Sweet granadilla (Passiflora ligularis) is a relative of the passion fruit, and is often confused with passion fruits. It is however different from passion fruits. Granadilla is also referred to as sweet passion fruit.
Sweet granadilla is native to the Peru regions of Southern America. It was first discovered by the missionaries and thought to represent the passion of Christ for the people of the earth.
The fruit of granadilla is edible, just as the fruit is. However, as time goes by, the people of Peru came to understand that beyond being a sweet fruit, sweet granadilla is also medicinal. This discovery is a great one as it increases the economic and environmental values of Sweet granadilla.
Is granadilla the same as passion fruit?
As stated above, although both fruit tree belong to the same family of Passiflora, they’re actually two different fruit trees. In fact, there are other members of this family with related appearances but quite different from each other.
Here are some of the differences to note
- Granadilla is native to Peru while passion fruit is native to Vietnam.
- The fruits of granadilla are bigger, and orange in color while the fruits of passion fruits are smaller, purple, yellow or green in color.
- Granadilla seeds are transparent, and are sweeter, while passion fruit seeds are opaque with a tangy flavor
- Granadilla fruit pulp is slightly sweet with no sour taste, while passion fruits are slightly sour and sweet.
How do you eat sweet granadilla fruit?
As a first time Peruvian tourist, one of the fruits you must not avoid is sweet granadilla. So how do you eat the sweet fruit?
First crack the fruit open to reveal a blob of juicy seeds nested around the fruist fluffy white lining. Then suck the sweet pulp out from the shell. You can as well use spoon to scoop the pulp out. However, as jokingly said in Peruvian, those who use spoon will lose the major street cred in any Peruvian city.
Where can you buy granadilla?
Although sweet granadilla is native to Peru, you can still buy it from any part of the world. The world has changed so fast that one can be in Australia and other for goods in Europe, and it will be delivered in a day or two. Such is the globalisation of the world.
Where ever you may be, if you would want to have a taste of this awesome sweet fruit, you can simply order it on Amazon store, and have it delivered to you. There are some other store you can still place an order on.
Where do Passiflora ligularis grow?
Although sweet granadilla is native to Southern America, it also grows in some other regions such as Asia, Australia, and North America.
In Africa, some other species of Passiflora, especially Passiflora edulis, and other species are seen growing. This does not mean that granadilla can’t grow in Africa, it may probably be that no one has tried cultivating it in Africa. So you can be the first to do so.
What are the benefits of sweet granadilla?
you cannot discuss the health benefits of granadilla fruits without first talking about its numerous nutritional and phytochemical benefits. Remember that both the fruit and seeds are edible and are beneficial to your body.
Sweet granadilla is packed with vitamins and minerals
Some of the vitamins and minerals present in the fruits are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B9, vitamin E and vitamin K. It also contains iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium and fiber. Aside the nutritional benefits, both the fruit pulp and seeds, leaves and roots possess some phytochemicals that are very vital for your health. Some of the bioactive compounds include Quercetin, Linoleic acid, stearic acid, lauric acid, oleic acid, flavonoids, quinones, and polyphenols.
Sweet passion fruits for good vision
Being fortified with vitamin A, Beta-carotenoid and B vitamins, granadilla fruits and seeds will help you maintain healthy eyes and improved vision. A regular intake of Vitamin A supplement ensure that your cornea is clear. Remember that the cornea is the membrane covering your eyes. Vitamin A is also a component of the protein, Rhodopsin, which allows you to see in places where there is a very low ight.
The B vitamins present in the fruits help your eyes by preventing the age-related degeneration of your eyes, in which our retina becomes deteriorated overtimes, leading to cataract and a blurry vision.
Granadilla is good for pregnant women
One good thing about granadilla fruits is that they have no side effects. You can eat as much as you want. So it is also great for the pregnant mother as well as the fetus. The B vitamins present in the fruits are beneficial for the development of the child. For instance, folate is very vital for the development of the neural tube. It also prevent the development of birth defects associated with the child’s brain.
Iron is an important mineral for a pregnant woman. It is needed for the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, which transport oxygenated blood to the cells and muscle tissues, respectively. When there is an iron deficiency, the mother may suffer anemia due to iron deficiency. Calcium is needed for the development of strong and healthy bones in the fetus. So you see, you need granadilla as a pregnant woman, to help you maintain healthy moments for you and your baby.
