Aside from its delicious flavor, dragon fruit is high in fiber and antioxidants. Its black seeds are a mega-dose of omega fatty acids, which help reduce triglycerides and protect the heart. In addition, its high concentration of antioxidants helps keep skin firm and tight. Additionally, the dragon fruit’s low glycemic index (GI) means that it’s not as high a contributor to weight gain as other fruits.
Dragon fruit nutrition depends on several factors, including climate, growing location, and storage. While its native region is in northern South America, the fruit is widely grown in California, Florida, and Mexico. Some growers in southern California grow the fruit on a smaller scale. However, dragon fruit nutrition can vary widely between varieties. It’s important to remember that dragon fruit nutrition is dependent on the region, as different climates produce different types.
Dragon Fruit Nutrition Facts
What Is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is a fruit that grows on the Hylocereus climbing cactus, which can be found in tropical places worldwide. The name of the plant is derived from the Greek words “hyle,” which means “woody,” and “cereus,” which means “waxen.”
The fruit bears the appearance of a bright pink or yellow bulb on the outside, with spike-like green leaves shooting out around it like flames. When you cut it open, you’ll discover a spongy white substance with a few black seeds that are safe to eat.
There are red and yellow-skinned variations of this fruit. Southern Mexico, as well as South and Central America, were once home to the cactus. In the early nineteenth century, the French introduced it to Southeast Asia. It’s known as “pitaya” in Central America, a “strawberry pear” in Asia. Dragon fruit is now widely available in the United States. Dragon fruit is a juicy, slightly sweet fruit that tastes like a cross between a kiwi, a pear, and a watermelon, according to some. The seeds have a nutty taste to them.
- 3 Dragon fruit
- White Flesh Variety
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Is Dragon Fruit a Superfood?
The dragon fruit is a superfood because it is low in calories but high in fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and beneficial fatty acids and probiotics. Antioxidants are necessary for cell protection against free radical damage, which causes chronic disease and aging. Betacyanins, betaxanthins,
hydroxycinnamates, and flavonoids are some of the most potent antioxidants found in dragon fruit. According to a study published in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2018,1, the antioxidant activity of the fruit can help prevent inflammatory disorders like gouty arthritis. Hydroxycinnamates have been shown to have anti-cancer properties, and flavonoids have been related to improved brain health and a lower risk of heart disease. As a result, we can classify it as a superfood.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Dragon Fruit?
Its distinctive appearance and well-known superfood properties have made it popular among foodies and health-conscious people. You don’t have to live in the tropics to reap the benefits of dragon fruit, thankfully. In reality, it’s available fresh or frozen in supermarkets worldwide. Here are five evidence-based health benefits of dragon fruit.
It May Help Fight Chronic Disease
Free radicals are unstable chemicals that damage cells, resulting in inflammation and disease. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like dragon fruit is one approach to combat this. Antioxidants prevent cell damage and inflammation by neutralizing free radicals. According to research, antioxidant-rich diets may help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. Dragon fruit contains several types of potent antioxidants, including
- Vitamin C: Observational studies have found correlations between vitamin C intake and cancer risk. For example, a study in 120,852 people associated higher intakes of vitamin C with lower head and neck cancer rates.
- Betalains: Test-tube studies indicate betalains can combat oxidative stress and may have the ability to suppress cancer cells
- Carotenoids: Beta-carotene and lycopene are the plant pigments that give dragon fruit its vibrant color. Diets rich in carotenoids have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
Importantly, antioxidants are most effective when consumed organically in food rather than as a prescription or supplement. Antioxidant supplements can be hazardous; therefore, taking them without medical supervision is not advised.
Loaded With Fiber
Dietary fibers are non-digestible carbohydrates with a long list of potential health advantages. Women should consume 25 grams of fiber per day, while males should consume 38 grams. Fiber pills, like antioxidants, may not provide the same health advantages as fiber from foods.
Although fiber is well known for its role in digestion, evidence suggests it may also aid in preventing heart disease, managing type 2 diabetes, and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Strengthens Your Immune System
Several factors, including the quality of your nutrition, influence your body’s ability to fight infection. Dragon fruit contains vitamin C and carotenoids, which may help your immune system and prevent infection by preserving your white blood cells from harm.
Your immune system’s white blood cells attack and destroy dangerous things, and they are, nonetheless, particularly vulnerable to free radical damage. Vitamin C and carotenoids are potent antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and protect your white blood cells from injury.
May Boost Low Iron Levels
One of the few fresh fruits that contain iron is dragon fruit. Iron is necessary for the transfer of oxygen throughout the body, and it is also necessary for the conversion of food into energy. Many people, however, do not receive enough iron. Iron insufficiency is believed to affect 30% of the world’s population, making it the most common nutrient deficit.
It’s critical to eat a range of iron-rich meals to battle low iron levels. Meats, seafood, legumes, nuts, and cereals are all excellent sources of iron. Another good alternative is dragon fruit, which contains 8% of your required daily consumption in one serving (RDI). It also contains vitamin C, which aids in absorbing iron by the body.
Dragon fruit is rich in flavonoids, one of the many antioxidants that can help repair cell damage caused by oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. In turn, this can help the body ward off some chronic diseases.
Do Dragon Fruits Have a Sweet or Sour Taste?
The dragon fruit flavor has been compared to a mix of kiwi and pear. If you like these kinds of fruits, there’s a strong possibility you’ll fall in love with dragon fruit.
What Are the Different Dragon Fruit Varieties?
Dragon fruit comes in a variety of varieties. The three primary ones are as follows:
- Pitaya Blanca or Hylocereus undatus has pink/red skin, white meat, and black seeds.
- Pitaya Roja (Hylocereus costaricensis) has pink/red skin, red meat, and black seeds.
- Pitaya Amarilla (Hylocereus megalanthus) has yellow skin, white meat, and black seeds.
Is Eating Dragon Fruit Good for Weight Loss?
No magic food will instantly melt fat from your body and give you a leaner appearance. However, by making the appropriate eating choices, you might see a remarkable change in your body. You can eat dragon fruit as a snack between meals without feeling bad because it is low in calories. Dragon fruit also contains fiber, which can help you feel full. If you’re full sooner, you’re more likely to consume fewer calories, which can help you lose weight faster.
This tropical fruit is full of essential nutrients, including calcium and phosphorus. Its skin is vibrant and juicy, and it can be found fresh or frozen at most grocery stores in the United States. Its seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids and have antihistamine effects. However, before you start eating this delicious fruit, read up on the dragon fruit’s nutrition facts and see if it’s right for you.
One study found that a dragon fruit extract supplement reduced malondialdehyde, a free radical damage marker, and improved rats’ arterial stiffness. However, results from human studies have been inconsistent, so more research is needed to confirm these claims. Although the dragon fruit is generally considered safe, some people may develop an allergic reaction if they eat it. So, if you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits of dragon fruit, consider eating it regularly.