Passion Fruit: 7 Health Benefits, How to Use & Recipes

Updated in December 2023

Passion fruit is rich in flavonoids, vitamin A and vitamin C, which can be beneficial for the treatment of many diseases, like anxiety, hyperactivity and sleep disorders

Passion fruit is also rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium. It is high in fiber, which promotes optimal blood sugar regulation. Fiber is also beneficial for weight loss and to prevent chronic problems, like early aging, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. 

There are many types of passion fruit available that vary depending on the color of the peel, the pulp and the taste. The leaves, lowers and pulp can be used to make juices or teas, the peel can be used to make flour, and the flowers can be used to make capsule supplements. 

Due to some contraindications and side effects, consuming passion fruit supplements should be monitored by a doctor or medicinal plant specialist. 

Imagem ilustrativa número 1

Health benefits

Due to its properties, passion fruit can offer many health benefits, such as: 

1. Reduce stress and anxiety

Passion fruit reduces symptoms of stress and anxiety, as it is made up of flavonoids, like kaemferol and quercetin. These act directly on the nervous system to soothe it and promote relaxation. 

2. Manage and prevent diabetes

Passion fruit pulp and leaves are rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, betacarotenes, flavonoids and anthocyanins that protect the cells that are responsible for insulin production. It can help to manage glucose levels and prevent diabetes. 

In addition, passion fruit peel is rich in pectin, a type of fiber that relps with the slow release of carbohydrates from food into the body. This can also contribute to normal blood sugar levels and help with diabetes management. 

3. Combat insomnia

Passion fruit flower, leaves and pulp contain mild sedative properties that act on the nervous system to help combat insomnia. It can promote a more relaxing, reinvigorating sleep. Read about other teas for sleep that you can prepare at home.

4. Aid in weight loss

Passion fruit peel is rich in fiber, like pectin, which help to reduce the speed of digestion. This can reduce hunger and promote weight loss. 

Passion fruit also has a relaxing effect, which can help to reduce eating compulsion and lead to weight loss. 

5. Prevent cardiovascular disease

Because it is high in antioxidants, like flavonoids and anthocyanins, passion flower can help improve arterial health and prevent the formation of free radicals. This can help to prevent chronic diseases, like atherosclerosis, heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke. 

Passion fruit pulp and peel are also rich in fiber, which reduce the absorption of fat from the intestines. This can help to regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels. 

6. Combat constipation

Passion fruit can combat constipation as it is rich in fiber, which adds bulk to the stool and helps with bowel elimination. 

In addition, the pectin in passion flower feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut, which ensures optimal intestinal functioning. 

7. Prevent flaccidity and early aging

Passion fruit is rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, vitamin A and anthocyanins which protect skin cells from free radicals. This can prevent flaccidity and early aging. 

The pulp and peel of this fruit also contains great quantities of fibers which help to manage blood sugars and block the formation of AGEs (advanced glycation end-products), which can reduce inflammation and prevent sagging skin. 

8. Prevent sagging and premature aging

Passion fruit is rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin A and anthocyanins, that protect skin cells against free radicals to prevent sagging and premature aging. See other antioxidant foods that prevent aging.

Furthermore, the pulp and skin of the fruit have excellent amounts of fiber that help control blood sugar levels and prevent the formation of advanced glycation products (AGEs), reducing inflammation and preventing sagging skin.

9. Increase energy

Passion fruit is rich in carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, which means it can improve energy and overall mental and physical disposition.

10. Prevent cancer

Because it is rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids and anthocyanins, passion fruit has anti-cancer properties. It helps to reduce the accumulation of free radicals in the body that damage cells, preventing the growth and development of cancer.

Passion fruit recipes

Passion fruit can be used in sweet and savory recipes, like mousse or sauces or meats, fish and salads. 

1. Passion fruit tea

Passion fruit tea can be prepared with dried leaves or fresh leaves, and can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia and hyperactivity in children. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of dried, chopped passion flower fruit, or 2 teaspoons of fresh leaves 

How to prepare:

Place the leaves in a cup and add 150 ml of boiling water. Cover, infuse and soak for 5 to 10 minutes, then strain before drinking. 

