Benefits Of Passion Fruit

By Dr Harold Gunatillake Health Writer

The name 'Passion' was given by Catholic missionaries in South America.

The leaves of the passion creeper contain an alkaloid, which has blood pressure lowering, sedative and antispasmodic action and are used in many countries as medicines.

The flower of the passion fruit has a mild sedative effect, and can help induce sleep. The passion flower has been used in the treatment of nervous and easily excited children (hyperactive), bronchial asthma, insomnia, nervous gastrointestinal disorders and menopausal problems.

The passion flower is sometimes used as a mild hallucinogen.

Passion fruits are high in potassium and dietary fiber, and a good source of vitamin C.

Anti-Cancer effect
Researchers at the University of Florida have detected that yellow passion fruit extracts can kill cancer cells in vitro.

The phytochemicals responsible for this anticancer effect are the carotenoids and polyphenols. Other phytochemicals in passion fruit are passaflorine, harmine, Harman, harmol, harmalin, vitexin, isovitexin, chrysin, scopoletin and theobromide. This does not however prove that by eating the fruit one could cure cancer.

Asthma relief
Some consider that consumption of purple passion fruit peel extract can reduce asthma symptoms. This means that passion fruits will benefit asthma sufferers.

Arthritic Relief
Passion fruit peel extracts seem to relieve the symptoms of osteo-arthritis of the knees.

Sedative action
The extract of the leaves of the passion creeper also seem to induce sleep.

High blood pressure relief
People suffering from high blood pressure in addition to taking medication should drink passion fruit daily. Harmala alkaloids are supposed to lower blood pressure.

Uses
You may drink the juice as a smoothie by mixing it with honey and ice.
It can be used to flavor yogurt, and as toppings for cakes and tarts, cheesecakes.
In some countries, passion fruit is used to make juice or is eaten raw with chili powder and lime. In some countries it is used for breakfast in the summer months, and also added to fruit salads.

Choosing fruits
Choose fruits that have a dimpled appearance. Too much dimpling means too dehydrated and should be avoided. Choose fruits that are heavy for their size.

Freezing the fruits
Wash the passion fruit thoroughly with cool water. Cut the passion fruit in half. Scoop out the pulp into a bowl. Place the pulp into ice cube trays. Freeze the passion fruit. Remove the fruit from the ice cube trays and store the frozen fruit in a freezer bag.

You can store the frozen passion fruit for up to eight months. Add a pinch sugar to the passion fruit when you freeze it to ensure that it retains its sweet flavor.

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