6 Surprising Benefits Of Dragon Fruit You Never Knew
There are a few different varieties of dragonfruit (a.k.a. pitahaya or pitaya). The most common variety has a thick, deep pinkish red, leathery skin with flame-like green spikes. There are the white and blood-red flesh varieties with tiny black seeds and the Pitaya Amarilla that has yellow skin with white flesh inside.
How did dragonfruit get its fancy name? It has this almost scaly, flame-like green spikes (not thorny), but look also at its flowers and you will understand why.
For the very “dressy” skin and fancy name, dragonfruit flesh has a rather bland taste with a melon-like texture and crunchy seeds like the kiwifruits.
Dragon fruit contains small amounts of several nutrients and is a good source of vitamin C and iron. Here are the nutrition facts for a serving of 3.5 ounces, or 100 grams:
- Calories: 52. - Protein: 1.1 gram. - Fat: 0.4 grams. - Carbs: 11 grams. - Fiber: 3 grams. - Vitamin C: 34% of the RDI. - Iron: 10.6% of the RDI. - Thiamine: 2.7% of the RDI. - Riboflavin: 2.9% of the RDI.
Health Benefits Of Dragon Fruit
1. Boosts Metabolism
Dietary intake of protein is essential for healthy functioning of our body and dragon fruit is an unusually good source of protein. Many of the proteins we gain from fruits, vegetables, and meat are metabolized by enzymes in our body and turned into usable proteins that can speed up cell repair, enhance strength and metabolism, and help us lose weight and increase muscle mass.
2. Promotes Skin Health
Attaining a healthy and glowing skin is no longer a tough task. Just keep a watch on what you eat and exercise more, and you will witness a change for yourself. Adding dragon fruit to your diet too can do a lot good to your skin. Drinking one glass of tangy dragon fruit juice is a good way to start your mornings. It will not only make you healthy but will also help release all the toxins from the body, leaving behind a glowing skin. This fruit has a very high antioxidant content which works well in scavenging the free radicals, saving you from the sagging and dull skin. Additionally, dragon fruit is rich in vitamin C that helps brighten the skin.
3. Heart Healthy
Americans have increasing problems maintaining cardiovascular health. Fortunately, this fruit has an amazing superpower that helps decrease bad cholesterol levels and replenish good levels. Dragon fruit is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, helping the heart stay in great condition.
4. Dragon Fruit for the Prevention & Cure of Diabetes
The high amount of fiber in this exotic fruit can help stabilize a person’s blood sugar levels. It also helps to inhibit the sugar spikes that occur after eating high glycemic index foods. In the same study in the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research, researchers found dragon fruit had a valuable effect on the oxidative stress from aortic stiffness in diabetic rats. This suggests regular consumption of the fruit could be beneficial in preventing common issues linked to diabetes.
5. Fight Cancer
Red dragon fruit contains more antioxidant and pigments which greater than antioxidant in other types of dragon fruit. The red dragon fruit contains Vitamin C and lycopene which can prevent from certain disease such as cancer, especially prostate cancer. A study which published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention reported that consumption of some amount of lycopene every day can decrease the risk of prostate cancer.
6. Dragon Fruit for Healthy Bones and Teeth
Dragon fruit is a rich natural source of phosphorus and calcium. These qualities in foods help in strengthening the bones and teeth. According to several medical studies conducted it has been proven that regular consumption of the dragon fruit also reduces the risk and symptoms of osteoporosis. Dragon fruit also helps in increasing the bone mass in teeth resulting in stronger teeth naturally.