Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy

Non-Traditional Approaches to
the Theories, Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

Lime

June 12, 2017

The lime is native to southeastern Asia and has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is believed that the Arabs brought them from India during the period of Mohammedan expansion in A.D. 570-900. From the earliest days of British sailing vessels, British sailors were given a regular ration of lime juice to prevent scurvy at sea, resulting in the nickname Limey for British sailors.

Limes have been grown in California and Florida since the early days of the citrus industry. After the great freeze in Florida in 1894-95, when the lemon industry was almost totally destroyed, California began growing virtually all the lemons in the United States. At this time Florida’s lime industry expanded, and now Florida grows most of the limes used in this country. California is second in production, and Mexico is a close third. Limes grow all year. Florida produces them from April to April, and California from October throughout the year. The main season for imports is May through August.

Limes that are green in color and heavy for their size are the most desirable commercially, because of their extreme acidity. The full, ripe, yellow lime does not have a high acid content. If the lime is kept until fully ripe it may be used in the very same way the lemon is used, and to fortify other foods with vitamin C. Like lemons, limes are very high in vitamin C, are a good source of vitamin B1, and are rich in potassium. They spoil easily, and limes with a dry, leathery skin or soft, moldy areas should be avoided. Store limes in a cool, dry place.

Limes contain 5 to 6 percent citric acid, and are too acid to drink without sweetening. Their natural flavor is enhanced when combined with other juices. Limes make a delicious dressing for fish, and, when added to melons, bring out the natural flavor of the melon. A few drops of lime juice added to consommé, or jellied soups, give a particular zest to the flavor. Sub-acid fruits, such as apples, pears, plums, peaches, grapes, and apricots, go best with limes.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Limes are good for the relief of arthritis because they have such a high vitamin C content. They are especially good for anyone with acidemia, because they are one of the most alkalinizing foods. A drink of lime juice and whey is a wonderful cooler for the brain and nervous system. Limes can be used to treat brain fever, or someone who is mentally ill. They are good for a brain with a great deal of hot blood in it, which usually shows itself in anger, hatred, or other brain disturbances. Limes make a wonderful sedative for those suffering from these afflictions.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (without rinds or seeds)

Calories: 107

Protein: 2.8g

Fat: .8g

Carbohydrates: 42.4g

Calcium: 126mg

Phosphorus: 69mg

Iron: 2.3mg

Vitamin A: 50 I.U.

Thiamine: .1mg

Riboflavin: .08mg

Niacin: .7mg

Ascorbic Acid: 94mg

Plums and Fresh Prunes

May 30, 2017

The early colonists found plums growing wild along the entire Eastern coast. They were one of many fruits eaten by the Indians before the coming of the white man, and reports of early explorers mention the finding of plums growing in abundance. Today however native plums are not important commercially. The European type of plums, Prunas Domestica, has replaced the native plum. Plum pits from Europe probably were brought to America by the first colonists, for it is reported that plums were planted by the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, and the French brought them to Canada.

Although plums came to America by way of Europe, they are believed to have originated in Western Asia in the region south of the Caucasus Mountains to the Caspian Sea. According to the earliest writings in which the European plum is mentioned,the species dates back at least 2000 years.

Another species, Prunus Institia, known to us as the Damson plum, also came to America by way of Europe. This plum was named for Damascus and apparently antedates the European type, although Damson pits have been found in the lake dwellings of Switzerland and in other ancient ruins.

Another important species, the Japanese plum, was domesticated in Japan, but originated in China. It was introduced in the United States about 1870. This type is grown extensively in California.

Plums have been grown in some of the Spanish mission gardens of California at least as early as 1792, and the first prune plums grown in California were produced in Santa Clara Mission. However, the present California prune industry is not based on these but the French prune, Petite Prune d’Agen, scions of which were brought to California from France in 1856 by Pierre Pellier. French-type prunes grown in California orchards were shipped in to San Francisco markets in 1859.

Botanically, plums and prunes of the European or Domestica type belong to the same species. The interchangeable use of the terms “plum and prune” dates back for several centuries. Plum is Anglo-Saxon, and prune is French. It is uncertain just when the word prune was first used to designate a dried plum or a plum suitable for drying. The prune is a variety of plum that can be dried without fermenting when the pit is left in. Fresh prunes, as compared with plums, have firmer flesh, higher sugar content, and frequently higher acid content. A ripe, fresh prune can be separated from the pit like a freestone peach, but a plum cannot be opened this way.

