13 Benefits of Dragon Fruit: Nutrition Facts and How to Eat
What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a type of fruit that comes from several species of cactus native to Central and South America, but is also grown in Southeast Asia, including countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines.
The fruit has a unique appearance with its bright red or yellow skin and green, scaly leaves that resemble a dragon’s skin, hence the name. The flesh of the fruit is white or pink with small, edible black seeds, and has a mild, sweet taste similar to a combination of kiwi and pear.
Dragon fruit is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great addition to a healthy diet. It is also a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and several other nutrients. The fruit can be eaten raw, either on its own or as a topping for salads or smoothie bowls, and it is also commonly used in juices, jams, and other desserts.
Dragon fruit is juicy with a slightly sweet taste that some describe as a cross between a kiwi, a pear, and a watermelon. The seeds have a nutty flavor.
Dragon fruits contains 60 calories each and is high in vitamins C, B1, B2, and B3 and minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus. It is one of the “super fruits”.
How to Eat Dragon Fruits?
Pitaya fruit can be eaten raw, cooked into dishes, or blended into smoothies.
Here are some options:
Eat it raw: Dragon fruit can be eaten raw and is often enjoyed as a refreshing snack. Simply cut the fruit in half, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, and enjoy.
Add it to smoothies: Dragon fruit can be a great addition to smoothies for an extra boost of vitamins and fiber. Cut the fruit into small pieces and blend it with other fruits and liquids.
Use it in salads: The sweet and refreshing flavor of dragon fruit can add a nice contrast to savory salads. Simply slice the fruit and add it to your favorite salad.
Make a fruit bowl: Dragon fruit can be used as an ingredient in fruit bowls, which are a popular breakfast or snack option. Cut the fruit into small pieces and mix it with other fruits like pineapple, mango, and kiwi.
Make dragon fruit sorbet: If you have a sweet tooth, you can make dragon fruit sorbet by blending the fruit with a sweetener like honey or agave and freezing it.
No matter how you choose to eat it, dragon fruits is a healthy and delicious addition to any diet.
How to Prepare Dragon Fruit
This tropical fruit with a bright pink or yellow outer skin and white or red flesh speckled with small black seeds. It has a mild, slightly sweet taste and can be enjoyed on its own or added to a variety of recipes. Here are some steps to prepare dragon fruit:
Select a ripe dragon fruit: Look for a fruit that has a bright, even color and is slightly soft to the touch. It should also have green leaves at the top.
Cut the fruit in half: Use a sharp knife to cut the fruit in half lengthwise.
Scoop out the flesh: Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the fruit. The flesh should easily separate from the skin.
Cut the flesh into cubes or slices: You can cut the flesh into cubes or slices to use in recipes or enjoy as a snack.
Remove the seeds: If you prefer not to eat the seeds, you can use a strainer or colander to separate them from the flesh.(optional)
Serve or use in recipes: Dragon fruit can be eaten on its own or added to smoothies, salads, or other recipes.
Remember to store any leftover dragon fruit in the refrigerator, where it will last for a few days.
It is easy to explain why this tropical fruit is a star for your health. Not only is it low in calories, but it is also an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, and riboflavin.
Other parts of the fruit also boast other nutrients; For example, nuts contain healthy fats, which are a good source of skin fiber.
Nutrients: 100 grams of pitaya has
- 13 grams carbohydrates
- 2 grams protein
- 3 grams dietary fiber
- 40 milligrams magnesium (10 percent DV)
- milligrams riboflavin (8 percent DV)
- 7 milligrams iron (4 percent DV)
- 5 milligrams vitamin C (3 percent DV)
- 4 milligrams niacin (2 percent DV)
- 18 milligrams calcium(1 percent DV)
What are the types:
There are different types of pitaya, each with a different taste and appearance, and common types are as follows.
Yellow dragon fruits– white flesh and black seeds. It is known as pitaya Amarilla.
White dragon Fruits– Vibrant Pink skin, white flesh, and inside with black seeds It is known as Pitaya Blanca
Red Dragon Fruits– It has reddish-pink skin and red flesh, black seeds inside. It is known as Pitaya Roja
What are the Benefits of Dragon Fruits
Fights Ageing Skin
Dragon fruit has excellent source of antioxidants that can treat sunburn, dry skin and acne. Vitamin C content helps to look younger. You can make Dragon Fruit Juice and drink it once a day for radiant skin.
Related: How to get rid of acne at Home
Fruits are high in fiber, which helps maintain blood sugar levels and prevents problems in diabetics. Eating this fruit regularly can help balance blood sugar levels and prevent further medical effects in diabetics.
Studies have shown that it has a positive effect on oxidative stress, suggesting that it should be used to reduce diabetes-related complications. Further research on the benefits of insulin resistance in volunteer-assisted mice has found that eating dragon fruit reduces the risk of diabetes and diabetes symptoms.
Related: Best Foods for Diabetes
Dragon Fruit is packed with flavonoids and vitamin C that help the immune system. Due to high content of antioxidants, that eliminates free radicals. It contains Calcium, Protein, Vitamin B2, B1, B3, Phosphorus, Iron, Fiber and Niacin, which help maintain a healthy immune system.
