10 Health Benefits and Recipes of Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)

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Dragon fruit is cactus based fruit that has loads of health benefits such as lowering risks of diabetes, cancer, aids in digestion etc. It resembles a dragon and that is how this fruit got its name. You must be wondering how to eat this fruit, irrespective of its shape and size? It’s simple. Cut it in two halves and eat the inside layer with a spoon. You can also make a smoothie out of it. 

Dragon Fruit

What is Dragon Fruit?

It is a tropical fruit with a unique appearance, crunchy texture and sweet taste. Its appearance draws its name from a fire-breathing dragon. Its rich source of antioxidants plays a vital role in reducing your risks of cancer and diabetes. Make it a point to add this superfruit to your everyday diet. 

How Does It Taste? 

Dragon Fruit tastes like a mixture of kiwi and pear. The very first time you cut open this fruit, it may seem like an Oreo smoothie because of its white pulp and tiny black seeds. This tropical fruit has loads of health benefits and here is why you need to add this fruit to your everyday diet.

Dragon Fruit Nutrition Value

What makes this fruit a superfood? Its nutritional content is rich in Vitamin C, E, Magnesium, Iron etc. Here is a nutrition table of this weird yet super healthy fruit. 

NOTE: The below-listed nutritional value is taken as per one-cup serving i.e 227 grams of dragon fruit. 

Nutrient Value
Proteins  3 grams
Fat NIL
Calories 136 
Iron 8%
Fibre 7 grams
Vitamin C 9%
Vitamin E 4%
Magnesium 18%
Calcium 107

10 Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit

An interesting fact about this fruit is that the Chinese claim that it originated from the fire of a dragon during battle. Undermining the myth surrounding this fruit, there is something that makes it super healthy for us. Here is a list of 15 health benefits of consuming dragon fruit.  

1. Reduces Risk of Diabetes

This fruit contains high amounts of fibre that maintains blood sugar levels and avoids spikes among people suffering from diabetes. Regular consumption of this fruit can help balance blood sugar levels and preventing further medical consequences among diabetics. 

Reduces Risk of Diabetes

2. Reduces Risks of Cancer

This fruit contains anti-cancer properties that can reduce the risks of colon cancer. Its high source of vitamin C plays an important role in boosting the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that prevents you from contracting chronic diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, cancer, etc.

3. Boosts Immunity

This fruit contains high levels of vitamin C that boosts immunity and helps you stay healthy. More Vitamin C means that your body is capable of fighting deadly infections that you might be prone to. All you need to do is to consume 1 cup (200 grams) of this fruit every day and stay healthy. 

Boosts Immunity

4. Good for Digestion

This fruit has a rich source of oligosaccharides (a carbohydrate) that helps in the growth of good bacteria like flora, which aids in smooth digestion. It is packed with high fibre that also aids in digestive health, reduces your risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Good for Digestion 

5.  Good For Heart

Dragon fruit with red coloured pulp contains betalains (creates red colour inside the fruit) that reduces bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol). The tiny dark black seeds inside the fruit are rich in omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids that are good for the heart and reduce your risks of cardiovascular diseases.

Good for Heart

6. Fights Ageing Skin

Faster ageing can be caused due to stress, pollution and other factors such as poor diet etc. However, its rich source of antioxidants that can treat sunburn, dry skin and acne. Its content of vitamin C can aid in brighter skin. You can prepare dragon fruit juice and drink it once a day for radiant skin.

Fights Ageing Skin

Also Read 15 Anti-Ageing Foods Good for Your Skin

7. Good for Hair

Need thick, black and shiny hair? Try dragon fruit powder mixed with a glass of milk (250ml) once every day and this will do you good. The high source of nutrients found in this fruit extract powder reduces hair damage caused by artificial hair colouring and improves hair texture, thus, leaving it soft and shiny. All you need to do so is to consume this once a day and you will witness changes. 

