What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit variety belongs to the family of cactus species or cactaceae family or climbing cacti. It grows on the hylocereus cactus.
It is also known as Pitaya and the Honolulu queen. Pitaya plants grow well in dry areas with enough sunlight.
The Pitaya plant is a long day plant and its flowers only bloom at night. Because of this fact, this plant is also known as the moonflower or Lady of the Night.
It has large white flowers that are 20cm long. These plants need organic soil to grow well.
It is a tropical fruit having an oval or elliptical appearance and this fruit was named after its appearance only — the name ‘dragon fruit’ is derived from Chinese mythology.
It’s unique in its appearance, where the spikes resemble fire and the scales resemble that of a dragon. The pointy “scales” around the oval-shaped fruit are reminiscent of a dragon.
It contains many antioxidants that are essential for good health and healthy lifestyle. It also contains a number of vitamins and minerals. Let’s try to understand more about the taste of this unusual fruit in details.
Originally this fruit cactus grew and found in Central America and Southern Mexico. But, It is now widespread and widely cultivated throughout the different regions of the world.
In Central America this fruit is known as Pitaya fruit. In the early 19th century, the French brought it to Southeast Asia and from that time these fruits have also been grown in Thailand, Vietnam, and Australia.
These days it is even cultivated in India also. In Asia people know this fruit in the name of strawberry pear. Now, it is grown across all over the planet. You can buy this fruit throughout every part of U.S.
How does Dragon Fruit Taste?
The flesh color varies in different types of this fruit. Both the red and the white in colour flesh having edible crunchy black seeds have a delicious, textured, colorful, and distinctive featured unusual look fruit.
When it comes to taste, this fruit does not have a definite taste when it is unripe; that is why most people say it tastes like nothing or it has no taste.
Ripe dragon fruit has a textured slightly sweet flavour syrupy taste that reminds people of a cross between a pear and a watermelon, with the consistency of a kiwi or on overall taste point of view, it is similar to the taste of combination of pear and kiwi.
The unripe pitaya fruits are taste blend with little sourness. However, its taste does not live up its exquisite looks and picking a ripe one is very difficult. Moreover, it is not an easy task to tell the fruit’s real taste because the taste can differ from person to person as per their taste maturity level. It may taste very sweet to one person or may taste mild to very plain to another, so the flavor of this fruit is a bit elusive and challenging.
Dragon Fruit Nutrition Values
Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants and nutritious food with low calories. It contains high level of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and plant compounds that help reduce the risk of cancer.
The significant level of vitamin C present in this fruits boosts the immune system of the body and helps fighting the chronic diseases.
According to the latest data and report of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Dragon fruit nutritional value per 100 grams of serving is as follows:
The Nutritional Value Per 100 gram of Ripe Dragon Fruit
|Nutrient||Amount per 100g|
|Dietary Fiber||2.9 g|
|Sugar (total)||7.65 g|
|Vitamin C||2.5 mg|
|Calcium (Ca)||18 miligrams (mg)|
|Iron (Fe)||0.74 g|
Dragon Fruit: Types and Varieties
Glycemic Index of Dragon Fruit
Glycemic Index (GI) can be a number between 0 – 100 which is used to indicate the rise of blood glucose levels after 2 hours of eating food.
Low GI foods are those food with a range less than or equal to 55.
The high GI range is 70, and the middle range is between 56 and 69.
It measures carbohydrate content (total carbohydrates-fiber content) in food.
The glycemic content of dragon fruit is similar to a banana’s 48-52. Therefore it has a low Glycemic Index and diabetic people can eat.
It’s good for diabetes patients and is safe to eat. You should limit its intake as its GI (Glycemic Index) is in the middle range. Diabetic people can eat this fruit in a limited quantity to get benefited from the other nutrients and high fiber present in the fruit.
12 Dragon Fruit Health Benefits
This fruit is full of nutrients, vitamins, and disease-fighting antioxidants. It offers several potential potential health benefits. Intake this fruit on a regular basis can have a positive effect on your health and wellness.
1. Dragon Fruit Boosts Immunity
The immunity improving factor in fruit arises from the fact that it has rich in Vitamin C content. Immunity Boosting is one a vital importance of this fruit benefits.
It is also high in antioxidant, which supports to keep the free radicals at the curb. Also it has vitamins iron, protein, calcium, phosphorus, fiber, niacin and B1, B2, B3 which improve your immune system high level.
Red dragon fruit is full of protein and antioxidants (the betacyanins), carotene, and lycopene. Dry red dragon fruit has ten times more nutritive than the fresh fruit.
The benefits of this fruit contain improving the health of the skin and eyes, protective the skin from ultraviolet damage. Intake of too much fresh Red Dragon fruit can cause a laxative effect.
The rich vitamin C and other antioxidants content in this fruit can make your immune system strong.
2. Dragon Fruit Improves Cardiovascular Health
It contains antioxidant and fiber, which support to maintain your heart strong and healthy.
They fight with the plaque blockage in the arteries and maintain the blood flow in the body. The Vitamin B3 present in this fruit lowers the bad cholesterol.