Reduces Risks of Cancer
Dragon fruits contain Phyto albumin, vitamin C and minerals, which are highly valued for their antioxidant activity and anticancer properties. It helps prevent cancer caused by lycopene content. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which gives it a wonderful color and studies show that it has a chemical effect on breast, prostate, liver, lung and skin cancers.
Good for Healthy Heart
By promoting good cholesterol, dragon fruit lowers bad cholesterol, making it a good cholesterol-lowering food. In addition, it maintains a healthy heart as a good source of monounsaturated fat. The small seeds found in dragon fruits are a source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that omega-6 and omega-3 reduce triglyceride and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Good for Digestive System
Everyone knows that fiber supports the digestion of dragon fruit. It helps in bowel movement. It prevents constipation and IBS problems. You can get more fiber from the skin of the dragon fruit. It contains oligosaccharides, which act as prebiotics to aid digestion and promote digestion and gut health. Active compounds such as prebiotics in the diet can help prevent cancer, esophagus, vascular disease, hypersensitivity and degenerative diseases.
Among all other fruits Dragon fruits has more calcium, so it increases your calcium requirement to keep your bones healthy, bone mineral and prevent osteoporosis
According to a study published in the Journal of Food Chemistry, the beta-carotene content of these fruits can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts and protect the eye from harmful free radicals.
Dragon fruits contain iron, B vitamins and folate which is good for pregnant women. Studies show that iron helps prevent hemoglobin deficiency and anemia. B vitamins and folate can help prevent birth defects and boost energy.
Related: Is it Safe Exercises During Pregnancy
If you want to keep your hair health and strong, you can add dragon fruit or dragon fruit extract powder to you daily diet. Because due to high content of nutrients helps reduce the damage done to the hair by chemicals in artificial hair color. It helps to improve the texture and make the hair shine.
Related: Benefits of Glycerin for Hair
Protein is essential for maintaining healthy body function. Dragon fruit is a great source of protein. Proteins are metabolized by enzymes in the body, repairing the cell, strengthening metabolic functions, helping with weight loss and increasing muscle mass.
Dragon fruits have antibacterial and antifungal properties that increase immunity. It increases the number of white blood cells in the body, protects the body from toxins and prevents bacteria and viruses from multiplying in the immune system. It promotes cell recovery and increases pain and soreness.
If you are suffering from asthma such as asthma, it is time to include dragon fruit to your diet. Dragon fruit capsules are available in providing vitamin C and antioxidants. There is some evidence that high levels of fruits and leaves have a positive effect on respiratory problems.
How to Select and Store Dragon Fruit for the Best Taste
To get the best-tasting dragon fruit, it’s important to select and store it properly. Here are some tips:
Selecting dragon fruits: Look for dragon fruits that is bright in color, whether it’s pink, red or yellow. The skin should be free of any bruises or blemishes. The fruit should also give slightly to pressure, but not be too soft.
Storing dragon fruits: Dragon fruits is a delicate fruit that should be handled with care. Store it in the refrigerator at around 45-50°F (7-10°C) until you’re ready to eat it. It’s best to store it in a paper bag or wrapped in a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Avoid storing it near strong-smelling fruits or vegetables, as it can absorb their odors.
Ripening : If your dragon fruit is not quite ripe, you can leave it at room temperature until it ripens. When the fruit is ripe, it should have a slightly sweet aroma.
Using ripe: Once your dragon fruits is ripe, it’s best to eat it within a few days. The fruit should be slightly soft to the touch, but not mushy. Cut it open and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. You can use it in a variety of recipes, or eat it on its own.
By following these tips, you can select and store your dragon fruit properly for the best taste and texture.
Side Effects Of Dragon Fruit
is a nutritious and low-calorie fruit that is generally safe to consume for most people. However, some individuals may experience side effects when eating dragon fruit.
Here are some potential side effects of dragon fruit:
1. Allergic reaction: Some people may be allergic to dragon fruit, which can cause symptoms such as hives, itching, and difficulty breathing.
2. Diarrhea: Eating too much dragon fruit can cause diarrhea due to its high fiber content.
3. Abdominal discomfort: Some people may experience abdominal discomfort such as bloating, cramping, or gas after consuming dragon fruit.
4. Interference with medication: Dragon fruit contains a type of plant compounds called betalains, which may interfere with certain medications such as anti-arrhythmic drugs.
5. Red or dark-colored urine and feces: This is a harmless side effect that may occur due to the pigments in dragon fruit.
It’s important to note that these side effects are rare and usually mild. If you experience any unusual symptoms after consuming dragon fruit, stop eating it and consult your doctor.
In conclusion, dragon fruit is a nutritious fruit that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has a unique appearance and flavor, making it a popular choice for adding color and texture to various dishes. Dragon fruit is easy to prepare and can be enjoyed on its own, in smoothies, salads, or as a garnish. With its many health benefits and versatility, dragon fruit is a great addition to a healthy and balanced diet.