Pitaya or Dragon Fruit: It Looks Beautiful, But How Healthy Is It?

Although, dragon fruit is quite commonly known for its distinct appearance and flavor, not many are aware of its multiple health benefits.
dragon fruit

Dragon Fruit - Pitaya Fruit

I’m sure you have many times seen this fruit in the supermarket and wondered how it would taste like. 

Dragon fruit or Pitaya fruit is a tropical fruit that has gained immense popularity in the past few years. 

It gets its name from the red skin and green scales on its cover that bears a resemblance to a dragon. 

Although, it is quite commonly known for its distinct appearance and flavor, not many are aware of its multiple health benefits.

We put together for you all the things that we think you might want to know about the dragon fruit. 

Origin And Taste

Dragon fruit plant is locally grown in Mexico and Central America, but today it is found in different countries all around the world. 

The dragon fruit plant is also known as the Hylocereus cactus or the Honolulu queen. 

The most distinct feature of the dragon fruit plant is that its flowers bloom only during the night.

Dragon fruit is also called by the name of kiwi-pear as it tastes like a blend of kiwi and pear. 

This exotic fruit usually has a white pulp with black seeds.

Dragon Fruit Nutrition and Benefits

dragon fruit 2

Nutrition

Dragon fruit has a lot of nutritional value. It contains different nutrients in small quantities that make it a healthy and low calorie fruit. 

A 100 g of dragon fruit is rich in the following nutrients:

  • Magnesium 10%
  • Iron 4%
  • Fiber 3 g
  • Carbs 13 g
  • Protein 1.2 g
  • Vitamin C 3 %

Health Benefits

Rich in fiber and antioxidants, both red and white varieties of dragon fruit offer many health benefits for your body. 

Here are some of the most prominent benefits of eating dragon fruit:

  • Dragon fruit is high in vitamin C and carotenoids that play a vital role in improving your immune system. Therefore including dragon fruit in your diet helps keep infections away and promote a healthy body.
  • Dragon fruit is also rich in a particular type of fiber that helps improve your gut health. This fiber helps promote the growth of good bacteria, which eventually improves your body’s metabolism rate.
  • Eating antioxidant fruits such as dragon fruit also offer protection against inflammation, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or any other chronic disease.

Calories

Dragon fruit has less amount of sugar and carbs in comparison to many other tropical fruits. 

It is undoubtedly one of the best low calorie fruits that make a great addition to your diet.

With only 60 cal per 3.5oz (100g) it is definately worth trying.

How To Eat Dragon Fruit

dragon fruit on a plate

Cutting Dragon Fruit

A lot of people get intimidated by the appearance of a dragon fruit. But, this should not come in your way of eating it at all. 

Follow these simple steps to cut a dragon fruit:

  • Pick a ripe dragon fruit that has an even vibrant red tone.
  • Take a sharp knife and slice the dragon fruit into a half from the center.
  • Peel off the skin and slice the fruit into pieces. You can also scoop out the pulp with the help of a spoon without peeling it off.

Eating Dragon Fruit

Here are some ways to eat dragon fruit and benefit from its nutrient rich properties:

  • One of the best ways to eat dragon fruit is to simply cut, peel off, slice and eat in its natural form.
  • Dragon fruit also complements Greek yogurt. You can simply chop it into small pieces and mix it in your Greek yogurt along a few nuts of your choice.
  • Dragon fruit also blends in well with different salads and dressings due to its unique exotic flavor.

Dragon Fruit Recipes

From When Sweet Becomes Healthy Dragon Fruit Cheesecake

From Feel Good Foodie – Dragon Fruit Smoothie

From Host The Toast Strawberry Dragon Fruit Margarita

Dragon Fruit Risks

Generally, dragon fruit is safe to consume with no possible side effects.

It is only in the rarest of cases where a person develops an allergy by consuming this fruit. 

However, it is possible for people to be allergic to this tropical fruit without having awareness of it.

On the whole, dragon fruit is an incredible tropical fruit that not just tastes great, but also helps promote great overall health

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