Dragon Fruit Benefits: Dragon fruit is may look intimidating at first, but it is a powerhouse of nutrition that promotes overall health and wellness. Dragon Fruit Benefits not just ends here. Over the past few years, this tropical fruit has gained a lot of popularity. This zero-cholesterol fruit possesses exemplary antioxidant properties that make it one of the best inclusions in the diet. Check this article to find more on its nutrition, benefits, and methods of consumption.
Dragon Fruit Origin
Dragon fruit is native to the tropical areas of Central America, and Mexico. Now, it is cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of all parts of the world. Along with Dragon Fruit Benefits, it has a taste that resembles a combination of a pear and kiwi. It is called by various names such as pitaya, strawberry pear, and pitahaya.
The fruit has a vibrant red skin with green-colored scales that gives it a scary appearance. Due to this reason, the fruit has got its name as “dragon”. Inside the scaly outer layer, lies a white or red-colored flesh with black seeds. This exotic fruit has a mild flavor and a crunchy texture. It is highly refreshing and beneficial.
Dragon Fruit Benefits – Nutrition Facts
Dragon fruit is low in calories and full of antioxidants. Due to the presence of a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals, it is seen as a healthier substitute for high-calorie fruits. Dragon fruit is a superfood that has a remarkable property to manage cardiac health, diabetes, and cholesterol. Not just the pulp, the seeds of this fruit are full of omega 3 fatty acids that aids in the overall well-being of your body. Let us learn about the nutrition facts and health benefits of this fruit.
Dragon Fruit Composition
Among other Dragon Fruit Benefits, it has got ample amounts of magnesium, fiber, and iron. Every 100 grams serving of the fruit provides you following nutrition:
A high level of antioxidants (1) in the fruit pulp safeguards your cells from free radicals that are the cause of aging and severe diseases. Some of these antioxidants are:
- Betalains: It has a deep red pigment that works by preventing LDL “bad” cholesterol from getting damaged or oxidized.
- Hydroxycinnamates: Studies show that this compound demonstrates anticancer activity
- Flavonoids: This is a large, and diverse group of antioxidants that promotes improved brain health and reduces the chances of a heart ailment. It protects specific forms of fatty acids from free radicals in the body.
Dragon fruit contains a high amount of fiber (2) that aids in the maintenance of the good bacteria in the GI tract of the body. The presence of prebiotic fiber improves metabolic rate and promotes the development of good bacteria in the gut. Some of the other ways in which fiber helps the body are by treating metabolic syndrome, normalizing blood sugar levels, and lowering liver enzyme markers in the body.
Vitamins And Minerals
The high level of vitamin C is another major factor that makes it a super fruit. This vitamin helps in the management of multiple physiological functions in the body. High vitamin C levels reduce stiffness in arteries and damage due to free-radicals in the body. It strengthens immunity, prevents infection, aids in iron absorption, stimulates collagen production, and promotes radiant and healthy skin.
Health Benefits of Eating Dragon Fruit
As told earlier, dragon fruit is a powerhouse of varied forms of nutrition. Here are some of the benefits that you can reap from consuming it.
Low in Cholesterol
Dragon Fruit Benefits are generally significant because of very low levels of cholesterol, trans-fat, and saturated fats that can contribute towards keeping your heart healthy in the long run. People who are on a weight loss regime should incorporate this fruit in their daily diet. It is metabolized easily in the body and keeps you hale and hearty. Dragon fruit is the ideal fruit that helps in the management of your body weight and gratifies your sweet tooth.
For a sound digestive system, you should start eating dragon fruit daily (3). The high fiber in it speeds up digestion and facilitates easy movement of bowels in the body. It is a natural remedy for preventing constipation. Its seeds and flesh contain a healthy protein that gives a feeling of fullness and contentment. In this way, it prevents frequent snacking between meals and manages body weight.
Boosts intestinal health
Our intestine has thousands of beneficial bacteria that aids in the digestion of food. As a part of Dragon fruit benefits, it enhances digestion as well as nourish these healthy gut-friendly bacteria and keeps you healthy. The presence of a specific carbohydrate named oligosaccharides stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. This action enhances digestion, improves immune system function, and lowers the possibilities of intestinal infections.
Rich in Antioxidants
As a item among Dragon Fruit Benefits, this intense bright fruit has got plenty of phytonutrients that offer an effective ability to your body to fight against free radicals. It is capable of damaging the destructive cancer-causing cells in the body. Eating this fruit on regular basis delays aging and preserves your youth for a longer time.
For a healthy and young heart, dragon fruit is recommended by doctors as well. The rich amounts of antioxidants and fiber prevent the blocking of arteries due to the deposition of plaque and maintaining adequate blood circulation in the body.
Dragon fruit is considered to be one of the best foods for a healthy heart. It has loads of dietary fiber that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular as well as a coronary heart ailment. It reduces bad cholesterol levels and maintains healthy blood pressure in the body. It is a rich source of healthy monounsaturated fats that keep your heart in the best working state.
Antioxidants work amazingly to give you a bright, healthy, and youthful skin. The pulp of this fruit is loaded with antioxidants that make it a key ingredient in skincare remedies. High vitamin C content makes this fruit a potent topical cream. Applying the fruit pulp on inflamed and swollen regions on the face gives you the best relief.
