Have you ever wondered why Passion Fruits are called so?
I will give you 2 guesses and most likely, both of them will be wrong.
Nope, it has got nothing to do with increasing passion!
The popular myth is that Passion Fruit has aphrodisiac properties which led to the fruit being called so, but the fact is that the name Passion Fruit was given by missionaries in Brazil who believed that the flower of passion fruit illustrated the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The flowers have cross-like stigmas emerging from the centre and the ring of appendages of the corona has been likened to the crown of thorns of Christ.
Known by different names like granadilla, maracuja, liliko’i etc. in different parts of the world, Passion fruit is borne on vines and is a native of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The fruit is a round to oval-shaped berry covered with a thick yellow or purple outer layer with a pulpy, juicy and aromatic interior filled with numerous seeds.
The yummy aromatic pulp of Passion Fruit is a very popular ingredient in a number of cuisines and it is used to make cakes, juices, ice-creams, desserts and drinks.
Though not very common in India, the Andhra Pradesh government has started growing this plant in the forests of Vizag and it is commonly eaten raw, sprinkled with sugar and to make juices.
Apart from tasting incredibly good, passion fruit benefits your health and your skin in more ways than one, and learning about these benefits can be a great way to ensure that your health is in its best state, always.
Not only is passion fruit one of the best natural sources of fiber ever, but these small, unassuming fruits are also loaded with a bunch of other great ingredients that can actually make your skin look younger!
The pulp of Passion Fruit is composed of 73% water, 22% carbohydrate, 36% Vitamin C, 15% Vitamin A and Beta-carotene, 33% Vitamin B and various minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus making it one of the most effective ingredients for keeping your skin healthy and glowing.
After extensive research about passion fruit, researchers have found out that it is not only good for your skin and health in general, but has several specific biological benefits that can help with some serious issues such as:
Asthma- A study conducted in 2008 showed that the purple peel of the passion fruit contained nutrients which could directly treat the symptoms of asthma. Patients who were given the extract of this peel saw a 75% less occurrence of wheezing in their systems.
Osteoarthritis- The nutrients present in passion fruit also helped in the reduction of pain and rigidity in the limbs that is caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Other conditions that were found to be positively affected by passion fruit included UTIs, stress, digestive problems, etc.
As mentioned earlier, passion fruit provides some incredible benefits for your skin. While consumption of the fruit will benefit your health and skin, topical application of many ingredients can help your skin retain its health and glow.
Now, the problem is that Passion Fruit is not common in India. In addition, though you can apply the raw fruit on your skin, the ingredients may not penetrate effectively into your skin to provide the required benefits. (However, we have included different face mask recipes at the end of this article if you are interested in applying the raw fruit)
So what to do?
Fret not. Research shows that the oil extracted from passion fruits and their seeds is light and easily absorbed by the skin. This luxuriant oil not only provides much needed nourishment to your skin, but can also delay and reverse the effects of aging.
Since it is a relatively expensive oil, you can expect to see this oil used in high-end and effective cosmetic products. Below are some of the most important benefits of Passion Fruit oil for your skin:
Vitamin A is one of the main nutrients required for a healthy level of cell growth. Vitamin A boosts collagen production and as you must be aware by now, collagen is the building block of your skin. Vitamin A also helps skin retain moisture and elasticity with age.
Passion fruit contains carotenoids, which are non-nutritive phytochemicals like cryptoxanthine, b-, zeta-, beta-, lycopene, alpha-carotene, etc. All of these help increase the production of vitamin A in your body.
Consuming one cup of passion fruit pulp, along with the seeds, can provide you with 25% of the ideally recommended daily value of vitamin A. it can increase your body’s ability to absorb vitamin A, which makes it ideal for younger-looking, bright, and hydrated skin.
Vitamin C is one of the best natural sources of antioxidants, which is very effective when it comes to reducing oxidative stress on your skin.
Oxidative stress occurs when the number of free radicals in the body increases, which damages the cells and draws out moisture, thereby weakening the cell walls.
This causes premature ageing, making your skin look lined, loose, and wrinkly. Vitamin C also reacts with amino acids to promote the formation of collagen cells, which makes your skin firm and youthful.
Vitamin C also helps your skin retain moisture, which can strengthen cell walls and reduce the damage caused by external factors such as the UV rays of the sun and environmental factors such as pollution.
One cup of passion fruit pulp contains 71 milligrams of vitamin C, which is enough to satiate your daily requirement of vitamin C. It is an effective remedy for all skin-related problems, rendering you with beautiful, glowing skin for longer.
