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. As such, it is 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).
What is the Difference Between Sweet Granadilla and Passion Fruit?
Sweet granadilla is not as popular as purple passion fruit, but it somewhat resembles the yellow passion fruit on the outer shell in terms of color. However, sweet granadilla and yellow passion fruit are completely different based on their species and pulp characteristics.
Generally, passion fruits are scientifically known as Passiflora edulis, while sweet granadilla belongs to the species Passiflora ligularis. The taste of these fruits is also different. The former has a slightly acidic and sour taste, with the latter having a sweeter taste.
Sweet granadilla also appears larger with an egg shape. By contrast, passion fruits look smaller and more rounded.
Besides, the skin of a sweet granadilla is thick and leathery, with white specks or spots. It also has a soft white padding covering the seeds. In contrast, passion fruits may have a hard purple or yellow skin depending on the cultivar. They lack the soft padding covering sweet granadilla seeds on the inside.
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. Indeed, sweet granadilla is 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), vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
In addition, sweet granadilla is a high-fiber fruit, with a significant amount of antioxidants and proteins. These nutrients contribute to the various health benefits linked to 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. With this in mind, sweet granadilla can help maintain a normal blood cell count, promote good health, and prevent diseases such as anemia. The nutrients found in a sweet granadilla might also help improve platelet count. As a result, they can protect people who eat them regularly from 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 if 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, which helps eradicate the pathogens that cause gastrointestinal diseases.
Sweet granadilla is also beneficial for people with ulcers and hiatal hernia due to its wound-healing properties often attributable to the fruit’s 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.
The high vitamin A content also makes sweet granadilla a good addition to the diet of young children who require adequate amount of this nutrient for proper vision development and eye health.
Sweet granadilla relieves anxiety and insomnia
Sweet granadilla is a known natural relaxant. In particular, the calming properties associated with this fruit can help reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms.
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. These bioactive compounds 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. However, the antioxidant properties of sweet granadilla 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 and black seeds right from the shell. The whole mass usually comes off easily when you scoop it. In addition, you might consider adding sweet granadilla pulp to ice cream, pavlova, and yogurt to provide a distinct flavor and improve the nutritional profile.
Most people often ask whether you can eat sweet granadilla seeds. The answer to this question is yes. You can and should eat these seeds along with the pulp. It is safe to do so. Eating them with the gelatinous transparent pulp makes the experience worthwhile.
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. In addition, sweet granadilla has a better and less acidic flavor than other varieties of passion fruits.