Of all the stone fruits, plums have the largest number and greatest diversity of kinds and species. H.F. Tysser, editor of Fruit Manual, published in London, says there are over 2000 varieties. Samual Fraser, in his book America Fruits, speaks of a list of about 1500 varieties of Old World plums alone, and says there probably are just as many varieties of plums native to this continent. In addition, there is a long list of Japanese and Chinese plums.

Almost all of the plums shipped in the United States are grown in California. There are two types of California plums, Japanese and European. The former marketed early in the season and the latter in mid season or later. The Japanese varieties are characterized by their large size, heart-shape, and bright red or yellow color. Japanese varieties are never blue.

Plums and prunes of good quality are plump, clean, of fresh appearance, full colored for the particular variety, and soft enough to yield to slight pressure. Unless one is well acquainted with varieties, color alone cannot be replied upon an indication of ripeness. Some varieties are fully ripe when the color is yellowish-green, others when the color is red, and others when purplish-blue or black. Softening at the tip is a good indication of maturity. Immature fruit is hard. It may be shriveled and is generally of poor color or flavor. Over mature fruit is generally soft, easily bruised, and is often leaky.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Fresh plums are more acid to the body than fresh prunes. When too many plums are eaten, an over acid condition results. When prunes are dried, however they are wonderful for the nerves because the contain a phosphorus content of nearly 5 percent.

Prunes have a laxative effect. The dried prune is better to eat than the fresh plum or prune. The salts contained in the dried prune are valuable as food for the blood, brain and nerves. The French prunes are considered the best for their value to the nervous system.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 218

Protein: 3 g

Fat: 0.9 g

Carbohydrates: 55.6 g

Calcium: 73 mg

Phosphorus: 86 mg

Iron: 2.2 mg

Vitamin A: 1200 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.28 mg

Riboflavin: 0.18 mg

Niacin: 2.1 mg

Ascorbic acid: 20 mg

Rhubarb

May 22, 2017

Rhubarb is a species of plant in the family Polygonaceae. They are herbaceous perennials growing from short, thick rhizomes. They have large leaves that are somewhat triangular, with long fleshy petioles. They have small flowers grouped in large compound leafy greenish-white to rose-red inflorescence.

Most commonly, rhubarb’s leaf stalks are cooked with sugar and used in pies and other desserts. A number of varieties have been domesticated for human consumption, most of which are recognized as Rheum x hybridum by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Rhubarb is usually considered to be a vegetable; however, in the United States, a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit, it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties. A side effect was a reduction on imported rhubarb tariffs, as tariffs were higher for vegetables than fruits.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Rhubarb can be used as a strong laxative. Its roots have been used as a laxative for at least 5,000 years.

The roots and stems are rich in anthraquinones, such as emodin and rhein. These substances are cathartic and laxative, which explains the sporadic use of rhubarb as a dieting aid. These molecules also contain sugars attached to them and are hence glycosides. Glycosides can retain water more thus adding to the cathartic action.

Rhubarb roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine; rhubarb also appears in medieval Arabic and European prescriptions.

The rhizomes (’roots’) contain stilbenoid compounds (including rhaponticin), which has shown to lower blood glucose levels in diabetic mice.

NUTRIENTS (per 100 grams)

Carbohydrates 4.54 g

Sugars 1.1 g

Dietary fibre 1.8 g

Fat 0.2 g

Protein 0.9 g

Water 93.61 g

Folate 7 μg

Vitamin C 8 mg

Vitamin E 0.27 mg

Vitamin K 29.3 μg

Calcium 86 mg

Iron 0.22 mg

Potassium 288 mg

Sodium 4 mg

Zinc 0.1 mg

Mango

May 15, 2017

The mango is said to have originated in Burma, Malaya, or the Himalayan region of India. It has been in cultivation for over 4000 years and has entered prominently in Hindu mythology and religious observances. It is now a familiar fruit to all parts of the tropic zone, and is as important there as the apple is in our more temperate climate.

