Dragon fruit is also known as pitaya, which contains a seed oil containing linoleic acid and linolenic acid. It grows on a climbing cactus plant known as Hylocereus, and these plants are found in all tropical areas globally. Dragon fruit is like a bulb in structure from the outside, and inside, it has fleshy white pulp with tiny black seeds all over. The dragon fruit uses are several, but to be more specific, it is widely used to flavor other juices and alcoholic beverages and is slightly sweet.
Different Varieties of Dragon Fruit
There are three wide varieties of dragon fruit. They are:
- Pink or red-skinned ones with white flesh and black seeds. This is the most commonly found variety and is known as pitaya Blanca.
- Pink or red-skinned dragon fruits that contain red flesh and black seeds are known as Pitaya Roja.
- Yellow skinned dragon fruit with white flesh and black seeds. This is known as Pitaya Amarilla.
Dragon Fruit Nutrition
The nutritional value of dragon fruitÂ is mentioned below per 100 grams of the fruit.Energy260 kcalDietary Fiber1.8 gramsSugar82.14 gramsProtein3.57 gramsVitamin C9.2 milligramsCalcium107 milligramsSodium39 milligrams
Dragon Fruit Health Benefits
There is a lot of goodness in this particular fruit. Find a few of the dragon fruit health benefits discussed below;
- Dragon fruit benefits the immune system by strengthening it. It is rich in vitamin C and few other antioxidants and drastically improves its immunity levels.
- Dragon fruit benefits the human system by boosting iron levels. These are very important for the body to create energy with the help of moving oxygen. Vitamin C helps the body absorb this iron and helps the body prevent the risk of anemia.
- Dragon fruit's advantages are many to the human body, but the most important one is that it lowers the system's blood sugar levels. This is because it replaces the damaged cells in the pancreas that create insulin. Insulin is responsible for breaking down sugar in the body, and therefore, dragon fruit benefits diabetic people.
- The dragon fruit nutrition contains a lot of antioxidants like betacyanin, phenolic acid and flavonoids. These protect the body cells from getting damaged by other free radicals, and therefore, this activity helps the body reduce the risk of developing cancer.
- Dragon fruit benefits for skin in the body with the antioxidants as it is very helpful in preventing premature aging.
- Dragon fruits contain prebiotics that feeds the healthy bacteria in the gutâ€”the benefits of eating dragon fruit help improve and balance the bacterial levels in the intestines. To be more specific, it encourages the growth of both lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the gut. Dragon fruit uses these to kill all the other disease-causing viruses and bacteria and helps in better digestion processes.Â
- Dragon fruit benefits for thyroid problems in the body as it is seen to be extensively effective in improving the functioning of the thyroid glands.Â
- Dragon fruit improves cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of heart problems. Research states that it is essential to prevent stroke as it promotes healthy blood flow through the arteries.Â
- It is seen to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and reduce inflammation and tenderness. This anti-inflammatory property of this fruit is seen to function as a natural painkiller.
How to Consume a Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is brightly red on the outside with an evenly colored skin texture. Please make use of a sharp knife to cut them and slice them in half. Then with the help of a spoon, one can scoop and consume the fruit of the skin, peeled off, and the pulp can be cut or diced into small pieces. Chopping the fruit into small amounts can be topped with yogurt and nuts and then eaten as a salad.
Dragon Fruit Pudding
There is no elegant snack like pudding. One can make puddings at home with zero preservatives combining other sophisticated flavors too by mixing it with strawberry, rambutan, chia and other berries to create a very creative and tasty pudding. Dragon fruit gives the liberty to try the innovations with it. A simple recipe of dragon fruit pudding is elaborated below which is very easy to attempt at home:
- Dragon fruit chunks 800 grams
- Mixed berries 375 grams
- Sugar Â¾ cup
- Vanilla bean 1
- White bread slices with crust removed 10
- Double cream (very little)
- Take a saucepan and mix sugar with a half cup of water and the vanilla bean. Then bring it to a boil and let it bubble for two whole minutes. Please switch off the flame and allow it to rest so that it cools down.
- Take the mixed berries and cook them with some syrup on medium flame. Cook it for 2 to 3 minutes and keep stirring continuously. The berries will start forming a syrup, and they will become soft. Switch off the flame at this stage and mix the dragon fruit with the syrup.
- Place the pudding bowl in a row and layer the base with the de-crusted slices of bread. Place the fruit on top of it by packing the bowls tightly. Then pour the syrup onto it from above.
- Now position another layer of bread on top of these and again pour some more syrup from above.Â
- Cover the pudding bowl with a heavyweight that exerts pressure from the top so that the pudding gets tightly packed.
- Allow the pudding in the refrigerator overnight.Â
- The next day takes the bowl out and then flip them upside down.Â
- Serve them with double cream and garnish them with some berries. Both these steps are optional and left to the preference of the consumer.
This delicious tropical fruit is worth every ounce as it tastes fantastic with essential nutrients, prebiotic fibres with lesser calories. Though dragon fruit uses are many in a seasonal fruit bowl, it is the most exclusive fruit that one must add to the diet. This is because it adds a variety and overweighs the importance of consuming fruit with potential health benefits.