Dragon Fruit Health benefits with nutritional value plus calories. Eating methods and various home remedies and its taste.
Dragon fruit is a recent addition to the diet chart. It’s import to the USA was permitted only in 2008. It has leather-like skin and prominent spikes. However, its flowers are very sweet-smelling, but on the downside, they bloom in the night and wilt by morning.
The fruit is seasonal and available during summers and is grown in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is called pitaya in the local language. Fruit that you usually get is red on the outside, but there are other variants like yellow available.
- Its seeds have a nutty taste and are rich in lipids.
- The fruit is a visual delight, but gastronomically it does not score very high. Its taste is very slightly sweet or sour.
- It is an excellent addition into your fruit salad, or you can toss it in a blender with yogurt and make a smoothie.
- Some foods like people excel only in groups; Dragon fruit can be a winner if consumed along with little honey drizzled over the fruit.
Dragon fruit Nutrition
Dragon fruit packs many natural antioxidants like Betalains, Vitamin C and carotenoids. Studies have found a direct link between Vitamin C and Cancer. Societies that tend to have a higher consumption of vitamin C are found to be less prone to cancer.
Antioxidants are most effective when taken naturally rather than in the form of medicine.
Some studies have associated Betalains with reduced LDL cholesterol. It is also associated with many anti-inflammatory properties. It has been found to stimulate the growth of damaged blood vessels.
It is a good source of Vitamin C and also contains a bit of iron. It is recommended for anemic people as Vitamin C contained in it helps the absorption of iron. Almost 30% of the world population is anaemic and does not have awareness about the deficiency. Foods like, meat, legumes, fish, spinach, broccoli, beetroot, and nuts are an excellent source of iron.
Dragon fruit can also join the illustrious list and help eliminate the deficiency. White blood cells, the sentinels of the body to the outside source are vulnerable to free radical damage. Vitamin C and carotenoids neutralize free radicals and hence improve the body’s immunity against outside invaders.
Infections like Congo Fever, dengue are best fended off with a robust immune system, although modern medication is competent to deal with the sicknesses, the after-effects can be crippling. General weakness overshadows the body and may take months to go away.
Medicinal values of Dragon Fruit
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
- Hydroxycinnamates: A class of compounds found in the fruit has been shown to possess anti-cancer activities.
- A study on mice found that mice fed with an excess of fat and fruit found lower levels of weight gain and had reduced liver fat, inflammation, and insulin resistance.
Both red and white variety of fruit has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and fatty liver in obese mice.
In another study, rats with diabetes treated with an extract from the fruit had a 35% reduction in malondialdyhyde a marker for free radical damage.
It also showed less arterial stiffening.
When arteries lose their suppleness, they cause diseases like heart and strokes.
Flavonoids: This Large group of antioxidants in the fruits is linked to better brain health and reduced risk of heart disease.
Rich source of Magnesium:
Magnesium is present in each cell of the body and takes part in more than 500 reactions taking place. It is needed for the breakdown of food into energy, bone formation, muscle contraction and something as important as DNA formation.
It also supports overall bone health and is supposed to be linked to a reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Dragon fruit has more magnesium than most fruit s, A cup full of fruit is sufficient to meet 18% of the daily requirement.
Excellent source of fiber
Doctors recommend 25 grammas of fibre for woman and 38 grammas of fibre for a man per day. Fibre is a non-digestible carbohydrate that significantly facilitates the dietary system. They also play a significant role in preventing heart disease and in managing type -2 diabetes. They also help in maintaining healthy body weight.
Studies indicate that fibers protect against colon cancer.
Dragon fruit is low calorie, and serving of a cup contains about seven grams of fiber.
It is perfect for stomach:
Ayurveda says that your gut is the first defense against disease. If you stomach is fit and fine, you rarely would have an ailment. Chronic diseases like Asthma and even heart disease are linked to poor gut quality.
In our gut are billion of bacteria distributed amongst hundreds of species. Our stomach cannot break down the carbohydrate in the fibers; these bacterial colonies thrive on this fiber’s and help them break them down.
Prebiotics help the growth of these good bacteria. Good bacteria’s may prevent harmful bacteria’s from multiplying and hence help avoid many gastro-intestinal troubles. They may also help fend off acidity although the studies in the direction are still inconclusive.
- Dragon fruit is an excellent addition to your diet; it is tasty when in a company and has several beneficial roles to play. There is more than one way to consume it.
- A large number of people have tried it, but if you are not one of them give it a try. It is healthy and nutritious.
- How to eat it: Just cut the fruit in two and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, you can also use the knife straight and crosswise to divide the fruit into small cubes.
- Care must be taken to avoid its skin as it is not edible.
- Dragon fruit cubes are also available in a frozen condition in certain supermarkets.