Dragon fruit, also referred to as pitahaya or strawberry pear, is a tropical fruit renowned for its vibrant red skin and sweet, seed-speckled pulp. The unique appearance and acclaimed benefits of eating dragon fruit have made it equally popular among the foodies as well as health-conscious people.
If you have never tasted dragon fruit, you must – not just because of its taste but because of the health benefits it offers. Let’s understand what makes this unique fruit so nutritious.
Dragon Fruit Nutrition
100 g of dragon fruit includes 264 calories, 82 grams of carbs, and 3 g of protein (3.57 g). It has high levels of calcium, potassium, iron (4% RDI), magnesium (10% RDI), fibre (1.8 g), and vitamin C (3% RDI). The vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and C are also abundant in them.
- Dragon fruit is a good source of fibre [complex healthy carbs]. Its complex sugars are a healthier substitute for processed sugar.
- The fibre in dragon fruit is essential for preserving the good bacteria in the digestive system. The substantial fibre content facilitates bowel movements as well.
- Dragon fruit has a low glycemic index, and is nutrient-rich, this is why it is a nutritious snack.
- The high vitamin C content of dragon fruit exceeds the daily required amount. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and antioxidant with a variety of physiological functions as well as numerous health benefits.
Now that you have gone through the major dragon fruit nutrition facts, let’s check the dragon fruit benefits out in detail in the next section.
Benefits of Eating Dragon Fruit
Regular consumption of dragon fruit can improve your health and well-being because it is packed with vitamins, nutrients, and disease-preventing antioxidants. Here are some of the possible dragon fruit health benefits you should know about:
1. May Help in Weight Loss
Incorporating dragon fruit into your diet can be very beneficial if you are watching your waistline and working hard to lose a few inches. While there isn’t a superfood that instantly melts away body fat and makes you look thinner, dragon fruit is low in calories and sugar and can be consumed as a snack in between meals to prevent binge eating.
The long-lasting satiety and fullness provided by dragon fruit can help you resist the impulse to eat more. This fruit also has a lot of fibre, which increases metabolism and helps with healthy weight loss.
2. May Promote a Healthy Gut
Due to its high fibre content, dragon fruit is regarded as being beneficial for digestion. Prebiotic fibre promotes the development of probiotics like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in the body. These bacteria protect against viruses and help with better digestion.
There are around 2.5 grams of fibre in 100 grams of dragon fruit, which is 11% of the daily recommended amount (DV). Your daily requirement for fibre will be met by including dragon fruit in your diet, which will also promote healthy bowel regularity. Additionally, dietary fibre facilitates bowel movements and relieves ailments like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other digestive problems.
3. May Strengthen Your Immune System
Betacyanins, betaxanthins, and vitamin C are just a few of the antioxidants found in dragon fruit. Because it helps in eliminating dangerous germs and encourages the development of white blood cells, vitamin C is essential for maintaining a strong immune system (immunity cells). Dragon fruit contains betalains, which are colorful pigments with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The damaging free radicals that are produced during stress or metabolic processes can be scavenged or bound by these antioxidants.
4. Helping Prevent Inflammation
Doctors advise you to eat dragon fruit if you experience chronic pain from arthritis. According to studies, dragon fruit possesses anti-inflammatory qualities that can significantly reduce joint and muscle discomfort.
The antioxidants in dragon fruit function by combating free radicals and lowering inflammation. Doctors encourage patients with rheumatoid arthritis to consume dragon fruit regularly. The fruit’s anti-inflammatory qualities may help to reduce inflammation and pain.
Health professionals claim that dragon fruit can treat the symptoms of chronic pain naturally. Even if it doesn’t entirely relieve your pain, it might lessen how severe the inflammation is, giving you an improved quality of life.
5. Helping Improve Skin Health
Your skin might benefit greatly from dragon fruit. It contains a lot of vitamin C, which is crucial for healthy skin. The vitamin C in dragon fruit can decrease sunburn and shield the burned area from infection.
Eating dragon fruit may help heal dry skin, lessen wrinkles and fine lines and get rid of age spots. Other elements found in dragon fruit include Vitamin B3, which heals sunburns and delays premature ageing.
The antioxidant qualities of dragon fruit can help in clearing out pores and flushing out impurities from your skin, allowing your skin to relax and glow. A more youthful look may result from the minerals and vitamins in dragon fruit, which can promote the healing of skin cells that have been damaged.
6. Boasting Cancer-Prevention Properties
Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is abundant in dragon fruit. Vitamin C’s immune-boosting properties may help in cancer prevention. The antioxidant lycopene, which is present in dragon fruit, contributes to the body’s reduction of cancer-causing free radicals.
Some studies suggest that dragon fruit extract could be very important in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. The bioactive substances in dragon fruit can alter certain cancer-causing processes, such as cancer metabolism. The effectiveness of dragon fruit extract in the treatment of cancer, however, needs to be further investigated. Overall, eating it can support a robust immune system, which may help fend off numerous disorders.
7. Helping Improve Cardiovascular Health
One of the biggest dragon fruit uses is that it helps in improving cardiovascular health in people. Therefore, consuming dragon fruit may lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
For cardiovascular health, the body needs the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that the fruit’s seeds contain. Dragon fruit maintains the health of the arteries, allowing for appropriate blood flow to and from the heart.
Dragon fruit is a unique exotic fruit with numerous health benefits. It is a superfood that can enhance your overall health and well-being. Some of the essential dragon fruit benefits are helping fight cancer, aiding in enhancing cardiovascular health, boosting immunity, improving digestion, and more. The best part is that dragon fruit can be consumed in any form, whether it be raw, in smoothies, as salad dressing, etc.