Try Out the Dragon Fruit for Optimum Health

In this ever-growing world of health products, new ones are bound to pop up every once in a while. It might be some new fad diet, a new way of living, a new exercise routine, or a new kind of superfood. And for many of you, the dragon fruit might be one of those very same superfood you’ve never heard of before.

That’s right, dragon fruit. Fruit for the dragons.

Okay, not really, but its name does sound quite exotic and exciting, don’t you think?

This is a tropical fruit that is native to southern Mexico and Central America. And today, it’s grown all over the world. It’s especially popular in Southeast Asian countries, like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Aside from being called dragon fruit, it goes by other names too. You can call it strawberry pear, pitaya, or pitahaya.

It’s primarily called dragon fruit because of its bright red skin covered with green scales. Many people think this resembles a dragon’s hide.

The most widely available and most popular variety of the fruit is the one with white pulp and black seeds. Other varieties have red pulp with black seeds, or have yellow skin but still white pulp and black seeds.

The taste of this fruit is quite similar to other fruits. Nope, sorry, this doesn’t taste like fire or anything like that. Its taste is like a sweet combination of a pear and a kiwi.

Nutrition Facts of the Dragon Fruit

Plenty of people consider the dragon fruit as a superfood. True enough, it does possess a lot of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients beneficial for your body. It gives you energy, dietary fiber, healthy fat, and protein. It also has a very high water content.

For its vitamin content, this fruit contains a lot of vitamin C, along with vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B1 (thiamin), and vitamin B2 (riboflavin).

It has minerals phosphorus, calcium, and iron. And finally, it contains the phytonutrient carotene as well as powerful antioxidants.

Dragon Fruit Benefits

This exotic-looking can do more than just pique your interest. It can actually provide you with plenty of nutrients that’ll improve and strengthen your body.

Boosts Immunity

The dragon fruit is known to have high amounts of vitamin C. This particular vitamin is vital when it comes to boosting the body’s immune system. Its antioxidant content also ensures that those harmful free radicals do no damage to your body.

All the other nutrients in this fruit work together to keep the immune system in tip-top shape.

The dragon fruit also possesses anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. There are compounds in the fruit that increase white blood cell count in the body. These cells defend against toxins. They also prevent the entrance or growth of fungal or bacterial infections in your system. And lastly, these cells stimulate cell regeneration and speed up healing. That means bruises and wounds will heal faster and easier.

Provides Better Skin

I bet you didn’t know, but this particular fruit can do plenty for your skin in different ways and means.

For one, it can help your skin fight the signs of aging. The antioxidants in dragon fruit help keep your skin tight and firm. The phosphorus content in the fruit also helps prevent premature skin aging.

Another way pitaya can help with your skin is by preventing acne. You can use the fruit as a face mask that effectively cleans your skin and prevents acne growth. Its compounds fight off bacteria infection and cleans clogged pores.

The regular intake of this fruit also keeps your skin looking glowing and healthy. They help prevent free radical effects on skin, like wrinkles and dullness. This fruit will certainly provide you with brighter, younger-looking, and healthier skin.

Finally, the pitaya is great in treating sunburns. Its vitamin B3 content helps moisturize the skin and releases the heat trapped in the skin caused by sunburns. Simply mix some dragon fruit juice with aloe vera and apply on the sunburned area. You will soon experience cool relief.

Promotes Good Digestion

The fiber content in this fruit will help with plenty of digestion issues, such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and even colorectal cancer. You will heave regular bowel movements with the addition of this fruit to your diet.

The fiber helps bulk up stool, facilitates its smooth passage through the digestive tract, stimulates peristaltic motion, and induces the release of digestive juices.

The fruit also contains oligosaccharides, which act as prebiotics. And we all know that prebiotics improve gut health and are staunch supporters of a healthy digestive system.

And according to a study published in 3 Biotech, “The introduction of functional compounds like prebiotics in the diet seems to be an attractive alternative to ameliorate the quality of life ridden with obesity, cancer, hypersensitivity, vascular diseases and degenerative ailments.”

Aids in Weight Loss

Of course, losing weight and maintaining it is always connected to a well-functioning digestive system.

Because of the high fiber content in pitaya, it’ll help you feel fuller longer. That way, you won’t have the urge to snack in between meals. It’ll also help you avoid the tendency to overeat.

Also, the protein in this fruit hastens our metabolism, which speeds up weight loss.

And another thing to note is that this fruit is low in calories as well as cholesterol. This makes it a perfect snack for those who want to lose weight the healthy way.

Helps with Diabetes

The fiber content in this fruit also helps out with diabetes. Fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels and maintains normal blood sugar. The fruit also prevents sugar spikes after you eat high-glycemic food.

The fruit also has positive effects on oxidative stress, which is beneficial in reducing certain issues associated with diabetes. And finally, the fruit benefits insulin resistance, and reduces the risk of diabetes and its symptoms.

Bolsters Heart Health

Around 175 million people die annually due to heart troubles. Now that’s pretty alarming. If you want to protect your heart and ensure that it stays healthy and happy, then adding dragon fruit to your daily diet is the answer.

According to the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research, the fruit is effective in decreasing bad cholesterol while at the same time increasing good cholesterol. The reduction of bad cholesterol in the system lowers the chances of developing plaque in the arteries. This also ensures your veins stay small, reducing the probability of atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks.

And since it’s a great source of monounsaturated fats, it helps keep the heart in good shape.

Relieves Arthritis

The dragon fruit is known as one of the best anti-inflammatory fruits. It effectively helps ease the pain in the joints caused by arthritis. The severe irritation and immobility you feel because of arthritis will be lessened, thanks to this helpful fruit.

Prevents Cancer

Dragon fruit contains the compound carotene, which possesses anti-carcinogenic properties. It also reduces tumor sizes as well.

Of course, the antioxidants in the fruit also contribute to cancer prevention. They fight off cancer-causing toxins from entering the body.  

Kate B. Forsyth is a writer for Be Healthy Today, who specializes in health and nutrition. Her passion is to help people get an overall transformation of health that lasts a lifetime. In her blog posts, she goes beyond research by providing health-concerned citizens doable and simple tricks to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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