Dragon fruit, also known as pitahaya or strawberry pear, is a fruit belonging to the family of cactus and genus Hylocereus. It is also known as Honolulu Queen. Dragon fruit is commonly used to make mocktails and other refreshing drinks as it pairs well with other flavors. Dragon fruit peel also has beneficial properties and is widely used in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries. Here we are telling you about the Benefits and disadvantages of dragon fruit.
What is Dragon Fruit
The fruit grows near the mountains and the tree looks like a vine. Its flowers start bearing fruits as soon as they bloom. Native to Mexico and Central America, dragon fruit is also widely cultivated in Southeast Asia, Australia, the United States, tropical and subtropical regions of the world. If you have not seen dragon fruit yet, then let us tell you what is dragon fruit? These are white or red colored fruits with scaly outer skin, which are covered with black seeds. It is mildly sweet in taste. Its taste is a mixture of both kiwi and pear. The right way to taste the fruit is to eat it fresh, remove the outer skin and then discard it, or taste it by cutting the fruit into cubes as a healthy snack.
Dragon Fruit Benefits
Dragon fruit is low in calories and rich in antioxidants. The myriad nutrients in this superfood contain ample amounts of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, lycopene, carotene, betel nut, vitamin C, B1, B2 and high in minerals like magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and Quantity included. In addition, dragon fruit also contains several phytonutrients that are known to improve your overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Here we are telling you the benefits of dragon fruit.
Dragon Fruit Improve Digestion
Prebiotics play an important role in promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gut. The abundance of dietary fiber oligosaccharides in dragon fruit stimulates the growth of gut-friendly bacteria such as lactobacilli and bifidobacterial that promote the digestion process. Dragon fruit is best for treating conditions like constipation, and certain cancers.
Dragon Fruit Protect Against Heart Disease
The abundant flavonoids in dragon fruit, antioxidants play a better role in improving heart health. This vibrant pink fruit is high in betel nut which lowers LDL cholesterol levels and seeds rich in omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids reduce the risk of heart diseases. In addition, this fiber-rich fruit regulates blood pressure and maintains weight, thereby improving heart health.
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Dragon Fruit Maintains Blood Sugar
The fiber in dragon fruit may help people with type 2 diabetes stay full longer and lose weight, which helps normalize blood sugar levels. High in dietary fiber and low in calories, dragon fruit stabilizes blood sugar by reducing blood sugar spikes and counteracting insulin resistance.
Dragon Fruit Strengthens The Immune System
The essence of vitamin C and antioxidants present in dragon fruit helps in strengthening the immune system. The nutrient-rich fruit promotes the absorption of iron and stimulates the production of collagen thereby improving the natural glow of the skin. Dragon fruit pulp and rind with high levels of flavonoids, vitamin C and polyphenols boost immunity, increase platelet count, treat dengue and keep infections at bay.
Dragon Fruit Reduces Cancer Risk
The powerful antioxidant properties in dragon fruit are valuable in preventing cancer. Dragon fruit acts on breast cancer cells and inhibits the growth of tumor cells. The remarkable amount of oligosaccharides, dietary fiber is effective in reducing the risk of colon cancer.
Dragon Fruit for Stronger Bones
If the bones are strong then the physical health is also good. Having strong bones protects us from many things, such as avoiding injuries, joint pain, arthritis etc. This super fruit contains 18% magnesium which helps in strengthening bones and good bone health. All you have to do is drink a glass of dragon fruit smoothie daily.
Dragon Fruit for Pregnancy
This fruit contains B vitamins, folate and iron, which makes it an ideal fruit for pregnant women. Vitamin B and folate prevents birth defects in the baby and increases the physical energy of the mother during pregnancy. Its calcium content is considered better for the bone development of the fetus.
Good For Eyes – Dragon Fruit For Eyes
The benefits of dragon fruit are also seen in increasing eyesight. This fruit contains beta-carotene (the pigment that gives the fruit its color) which protects against eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration. One cup (220 grams) of dragon fruit daily will be beneficial for you.
Dragon Fruit Reduces Inflammation
If you are dealing with inflammation or chronic pain such as an injury, eating dragon fruit can help relieve swelling and sensitivity. In fact, dragon fruit has anti-inflammatory properties, which can act as a natural pain reliever for these symptoms. Even if eating dragon fruit does not completely eliminate your pain, it can reduce the severity of your pain.
Dragon Fruit for Weight Loss
The amount of cholesterol in dragon fruit is very low. This is the reason why you can include dragon fruit in your daily diet if you are looking to lose weight. Actually, eating dragon fruit will make you feel full and will not feel hungry soon. Because of this, you can reduce your weight without dieting much.
Disadvantages of Dragon Fruit – Side Effects of Dragon Fruits
The good thing is that eating dragon fruit does not cause any side effects or health risks. Still, if eating dragon fruit and develop symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop eating the fruit immediately. These symptoms can be something like this. Tingling or itching feeling in the mouth, sore throat, swelling of the lips or tongue, vomiting or nausea, or nervousness. In case of any of these symptoms, stop eating dragon fruit immediately.
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FAQs on Dragon Fruit
Q1. What is the cost of dragon fruit?
Ans: Dragon fruit is available in the fruit season at a price of Rs.300 to 400 per kg.
Q2. Where can I find dragon fruit plants?
Ans: At present, dragon fruit is mostly grown in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
If you like the benefits of dragon fruit given here, then do not forget to share them with your friends and family.