Although the mango is not too well-known in this country, some parts of the world value this fruit highly. Glowing descriptions of mangoes can be found in the literature of these countries. The Turkoman poet, Amir Khusrau, for instance, wrote of the mango in the fourteenth century: “The mango is the pride of the garden, the choicest fruit of Hindustan. Other fruits we are content to eat when ripe, but the mango is good in all stages of growth.”

The first attempt to introduce the mango into this country was made in 1833, when plants were transported to Florida from Mexico. These trees died, and another attempt was made thirty years later when seedling trees were introduced. The real success of its culture came at the beginning of this century, when choice grafted trees were brought from India. Because the fruit’s susceptibility to frost, its culture is limited to certain sections of Florida, where it is a summer crop only.

The mango tree is a member of the sumac family. Its sometimes grows as high as 40 feet. Its leaves are shiny and its flowers yellow or of a reddish hue. There are hundreds of varieties of mangoes, and they range from the size of plums to that of apples, often weighing a pound or more. The common color of the mango is orange, although the fruit may range from green to yellow or red.

This fruit is available from May to September, the peak month being June. Some varieties are shipped in from China, Jamaica, Mexico and Cuba. A quality mango has a fairly small seed stone, and the pulp is delicate and smooth. The fruit should be fresh in appearance, plump, and firm to the touch; however the test of quality is in its taste.

Mangoes are best eaten as a fresh fruit. They have a high sugar content, although they are slightly acid in taste. Mangoes are good used in combination with other fruits in salads, and in some parts of the world they are roasted. Both the flavor and aroma of mangoes are spicy and attractive. To conserve the aroma, do not cut until just before serving.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Mangoes contain a considerable amount of gallic acid, which may be binding to the bowels. It is excellent as a disinfectant to the body. Many people claim the mango is a great blood cleanser,and it also has fever-soothing qualities. mango juice will reduce excessive body heat. Mangoes are also wonderful for helping to throw off body odors.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories 198

Protein 2.1g

FAT 0.6g

Carbohydrates 51.6g

Calcium 27mg

Phosphorus 39mg

Iron 0.6g

Vitamin A 14,5901I.U.

Thiamine 0.19mg

Riboflavin 0.17mg

Niacin 2.8 mg

Ascorbic acid 106mg

Banana

May 8, 2017

Bananas were cultivated in India 4,000 years ago. In 1482, the Portuguese found the banana on the Guinea coast and carried it with them to the Canary Islands. Spanish priests are credited with having introduced this fruit to tropical America when they arrived as missionaries in the sixteenth century. Now, the banana can be found in all tropical countries.

The first known species of banana is the plaintain. or cooking banana. The plantain has a salmon-colored and gummy texture, and a slightly acid taste. This fruit has been a substitute for bread or potatoes in many countries, and is slowly being introduced to the United States.

Bananas are usually harvested green, shipped green, and ripened by wholesale fruit jobbers in air-conditioned ripening rooms. The Gros Michel variety is the most popular of the many varieties. It produces the largest and most compact bunch, which makes it easier to ship. The thick skin of the banana protects the soft fruit.

Other popular varieties of banana are the Claret, or red banana, which has a gummy flesh; the Lady Finger, which is the smallest variety, but has a delicate, sweet flavor; and the Apple, which has an acid flavor and tastes somewhat like a mellow apple.

In the tropics, bananas are often cooked and served with beans, rice, or tortillas. In the Latin American countries, the ripe banana is sometimes dried in the sun in much the same manner as figs and raisins. They arc often sliced when ripe and left in the sun until they are covered with a coating of white, sugary powder that arises from their own juices.

The banana has no particular growing season. A ripe banana is firm, with a plump texture, strong peel, and no trace of green on the skin. A skin that is flecked with brown means the fruit is good.

Fully ripe bananas are composed of 76 percent water, 20 percent sugar, and 12 percent starch.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

The sugars in the banana are readily assimilated, and they contain many vitamins and minerals, and a great deal of fiber. They are excellent for young children and infants and are good in reducing diets because they satisfy the appetite and are low in fat.

