I love passion fruits. I have been eating passion fruit seeds for as long as I can remember.
I just didn’t know that there are very many people who have been wondering whether their way of eating them is everybody else’s way.
The question of whether to swallow or chew passion fruit seeds should not worry you anymore because either way is totally safe and acceptable.
But considering the science of digestion that I will explain later here, I believe chewing the seeds will give you an advantage both nutritionally and experience-wise over swallowing them whole.
In all the two cases above, we are talking about children and adults who have well-developed dental system and digestive systems.
For children with few or no teeth, I would advise you to extract the juice and let them have it only in juice form or make passion jam and use it as a condiment.
Let’s first get to know the fruit we are talking about here.
Passion Fruit Varieties
The passion fruit is a botanical climbing vine fruit from the family Passiflora Edulis, that is said to have originated from South America.
These fruits are mainly distinguished by their taste, size, and color.
The two most common varieties that most passion fruit lovers can relate with are the yellow passion fruit variety and the purple variety.
Other passion fruit varieties include:
- The Banana passion fruit
- The Sweet granadilla
- The Cholupa
- The misty gem passion fruit
- The giant passion fruit
- The Maracuya variety
There are many other hybrid versions that continue to be produced in different parts of the world for several reasons, such as disease resistance, drought resistance, and higher yields.
What Does a Passion Fruit Taste Like?
All the varieties of passion fruits mentioned above have a similar fruit structure.
There is that relatively hard outer skin that is generally breakable by hand.
This outer skin is inedible since it is known to contain cyanogenic glycoside chemical compounds that can react with enzymes in our stomachs to produce poisonous cyanide.
This means you should not attempt to eat the passion fruit skin.
Inside the skin is the edible part of the fruit; the succulent pulp, and the seeds.
The edible pulp has a sweet-tart taste that leaves the mouth with a bitter-sweet, slightly acidic feeling that is just so refreshing to passion fruit lovers.
The seeds add more tartness and crunchiness to the pulp when chewed together.
They have a soft cover that can be easily broken to expose the inner part, which contains edible acids and nutrients that contribute to its sourness and nutritional benefits.
How do You Eat a Passion Fruit?
The correct way to eat a passion fruit is simply opening up the outer skin using your thumb or a knife, scooping out the succulent pulp and seeds, and eating them by either swallowing or chewing.
It is important to let the fruit mature and ripen for you to enjoy its full taste and flavors.
An unripe passion fruit will have a very unpleasant and sour taste that any other unripe fruit has.
This is because of some biochemical reactions that I will explain in a separate article here.
Since this article is about whether to swallow or chew passion fruit seeds, I will give eating recommendations based on known food science and nutrition facts.
When to Swallow passion Fruit Seeds
After selecting your ripe fruit, you may want to scoop the pulp and consume the whole contents without chewing.
I have seen this, especially with people who dislike acidity in their taste buds.
If the sourness from chewing the passion fruit seeds is too much for your taste buds, you can swallow the seeds without chewing.
There are also people who experience sensitivity in their tongues and teeth from chewing passion fruit seeds.
If that is the case, you may still enjoy the fruit by swallowing the seeds together with the pulp.
Some people may worry about the seeds not being able to be digested in the stomach.
This should not be a cause for concern because the digestion system will take in the pulp from its surface and pass the seed out through poop.
That is exactly how the seed was meant to be dispersed for continuity of the fruit species.
When to Chew the Seeds
If you don’t fall under the special category described above, you should always be chewing those seeds before swallowing.
As noted in one of my previous articles here, passion fruit seeds are among fruit seeds that can be safely eaten.
In fact, there are a lot of nutritional benefits associated with passion fruit seeds, as we shall be seeing later on here.
The seed’s outer cover is relatively soft, which means it can be broken down easily in the human digestion system.
You should thus chew the seeds to release more of their hidden nutrients behind that outer cover.
The sour acidic taste from chewing the seeds is also very soothing in the mouth if you do not have acid sensitivity issues.
If you feel that both the swallowing and the chewing aren’t your thing, you can still enjoy the fruit in form of a pulped smoothie or passion fruit jam.
Health Benefits of Passion Fruit Seeds
Other than the sweetness and sourness sensations in fruits, the other main reason for eating them is their nutritional benefits.
Passion fruits are also loaded with a myriad of nutrients that are important to our bodies.
To the disappointment of seed swallowers, most of the passion fruit nutrients are found in their seeds.
The USDA passion fruit nutritional profile shows how important this fruit is to health-conscious people.
The seeds are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and polyphenols that provide the body with the needed anti-inflammatory effects.
This is important in reducing heart conditions, type 2 diabetes, and chronic inflammation.
The beta carotenes in passion fruit seeds have also been associated with inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells in several prospective studies such as this one here.
The seed also provides a good source of dietary fiber that prevents constipation and lowers cholesterol levels in the body.
Eating passion fruit seeds has also been recommended for patients with diabetes since studies have shown that they significantly improve insulin uptake.
There are also other important micronutrients present such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and other vitamins.
All these nutrients work together to boost the body’s immune system.
In conclusion, the way you choose to eat passion fruit seeds will largely depend on your preference.
Scientifically, there is no reason to worry about swallowing or chewing them.
You can either choose one or do both interchangeably since we have seen how important it is to break the seeds and access those much-needed nutrients packed in them.
Keep enjoying your fruit passionately.