A rather lesser known species of the world of fruits is the Dragon Fruit. Being less popular in the Asian countries, not many people know about this fruit. But the nutritional value this fruit offers is beyond compare. It has an immense taste that can be described as a combination of sweet and sour. For people who are very much into fruits and maintaining a good health, this fruit is the one to get your hands on without a second thought. The various Dragon Fruit benefits have been discussed below.
Dragon fruit is rather expensive than the other commonly available fruits in the market. Also, it is not available everywhere. But because of the great nutrition that it has to offer, it has been slowly gaining fame around the world. Let us first find out what a dragon fruit really is.
Dragon Fruit: What is it?
Dragon fruit is also known by the name Pitaya. The main origin of this fruit travels back to South America where it is a native fruit. Other than South America, this fruit has also gained popularity in Southern East Asian countries as well including Vietnam, China and Thailand.
The name dragon fruit is really an expression for its looks. The outer surface of this fruit resembles the skin of a dragon in terms of the scales it bears. These scales are coloured as red, yellow or even green ones just like a dragon. This fruit is rather scarce in the world. At places where it is available, the quality is quite limited. You can expect the dragon fruit to be found in the subtropical and tropical regions. As said earlier, the health benefits of this fruit are immense and work brilliantly for your hair, skin and the overall health.
This is a kind of cactus fruit and it comes with an interesting fact i.e. the dragon fruit flowers are known to bloom in a span of one night and ready in the morning. For fertilization, pollinators such as moths or bats are the ones who do the work. A single plant can produce up to 6 fruits in a year. It is around the summer and early winters when this fruit sees maximum production.
Dragon Fruits: Varieties
As per the varieties of this fruit is concerned, 2 of them can be found. These are:
- White Dragon Fruit: It has a white pulp.
- Red Dragon Fruit: It has a red pulp.
Both the white and the red dragon fruit may have a yellow-red outer peel. This peel may even look a lot like that of a pineapple. Inside the pulp area, small black seeds are embedded which are totally eatable. As far as the taste of this fruit is concerned, you can imagine it to be somewhat like that of a kiwi or a pear. It tastes rather crunchy, unlike the kiwi. The pulp is really soft and the black seeds don’t need to be removed and can be consumed safely.
The white dragon fruit can be a little sourer in taste than the red one. A little less sweet with a lesser water content. However, the white dragon fruit is cheaper in price than the red dragon fruit.
What Are The Nutrients Present In The White Dragon Fruits?
The white dragon fruit has a number of essential nutrients which are excellent for the body. Especially for the skin and hair. The nutrients contained in this fruit are complete nutrients which are namely:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin C
This constitutes the major family of nutrients. So many beneficial nutrients in a single fruit to make it one of the most impressive fruits.
Dragon Fruit Benefits: How It Affects The Health Positively?
Dragon fruit cannot be neglected as one of the most beneficial fruit when it comes to human health. For a great body and physique, this fruit should be consumed on a daily basis. But how does the dragon fruit actually inject positive results in our health? Let us find out.
1. Reduction in Blood Glucose Levels
Consuming dragon fruit on a regular basis helps to bring down the glucose levels in the blood. This is great for the diabetic patients. Since they need to keep their blood sugar in check, they are told keep away from sugary and high glucose food products. Although the dragon fruit is sweet in taste, the nutrients contained in it help the blood glucose to remain in under control.
2. Controls Cholesterol Level
Many people seem to be suffering from a problem of high cholesterol which is very bad for the body. High cholesterol levels give an invitation to a lot of diseases related to the heart. Instead of relying on just the medicines and supplements for bringing the cholesterol levels under control, you can also rely on the dragon fruit. The nutrients present in the pulp of this fruit helps calm down the cholesterol in our body, bringing it down to a desirable, risk-free level. Being delicious in taste, it takes care of the health on a whole.
3. Protects The Body From Cancer/Tumour
Once someone is diagnosed with cancer or a tumour, there nothing much you can do to make it go away, other than your treatment. However, you can always prevent them from entering your body. For that, consuming dragon fruit on a regular basis is the best thing you can do. Dragon fruit is loaded with anti-oxidants which block the growth of free radicals in the body. Cancer and tumours are mainly caused because of these free radicals and when the production of these inside the body is blocked, the chances of getting cancer or a tumour are eliminated.
4. Good For The Eyes
We are well aware of carrots as being a wonderful caretaker for the eyes in terms of the nutrition it has to offer. Likewise, the dragon fruit can be said to contain the same benefits as the carrot when it comes to the eye health. Consuming white dragon fruit regularly will definitely improve your eyesight and will take care of your eyes in the best possible way.
5. Good Dental Health
A good dental health is a key to a happy stomach. You need to take proper care of your teeth to maintain a good and healthy lifestyle. The consumption of white dragon fruits benefits the mouth in the best possible way. The dragon fruit contains excellent quantities of Vitamin C which help in maintaining a good dental health and aid the digestion process too.