To treat insomnia and anxiety, you should consume this tea 4 times per day. To treat hyperactivity, this tea should be used as indicated by a pediatrician.  

2. Passion fruit sauce for salads

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of passion fruit pulp
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of filtered water
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • Pepper as desired

How to prepare:

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until you reach a cream consistency. Store in the fridge in a sealed container until you are ready to serve. 

3. Passion fruit juice with mango and mint 

Ingredients:

  • Pulp of one passion fruit
  • 1 medium ripe mango
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or stevia

How to prepare:

Wash the passion fruit, remove the pulp and place in a blender. Wash the mango, peel it, chop the fruit and place in the blender. Add the water, ice and mint and mix all the ingredients in the blender for 3 minutes. Pour in a cup and sweeten with honey or stevia, then serve. 

4. Passion fruit mousse

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of powdered gelatin, unsweetened 
  • 1/2 cup of natural passion fruit juice
  • 1/2 passion fruit (the pulp)
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt 

How to prepare:

Mix the gelatin and passion fruit in a pot and heat over medium heat. Be sure to stir constantly until the gelatin has dissolved. Remove from heat and add the yogurt. Mix well. Then pour the mixture to a large bowl or individual small bowls and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or more. Garnish with the passion fruit pulp and serve. 

Nutritional information

The following table outlines the nutritional composition of 100 g of passion fruit pulp:

Components

Quantity per 100 g of passion fruit

Energy

68.4 cal

Fat

2.1 g

Protein

2.0 g

Carbohydrates

12.3 g

Fiber

3.3 g

Vitamin A

125 mcg

Vitamin C

23 mg

Carotene

750 mcg

Magnesium

29 mg

Phosphorus

64 mg

Potassium

200 mg

Vitamin B2

0.02 mcg

To obtain all the health benefits of passion fruit, it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, and to exercise regularly. 

How to use passion fruit

Dried leaves, fresh leaves, chopped leaves, the flower or the actual fruit can be used to make teas, infusions, tinctures, extracts or capsules.

The pulp can be used to make natural juices, jelly spreads or sweets, while the peel can be dehydrated and used as a supplement in foods and juices. 

1. Passion fruit leaves

Dried, fresh or chopped passion fruit leaves can be used to prepare passion fruit tea, which is usually indicated for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. Generally, passion flower tea can be consumed up to 4 times per day, although the concentration used may vary according to the health goal and the patient's age. Therefore, it is important to use passion flower leaves as directed by a doctor.  

2. Passion fruit tincture

Passion fruit tinctures can be purchased at the pharmacy or natural health stores. These can be taken 3 times per day, in doses of 2 to 4 ml (this is equivalent to 40 to 80 drops) that are diluted in 50 ml of water.

3. Passion fruit fluid extract

Passion fruit fluid extract can be purchased at pharmacies or natural health stores. You can take 2 ml up to 3 times per day with 50 ml of water, as directed by a doctor or medicinal plant specialist. 

4. Passion fruit capsules 

Passion fruit capsules can be purchased at the pharmacy or natural health stores. You can take one or two 200 mg capsules, in the morning and at night, or as directed by a doctor or medicinal plant specialist. 

5. Passion fruit peel flour

Passion fruit peel flour can be found in natural health stores, supermarkets or pharmacies. You can add one tablespoon to water, salads or other preparations. 

Side effects and contraindications

Due to its effect on the nervous system, the most common adverse effect of passion fruit is drowsiness, particularly if it is consumed in excess. 

Because of its soothing effects, you should not consume passion fruit if operating heavy machinery. 

Because passion fruit can reduce blood pressure, consuming this plant is contraindicated for those with low blood pressure before obtaining a doctor's approval. Similarly, passion fruit should be avoided if you are taking antidepressants, relaxants or anticoagulants. 

Tea, tinctures and supplements that contain passion fruit are not indicated for children under 12, pregnant women or breastfeeding women, as there are not studies that support its safety in these populations.