Passionate for Passion Fruits!

Sep 5, 2015 | Views: 53

In the continuous effort towards transforming Kechara Forest Retreat into a self-sustaining community, all opportunities are seized to grow fruits and vegetables at every part of the 35-acre piece of land.

Perhaps unknowing to many Inner Peace retreatants, the trellis of Tara Walk is covered with passion fruit. Their leaves provide shade for those engaged in walking meditation, and their fruits provide as a source of food.

Native to the subtropical wild regions of South America, such as Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina, passion fruits have earned a reputation of being sweet, tart and rich in Vitamin C.

The exotic fruit grows on vines that creeps and grapples on anything, and will flourish as long as there is well-drained fertile soil and good moisture. They grow quickly, reaching about 15-20 feet per year and have an average life span of about 5-7 years.

There are over five hundred cultivate types that exist. However, only the purple and yellow cultivars are widely cultivated in countries, such as South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Southern Asia, Israel, Australia, Hawaii and United States.

Most of us in Malaysia have enjoyed passion fruit in our drinks, either fresh or via cordial. They add a distinct aroma and provide a kick of flavour when blended with other juices.

Their benefits include being:

  • A very good source of dietary fiber - 10.4 g per 100g of fruit pulp. As it is soluble fiber, passion fruit facilitates healthy and regular bowel movement which helps to cleanse cholesterol from the body and toxins stored in the colon. This in effect also helps to remove cancer-causing toxic substances.
  • High in vitamin C - 30 mg per 100 g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. This helps the body fight against flu-like infectious agents and pro-inflammatory free radicals.
  • A good source of vitamin A – 1274 IU per 100 g. Combined with flavonoid antioxidants such as ß-carotene and cryptoxanthin, passion fruit helps to maintain good eye-sight.
  • Rich in potassium - 348 mg per 100g. Helps to regulate optimum blood pressure by regulating electrolyte balance, controls the body’s muscle function, and is responsible for the release of calcium. Being rich in potassium, and with almost no sodium content, passion fruit is also highly effective in protecting from high blood pressure.
  • A good source of iron - 1.6 mg per 100 g. Providing for 20% of daily required value, together with Vitamin C (essential for iron absorption), iron increases hemoglobin in the blood which thereby helps with anaemia, and those constantly battling with tiredness, breathlessness, drowsiness, blackouts and dizziness.

The Green Team is still keeping a close watch on the passion fruits, and are waiting for the first harvest. The main obstacle currently faced are ants, however Pastor Antoinette has been administering Bach flower treatment.

We look forward to providing guests with healthy, exotic fruits in the near future!

 

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