Do you love Dragon Fruit? In this article we will explore Dragon Fruit Benefits for overall health and learn how to eat it right way. So let’s start –
Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that is known for its vibrant sweet pulp and scaly red covering. It is also called by a few other names as the belle of the night, strawberry pear, cactus fruit, pitaya, moon lovers, etc. Its distinctive look and amazing superfood powers make it a popular fruit among the health-conscious people. Fortunately, you don’t need to live in tropical regions to relish the magical advantages of the dragon fruit.
It is available in frozen or fresh form in supermarkets all over the world. The fruit has ample amounts of antioxidants and vitamins. Furthermore, it has zero cholesterol, and low calories that make it an ideal snack. In this article, we will look more at the nutritional facts, and health benefits of Dragon fruit in detail.
About Dragon Fruit
This fruit belongs to the cactus family. The reason behind its name is the dragon scales that are present all over its body. It is cultivated and exported mostly in Southeast Asian parts of the world such as Vietnam and Thailand. The yellow or green spiky outer layer enfolds a red or white fleshy pulp that is speckled with black seeds. The fruit is extremely refreshing.
This tasty fruit stimulates the sensory taste buds, metabolism, and assist in digestion. Though it may look intimidating at first to eat this prickly fruit, in reality, it is very simple. All you require is to remove its scaly red peel and scoop out the inner flesh. Enjoy it raw or add it to your dishes and beverages.
Types Of Dragon Fruit
The dragon fruit comes in various different types and forms to choose from. These are:
- Red outer skin with white pulp
- Red outer skin with red pulp
- Yellow outer skin with white pulp
Based on their size, species, and pulp, they can be either sour or sweet in taste.
Nutritional Composition of Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is the ideal fruit for weight loss. It is extremely low in calories. It also has plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, minerals, and fiber in it. The fruit also has phytonutrients that help in the prevention of various ailments.
The weight of the dragon fruit depends on its variety and place of cultivation. Normally, it weighs around 150 grams to 600 grams. Around 60 percent of this fruit is edible. It is packed with antioxidants and fiber. It also has specific health vitalizing vitamins and minerals that can benefit your health in numerous ways.
Amount per 100 grams % DV (Daily Value) Calories
Water: 87 grams
Fiber: 3 grams 12 %
Carbs: 11.0 grams 3.4 %
Fat: 0.4 grams
Protein: 1.1 grams 2.1 %
Vitamin B1: 0.04 milligrams 2.7 %
Vitamin B2: 0.05 milligrams 2.9 %
Vitamin B3: 0.16 milligrams 0.8 %
Vitamin C: 20.5 milligrams 34.2 %
Iron: 1.9 milligrams 10.6 %
Calcium: 8.5 milligrams 0.9 %
Phosphorus: 22.5 milligrams 2.3 %
Dragon Fruit Benefits
Dragon fruit is a fiber-rich fruit that boosts the metabolic rate of a person. Due to this property, it aids in weight reduction in a person. Fiber also helps enhance digestion, and reduce the aging process in the body. The high mineral content improves bone density and maintains the right electrolyte and fluid balance. The high antioxidant levels keep the immune system strong and healthy. By increasing the production of good bacteria in the intestine, prebiotics in the fruit contribute to a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Let us learn more about dragon fruit benefits for health and why you should make it a part of your regular diet.
1. Fights Severe Disease
Free radicals are unbalanced molecules that are responsible for cellular destruction in the body. It results in inflammation and a variety of ailments in the body. Dragon fruit shows remarkable antioxidant and anti-biotic nature.
It improves the immune system and keeps fungal and microbial infections at bay. Antioxidants are a nutrient that works by counterbalancing free radicals and preventing inflammation and cellular damage in the body.
2. High in Antioxidants
Dragon fruit has good amounts of vitamin C that are a powerful antioxidant. It strengthens immunity, and assist in the absorption of iron in the body. This vitamin also helps produce collagen that promotes whiter teeth and glowing skin naturally.
This antioxidant helps strengthen immunity levels in the body and prevents people from getting sick. Rich in antioxidants, this fruit aids in the prevention of severe ailments that includes heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc.
