Dragon fruit is a delicious and exotic tropical fruit. It is otherwise called “pitaya” and belongs to the cactus genus named Hylocereus. The fruit originated from Central America, South America, and Mexico. Later, it was brought to Southeast regions like Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Cambodia.
Dragon fruit come in two kinds of taste – sour and sweet. Based on the species, even the size and shape varies. The outer skin is soft and dark pink to red in color. They are covered with wide, spiky growths. The inner flesh is much similar to that of a kiwi except that it is white in color.
Dragon Fruit Nutrition
The dragon fruit benefits are primarily attributed to its vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has carbohydrates, calcium, protein, fiber, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin C, zinc, phosphorous, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acid, lycopene, and omega 6 fatty acid.
10 Best Health Benefits Of Dragon Fruit
1. Boosts The Immune System
One of the best health benefits of dragon fruit is the ability to increase the immunity levels of the body. It fights against multiple diseases and infections. This is due to the presence of vitamin C in them and that too in high amounts. Vitamin C acts as antioxidants and eliminates all the harmful toxins and free radicals from the body. The more the vitamin C in the body, better is the health!
2. Stronger Teeth and Bones
Dragon Fruit is fortified with essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which are required to maintain a healthier bone structure. In fact, different studies have proven that consuming dragon fruits on a regular basis reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The phosphorous and calcium content in dragon fruits assists in enhancing the bone density; thus, resulting in stronger and healthier teeth and bones naturally. Also, it aids in tissue development and repair. So, next time you see these fruits in the shop, don’t forget to pick them up.
3. Good For Cardiovascular Health
Despite being a wild and tropical, dragon fruit also holds, a unique list of health properties while the one important being 0% cholesterol. In short, there are no cholesterol-producing fats. The tiny, black seeds in dragon fruits have high quantities of polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3). These fats are 100% healthy and natural. They assist in lowering down the triglycerides levels, preventing the possibilities of cardiovascular problems.
An added benefit is that dragon fruits also contain vitamin B3, a nutrient that lowers the bad (or LDL – Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels and raises the good (or HDL – High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. Also, dragon fruit decreases oxidative stress, which is yet another major contributing factor for cardiovascular disease.
4. Better Digestion & Metabolism
One of the important health benefits of dragon fruit attributes to the presence of fiber and that too in incredibly high quantities. Just eat a dragon fruit and you can be full for hours. The fiber bulks up the bowel movements and facilitates smooth passage via the digestive tract; thereby, stimulating the peristaltic activity and inducing the discharge of digestive juices.
The dietary fiber in this tropical fruit further regulates healthier digestion and averts problems like diarrhea, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and constipation. Besides keeping the belly satisfied, it aids in weight loss and enhances the metabolic rate too.
5. Improves Eye Vision
Yes, this simple fruit can improve eyesight too. It has an abundance of Vitamin A, which is usually in the form of carotene, a nutrient that is required by the eyes’ retina for color vision and night vision (low light). Deficiency in vitamin A causes age-related eye problems like macular degeneration and night blindness. However, one can prevent this by adding this delicious fruit in the daily diet.
6. Glowing Skin
Those black, tiny seeds in dragon fruit are a big source of monounsaturated fats. These natural fats are what make the skin glow. Just like other fruits, even this exotic, tropical fruit has plenty of antioxidants to make sure the skin looks young and clear. It staves off all the free radicals and toxins, making the skin tighter, flexible, and beautiful at the same time.
7. Prevents Cancer
Besides vitamin C and vitamin A, dragon fruit is a great source of other natural antioxidants. Among them, carotene is an important component, which has been associated with anti-carcinogenic properties and reducing the growth of tumor cells.
The Phyto albumins in dragon fruit’s seeds assist in preventing free radicals that cause cancer. The high proportion of vitamin C blocks the tumor size and improves the life quality of patients suffering from cancer. It reduces the symptoms nausea, fatigue, pain, appetite loss, and vomiting. Also, the fruit has been known to get rid of heavy, toxic metals that are responsible for the formation of tumors in the body.
8. Helps The Nervous System
Dragon fruits are fortified with B-complex vitamins, which help in the development and protection of the nervous system. The B-vitamins ensure the healthier growth of nerve cells and makes them more alert; thus, assisting the person to experience proper conductive signaling and better mental clarity.
9. Suppresses Arthritis
One of the best health benefits of dragon fruit is the ability to suppress arthritis, a condition that directly distresses the joints. Arthritis causes severe immobility and irritation. However, adding this tropical fruit in your daily diet prevents this ailment. That is why it is nicknamed as the “anti-inflammatory fruit.”
10. Fights Diabetes
As said earlier, dragon fruit is a good source of dietary fiber, which helps in stabilizing the blood sugar levels. It inhibits the sugar spikes that usually occur after consuming high GI (glycemic index) foods. However, if you are planning to change your diet, consult a doctor, as sudden fiber intake could be dangerous.
Side Effects Of Dragon Fruit
There are no known side effects of eating dragon fruits. In fact, it is considered safe even for pregnant women.