Because they are so soft, they are good for persons who have intestinal disturbances, and for convalescents. Bananas feed the natural acidophilus bacteria of the bowel, and their high potassium content benefits the muscular system.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (edible portion)

Calories: 299

Protein: 3.6 g

Fat: 0.6 g

Carbohydrates: 69.9 g

Calcium: 24 mg

Phosphorus: 85 mg

Iron: 1.8 mg

Vitamin A: 1,300 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.27 mg

Riboflavin: 0.19 mg

Niacin: 1.7 mg

Ascorbic acid: 29 mg

Pineapple

April 24, 2017

Pineapples were cultivated in the West Indies long before Columbus visited there. But after his voyage to the island of Guadeloupe, it was recorded in Spain that Columbus had “discovered” the fruit. The pineapple is native to tropical America and was known to the Indians as na-na, meaning fragrance, and to the Spanish explorers as piiia, because of its resemblance to a pine cone.

History does not record how pineapples first reached Hawaii. For many years they grew wild. Then, a young Bostonian started commercial production of them there in 1901 on twelve acres of land. His company has enlarged to the present 25,000 acres. The plant of this fruit grows from two to four feet high, with a rosette of stiff, sword-shaped leaves growing from its base. Out of the rosette center grows a single, fleshy, scaly-coated fruit that is four to ten inches long. A cluster of sword-shaped leaves surmounts the fruit.

Pineapples are grown in many parts of the world, but the United States is supplied principally from Cuba, Mexico, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. They may be obtained all year long, but are most abundant from March through July. The peak months are June and July.

A ripe pineapple in quality condition has a fresh, clean appearance, a distinctive darkish orange-yellow color, and a decided fragrance. The “eyes” of the fruit are flat and almost hollow. If the fruit is mature it is usually heavier in proportion to its size. To test for ripeness, pull at the spikes. If they pull out easily, the fruit is ripe; discolored areas, or soft spots, are an indication of bruised fruit.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

High in vitamin C, the pineapple is considered to be a protective fruit. It is wonderful for constipation and poor digestion. The pineapple helps digest proteins, and can be used in elimination diets. It leaves an alkaline ash in the body. Pineapple is thought to have a certain amount of iodine because it grows near the ocean. When buying canned pineapple, make sure it is unsweetened. Pineapple goes well with fruit and nuts, and is good to eat on a fruit diet.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories 123

Protein 1g

Fat 0.5g

Carbohydrates 33g

Calcium 39mg Niacin 0.5mg

Phosphorus 19mg Ascorbic acid 40mg

Iron 1.2mg

Vitamin A: 170 I.U.

Thiamine 0.20mg

Grapefruit

March 27, 2017

The name grapefruit originated in the West Indies in the eighteenth century, perhaps because of the fact that its fruit grows in clusters of three to twelve or more, similar to grape clusters. This citrus fruit was cultivated more than 4000 years ago in India and Malaysia, but it was not until the sixteenth century that it was introduced to this country by the Spaniards. For many years it was not popular because of its slightly bitter taste. From 1880 to 1885 a group of Florida grapefruit growers shipped crates of the fruit to Philadelphia and New York and encouraged people to try it. In about 1915 the commercial sale of grapefruit expanded, until its production spread into three other states—California, Arizona, and Texas.

The United States furnishes about 97 percent of the world’s supply of grapefruit, and Florida and Texas together produce about 90 percent of the grapefruit grown in the United States. The Marsh seedless grapefruit is the most popular variety today.

The grapefruit tree is about the size of the orange tree and reaches a height of twenty to forty feet. Like the orange, it blooms in the spring. In California and Arizona, the fruit ripens throughout the year. Although grapefruit is available all year, it is most abundant from January through May. Grapefruit is also imported by the United States from Cuba in the late summer and early fall.

Grapefruit of good quality is firm, but springy to the touch, well-shaped, and heavy for its size—the heavier the fruit, the better. Do not choose soft, wilted, or flabby fruit. The heavy fruits are usually thin-skinned and contain more juice than those with coarse skin or those puffy or spongy to the touch.