3. Reduces Possibility Of Cancer
Another advantage of eating dragon fruit is that it can successfully treat cancer in the body. The immune-boosting properties of vitamin C make it effective in the prevention of cancer-causing free radicals in the body. It has high amounts of antioxidants as Vitamin C, lycopene, betalain, and beta-carotene that combat oxidative stress and suppresses cancer cells in the body. Research has validated its effectiveness in breast cancer and colon cancer.
Besides giving it a vibrant red color, the presence of lycopene and beta-carotene also helps lower the risk of a heart ailment in the body. Eating dragon fruit is seen to be more effective than consuming antioxidants in pill form. Due to this benefit, dragon fruit is very much recommended.
4. Rich in Fiber
It has been scientifically proven that diets that are packed in dietary fiber offer effective protection against cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Dragon food is packed with dietary fibers that are nondigestible carbs that offer a vast list of health benefits to a person. It is not just beneficial for the heart but also maintains the right body weight and blood pressure in the body.
100 g of the fruit provides 2.5 grams of fiber. It is eleven percent of the daily value. This is a natural form of fiber that is more effective than fiber supplements. Its regular consumption helps boost digestion. It also helps a person to achieve healthy body weight, which, in turn, helps manage type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and heart ailments naturally.
Eating dragon fruit regularly takes care of the recommended daily intake of fiber and normalize bowel movements. People who have a slow digestive system or on a low-fiber diet can still eat moderate amounts of this fruit. Make sure you stay properly hydrated to avoid any stomach-related discomfort.
5. Maintains a Healthy Gut
There are around a hundred trillion diverse microorganisms present in the gut. They comprise of over four-hundred species of bacteria. This vast community of microorganisms benefits your health in a multitude of ways. When their levels imbalances in the body then it causes the development of intestinal issues in the body.
Heart issues and respiratory ailments are a few of them. Dragon fruit is good for your intestine. It contains prebiotics (a form of fiber) named oligosaccharide that helps maintain the fine balance of bacteria in the gut. This fiber helps develop good gut bacteria and constitute to better gut health.
Regular consumption of prebiotics lessens the frequency of episodes of diarrhea or stomach infection. They can ease signs of an inflammatory bowel ailment and colon cancer naturally.
6. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Another important advantage of eating dragon fruit is that it assists in enhancing cardiovascular health in a person. The seeds of the heart-healthy fruit have ample amounts of healthy fats as omega-6 and omega-3fatty acids.
Regular consumption of the fruit lowers the chances of heart attack and stroke in the body. This makes it beneficial in contributing to a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. The nutrients contained in the fruit cleans the arteries and regulate the circulation of blood to and from the heart.
7. Boost The Immune System
This is one of the major Dragon Fruit benefits. A stronger immune system is essential to keep you protected from a wide range of health ailments. It gives the ability to your body to fight against a wide range of infections in the body. It also helps improve the quality of the diet.
Dragon fruit is packed with flu-fighting vitamin C and flavonoids that make it the ideal combination to boost the immune system. The fruit has more amount of vitamin C than carrot. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, and B3, and minerals such as calcium, niacin, phosphorus, iron, and a healthy dosage of fiber and protein. This impressive nutritional composition helps in the smooth operation of the immune system.
The presence of carotenoids, antioxidants, and carotenoids in dragon fruit neutralizes free radicals and strengthens the immune system. Eating this fruit defend the white blood cells and prevent their destruction. In this way, it helps prevent infection by safeguarding your overall health.
8. Promotes Youthful and Healthy Skin
The dragon fruit is an exotic fruit that is not just beneficial for the internal body but also for the outer body. It has good amounts of antioxidants and vitamins that enhance your skin complexion and promotes healthy skin naturally. Due to the presence of skin-enriching compounds, the fruit is also used in the formation of natural beauty remedies.
The pulp of dragon fruit has high amounts of antioxidants and vitamins. Applying its flesh on the skin slows down the aging, reduces blemishes, and add firmness to the skin. The result is younger-looking skin naturally. The paste of the dragon fruit is beneficial in the treatment of sunburn and acne.
9. Enhance Iron Levels In the Body
Dragon fruit is loaded with iron. This nutrient is vital to transport oxygen to different parts of the body. It also helps play a critical role in metabolizing food into energy. A single serving of dragon fruit provides eight percent of the recommended daily intake. In addition to high levels of iron, the fruit also has adequate amounts of Vitamin C that help the body to absorb iron. These attributes make dragon fruit beneficial in treating anemia.
