The Dragon Fruit is probably one of the most visually stunning fruits. Its skin looks like that of a mythical pink dragon. Did you know that it 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.
Multiple Uses of Dragon Fruit
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, protein, iron, fibre, vitamins, and minerals for hydrating all the cells in the 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
- The Dragon Fruit is 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
- It is low in calories and contains vitamin C, magnesium, protein, antioxidants and iron.
- The reddish colour of the Dragon Fruit is due to lycopene – which has anti-cancer properties.
- It clears the body of toxic heavy metals and improves eyesight. Better eye-sight to take in its exquisiteness and majestic beauty.
- For Type 2 Diabetics, it is recommended to eat dragon fruit frequently because of its fiber content that helps manage blood sugar.
- Because of the richness in fiber, it aids in better digestion of food as well.
- The benefits of Dragon Fruit is 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 be easily broken down in the body, helped by vitamin B1 (thiamine) and other B vitamins.
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.
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. Do let us know your experience with this delicious fruit in the comments below!