Papaya vs. Passion Fruit – Comparison Based on Nutrition and Health Impact
Passion fruit is almost 2 times higher in calories, 6 times higher in dietary fiber, and only 1.4 times higher in net carbs. Passion fruit is also overall richer in minerals.
Papaya is 14 times richer in vitamin E, 4 times richer in vitamin K, and about 2 times richer in vitamin C and folate, while passion fruit is a better source of vitamins B2 and B3.
Table of contents
In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between papaya and passion fruit, mainly focusing on nutrition and health impact.
Varieties and Classification
Passion fruit or granadilla is the fruit of the Passiflora vine, which belongs to the genus Passiflora. The most common passion types are purple passion fruit, yellow passion fruit, and sweet granadilla.
Papayas are members of the Carica genus and are native to the tropics of America and Mexico. There are 14 different types of papayas, with two of the most common being yellow papaya and red papaya.
Passion fruit has a tough rind on the outside and a juicy, edible seed-filled center. Papaya is oblong or pear-like and comes in various sizes, depending on the type. It has thin, smooth skin, usually green when unripe, turning yellow, orange, or pinkish-orange when ripe, and juicy, soft, and vibrant orange flesh.
Passion fruit is highly versatile and can be used in various ways. It can be consumed raw or in beverages, desserts, salads, and yogurts. It can be squeezed through a sieve to make juice, which can be used to flavor cocktails or made into cordial.
Ripe papaya is frequently consumed raw, without the skin or seeds. Green papaya is often used in the kitchen. It is used in Southeast Asian dishes such as tinola, lumpia, and empanada. Young papaya leaves can be eaten similarly to spinach.
The comparison infographics below help better showcase the differences between 100g servings of raw papaya and raw purple passion fruit or granadilla.
However, one average passion fruit weighs 18g, while one cup of cut papaya pieces is equal to around 145g.
Passion fruit is somewhat denser in nutrients, consisting of 73% water and 27% nutrients, while papayas are made up of 88% water and 12% nutrients.
The prime macronutrient found in both these fruits is carbohydrates.
Passion fruit is almost 2 times higher in calories than papaya. It contains 97 calories per 100g, while papaya contains only 43 calories per 100g.
Both these are considered low-calorie fruits.
Passion fruit contains 2 times more carbs than papaya. It has 23.38g per 100g, whereas papaya has 10.82g per 100g. This is mostly due to dietary fiber, as passion fruit is only 1.4 times higher in net carbs but 6 times richer in fiber.
Passion fruit falls in the top 10% of foods as a source of dietary fiber, primarily because of its edible seeds rich in fiber.
Fats and Protein
Both fruits have less than 1g of fats per 100g serving. Passion fruit contains 0.7g of fat, and papaya has 0.3g of fat. Both fruits have no cholesterol or trans fats.
These fruits are also very low in proteins, although papaya is almost 5 times higher in this nutrient. 100g servings of papaya and passion fruit contain 2.2g and 0.5g of protein, respectively.
Papaya and passion fruit are both excellent sources of various vitamins.
Papaya is 14 times richer in vitamin E, 4 times richer in vitamin K, and about 2 times richer in vitamin C and folate (vitamin B9). Papaya also provides some level of vitamin B1, while it is absent in passion fruit.
On the other hand, passion fruit contains about 4 times more vitamins B2 and B3, as well as higher levels of vitamins B6 and A.
Passion fruit is richer in most minerals, particularly phosphorus, iron, copper, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
Passion fruit falls in the range of the top 26% of foods as a source of potassium.
On the other hand, papaya has more calcium and less sodium than passion fruit.
Papaya and passion fruit contain polyphenols, which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease through various mechanisms: improving coronary vasodilation, decreasing platelet clotting ability, and lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the blood (3).
According to one study carried out on rats, papaya potentially contains antihypertensive agents that primarily inhibit the alpha-adrenoceptors (like Doxazosin (Cardura); Prazosin (Minipress); Terazosin), which are essential for decreasing arterial blood pressure (4). These effects are unknown for passion fruit, but passion fruit may lower heart rate, which is essential in treating heart failure and various types of arrhythmias (5).
One study shows that fermented papaya preparations can help prevent or manage chronic oxidative stress-related diseases, particularly diabetes and cancer (6).
Besides, papaya contains vitamin C, fiber, saponins, and flavonoids that can help lower blood glucose levels (7). But be mindful, as overeating papaya may negate these health benefits and cause a blood sugar spike.
Another study indicates that passion fruit is rich in piceatannol. This polyphenol may improve insulin sensitivity in men with excess weight, potentially reducing type 2 diabetes risk when taken as a supplement (8).
Several studies show that papaya contains lycopene and phytochemicals, which may help treat health problems. These compounds are highly effective against hormone-related cancer and may stop the growth of cancer cells and help normalize the cell cycle (9).
Passion fruit is high in beta-carotene. According to one study, diets rich in plant-based beta carotene have been linked to a lower risk of some cancers, including prostate, colon, stomach, and breast cancers (10).
Passion fruit has also been researched to have protective qualities against breast cancer (11).
Passion fruit is safe for most people, but in rare cases, allergies may occur. People with a latex allergy are at a higher risk, as there can be a cross-reaction: those with a latex allergy may also be allergic to papayas (12).
Other Side Effects
Research finds that regular consumption of ripe papaya during pregnancy may not pose any significant danger. However, unripe or semi-ripe papaya could be unsafe during pregnancy due to the high concentration of latex found in papaya that produces marked uterine contractions (13).
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||64µg||47µg|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.
- Passion fruit - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169108/nutrients
- Papaya - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169926/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.