10. Rich in Minerals
Dragon fruit provides an impressive concentration of minerals especially potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Calcium and potassium help maintain bone structure in the body. It helps regulate cellular, nervous and electrical operations of the body. This nutrient also helps maintain the right water, acid, and pH levels in the body. This fruit is especially advised for diabetes as it helps keep their kidneys and heart in a sound state.
Dragon fruit is also a rich source of magnesium. A cup of this fruit can meet 18% of the recommended dietary intake of the body. Magnesium is an important mineral that helps metabolize the food into a usable form of energy.
It helps muscles to contract, form bones, and create DNA in the body. Adequate levels of this nutrient in the body even lower the chances of stroke and heart disease in the body. It also helps build stronger bones and maintain the density of bones in the body.
11. An Ideal Weight Loss Fruit
100 grams of dragon fruit provides only 52 calories. It has high fiber that keeps you fuller for a longer time. Due to this low-calorie composition, it makes it an ideal replacement for your ordinary fruit. Dragon fruit is very low in cholesterol, trans fat, and saturated fats.
It also has high amounts of thiols, carotenoids, tocopherols, polyphenols, and glucosinolates that helps lower blood sugar levels in the body. This refreshing fruit helps maintain a healthy heart too. All these qualities make it an ideal fruit to include in a weight loss diet.
How to Eat Dragon Fruit In Raw Form?
Dragon fruit has a thick, rubbery skin. Cutting it and eating the pulp may look daunting at first, but it is very simple. You should select the fruit that is perfectly ripe. The color of the dragon fruit makes it easy to distinguish between the ripe and unripe ones.
The unripe dragon fruit has green color whereas the ripe one looks bright red. It is normal to see some black spots on it. However, if you notice that there are several bruise-like marks then it indicates that it is overripe. Go for a ripe dragon fruit that is soft but not soppy.
To eat its pulp, you should cut it in two parts lengthwise. Use a sharp knife for this purpose. Scoop out the pulp using a spoon. Another way to do it is to cut it into dices by making horizontal and vertical lines into the flesh without cutting into the skin.
Push the upper covering behind so that you can notice the cubes clearly. Now remove the cubes using your fingers or spoon. Whichever way you choose to eat it, you are sure to get remarkable benefits from it.
Some Delicious Recipes With Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit can be eaten raw. However, eating it regularly in this way can become boring after some time. So, you can try adding it to your healthy snacks to make it more tempting. Below we are sharing with you some excellent and surprisingly simple recipes to prepare with dragon fruit.
1. Oriental Fruit Salad
This is a perfect recipe for lunch. It feels very refreshing and light on the stomach. Pick your favorite fruits such as grapes, pomegranate, kiwi, apple, and watermelon. Slice them. Now add finely chopped dragon fruit pulp to this fruit mix. To make it more colorful, add some cherry tomatoes, and lettuce in it. Add pepper and salt to taste. You can even dress it in vinegar and mustard oil or lemon and honey. You can also have this delectable salad as your post-workout meal.
This is another very healthy and tasty recipe that everyone will love. It is so simple and easy and a wonderful way to reap dragon fruit benefits. It gets ready in just a few minutes. This appetizingly creamy smoothie is prepared from yogurt, apricots, and dragon fruit.
Take out the creamy pulp of medium-sized dragon fruit. Chop it and add it to a cup of yogurt. Blend the mixture. Your delicious minty and fruity yogurt is ready. Serve with a handful of mint leaves and ice. This soothing drink gives a good amount of relief from the hot summer days. The mint flavor is quite invigorating. Young or old, everyone will like this drink for sure.
Dragon fruit is a delicious exotic fruit. It offers remarkable health benefits to a person. From enhancing cardiovascular health to treating cancer, assisting digestion, and boosting immunity, this superfood enhances the overall well-being and health of a person. The best part of the fruit is that you can savor it in plenty of ways such as in raw form, salads, smoothies, etc.
This pleasant tropical fruit offers a dash of color to the plate and supplies valuable plant compounds, necessary nutrients, and prebiotic fibers without adding calories to your diet. Dragon fruit is an ideal way to add variation to your fruit consumption. So, start eating this fruit to enjoy a healthy and fit life.
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