6. Maintains Good Heart Health
Dragon fruit also benefits the heart in multiple ways. Inducing all the essential nutrients in the body, it makes the body healthier and stronger than before. Also, it lowers down the blood sugar levels and the cholesterol levels of the body. This protects the heart from all the dangerous heart diseases. Hence, eating white dragon fruit regularly helps in maintaining a good heart and an overall healthy body.
7. Makes Digestion Process Easier
For the digestive system to work well, you need to consume as much fibre as you can. Fibre helps in digesting the food faster and maintains a good stomach health. The white dragon fruit is a rich source of fibre and consuming it on a daily basis will definitely boost the digestion processes.
8. Strengthens the Immune System
The immune system needs to be active and strong all the time to fight the harmful bacteria and viruses that tend to enter our body via one or the other means. Vitamin C is the essential nutrient required to make the immune system stronger. This vitamin is present in abundance in the dragon fruit. Consuming it daily will induce great levels of vitamin and other beneficial nutrients and will strengthen the immune system for a good and healthy body.
9. Prevents Premature Ageing
Sometimes, the deficiency of anti-oxidants in the body can lead to premature aging in women and men. They may begin to see wrinkles and spots on the face even before it is time. However, this problem can be kept at bay if you include the dragon fruit in your daily diet. Eating dragon fruit will take care of the anti-oxidant induction in your body and hence fight premature aging to help you look young and beautiful for long.
These are some of the dragon fruit benefits. This is a ripe fruit and can be eaten directly like other fruits after peeling. For variations, you can also make dragon fruit smoothies and you can even cook it to enjoy it as a side meal. It can also be combined with other fruits in a fruit salad. However, it is recommended that no additional sugar must be added in order to maintain its nutritional value.
Changes After You Start Eating Dragon Fruit
Although the dragon fruit is great for health, here are some changes that your body might encounter after you start eating dragon fruit. These are:
1. Intestinal Gas
After you start consuming dragon fruit, it is possible that you may encounter the problem of intestinal gas or a flatulence stomach. This is possibly because of the many minerals contained in the dragon fruit. These minerals are, however, good for health but may cause your stomach to bloat, but that is normal.
2. Can Cause Diarrhoea in Babies
It is recommended that this fruit must not be given to a baby. This is because the digestive organs in a baby are very unstable and they may not be able to digest this fruit properly. Even if you wish to feed your baby with a dragon fruit smoothie, it is good if you only do it mildly and not in excess.
3. Can Cause Headache
Eating too much dragon food may contribute to inducing headache. It is recommended that you limit your dragon fruit intake to a normal amount only.
4. Pregnant Women May Get Diarrhoea
If a pregnant woman is consuming dragon fruit on a daily basis, it is possible that she may suffer from diarrhoea at some point. It is beneficial to the health but must be consumed in minority in pregnancy.
5. Pee and Faeces Colours Change
The dragon fruit is comprised of a substance which has the capability for changing the pigmentation of liquid i.e. the pee in our body. The pee colour may change from the normal yellow to red. The Faeces may also come out reddish or black. This change in colour is not something to worry about and it is totally normal.
Note: The dragon fruit is good for the health only as far as it is consumed in a limited amount. Too much consumption of dragon fruit can be bad for the body. You must not eat too much of it. 3 times a week is good enough to get all the positive effects of this fruit.
1. How To Eat/Cut Dragon Fruit?
To cut the dragonfruit, use a chopping board.
- Cut the fruit in half by using a big knife.
- It may be a red or white pulp fruit. It will contain a lot of black seeds which are edible.
- Take a normal spoon and scoop the pulp out. Cut out the peeling skin if any with the help of a knife.
- Chop the pulp in the form of cubes, or long strands or however you want. The dragon fruit is ready to eat.
2. How To Tell If A Dragon Fruit Is Ripe?
A ripe dragon fruit will have the colour of its outer skin as red or yellow or reddish-yellow. The peeling skin must be bright in colour and the colours must be even as seen. The presence of a lot of dark spots on the fruit means that it is over-ripe. A few number of spots on the fruit are normal and not something to be worried about.
3. How To Grow Dragon Fruit?
- To grow a dragon fruit, take a pot and fill it with sandy cactus soil (well drained).
- Place the seeds and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
- In every 2 months, fertilize the soil with the help of a cactus fertilizer which is low in nitrogen content.
- Feed water to the plant only when it is dry. Avoid waterlogging.
- Cut out the excessive lentils whenever required.
4. How To Make Dragon Fruit Smoothie?
- frozen dragon fruit cubes: 2 cups
- 1/3rd a cup of greek yoghurt.
- Banana: 1
- Take a blender and pour in the fruit cubes, banana and the yoghurt.
- Blend nicely and pour into a glass.
- Add toppings using strawberries or any other of your choice and enjoy.
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