Sweet granadilla or grenadia is a highly nutritious and flavorful fruit, with an orange to yellow skin when ripe. It is native to countries in Central and South America, including Mexico. Today, sweet granadilla grows in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Argentina. It is also an exotic fruit to tropical regions in Australia, Africa, the United States, New Zealand, India, Southeast Asia, Israel, Brazil, and Papua New Guinea. Sweet granadilla is scientifically referred to as Passiflora ligularis and is a close relative of the passion fruit (purple granadilla).
The fruit is not as popular as purple passion fruit. Sweet granadilla somewhat resembles the yellow passion fruit on the outer shell in terms of color. However, sweet granadilla and yellow passion fruit are completely different fruits based on their species and pulp characteristics. Besides, the skin of a sweet granadilla is thick and leathery, with white specks or spots.
Health benefits of sweet granadilla
Sweet granadilla is a less known species of passion fruits. People do not consume it for its good flavor alone. Sweet granadilla is certainly a nutritionally-dense fruit with many health benefits.
Sweet granadilla has a high nutritional value
Sweet granadilla is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. The fruit is also a source of vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B9 (folate), C, E, and K. Sweet granadilla is a high-fiber fruit, with a significant amount of antioxidants and proteins. These nutrients contribute to the various health benefits associated with consuming sweet granadilla.
Sweet granadilla promotes red and white blood cell production
Sweet granadilla is a valuable source of the vitamin B complex, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which play a crucial role in boosting the manufacture of red and white blood cells in the body. Thus, sweet granadilla can help maintain a normal blood cell count, promoting health and preventing diseases such as anemia. Besides, the nutrients found in a sweet granadilla might help improve platelet count, thus preventing thrombocytopenia.
Sweet granadilla improves cardiovascular health
Sweet granadilla contributes to better heart health when consumed regularly. The fruit contains minerals and vitamins that play a vital role in regulating heart rate and blood pressure. For instance, potassium, a nutrient available in high amounts in sweet granadilla, helps regulate the heartbeat and prevents cardiovascular diseases when consumed in adequate quantities.
Sweet granadilla leads to better gut health.
Sweet granadilla has a high fiber content that accelerates digestion and improves bowel movements. Thus, sweet granadilla can help reduce and prevent constipation. Additionally, this fruit’s fiber provides a substrate for good stomach bacteria that eradicate the harmful ones that cause gastrointestinal diseases. Sweet granadilla is also beneficial for people with ulcers and hiatal hernia due to the wound-healing properties attributable to its high vitamin C content.
Sweet granadilla improves visual health
Sweet granadilla nourishes the body with vitamin A, which helps promote eye health and vision. On this note, the fruit can serve as a good source of vitamin A for people with poor eyesight and vision problems.
Sweet granadilla relieves anxiety and insomnia
Sweet granadilla is a known natural relaxant. The calming properties associated with this fruit help reduce anxiety. Sweet granadilla also induces sleepiness due to its mild sedative properties. As a result, consuming this fruit can help alleviate insomnia in people with sleep disturbances.
Sweet granadilla prevents cancer
Consuming sweet granadilla introduces potent antioxidants into the body. As a result, these antioxidants help get rid of free radicals that cause cellular and tissue damage. Normally, the presence of free radicals in the body might trigger cell mutations, causing cancer. On this account, the antioxidant properties of the compounds in sweet granadilla can help prevent cancer.
Sweet granadilla improves immunity
Eating sweet granadilla makes the immune system stronger by providing essential vitamins and minerals to the body. Specifically, the fruit is a good source of vitamin C, a micronutrient known to boost immunity when included in the diet.
How to eat sweet granadilla
Scoop the soft sweet-tasting pulp and seeds of sweet granadilla after cutting the fruit or breaking the thick leathery outer shell. You can eat the pulp right from the shell. Sweet granadilla is sometimes added to ice-cream, pavlova, and yogurt to provide a distinct flavor and improve the nutritional profile.
How does sweet granadilla taste?
Sweet granadilla has a transparent jelly-like pulp, with hard black seeds. The fruit is aromatic, with a distinctive soft sweet taste. Sweet granadilla also has a better and less acidic flavor than other varieties of passion fruits.