smoothie, make a jam or just have it raw.