Must-Know health advantages of Dragon Fruit
What Is Dragon Fruit?
A new fruit with a unique appearance has lately joined the tropical fruit market. This magnificent fruit is known as Dragon Fruit, Pitaya, or Strawberry Pear, and it attracts customers with its vivid magenta colored spikes and an equally enticing white dotted interior (Hylocereus undatus). This cactus plant, sometimes known as the Honolulu queen, blooms solely at night. The most popular kind has a white pulp studded with tiny black seeds, whereas red pulp with red skin and white pulp with yellow skin are less frequent. It has a gentle sweetness and a crunchy texture, with a pear and kiwi flavor. Smoothies and fruit salads benefit greatly from this fruit.
Dragon fruit has a long history.
The dragon fruit is native to Mexico and Central America, but the French introduced it to Southeast Asia in the late 1800s, initially in Vietnam. Thailand, Taiwan, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka are currently developing markets for dragon fruit cultivation and delivery. The name 'dragon fruit' comes from the distinctive appearance of the fruit, which has spikes that mimic fire and scales that resemble those of a dragon, as represented in Chinese mythology.
The dragon fruit is a superfood because it is low in calories but high in fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals, as well as 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 powerful antioxidants found in dragon fruit. The antioxidant activity of the fruit, according to a study published in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2018,1 can help prevent inflammatory disorders like gouty arthritis. Hydroxycinnamates have been shown to have anticancer properties, and flavonoids have been related to improved brain health and a lower risk of heart disease.
Carotene, which improves eyesight, vitamin C, which boosts the immune system (10 percent of the daily recommended value), B vitamins, which aid carbohydrate metabolism, calcium, which helps develop strong bones and teeth, iron, which helps form healthy red blood cells, and phosphorus, which promotes tissue and cell growth are all found in dragon fruit.
Although the results are not always definitive, animal studies demonstrate that dragon fruit has a favorable effect on type 2 diabetes. Dragon fruit has also been shown in tests to help with insulin resistance and hepatic fat reduction. However, feeding lab rats dragon fruit juice resulted in improved blood sugar response and a decrease in some liver enzyme indicators, whereas other liver enzyme markers increased dramatically.
The fruit's tiny seeds are high in omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Natural oils derived from the seeds can also be used as a mild laxative.
Dragon fruit nourishes intestinal flora, which can have a probiotic effect on the body, according to a study published in the Electronic Journal of Biotechnology in 2014.2 Dragon fruit contains oligosaccharides, a type of carbohydrate that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the stomach and intestines. Probiotics are beneficial to digestion, immunity, and the prevention of intestinal infections.
Because of its bitter flavor, the skin of dragon fruit is normally discarded, but some people pickle it or use it in salads. Additional flavonoids, which are antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties, are added as a result. In 2013, a group of Malaysian scientists disclosed the creation of Dragon Fruit Coloring Powder (DFCP), a natural healthy food colorant obtained from the leftover peel or albedo of the dragon fruit. Skin-beautifying face masks, healthy low-cost tea, and anti-dandruff formulas are some of the other uses for dragon fruit peel.
In a nutshell, the growing popularity of dragon fruit is attributable not only to its aesthetic appeal, but also to its extensive health benefits, which have been supported by scientific study.