If you consume both sweet granadilla and manila tamarind, you’d be enjoying a synergistic benefits of both fruits.
May protect your heart from cardiovascular diseases
The seeds of Passiflora ligularis is packed with essential oils that are good for your heart, such as linoleic acid, and oleic acid. This unsaturated acids are beneficial for lowering the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, otherwise known as bad cholesterol, while elevating the serum levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL). HDL is essential for preventing atherosclerosis and cardiac heart arrest.
Sweet granadilla is also fortified with strong antioxidants that prevents the harmful effects of free radicals on the heart. These antioxidants also prevents the peroxidation of LDL deposited on the arterial walls of the blood vessels.
Sweet granadilla is good for managing diabetes
If you are treating diabetes, or have someone who’s doing so, consuming the fruits, seeds and leaf tea of the plant may be a great way to lower the fasting sugar level, and prevent oxidative damages that occur in diabetes. A study on the fruit extracts showed that sweet granadilla improved insulin secretion by reversing the oxidative damage due to the harmful attack of free radicals on the beta-cells of the pancreas.
According to the study, The presence of alkaloids and flavonoids may contribute to the antidiabetic properties of granadilla fruit pulp. Other studies that focused on the leaves also showed how effective the leaves of the plant is in managing diabetes mellitus. You can equally add pepino melon to your menu as this fruit also possess antidiabetic properties.
Helps you manage stress and anxiety
If you ever wondered that the reason you feel relaxed each time to eat granadilla fruits is because of their sweet flavor, then you really need to think again.
The fruit is fortified with magnesium, a mineral element that’s associated with decreased levels of stress and anxiety due to its stimulation of the mechanisms that leads to the production of serotonin and melatonin. These two proteins are responsible for boosting your mood, making you feel happy and jolly, and also help you sleep well.
Magnesium also suppresses the productions of cytokines and cortisol, which are responsible for increased inflammatory responses and stress. So a regular consumption of granadilla fruits and seeds will help you feel relaxed and happy.
Boosts your immunity
Granadilla fruits and seed are packed with strong phytochemicals that regulate the immune system. The antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial compounds present in the fruits, seeds and leaves are beneficial to your body as they boost your immunity against disease pathogens.
Lowers high blood pressure
Granadilla fruits possess enough potassium, like banana. This potassium is very important for your health as they are needed to balance the sodium concentration, and therefore lower your blood pressure and help in muscle recovery.
Granadilla fruits boost blood cell count
With the present of iron, potassium and the B vitamins in the fruits, granadilla may help in stimulating the production of white and red blood cells.
The white blood cells is essential for converting disease pathogens, while the red blood cells transport oxygen to various parts of the body, and help in combating anemia.
The seeds of Sweet granadilla is rich in fiber content. Fiber is an essential components of food as they help in food digestion, and thus prevent the incidents of constipation. Fiber is also very important for your heart health, and aid the bowel movements of your large intestine. It makes it easy to pass out feces.
May protect you from cancer
A regular consumption of granadilla fruits and leaf tea will certainly protect you from some cancer cells. The fruit juice was shown in a study to possess strong anticancer activities against lung cancer.
This anticancer properties may be due to the presence of flavonoids, tannins, polyphenols and even essential oil in the seeds. The leaves of the plant possess abundant quercetin, which is a known anticancer compound.
Good for urinary tract infection
The plant may also help destroy urinary tract infection, this is especially true of the leaf tea. The zinc present in the fruits are antimicrobial element, and can protect you from some disease pathogens.
Who may not consume granadilla fruits?
Palanirajan Anusooriya, Deivasigamani Malarvizhi, Velliyur Kanniappan Gopalakrishnan, Kanakasabapathi Devaki, “Antioxidant and Antidiabetic Effect of Aqueous Fruit Extract of Passiflora ligularis Juss. on Streptozotocin Induced Diabetic Rats”, International Scholarly Research Notices, vol. 2014, Article ID 130342, 10 pages, 2014.
Amaral RG, Gomes SVF, Andrade LN, Dos Santos SA, Severino P, de Albuquerque Júnior RLC, Souto EB, Brandão GC, Santos SL, David JM, Carvalho AA. Cytotoxic, Antitumor and Toxicological Profile of Passiflora alata Leaf Extract. Molecules. 2020 Oct 20;25(20):4814. doi: 10.3390/molecules25204814. PMID: 33092066; PMCID: PMC7587945.