Good for Hair

8. Healthy Bones

Good bone health can contribute to many factors such as avoiding injuries, joint pain and so forth. This superfruit contains 18% magnesium that aid in stronger bones and good bone health. All you need to do is drink one glass of dragon fruit smoothie every day. 

Healthy Bones

9. Good For Eyes

This fruit contains beta-carotene (the pigment that gives the fruit its colour) prevents eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. One cup (220 grams) of dragon fruit every day would do you good.

Good for Eyes10. Good During Pregnancy

This fruit contains vitamin B, folate and iron that makes it an ideal fruit for pregnant mothers. B vitamins and folate prevents birth defects and boosts energy during pregnancy. Its calcium content is responsible for bone development of the fetus. Its content of magnesium helps fight postmenopausal complications in women.

Good During Pregnancy

Also Read 10 Natural Ways to Check Pregnancy at Home

Dragon Fruit Recipes

Since this fruit is power-packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals, here are some healthy recipes that you can prepare at home. 

1. Dragon Fruit Shake

Making yourself a dragon fruit shake every breakfast can be the right choice to welcome a healthy lifestyle. 

Dragon Fruit Shake

Ingredients:

  • Banana cut in small pieces
  • 1 full dragon fruit
  • 1 glass of milk (250ml) 
  • 4 ½ glass of water
  • 3 spoonfuls of sugar (Optional)
  • 2 Cashews (Optional)

How to Prepare?

  • Step 1: Put the sliced banana and dragon fruit into the blender.
  • Step 2: Pour a glass of milk (250ml) into a blender and add 3 spoons of sugar. Blend till it turns smooth. (If it appears thick, add water or more milk). 
  • Step 3: Pour it in a glass and add crushed cashew to give its final touches. 

2. Dragon Fruit Salad

A fruit bowl reduces risks of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and manages weight. On the contrary, dragon fruit bowl consists of a mixture of other healthy fruits such as strawberries, bananas, watermelons, pineapple and black grapes. 

Dragon Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 dragon fruits neatly sliced
  • ½ watermelon sliced into small pieces
  • 1 banana cut in small pieces 
  • 1 cup of black grapes 

How To Prepare?

  • Step 1: Add sliced dragon fruit, bananas, watermelon and grapes to a bowl. 
  • Step 2: Sprinkle some salt and pepper mix (optional). 
  • Step 3: You could add a scoop of ice cream to give you a rich taste. 

FAQs

Loaded with ultimate health benefits, this fruit has been gaining popularity in the country because of its unique appearance and health benefits. Here are some frequently asked questions that will give you an insight into this fruit. 

    1. How to buy dragon fruit?

It’s simple. Look for the fruit which is bright coloured and without a dry stem. A fruit having a dry stem can indicate that it is over-ripened. 

    1. Dragon fruit is a native of which country? 

This fruit is a native of Central and South America but is currently cultivated in South East Asian. 

    1. Can you put dragon fruit on your face? 

You can make a facial mask and apply it on your face for 20 minutes. This will keep your skin nourished and glowing. All you need to do is to smash dragon fruit with some yoghurt and blend it till it becomes a paste. Gently apply it on your face and rinse it with some lukewarm water after 20 minutes. 

    1. How many types of dragons fruits are available in India? 

There are three varieties available in India such as:

      • Yellow skin with white pulp and black seeds; and
      • Red skin with white pulp and black seeds.
      • Red skin with red pulp and black seeds. 
    1. Which variety of dragon fruit tastes the best?

If you are a sweet lover, dragon fruit with white pulp and tiny black seeds taste better. If you prefer less sweetness, then you need to try the one with the red pulp. 

It’s fun to add this healthy fruit to your everyday diet as it has multiple benefits that can benefit your overall health. The best time to grab a bite is during breakfast. One glass of dragon fruit smoothie is all you’ll ever want with some bread and egg. Stay healthy, live happy.

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