Passion fruit was introduced in Hawaii in 1880 but was first cultivated commercially in Kenya in 1933. Three decades later, Ugandan farmers began to grow it on a large scale.
Although some people prefer to strain passion fruit into juice, others enjoy the crunch of the seeds. Doing so provides extra nutritional benefits. A cup of passion fruit with the pulp and seeds intact contains 24.5 grams of fiber, the equivalent of more than 4 cups of bran cereal, and more than 5 grams of protein. Without the seeds and pulp, the fiber content drops to .5 grams per cup and the amount of protein drops below 1 gram.
Passion fruit is a rich source of nonheme, or plant based, iron. While the Institute of Medicine recommends that men get 6 micrograms of iron per day and women get 8.1 micrograms, a cup of raw passion fruit provides nearly 4 milligrams. Paired with enriched cereals and iron-rich vegetables such as broccoli or beets, a vegetarian can get an adequate amount of iron by adding passion fruit to her diet. The vitamin C content of the passion fruit also helps your body absorb its iron content.
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