10 Health Benefits And Recipes Of Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)
By Priya Mewada +2 more
By Priya Mewada +2 more
Dragon fruit is cactus based fruit that has loads of health benefits such as lowering risks of a blood sugar spike, aids in digestion etc. It resembles a dragon and that is how this fruit got its name. You must be wondering how to eat this fruit, irrespective of its shape and size? It’s simple. Cut it in two halves and eat the inside layer with a spoon. You can also make a smoothie out of it.
It is a tropical fruit with a unique appearance, crunchy texture and sweet taste. Its appearance draws its name from a fire-breathing dragon. Its rich source of antioxidants plays a vital role in reducing your risks of cancer and diabetes. Make it a point to add this superfruit to your everyday diet.
Dragon Fruit tastes like a mixture of kiwi and pear. The very first time you cut open this fruit, it may seem like an Oreo smoothie because of its white pulp and tiny black seeds. This tropical fruit has loads of health benefits and here is why you need to add this fruit to your everyday diet.
What makes this fruit a superfood? Its nutritional content is rich in Vitamin C, E, Magnesium, Iron etc. Here is a nutrition table of this weird yet super healthy fruit.
NOTE: The below-listed nutritional value is taken as per one-cup serving i.e 227 grams of dragon fruit.
An interesting fact about this fruit is that the Chinese claim that it originated from the fire of a dragon during battle. Undermining the myth surrounding this fruit, there is something that makes it super healthy for us. Here is a list of 15 health benefits of consuming dragon fruit.
This fruit contains high amounts of fibre that maintains blood sugar levels and avoids spikes among people suffering from diabetes. Regular consumption of this fruit can help balance blood sugar levels and prevent further medical consequences among diabetics.
This fruit contains anti-cancer properties that can reduce the risks of colon cancer. Its high source of vitamin C plays an important role in boosting the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that prevents you from contracting chronic diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s, cancer, etc.
This fruit contains high levels of vitamin C that boosts immunity and helps you stay healthy. More Vitamin C means that your body is capable of fighting deadly infections that you might be prone to. All you need to do is to consume 1 cup (200 grams) of this fruit every day and stay healthy.
This fruit has a rich source of oligosaccharides (a carbohydrate) that helps in the growth of good bacteria like flora, which aids in smooth digestion. It is packed with high fibre that also aids in digestive health, helps reduces the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Dragon fruit with red coloured pulp contains betalains (creates red colour inside the fruit) that reduces bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol). The tiny dark black seeds inside the fruit are rich in omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids that are good for the heart and reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Faster ageing can be caused due to stress, pollution and other factors such as poor diet etc. However, it’s a rich source of antioxidants that can treat sunburn, dry skin and acne. Its content of vitamin C can aid in brighter skin. You can prepare dragon fruit juice and drink it once a day for radiant skin.
Need thick, black and shiny hair? Try dragon fruit powder mixed with a glass of milk (250ml) once every day and this will do you good. The high source of nutrients found in this fruit extract powder reduces hair damage caused by artificial hair colouring and improves hair texture, thus, leaving it soft and shiny. All you need to do so is to consume this once a day and you will witness changes.
Good bone health can contribute to many factors such as avoiding injuries, joint pain and so forth. This superfruit contains 18% magnesium and aid in stronger bones and good bone health. All you need to do is drink one glass of dragon fruit smoothie every day.
This fruit contains beta-carotene (the pigment that gives the fruit its colour) prevents eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. One cup (220 grams) of dragon fruit every day would do you good.
This fruit contains vitamin B, folate and iron that making it an ideal fruit for pregnant mothers. B vitamins and folate prevents birth defects and boosts energy during pregnancy. Its calcium content is responsible for the bone development of the fetus. Its content of magnesium helps fight postmenopausal complications in women.
The main benefit of antioxidants is to capture and get rid of free radicals. Free radicals can cause cell damage and destruction which may lead to a host of issues from heart problems to cancer if left untreated.
|Antioxidants in Dragon Fruit||Uses|
|Betalains||– These red pigments from the flesh of the dragon fruit have been linked to protection against bad cholesterol (LDL). It prevents LDL from oxidation and damage.|
|Hydroxycinnamates||– The anti-cancer benefits of dragon fruit come from this group of antioxidants. In test tube and animal studies, they have been shown to prevent or decrease cancer growth.|
|Flavonoids||– Flavonoids are present in many veggies and fruits. This large group of antioxidants is associated with improved brain health and function as well as a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.|
Apart from the following recipes, dragon fruit can be used in several versatile ways. One of the benefits of dragon fruit is that it pairs great with ice creams. Whether you’re using it as an integral flavouring ingredient in homemade ice cream or as an added burst of taste to plain old vanilla ice cream. It can also be used as an edible decorative piece to your main course, due to its eye-grabbing shape and colour. When sliced, it can be dropped into a beverage of your choice. You can enjoy the health benefits of dragon fruit by adding it to several desserts like cakes, mousse and even just fresh slices with macarons.
Since this fruit is power-packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals, here are some healthy recipes that you can prepare at home.
Making yourself a dragon fruit shake every breakfast can be the right choice to welcome a healthy lifestyle.
A fruit bowl reduces risks of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and manages weight. On the contrary, the dragon fruit bowl consists of a mixture of other healthy fruits such as strawberries, bananas, watermelons, pineapple and black grapes.
Loaded with ultimate health benefits, this fruit has been gaining popularity in the country because of its unique appearance and health benefits. Here are some frequently asked questions that will give you an insight into this fruit.
It’s simple. Look for the fruit which is bright coloured and without a dry stem. A fruit having a dry stem can indicate that it is over-ripened.
This fruit is a native of Central and South America but is currently cultivated in South East Asian.
You can make a facial mask and apply it to your face for 20 minutes. This will keep your skin nourished and glowing. All you need to do is to smash dragon fruit with some yoghurt and blend it till it becomes a paste. Gently apply it to your face and rinse it with some lukewarm water after 20 minutes.
There are three varieties available in India such as: Yellow skin with white pulp and black seeds; and
Red skin with white pulp and black seeds.
Red skin with red pulp and black seeds.
If you are a sweet lover, dragon fruit with white pulp and tiny black seeds taste better. If you prefer less sweetness, then you need to try the one with the red pulp.
It’s fun to add this healthy fruit to your everyday diet as it has multiple benefits that can benefit your overall health. The best time to grab a bite is during breakfast. One glass of dragon fruit smoothie is all you’ll ever want with some bread and egg. Stay healthy, live happily.
Dragon fruit can be purchased during the summer season in India between June and September. The flowering and fruiting occur successively one after the other in five staggered segments between June and November. The fruit is generally ready to be harvested after the flowering has taken place. The peak time for purchasing the varieties is in August and September.
Dragon fruit is native to Central and South America and grows in countries such as Mexico and Israel currently. An interesting fact is that although this plant is referred to as a fruit, it is actually a type of climbing cactus that needs support as it matures.
Currently, the country leading with about 55% of the country’s dragon fruit export is Vietnam.
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Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.