Fruits are like nature’s candy, making them a wonderful treat and a healthy alternative to sweets. The best thing about them is that they are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
One of the fruits that are worth adding to your diet is lilikoi. In this guide, you can learn more about its nutrition facts, health benefits, and more!
What Is Lilikoi?
“Lilikoi” means passion fruit in the Hawaiian language. This fruit is yellow and roundish. It grows on vines in tropical climates, such as Hawaii, South America, South Africa, India, and Australia.
Lilikoi is part of the passion fruit family. Compared to the purple passion fruit, this fruit is slightly bigger and has a tangier pulp. Also, its vine grows more vigorously.
This tropical fruit is versatile. It has pulp and seeds that can be eaten raw or used as essential ingredients for refreshing drinks, tasty snacks, and sweet and savory dishes.
In Hawaii, lilikoi is well-known. In fact, it is a popular flavor in desserts, such as ice cream and yogurt.
Lilikoi Nutrition Facts
Lilikoi is considered a superfood, thanks to its nutritional benefits. One fruit is packed with:
- Calories: 17
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin A: 8% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 9% of the DV
- Iron: 2% of the DV
- Potassium: 2% of the DV
Lilikoi Health Benefits
Lilikoi is a superfruit that is a valuable source of nutrients. Eating this lets you enjoy these health benefits:
1. Boosts Immune System
Adding lilikoi to your diet strengthens your immune system. According to a study by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida, this wonder fruit is packed with immunity-boosting antioxidants.
Lilikoi contains vitamin C, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin which can prevent cell damage and neutralize free radicals. In particular, vitamin C stimulates white blood cell activity. It then results in a stronger immune system that is more capable of fighting off colds, flu, and other infections.1
2. Provides Asthma Relief
Research confirms that lilikoi, particularly its fruit peel extract, helps reduce wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath in asthmatic patients. Participants treated with the fruit peel extract showed a significant increase in forced vital capacity.2
The fruit also displayed the potential to be antiallergic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
3. Encourages Restful Sleep
If you have trouble sleeping, consider incorporating lilikoi into your diet. This fruit contains harman, which may have sedative properties. It also has medicinal alkaloids and phytonutrients that relieve anxiety and reduce restlessness. Plus, it includes magnesium, which helps with sleep quality and duration.3
Read More: 10 Things Not To Do Before You Sleep
4. Helps With Diabetes
Lilikoi has high fiber content and a low glycemic index (GI), which may benefit people with diabetes. Research suggests that the fruit’s seeds have a bioactive compound that could improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Additionally, this fruit reduces sugar cravings and mood swings. That said, it may serve as a dietary supplement for diabetes treatment.4
5. Manages Anemia Symptoms
Being anemic means having a low blood level. It involves experiencing persistent dizziness, blackouts, breathlessness, and exhaustion. When left unaddressed, it can lead to serious health issues.
To manage anemia symptoms, add lilikoi to your diet. This fruit is rich in iron, which aids in increasing hemoglobin in the blood. It is also rich in Vitamin C, which promotes iron absorption.
6. Improves Skin and Eye Health
Lilikoi is an excellent source of vitamin A. This means it can address vision problems caused by vitamin A deficiency, including cataracts and night blindness.
Another potential health benefit of this superfruit is boosting skin health. In a study, vitamin A is found to help cell membranes function properly. Moreover, lilikoi has carotene, riboflavin, piceatannol, and vitamin C that may delay the signs of premature aging.5
7. Promotes a Healthy Pregnancy
If you’re an expectant mother, you need all the nutrients your body needs to ensure that you and your baby stay healthy. One way to do this is to incorporate lilikoi into your pregnancy diet.
This fruit promotes fetal growth and development. It is loaded with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants. In addition, it contains folate, which prevents neural tube defects in infants.
8. Enhances Digestive Health
Lilikoi is rich in water content that can help boost digestive health. It also has 25 grams per cup of dietary fibers that prevent constipation, cleanse toxins and waste materials from the colon, and eliminate cholesterol from the arteries and blood vessels by excreting it through feces. Moreover, it has enzymes that increase digestive juices and relieves gastric ailment symptoms.
9. Maintains a Healthy Blood Pressure
Prevent high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes with lilikoi. This wonder fruit contains alkaloids that maintain low blood pressure low. Also, it has low sodium and high potassium levels that stimulates blood circulation and relaxes the blood vessels.
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10. Prevents Cancer
Cancer is caused by free radicals. That said, eat lilikoi regularly to increase your chances of protecting yourself against cancer and cell damage. This fruit contains a high amount of the antioxidant vitamins A and C that neutralize free radicals.
How to Eat Lilikoi
Prepare lilikoi for eating by cutting it open and exposing its juicy pulp and seeds. Feel free to enjoy the fruit raw and eat its flesh and seeds straight out of the rind with a spoon.
This fruit is versatile and can be used in different recipes. It can be added to sweet or savory dishes, juices, smoothies, ice cream, or yogurt.
Lilikoi can also be included in butter. Lilikoi butter, a common food staple in Hawaii, is a delightful bread spread.
Lilikoi is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eating it regularly may offer different benefits that can help you keep a healthy lifestyle.
While lilikoi is a natural dietary source of the nutrients your body needs, remember that it is not a replacement for medicines and treatment. Seek a doctor for severe health conditions.