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What the Dragon Fruit?!

Expand your horizons of fruit.

Photo via Wikipedia

I'll be honest. I had no idea what a dragon fruit was! I didn't know dragon fruit existed!

Need I say it was a savory food exploration!

As I began to enjoy the taste and texture of dragon fruit, I discovered that dragon fruit has many benefits to promote positive health.

Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that has become popular.

Known as the Honolulu queen, dragon fruit grows on the Hylocereus cactus. Dragon fruit is home to southern Mexico and Central America. Today, you can find dragon fruit worldwide.

There's two types of dragon fruit that are common: Red skin with green scales or red pulp with black seeds. Alternatively, dragon fruit can be eaten or picked with yellow skin with white pulp and black seeds. Dragon fruit appears to look like a pineapple and has scales related to artichokes.

Dragon fruit is also known as pitaya, pitahaya, or strawberry pear. Dragon fruit has the taste between kiwi and texture of a pear. 

This tasty fruit is a source of iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, and low amounts of protein.

Here's the benefits dragon fruit affords you with each bite!

1. Dragon fruit has antioxidants.

Dragon fruit contains several antioxidants, like carotene and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Dragon fruit also contains three important antioxidants that help your body:

  • Betalains are found in the inside of red dragon fruit. The red colors have been shown to guard bad cholesterol from being damaged.
  • Hydroxycinnamates is a group of compounds that have shown protection against anticancer via animal and test-tube studies.
  • Flavonoids are a large and diverse group of antioxidants that's linked to better brain health and can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Dragon fruit is a source of calcium that helps develop strong teeth and bones, iron for healthy red blood cells, and phosphorus to aid in supporting good tissue and repair of cell growth.

2. Dragon fruit contains prebiotic fiber.

Dragon fruit contains prebiotic fiber. Prebiotic fiber supports the growth of good bacteria located in your gut. This could improve your metabolic health.

According to a study with mice on a high fat and carbohydrate diet, dragon fruit juice shown to be better for blood sugar responses and reductions in liver enzyme markers. It was also evident that dragon fruit lessens arterial stiffness.

3. Dragon fruit contains capin.

Dragon fruit contains a phytochemical called capin. Capin is used in medicines to relieve heart problems.

Dragon fruit also aids in boosting the immune system, quicker recovery from wounds and bruises, and can minimize the risk respiratory problems.

Eating dragon fruit can assist in the aid in eliminating toxic heavy metals and improve eyesight.

4. Dragon fruit can lower the risks of cancers.

Dragon fruit contains Lycopene, the purpose of the red color present in its skin. Lycopene has been linked to reducing the risk of prostate cancer.

The seeds found inside of dragon fruit are high in polyunsaturated fats, also known as Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These polyunsaturated fats help lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders.

Don't be intimidated to eat dragon fruit.

I will be honest. I was a little intimidated to eat dragon fruit. Needless to say, it's not a hard taste to consume this precious fruit.

  • Choose a dragon fruit with a bright and even colored skin that shows when squeezed.
  • Use a chef's knife to cut the dragon fruit in half.
  • Using a tablespoon, scoop the fruit out from the skin. Alternatively, you can peel the skin off and slice into sizable pieces.

I found that dragon fruit is great with Greek yogurt or tossed in a leafy green or a fruit salad.

Happy eating!