Incorporating fruit into our diet in a proper way gives our digestive system more powerful benefits through vitamin intake and improved digestion. Almost all fruits are a great source of fibre, potassium, vitamin C and folate and so much more. Their nutrients help us to guard against diseases and lower rates of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
One of the most visually stunning fruits, whose skin looks like that of a mythical pink dragon, is actually harvested from a night-blooming cactus. A plant with a flower like an explosion of flame produces a beautiful fruit which is short-lived with the appearance of a brilliant pink rosebud. The phyto-nutrient dense fruit also known as “Pitaya” is grown in the tropical regions of Thailand, Vietnam, and South America. Its succulent stem provides the uniquely delicious fruit with moisture in the arid climates where it grows.
It is important as a fruit as well as ornamental plant. Ripen fruits can be used directly to consume. Also it can be used for producing jam, ice cream, jelly, fruit juice as well as wine. Dragon fruit buds can be prepared as a curry. This tropical super fruit has a wonderful sweet flavour and unusual nutritional benefits including omega 3’s, protein, iron, fibre, vitamins, and minerals for hydrating all the cells in our body.
In addition to its nutritional value and health promoting effects, the dragon fruit is praised for its appetizing crunchy texture and refreshing, sweet flavour which is like a cross between kiwi and pear. To preserve most of its flavour and nutrients, the dragon fruit is usually eaten raw as a healthy snack or it is pureed into smoothies.
The nutritional value per 100g of Ripen Dragon fruit is as follows
|Water||82.5- 83 g|
|Protein||0.159- 0.229 g|
|Fat||0.21- 0.61 g|
|Fibre||0.7- 0.9 g|
|Carotene||0.005- 0.012 mg|
|Calcium||6.3- 8.8 mg|
|Phosphorus||30.2- 36.1 mg|
|Iron||0.55- 0.65 mg|
|Vitamin B||1 0.28- 0.043 mg|
|Vitamin B||2 0.043- 0.045 mg|
|Vitamin B||3 0.297- 0.43 mg|
|Vitamin C||8.0- 9.0 mg|
|Thiamine||0.28- 0.30 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.043- 0.044 mg|
|Niacin||1.297- 1.30 mg|
|Other||0.54- 0.68 g|
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit
- Dragon fruits are high in polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) that lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Its rich in flavonoids that are known to have favourable effects against cardio related disease
- These chewy, purple delicacy is low in calories and contains vitamin C, magnesium, protein, antioxidants and iron.
- The reddish colour in dragon fruit is due to lycopene, which has been linked lowering the risksprostate Lycopene in the red flesh has properties of anti-cancer and as well as this fruit contains phyto-albumin, and high fibre and antioxidants.
- It clears the body of toxic heavy metals andimproves eyesight. Better eye-sight to take in its exquisiteness and majestic beauty.
- For diabetes type 2, it’s recommended to eat dragon fruit frequently because of the fibre content that managesblood sugar.
- The benefits of dragon fruits are realized in a number of ways, from a strengthened immune system and faster healing of bruises and wounds to fewer respiratory problems.
- They have zero complex carbohydrates, so foods can bemore easily broken down in the body, helped by vitamin B1 (thiamine) and other B vitamins.
- It helps in digestion and because of the richness infibres it aids in the digestion of food. It also promotes the growth of
Dragon fruit has a very mild flavour. It blends well with mild flavoured fruits such as bananas, mangoes or papayas. Coconut also complements the flavour of dragon fruit nicely.
Here is a mouth-watering Tutty Fruity Smoothie:
- 1½ cups freshpapaya, cubed
- 1cup pineapple chunks
- 1banana, sliced
- 1 cup mango, cubed
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced or cut into quarters
- 1 cup dragon fruit
- Garnish: star fruit slices
Fruit salad dressing:
- ¼ cupcoconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- Stir fruit salad dressing ingredients together in a cup until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- Place all the fresh fruit in a mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss well to mix.
Pour or scoop the fruit salad into a serving bowl, or into a prepared pineapple boat. Garnish just before serving with a few star fruit slices drizzled with fresh lime juice to prevent browning.
Dragon Fruit and Fig Green Smoothie:
- 1/2 cup dragon fruit, peeled
- 2 medium figs
- 1/4 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup raspberries
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 4 ounces pomegranate juice.
It could easily be called a “crazy” fruit, as its appearance is so improbable. The dragon fruit is an exotic fruit that is very beautiful on the outside and comes with a lot of health benefits. It may be intimidating to try because of its outer shape and texture but, it is very easy to prepare and comes with a number of nutritional benefits that your body will love you for. Try it out and you might like it, maybe make it a part of your regular fruit rotation.