The monounsaturated fats found in this fruit save your heart in better condition by decreasing the low-density lipoprotein level, while growing the high density lipoprotein level. Cardiovascular health improvement is one an importance factors in this fruit.
3. Dragon Fruit Helps in Diabetes Treatment
The fiber fullness in this fruit also supports to balance blood sugar levels and stabilize normal blood sugar.
It can avoid sugar spikes in diabetics that commonly happen after intake high glycemic index foods, which will support to stop health problems commonly related to diabetes.
Helping diabetes control is one a prime role includes in this fruit benefits.
It’s normally high in fiber and fat-free. It makes for a healthy snack as it can aid keep you full for longer between meals.
It aids lower your blood sugar. You can also get ideas about other 21 best foods for diabetes control in our article.
4. Dragon Fruit Helps Digestion
High fiber content is present in this fruit. This high fiber content helps in the digestion of the food we eat. It is soluble fiber will add substance to your stool and aids control in the bowel movement.
So consuming this fruit can support you from preventing conditions like diarrhea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
It has prebiotics, which are foods that feed the strong bacteria called probiotics in your gut.
Taking more prebiotics in your system can increase the balance of good to bad bacteria in your intestines.
Exactly, this fruit boosts the growth of the probiotics lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. In your gut, these and other supportive bacteria can kill disease-causing bacteria and viruses. They also support digest food.
5. Eating Dragon Fruit Helps Constipation
Helping constipation is another great factor that includes in this fruit benefits.
This fruit is a nutritious food and rich in antioxidants while having low calories. It is high in vitamins, minerals, nutrients and plant compounds that can reduce the risk of cancer. The significant level of vitamin C present in this fruits helps fighting the chronic diseases boosting the immune system of the body.
This fruit is loaded with fiber, provides 7 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving, making it a great choice to control and manage your weight aiding digestion as it promotes healthy bowels.
It is one of the few fruits that contain iron, and can help raise iron levels in the body and help to fight anemia. It also increases iron absorption combining with vitamin C presents in it.
Since the nutrients of raw pitaya has not been fully researched, analyzed or published. But in 2019, the USDA Food Data Central database reports showing that a 100 gram amount of pitaya or dragon fruit contains 60 calories, 82% DV carbohydrates, 4% DV protein, and 11% DV (Daily Value) each for vitamin C and calcium.
6. Dragon Fruit Prevents Cancer
Preventing cancer is another awesome benefit of this fruit.
Lycopene and carotene present in this fruit have number of anti-carcinogenic qualities.
These anti-carcinogenic elements support you to decrease the risks of prostate cancer as well as size of tumors in the body. Also the skins of this fruit are rich in polyphenols, chemicals that protect from certain cancers.
It’s high in antioxidants like phenolic acid, flavonoids, and betacyanin. These natural substances support your cells from harm by free radicals that can lead to diseases like premature aging and cancer.
7. Dragon Fruit Helps in Weight Loss
The mixture of high fiber and low calories in this fruit improvements your metabolism rate, which can support you to lose weight faster. Also the vitamin C in it benefits you to burn the fats.
Helping in weight loss is a great benefits that includes in the list of this fruit benefits.
8. Dragon Fruit Reduces Sign of Aging
People try several remedies for skin tightening, wrinkles and sagging skin. Nobody wants to get old. Yes, helping in reduces sign of aging is a great benefits included in this fruit list benefits.
This fruit is high in antioxidants which support fights the free radicals and reduces the aging process.
It makes your skin look smooth and young .Using this fruit you can make a face mask to anti-aging masks.
9. Dragon Fruit Prevents Acne
Acne prevention is also one benefit listed in this fruit benefits list.
This fruit is rich in vitamin C and therefore it becomes a great topical ointment for avoidance of pimples and acne.
You can cut this fruit and make paste from it. Apply paste all over the reddened area of your skin or face, and then wash off it with water. Repeat it two times a day for better results.
10. Dragon Fruit Prevents Anemia
Iron present in this fruit can help improving the haemoglobin levels in anaemic people.
It also helps in the making of red blood cells which supports in proper oxygenation of vital organs.
It can increase your iron levels. Iron is essential for moving oxygen over your body and giving you energy.
The vitamin C contain in this fruit benefits your body take in and use the iron.
11. Dragon Fruit Helps to Maintain Eye Health
Beta-carotene present in this fruit and that is required by your retina for low light vision and colour vision.
It aids to support the health of your corneas and save the cells of your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.
It prevents macular degeneration and cataract formation by safe keeping your eyes save from harmful radicals.
12. Dragon Fruit Strengthen Bones and Teeth
Dragon fruit is high in phosphorus and calcium which maintain the bone-mineral density and manage your bone healthy.
Calcium and Phosphorus make stronger your gum and supports keeping your teeth intact.
Dragon Fruit Health Risks and Caution
If you are experiencing an allergic reaction after eating dragon fruit, you should stop eating immediately.
The signs of this fruit allergy include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Itchy and tingling feeling in mouth
- Swelling of the lips or tongue
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