Dragon fruit benefits for Diabetes
Dragon Fruit Benefits possesses specific qualities that make it beneficial for diabetics. The high fiber content in this fruit stabilizes blood sugar, regulates diabetes, and suppresses a drastic increase in blood sugar levels in the body.
Potassium plays an important role in balancing pH value, and acid-alkaline levels in the body. High amounts of this mineral make it an ideal food for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes patient. It helps them in the protection of their kidney, and heart.
Apart from modern day researched Dragon Fruit Benefits, According to ancient beauty practices, the application of flesh of dragon fruit on the face treats the prominent signs of aging such as spots, acne, and dullness. The addition of honey into the freshly obtained pulp of dragon fruit makes it natural and effective anti-aging masks.
The rich level of antioxidants in its pulp tightens loose skin and makes it supple and bright. By delaying the aging process, it gives you a blemish-free and younger looking skin naturally.
Maintains bone structure
Calcium is a vital mineral that aids in preserving the structure of bones in the body. As dragon fruit has both these minerals in adequate amounts, its regular consumption promotes healthy functioning of cellular, nervous and electrical functions in the body.
Protects Colored Hair
Treating your colored or chemically-treated hair with the juice of dragon fruit protects them. It also opens hair follicles so that they get adequate air to breathe. The result is smooth and healthy hair naturally.
Another important benefit among dragon fruit benefits is help in maintaining the mobility of your joints. The pulp of this fruit exhibits incredible anti-inflammatory properties that make it beneficial for the treatment of arthritis. Eating dragon fruit regularly prevents immobility and irritation in joints.
Soothe Sunburned Skin
Dragon fruit has rich amounts of vitamin B3 (4) that makes it effective in the treatment of sunburn. When the pulp of this fruit is combined with honey and cucumber juice, then it soothes inflamed skin, releases heat from the impacted area, and moisturizes tanned skin.
How to eat Dragon Fruit?
Looking at its thick and leathery appearance, you may think it is hard to eat a dragon fruit but in reality, it is very simple.
Green colored dragon fruit is unripe. It is not suitable for eating purposes. Choose a ripe dragon fruit with bright red, and uniformly colored skin. Also, note that the dragon fruit should not be mushy. A bright red dragon fruit that is not overripe is an ideal choice. Dragon fruit is also available in the form of pre-peeled, powdered, or cubes on the market.
You can enjoy this fruit on its own or in combination with other foods. Let us see some of the ways to eat a dragon fruit.
- Use a sharp knife. Cut straight through it and slice it into two halves. Now with the help of a spoon, take out its pulp. Though the outer peel is nutritious and edible, it tastes bitter. So, you can discard it. Cut the pulp into pieces and eat it in the form of fruit salad. You can even add lettuce, tomato, oranges to make a colorful salad. A vinegar-mustard dressing will make it more delicious. This light and refreshing salad make it a perfect evening snack.
- Another way to eat dragon fruit is to peel it, take out the pulp, and slice it into small-sized pieces. Now add it into flavored Greek yogurt. Blend it into a smoothie. You can also add chopped nuts, and apricots to make it a crunchy and a deliciously creamy smoothie. This smoothie can be consumed as a healthy breakfast or as your post-workout drink. Alternatively, you can also buy dragon fruit in powdered form and add it to your smoothies.
Morning is the ideal time to consume this fruit as the digestive system quickly metabolizes down the sugar in fruit and offers all the necessary nutrients to your body.
Commonly asked questions about Dragon Fruit Benefits
Can I eat dragon fruit every day?
A. Yes. It is safe to eat dragon fruit every day. Being rich in vitamins and minerals, it promotes the healthy functioning of the body. As anything in excess is bad for health, the same is the case with dragon fruit. Do not over consume it as high fiber content can cause digestion issues such as bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence.
Is dragon fruit high in sugar?
No. Among Dragon Fruit Benefits is low in calories. A majority of the calories that you gain from this fruit come from carbs and not sugar. In every six-ounce of dragon fruit, you get only thirteen grams of the natural form of sugar from it. The complex sugars present in the fruit is far better than the processed form of sugar.
How do you eat dragon fruit skin?
The skin of the dragon fruit is hard and can’t be eaten directly just like an apple or any other fruit. Being edible and rich in nutrients, it does not make sense to throw its skin away. There are two ways to consume the skin of this fruit. The first method is to buy dragon fruit skin extract and consume it by adding into tea.
The second method is to take the dragon fruit skin. Cut it into small-sized pieces. Let it dry under the heat of the sun for one or two days. Now take these completely dried pieces and add them into boiling water. Steep it for some time and strain it. Your healthful dragon fruit skin tea is ready. Drink it twice a day.
Why is dragon fruit so expensive?
One of the reasons behind the high price of the dragon fruit is due to availability at some of the specialty markets and online. The demand for this fruit is higher than its supply. The cost incurred in its import can also add up to its overall cost and make it expensive.
Are Dragon Fruit Benefits Real ?
While looking for Dragon fruit benefits, it is a nutrient-dense and flavorful fruit that improves your overall health. This high prebiotic fiber, and low-calorie superfood, is loaded with vital minerals, and vitamins that make it a popular preference for health-conscious people. Simple to eat, the delicious Dragon fruit can be added to a variety of foods to make healthy recipes. All these benefits make this fruit worth giving a try.