Grapefruit often has a reddish brown color over the normal yellow, which is called “russeting.” Russeting does not affect the flavor in any way. Most of the defects found on the skin of the grapefruit are minor and do not affect the eating quality of the fruit. However, fruit with decayed spots is not desirable, as the decay usually affects the flavor. Decay may appear as a soft, discolored area on the stem end of the fruit or it may appear as a colorless area that breaks easily when pressure is applied. If the skin of the fruit appears rough, ridged, or wrinkled, it is likely to be thick-skinned.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Grapefruit is a subtropical acid fruit, and is highly alkaline in reaction. It is best eaten with other acid fruits, nuts, or milk. Eat grapefruit immediately after cutting into the rind to benefit from all of its goodness. For best digestion and assimilation, avoid eating grapefruit with sweeter fruits or with starches. The grapefruit is less acidulous than the lemon and is a good substitute when oranges or their juice cannot be tolerated, or when the alkaline reserves in the body need to be augmented.

Grapefruit is rich in vitamins C and B1, and is a good source of vitamin B12. It is low in calories, which makes it a good drink on a reducing diet. There is less sugar in grapefruit than in oranges. Eat the sun-ripened fruit when possible, as this fruit needs no sweetening, and is better for you. If sweetening is necessary, use a little honey.

Grapefruit is very rich in citric acids and their salts, and in potassium and calcium. Use it often in combination with meats, because grapefruit juice is excellent as an aid in the digestion of meats. However, avoid the overuse of all citric acid fruits as they are a powerful dissolver of the catarrhal accumulations in the body and the elimination of too much toxic material all at once may cause boils, irritated nerves, diarrhea, and other problems. People are often so eager to get vitamins and minerals into the body that they sometimes do not consider that the powerful action of citric acid causes irritation and discomfort.

When taken right before bedtime, grapefruit is conducive to a sound sleep. A drink of grapefruit juice first thing in the morning helps prevent constipation. It is also an excellent aid in reducing fevers from colds and the flu, and seldom causes allergic reactions.

Grapefruit rind contains the very valuable vitamin P, which is an important vitamin for healthy gums and teeth. This vitamin may be extracted by simmering the rind in water for about twenty minutes. Strain, and drink.

The sour taste of grapefruit increases the flow of digestive juices in the stomach. Grapefruit served at the beginning of a meal stimulates the appetite and helps in digestion.

This fruit is also good for any hardening of body tissue, such as hardening of the liver and the arteries. It can also help prevent stone formations.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 133

Protein: 1.5 g

Fat: 0.6 g

Carbohydrates: 30.3 g

Calcium: 51 mg

Phosphorus: 54 mg

Iron: 0.9 mg

Vitamin A: 4770 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.11 mg

Riboflavin: 0.06 mg

Niacin: 0.06 mg

Ascorbic acid: 12 mg

Apricot

March 20, 2017

The apricot is said to have originated in China. It spread from there to other parts of Asia, then to Greece and Italy. As early as 1562 there is mention of the apricot in England in Turner’s Herbal.

It is recorded that the apricot grew in abundance in Virginia in the year 1720. In 1792 Vancouver, the explorer, found a fine fruit orchard that included apricots at Santa Clara, California. The fruit was probably brought to California by the Mission Fathers in the eighteenth century.

The apricot is a summer fruit, and is grown in the Western United States. California produces 97 percent of the commercial apricot crop. Only about 21 percent of the apricots produced commercially are sold fresh; the remainder are canned, dried, or frozen.

Tree-ripened apricots have the best flavor, but tree-ripened fruit is rarely available in stores, even those close to the orchard. The next best thing to a well-matured apricot is one that is orange-yellow in color, and plump and juicy. Immature apricots never attain the right sweetness or flavor. There are far too many immature apricots on the market. They are greenish-yellow, the flesh is firm, and they taste sour. Avoid green and shriveled apricots.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE IN APRICOTS

Apricots may be eaten raw in a soft diet. Ripe apricots are especially good for very young children and for older people. This fruit is quite laxative, and rates high in alkalinity. Apricots also contain cobalt, which is necessary in the treatment of anemic conditions.

Apricots may be pureed for children who are just beginning to eat solid foods. Apricot whip for dessert is wonderful, and apricots and cream may be used in as many ways as possible. They make good afternoon and evening snacks.

