Top Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Dragon Fruit is low in calories, zero cholesterol and full of antioxidants.
  • Dragon Fruit is loaded with Vitamin B3 that enables it to soothe sunburnt skin.
  • A storehouse of vitamin C and iron, it is an excellent remedy for anaemia.
  • The Dragon fruit is rich in magnesium which aids the growth of muscles.
  • It protects the heart by reducing cholesterol levels and obesity.
  • Among the many exotic and colourful fruits, Dragon fruit maintains tops in the list of other fruits.


ORIGIN
Dragon Fruit scientifically called as “Hylocereus undatus”. Dragon fruit originates in tropical and subtropical regions in South America, Asia and grows in abundance. Dragon fruit belongs to the cactus family. The Dragon fruit’s outer skin looks like a cactus, resembling that of the scales of a mythical Dragon. Dragon fruit is vibrant green and reddish pink shows that the fruit is full of nutrients, while the creamy white flesh spotted with black seeds gives way too many rich and natural properties. Dragon Fruit is also called as “Pitaya”.
Grown in India: A very few farmers in the States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu have taken up Dragon Fruit cultivation in India. The total area of Dragon Fruit cultivation in India may be less than 100 acres.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

NUTRIENT
UNITVALUE (Per 100g)
Proximates
Energykcal264
Proteing3.57
Total lipid (fat)g0
Carbohydrate, by differenceg82.14
Fiber, total dietaryg1.8
Sugars, totalg82.14
Minerals
Calcium, Camg107
Iron, Femg0
Sodium, Namg39
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acidmg6.4
Vitamin A, IUIU0
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturatedg0
Fatty acids, total transg0
Cholesterolmg0
Source:USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference


INCREDIBLE BENEFITS OF DRAGON FRUIT
1. Boosts Immunity
The presence of vitamin C in Dragon fruit acts as an immunity booster. Vitamin C is also crucial for the absorption of iron in the body.
2. Improves Skin Quality
The vitamin C present in Dragon fruit is also responsible for making our skin healthier and more flexible, as it promotes collagen production. The antioxidant content of the fruit is also responsible for keeping the skin and hair healthy.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Dragon fruit contains fibre, which improves digestion and also helps in weight loss by promoting satiety and eliminating the need to eat more often.
4. Boosts Bone Health
The potassium and calcium present in Dragon fruit are essential for maintaining bone structure and bone health. Potassium also helps in maintaining the pH balance of the body and keeping the kidney and heart-healthy.
5. Promotes Heart Health
The antioxidants found in Dragon fruit are a great source for maintaining heart health by reducing the risk of arteries getting clogged with plaque.
6. Rich in Antioxidant
Dragon fruit is filled with phytonutrients that can provide a very much-required dose of antioxidants. Antioxidants help in fighting free radicals which could damage your cells and even lead to cancer. A diet rich in antioxidants is said to keep your heart healthy and the skin young.
7. Eye Care
Dragon fruit is known to prevent the growth of human cytochrome P450, a protein present in the liver. This protein is often linked with the occurrence of congenital glaucoma. Also, according to research published in the journal Food Chemistry, the beta-carotene content in this fruit helps in preventing macular degeneration and cataract formation by keep the eyes protected from harmful free radicals.
8. Pregnancy
Dragon fruit is good for pregnant women as it contains iron, B vitamins, and folate. Studies show that iron helps in preventing haemoglobin deficiency and also in preventing the occurrence of anaemia. The B vitamins and folate help prevent birth defects and boost energy. Also, the mild laxative properties of Dragon fruit help loosen the stool and regulate bowel movements. Moreover, the calcium content in it aids in the bone development of the foetus, thereby contributing to a healthy pregnancy. High levels of calcium and magnesium also help fight osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
9. Protective Against Cancer
Dragon fruit may have anticancer properties particularly in the case of colon cancer. Along with the antioxidant quality of vitamin C which boosts the immune system, Dragon fruits also contain other sources of natural antioxidants. According to research, carotene and lycopene, found in these fruits, are potent antioxidants that have been linked to a number of anti-carcinogenic qualities. They help in reducing the chances of prostate cancer as well as the size of tumours in the body. As Dragon
fruits boost your immune system, it is a good first step for those frequently getting sick, or even at a high risk of developing cancer.
10. Controls Diabetes
Regular consumption of Dragon fruit is linked to a reduction in blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for type 2 diabetics and those with pre-diabetes. It was found that overall pre-diabetics showed a noticeable reduction in blood sugar levels as compared to people who had not eaten Dragon fruit. On another hand, prediabetics with higher consumption of Dragon fruit showed greater blood glucose reduction.
11. Hair Care
Adding Dragon fruit extract powder to your daily diet helps in maintaining the hair nourished and healthy. Its high amounts of nutrients help to reduce the damage done to hair by the chemicals present in artificial hair colour. It also helps improve the texture and bring back the shine to your hair.
IMPORTANT TIPS AND FACTS OF DRAGON FRUIT
1. While selecting one, look for a fresh and uniformly coloured fruit that does not have too many spots on it.
2. Before selecting, take the fruit in your palm, gently press its skin to examine, and choose the one that is hard but moderately soft.
3. Peeling a dragon fruit isn't a very difficult task.
4. Store Dragon fruit unwashed in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
5. Dragon fruit is easy to prepare and can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other foods in healthy recipes.
6. Overall, Dragon fruit is unique, incredibly tasty, and can add variety to your diet.
7. The remaining skin or the core of the fruit can be used as a fancy serving bowl.
SIDE EFFECTS OF DRAGON FRUIT
1. Over-consumption of dragon fruits may cause slight reddish urine and faeces which is harmless.
2. Avoid having the outer skin of this fruit, as it may contain pesticides that can harm your health.
3. Dragon fruit when consumed in a high amount may cause diarrhoea.
4. Eating too much dragon fruit during pregnancy can bring about Skin Rashes.
5. Avoid overconsumption of dragon fruit as it contains fructose, which can inhibit your weight loss goals.