Explore Eat & Enjoy
Restaurant Critic & Food Blogger
We have apples, oranges, pears, plums, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, blue berries, strawberries and bananas and an assortment of fruits. But have you ever hear of Dragon Fruit? Its not a fruit for dragons and don't get intimidated by the name. As a matter of fact its a very healthy fruit. You may see it in Wegman's when in season. No other place other than Asian supermarkets may have it, but since its not very popular to the general population, it may just lie on the shelves, and die.
But like everything else, eventually, it will become popular and everyone will want one. Here's some info on the product:
19 Amazing Benefits of Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit has a number of health benefits including its ability to aid in weight loss, control diabetes, improve digestion, lower cholesterol, strengthen the immune system, and boost energy levels. It also helps prevent cancer and heart diseases, defend against bacteria and fungi, and helps in the overall functioning of the body.
What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is an exotic and delicious fruit, which is also considered a tropical superfood because of its wealth of benefits. It is known as “pitaya or pitahaya” which comes from the genus Stenocereus and Hylocereus respectively. It has its origins in Mexico, South America, and Central America, but New World settlers probably brought it to Southeast Asian nations like Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, where it remains an important part of the dietary fruit intake. Now, not just the fruit but also nutrient-rich pitayaha powder is available worldwide.
Dragon Fruit Taste
The taste of a fresh dragon fruit is somewhat bland. It is usually mildly sweet and has a subtle taste. However, some varieties, like the red one, have a tangy flavor profile.
Dragon Fruit Varieties
There are three types of dragon fruits, namely, red skin with red flesh, red skin with white flesh, and yellow skin with white flesh. There are both sweet and sour dragon fruits, depending on the species, shape, and size. In terms of the most common form of dragon fruit, it is slightly smaller than a cantaloupe, reddish pink in color, and covered in broad spiky growths.
When you open it, the texture is like a kiwi, and the meat is filled with small black seeds that help improve digestion. The meat of the fruit is used to make wine and can be strained into other beverages, while the leaves of dragon fruit can be steeped for a very healthy form of tea. The rough outer skin has little nutritional value and is rarely eaten.
Dragon Fruit Nutrition
Dragon fruit is a healthy fruit, which is low in calories and rich in antioxidants and can be added to any weight loss diet. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, the fruit is rich in protein, fiber, lycopene, and carbohydrates. It contains carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B, Thiamine (vitamin B1), and ribo fllavin. The mineral wealth of this fruit includes calcium, phosherous, iron, and sodium.
Dragon fruit is believed to contain phytonutrients that prevent various diseases. Also, there are polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in the seeds of these fruits.
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit
The health benefits of the dragon fruit are mainly attributed to its antioxidant, antibacterial, and nutritional properties. The benefits include boosted immunity, faster metabolism, and a smoother digestive process. Let us now look at the benefits in detail.
The high level of vitamin C found in dragon fruit helps boost immunity and it stimulates the activity of other antioxidants in the body as well. According to a research study, the flesh and the peel of the white and red pitayas have high polyphenol and flavonoid content which helps eliminate free radicals. This has been directly linked to preventing the proliferation of cancer cells. Also, these antioxidants work their way in increasing the platelet count, thus treat dengue and helping you recover fast.
Regular consumption of dragon fruit is linked to a reduction in blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for type 2 diabetics and prediabetics. In a 2017 study, it was found that pre diabetics showed a noticeable reduction in blood sugar levels as compared to people who had not eaten dragon fruit. Furthermore, prediabetics with higher consumption of dragon fruit showed greater blood glucose reduction.
Iron, present in dragon fruits, is great for boosting the hemoglobin levels in anemic individuals. It also aids in the production of red blood cells (RBCs), which then helps in the proper oxygenation of vital organs.
Detoxifies the Body
Antioxidant-rich dragon fruits help in detoxification by flushing out the waste metals and toxins from the body. This, in turn, aids in weight loss.
Rich in Vitamins
Dragon fruit is also packed with many vitamins like vitamin C and the B vitamin group. The B1, B2, and B3 vitamins improve everything from blood pressure, skin health, and cholesterol levels to thyroid function, fluctuating hemoglobin levels, and carbohydrate metabolism.
Chef Woo can says try it! www.chefwoocan.com