Dried apricots have six times as much sugar content as the fresh fruit. Therefore, persons with diabetic conditions must be careful not to eat too much dried apricot. Because of its sugar content, however, it is good when we need an energy boost.

Dried fruits should be put in cold water and brought to a boil the night before, or permitted to soak all night, before eating. Bringing the water to a boil kills any germ life that may be on the fruit. Sweeten only with honey, maple syrup, or natural sugars.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND OF APRICOTS

Calories: 241

Protein: 4.3 g

Fat: 0.4 g

Carbohydrates: 55.1 g

Calcium: 68 mg

Phosphorus: 98 mg

Iron: 2.1 mg

Vitamin A: 11,930 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.13 mg

Riboflavin: 0.17 mg

Niacin: 3.2 mg

Ascorbic acid: 42 mg

Persimmon

February 20, 2017

For centuries Japan and China have been growing the Oriental or Japanese persimmon. It is probably native to China, since it was introduced to Japan from that country. The Japanese consider it their national fruit but it is more properly called Oriental rather than Japanese persimmon, since it is not native to Japan. Commodore Perry’s expedition, which opened Japan to world commerce in 1852, is credited with the introduction of this fruit to the United States.

The persimmon that is native to the United States grows wild in the East from Connecticut to Florida, and in the West from Texas to Kansas. This persimmon is much smaller than the Oriental, but has richer flesh. The wild fruit grows in sufficient abundance to satisfy local demand, and little or no shipping is done.

In general, persimmons that have dark-colored flesh are always sweet and non-astringent and may be eaten before they become too soft. Varieties with light-colored flesh, with the exception of the Fuyu variety, are astringent until they soften. The astringency is due to the presence of a large amount of tannin, the same substance found in tea. As the fruit ripens and sweetens the tannin disappears. Ripening can take place just as well off the tree as on.

The Japanese remove the “pucker” from persimmons by placing them in casks that have been used for sake, or Japanese liquor. Allowing persimmons to sweeten naturally will remove the “pucker,” or tannin.

The season for persimmons is October through December, and the peak month is November. Almost all commercial shipments originate in California. The Hachiya is the largest and handsomest oriental variety grown in this country. As a rule, California produces a seedless variety, but the Hachiya grown in Florida has one or more seeds. The Hachiya fruit is cone-shaped and terminates in a black point. The skin is a glossy, deep, orange-red and the flesh is deep yellow, astringent until soft, but sweet and rich when ripe. The Tanenashi is the more important variety in the southeastern states. There are many other varieties that are grown commercially.

Good quality fruit is well-shaped, plump, smooth, and highly colored. The skin is unbroken and the stem cap is attached. Ripeness is usually indicated by softness.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

When thoroughly ripe, persimmons are a rich source of fruit sugar. Dried persimmons are almost as sweet as candy. They are rich in potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and are good to use in a soft diet.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 286

Protein: 2.6 g

Fat: 1.8 g

Carbohydrates: 73 g

Calcium: 26 mg

Phosphorus: 97 mg

Iron: 1.3 mg

Vitamin A: 10,080 I.U.

Thiamine: .11 mg

Riboflavin: .08 mg

Niacin: .4 mg

Ascorbic acid: 48 mg

Passion Fruit

February 13, 2017

While the origin of the Passion Fruit plant is unknown, it is generally believed to be native to Brazil where 16th Century Spanish Catholics named it “Flor de las cinco llagas” or “flower of the five wounds” after its distinctive purple flower. Today, about 400 years later, passion fruit is grown nearly everywhere in the tropical belt but known by a variety of different names. Its common name is Maracuya in Ecuador and Brazil, Parcha in Venezuela, Lilikoi in Hawaii, and Chinola or Parchita in Puerto Rico.

Botanically this exotic fruit belongs to the family of Passifloraceae, of the genus Passiflora. Scientific name: Passiflora edulis. The plant is an avid climber (vine) which grows on anything it can grab through tendrils.

Passion Fruit was introduced into Hawaii in 1880 and it quickly became popular in home gardens. It naturalized in Hawaii’s almost perfect climate and, by 1930, could be found wild on all the islands of the Hawaiian chain. In 1951, the University of Hawaii chose passion fruit as the most promising crop for agricultural development and undertook a program to create an industry for production of quick-frozen passion fruit juice concentrate. By 1958 the plantings had expanded to cover 490 hectares and the industry was rather well established.

