Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is the common fruit which come from tropical and subtropical regions in South America. According to the University of Florida, gradually, the cultivation of dragon fruit is widespread to South Eastern Asia, and it becomes a common fruit in some countries including Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Israel and Thailand. In the United States, make a comparison to other fruits and healthy like kale and apple, the exotic also has undergone the radar. When it is imported from abroad, dragon fruit has gone under the food irradiation to extend it shelf and enhance the safety by easing or getting rid of insects and microorganisms.
Pitaya or dragon fruit gets name from its peel appearance such as red or yellow with green scales, considered as the scales of a mythical dragon, the skin of dragon fruit’s skin is cactus-like. Although its appearance in the world has pretty limitation and is imported fruit, it is good and safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in use, and keeps going on increasing in popularity in all over the world, and is more common in the U.S.
The most special thing about dragon fruit is that their flowers bloom overnight and in the morning, they will be wilt, compared to the others fruits. Despite the death of flowers, the plants can produce fruit nearly six times per year. The main season for highest product is during summer to the early fall. There are two kinds of this fruit- one with red flesh or red dragon fruit, and the other white flesh. Both of these can have yellow skin which look like pineapples or red skin. Dragon fruits have black and edible seeds, with some clusters of small, and have flavor which stands between a pear and a kiwi.
There are an astonishing number of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in dragon fruit. Vitamins consist of vitamin C, B like B1, B2 and B3 which make dragon fruit healthy naturally. They are with a huge amount of antioxidants such as fatty acids and phosphorus and other nutrients like proteins, iron, plant sterols, calcium and carotene. Moreover, they also have no carbohydrates and thiamine which can easily break down our immune system. This fruit contains nearly 80 percent of water and its taste can be sour or sweet, depend on what kind of dragon fruit.
Here are some amazing health benefits of dragon fruits which everyone must know:
- Helps cardiovascular health
Dragon fruit can reduce and eliminate the amount of cholesterol in the blood and help enhance your heart health. In addition, it also contributes to keep healthy tissues in your heart, which is necessary for cardiovascular health. A report in Pharmacognosy Research journal in 2010 shows that using frequently dragon fruit can avoid the risk of high-blood pressure and heart disease development. This fruit is one of the good choices of mono-saturated fats to maintain heart in the best condition.
- Prevents cancer
One of the amazing health benefits of dragon fruits is help prevent cancer. This exotic fruit has not only the antioxidant protection of vitamin C to increase the immunity but also contains carotene with ant-carcinogenic qualities to ease the tumor from development. Moreover, there is another natural antioxidants in dragon fruit is lycopene which can reduce the risk of cancer. The Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention published a study, conducted in 2011, found that with suitable physical activities, low fat in dietary, high lycopene-rich foods and vegetables can enhance prostate cancer prevention.
For more information about cancer prevention at: Lemongrass: Nutrition facts and health benefits:
- Enhances immune system
As being mentioned above, with the high levels of vitamin C in dragon fruit, it can improve the immunity and motivate other antioxidants work effectively. Minerals, pytoalbumin, and vitamin C exists in this fruit help prevent against free radicals and possess antioxidants properties. The other source such as iron, protein, vitamin B1, B2, B3, calcium, fiber, and niacin also make contributions to boosting the functions of immune system.
- Good for digestion
Dragon fruit can aid digestion because of the presence of fiber content. The fiber helps encourage bowel movement and add bulk to stool in order to fight against the risk of gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. This fruit is very easy to eat and digest. You can drink dragon fruit juice every day or eat directly to support digestion.
- Supports weight loss
Other amazing health benefit of dragon fruit is it can be a good friend for who are worried about managing weight. There are some main reasons for this. Dragon fruit has the high in fiber and low level of calories which help maintain you full longer so that you will make you eat less through the day. In addition, the combination of low calories and high fiber improves body metabolism to lose weight. The presence of vitamin C in this fruit also can burn fat in yours.
About the Author:
This article is written by Ashley Bennet, a senior contributor of wikihomeNutrition. She has over 3 years of experience on health and nutrition fields in order to help people treat common diseases and take advantages of ingredients surrounding them.