Tuesday, May 28, 2024

What Is Dragon Fruit and Does It Have Health Benefits?

Dragon fruit (Pitaya) is a vibrantly colored, mildly sweet-tasting exotic tropical fruit with white flesh and black seeds. Even if this unique fruit has not been featured on your grocery list, you’ve still seen it in the aisles of supermarkets. 

However, if you’re thinking of changing things up, then this eye-catching and tasty fruit can be a worthy option that may also deliver a lot of health benefits. It’s low in calories and contains a significant amount of fiber that may prove to be incredibly valuable for your gut health. 

Keep reading to learn more about the amazing health benefits of dragon fruit and ways to relish it. You’ll learn something new whether you’ve eaten it multiple times or going to try it for the first time.

What Are the Different Varieties of Dragon Fruit?

Dragon fruit has pinkish-red skin and bright green scales, and preparing this fruit is extremely simple. Moreover, it comes in a wide range of varieties that can be used to make salads, tasty drinks, or sweets. In addition to that, it’s a great, nutritious snack on its own.

Here are some different types of dragon fruits:

  • Colombiana

Colombiana, also known as ‘Yellow Dragon,’ is a dragon fruit species usually found in northwestern South America, famous for its delectable yellow color. It’s small with spiny, thick, yellow skin. Its flesh is semi-translucent and is shrouded with plenty of black seeds.

  • Dark Star

Dark Star is a hybrid cross. It has dark pink skin with thin and long bracts covering its purple flesh. These pitayas have an excellent sweet flavor and are medium to large.

  • David Bowie

David Bowie is a famous dragon fruit species found throughout Central America. It has pinkish skin and white flesh with an extraordinary flavor.

Nutrition Facts for Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit comes with a small amount of numerous nutrients.

Here are the nutritional facts of this unique fruit for a serving of 100 grams:

  • Calories: 60
  • Protein: 1.2 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 13 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 3% of the RDI
  • Iron: 4% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 10% of the RDI

Dragon fruit is a low-calorie, high-fiber fruit that can be considered highly nutrient-dense. Aside from that, it also serves as a great source of several vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional Value of Dragon Fruit

Benefits of Dragon Fruit

Apart from its unique appearance and incredible flavor, dragon fruit is also packed with lots of health benefits:

  • It’s Rich in Antioxidants

Dragon fruit contains various natural substances like betacyanin and flavonoids. That can protect your body cells from damage by free radicals that usually lead to conditions like premature aging or cancer.

  • It’s Naturally Fat-Free

Dragon fruit is high in fiber which makes it a good snack. It can help keep you full for longer periods and may also help to manage your weight.

  • It Contains Prebiotics

Dragon fruit is rich in prebiotics that can improve the balance of good to bad bacteria in your gut. Additionally, this fruit also encourages food digestion.

  • It Can Strengthen Your Immune System

Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C that can boost your immune system.

Dragon Fruit Health Risks

Dragon fruit is normally safe to eat. But some studies have also reported allergic reactions. Common symptoms include vomiting, swelling of the tongue, and hives.

Dragon fruit may also interfere with the functioning of diabetes medications, and eating this fruit during pregnancy and the nursing period is also not recommended. However, these types of reactions are quite rare to occur.

Ways to Eat Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is highly versatile, and you can enjoy it in various forms. Some people prefer to eat this tasty fruit by itself. However, you can also make a salad out of it by mixing this fruit in a bowl with other fruits like blueberries, strawberries, or kiwi. 

Plus, you can also combine dragon fruit with other fruits to create a healthy smoothie. Or can add it to ice cream or yogurts.

Key Takeaway

When it comes to buying fruits, people usually stick with what they’ve already been eating and never go beyond their comfort zone.

But out of the wide variety of fruits, picking something new is one of the best ways to find a new favorite. So try dragon fruit and, apart from its incredible taste, also enjoy its health benefits.

FAQs:

Why Is Dragon Fruit So Expensive?

Dragon fruit is a unique tropical fruit that is usually grown in some specific parts of the world. This makes it slightly more expensive than other types of fruits.

The majority of dragon fruit comes from countries like Mexico, Malaysia, and Thailand. Moreover, its overall yield is low because it takes a long time for these fruit trees to mature and produce ripened pitayas.

Is Dragon Fruit Tasty?

Dragon fruit looks quite unique, but its taste is somewhat similar to other fruits. Its slightly sweet flavor is often described as a combination of pear and kiwi.

Is Dragon Fruit Healthy or Not?

Dragon fruit contains various essential nutrients and minerals. It’s also high in vitamin C and other antioxidants, which can boost your immune system.

Its high iron levels can also prove to be helpful in moving oxygen through your body and giving you energy. So, no matter how you eat this exotic fruit, you’re going to enjoy its multiple health benefits.

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