Long-term success was not to be however. Viruses damaging the vines, high labor costs, and the rapidly increasing value of land combined to wipe out this young industry. Today, there are no more commercial passion fruit plantations left in Hawaii but the fruit’s unique flavor remains deeply rooted in the taste preferences of the Hawaiian people. Large quantities of passion fruit juice and concentrate are shipped to Hawaii every year. It is thought, as a matter of fact, that Hawaii may well have the highest per capita consumption of passion fruit juice in the world.

Australia is another area of high passion fruit consumption, again, due to history and familiarity. Passion fruit flourished there before 1900 in what had been banana fields. It attained great importance until 1943 when the vines were devastated by a widespread virus. Although some plantations have been rebuilt, they can not produce enough passion fruit to satisfy the demand and imports make up the balance.

It is in South America that most of the world’s passion fruit is currently grown. Starting in the mid 1950’s, passion fruit cultivation became widespread in Colombia and Venezuela. Later it spread to Ecuador. Today, South America, and particularly Ecuador, is the main exporter of passion fruit concentrate to the Western World.

When compared to huge crops like banana (estimated 45 million MT per year), the production of passion fruit is miniscule…only an estimated 640,000 MT. The market for fresh fruit is almost nonexistent in the U.S. although this may change as consumers reach out for new, different, and more exotic fruit and produce. In Brazil however, fresh passion fruit is immensely popular. The demand is so strong that although they grow much of their own fruit, they have had to import additional supplies, primarily from Ecuador, in recent years. In Brazil, the fruit is used in fresh beverages made both at home and in “stalls” or juice stands popular throughout the country.

The passiflora plant requires well-drained fertile soil and good moisture to flourish. It grows quickly and reaches about 15-20 feet per annum once established. Its average life span is about 5-7 years.

Over five hundred cultivate types exist; however, two main type purple and yellow passion fruits are widely cultivated. During each season, the vine bears greenish-white fragrant flowers. The fruit features round to oval shape, 4 to 8 centimeters in diameter, have a tough shell mangosteen-like rind. Average weight is about 35-50 g.

Inside, the fruit consists of membranous sacs containing light orange-colored, pulpy juice with numerous small, hard, dark-brown or black, pitted seeds. Yellow passions are generally larger than the purple varieties, but the pulp of the purple fruit is less acid, richer in aroma and flavor, and has a higher proportion of juicy pulp.

Because of its unique, intense, aromatic flavor characteristics, passion fruit is a “natural” ingredient for juice blends. It has also been described as a natural concentrate and it blends so well with other juice flavors. In Germany, one of the largest juice consuming countries in the world, passion fruit concentrate and banana puree constitute the base of almost every “multivitamin” juice produced. These “multivitamin” juices are second only to apple juice in popularity among Germans.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Delicious, passion fruit is rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber. 100 g fruit contains about 97 calories.

The fruit is a very good source of dietary fiber. 100 g fruit pulp contains 10.4 g or 27% of fiber. Good fiber in the diet helps remove cholesterol from the body. In addition dietary insoluble fiber by acting as a bulk laxative helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxic substances in the colon as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.

Passion fruit is good in vitamin C, providing about 30 mg per 100 g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against flu-like infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

The fruit contains very good levels of vitamin-A (provides about 1274 IU per 100 g), and flavonoid antioxidants such as β-carotene and cryptoxanthin-β. Current research studies suggest that these compounds have antioxidant properties, and along with vitamin A are essential for good eye-sight.

Vitamin A is also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A, and flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

Fresh granadilla is very rich in potassium. 100 g fruit pulp has about 348 mg of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cells and body fluids, and helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Granadilla is also a very good source of minerals. Iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus are present in adequate amounts in the fruit.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE FRUIT

Calories: 229

Protein: 2.2 g

Fat: 28 mg

Carbohydrates: 4.2g

Calcium: 28 mg

Phosphorus: 160 mg

Iron: 3.78

Vitamin A: 3002 IU

Thiamine: trace

Riboflavin: .307 mg

Niacin: 3.54 mg

Ascorbic acid: 30 mg

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