Passion fruit also contains vitamin B3 (Niacin) and vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) which are essential nutrients required by the skin to function as it should.
As you grow older, the lipid barrier found in the outermost layer of the skin weakens, leading to a number of problems such as loss of moisture from the skin, reduced collagen production, oxidative stress, and appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin B6 has a direct effect on the water-retentive potential of the skin and helps your skin remain moisturized without the use of external supplements and products. It also provides energy to your cells and promotes metabolism, flushing out the toxins from your skin, and makes it soft, supple, and youthful.
Vitamin B3, on the other hand, is essential for providing photoprotection to the skin, which essentially means blocking out the damage caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun.
It also reduces pigmentation of the skin, in turn preventing the appearance of dark spots and marks on your skin. It also promotes the buildup of ceramides and collagen, that constitute the building blocks of the skin and are responsible for making your skin look younger for longer.
As our skin ages, it slows down, leading to the appearance of the signs of ageing. Fatty acids are essential to help keep your skin function normally for longer.
Passion fruit contains palmitic and stearic acid, healthy saturated fatty acids which the skin requires to retain its firmness and shape.
Saturated fatty acids can help you regenerate and rejuvenate your skin if the effects of ageing have started to appear on the epidermal layer. They provide nourishment to the cells, making your skin smoother, firmer, and increasing surface elasticity.
Passion fruit also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6 acids, which have a huge impact on the level of moisture that your skin is able to retain.
It reduces trans-epidermal water loss and also affects the functioning of the sebaceous glands, which control the secretion of oils and hormones in your skin.
Passion fruits are also loaded with a number of essential minerals, all of which contribute to the health of your skin in some way or the other. Here are a few minerals which are found in moderate amounts in passion fruit:
Copper- Copper helps carry nourishing protein to damaged skin, thereby increasing skin regeneration. It also increases the production of collagen and elastin and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin.
Magnesium- Magnesium prevents a number of skin conditions from appearing, such as allergies, dryness, wrinkles, pimples, etc. It also has antioxidant properties which can detoxify your skin.
Calcium- Keratinocytes, which are the epidermal cells responsible for creating keratin and collagen, are dependent on calcium for production. It is also great for your bone health and the health of other vital organs, and it helps your skin look youthful for longer.
Potassium- Potassium can help maintain electrolyte balance in your skin, and retain cell structure and prevent it from losing water through trans-epidermal water loss. It helps the skin stay hydrated, which in turn keeps your skin looking firm, plump, and youthful.
Phosphorus- Phosphorus is one of the main minerals that are responsible for flushing out of toxins from your system. It boosts antioxidants in your body and strengthens cell walls, which can make your skin look bright and wrinkle-free.
Iron- Even though passion fruit is a great source of fibre, it is also rich in natural, plant-based iron, which the body requires on a daily basis. Getting an adequate amount of iron in your system can prevent the occurrence of several skin-related issues such as the formation of acne, pimples, wrinkles, and lines. It also increases blood circulation to the skin, thereby keeping the cells healthy and active.
There are several ways in which you can use passion fruit in its raw form when you are trying to keep the symptoms of ageing at bay. Here are a few suggestions:
One of the easiest ways to imbibe the goodness of passion fruit is by consuming it directly. You can consume the fruit as is, after peeling the fruit skin. The seeds add a crunchy, nutty texture to the jelly-like liquid inside, and can make for a wonderful topping you can add to your desserts, salads, or have as is.
You can also take 5-6 ripe passion fruits and add to a blender. Use a spoon to scoop out all of the jelly from inside the fruit skin. Add the jelly to a blender along with three times the amount of water and blend till the seeds have completely separated from the pulp. Drink this every day, and you will see a visible difference in your skin.
Passion fruit is being used in a number of commercially produced cosmetic products, but you can make your own face mask with passion fruit, right at home. Here are a few ideas for you:
-the pulp from 1 ripe yellow passion fruit
-1 teaspoon oatmeal powder
-1/2 teaspoon honey
For dry skin:
-1 tablespoon passion fruit pulp
-1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
-1 teaspoon water
For oily skin
-the pulp from 1 ripe passion fruit
-2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
-1/2 teaspoon honey
All of the above face masks are great if you want to fully incorporate the goodness of passion fruit into your skincare routine. There are several ways in which passion fruit benefits your skin and your health in general, and it is highly advisable that you expose your skin to this exciting fruit on a regular basis!
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