Suspicious Dragon Fruit and its Health Benefits
Dragon fruit owing to its attention-grabbing name appears to be very suspicious. Most of us are eager to disclose the mystery behind the unique name, taste, and health associated concerns of this fruit. This article will disclose all the astonishing facts analogous to the Dragon fruit.
Starting with the mystery behind its distinctive name. This fruit appears in two vibrant colors yellow and bright pink accompanied by leathery skin and small scaly horn-like projections. On account of its external structure resemblance to a dragon, it is named as Dragon fruit.
What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit referred to as pitaya is scientifically named as Hylocereus undatus belonging to the family Cactaceae. This cactus plant has a formation of the climbing vine and is aerophyte. Being tropic in nature it is presumed to be emanated from America’s central or north-south region. But these days pitaya is extensively cultivated in Florida, Vietnam, and Asian countries.
Its flowers are gloomy, aromatic, and named as a lady of the night because of blooming only at night. Flowers are often eaten or soaked in tea due to their delightful scent. The fruit of pitaya is a white or red colored oviform berry which is escorted by small crispy black seeds. Its taste is tart and sweet more or less like kiwi. Apart from trendy physical appearance Dragon Fruit is seeking attention due to its nutritional importance and health benefits.
Nutritional Status of Dragon Fruit:
The nutritional status of Dragon Fruit has been asserted to be based on many functional and structural compounds like antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibers. As claimed by USDA Dragon fruit possess the following nutritional quantities per 100-gram serving.
- Calories. 55-60
- 1-1.2 gram
- 12-13 gram
- 2.5-3 gram
- 9.5-10 % of DV
- Vitamin C 5-8.9 % RDI
Furthermore, it contains a minute quantity of calcium, vitamin A, B-complex, and iron. These nutrients are helpful in averting anemia, osteoporosis, and improve vision and Immunity.
Dragon Fruit contains a series of B vitamins which are full of health benefits
This vitamin is named thiamine and lifts up the body’s energy and conducts signals to the brain and nervous system.
Vitamin B2 named riboflavin is involved in the growth and development of the body. It is helpful in the production of RBCs and catabolism of fatty acids.
Niacin plays a functional role in energy metabolism and is very effective in the proper functioning of the digestive system and especially the nervous system.
Rich Antioxidants Source:
Antioxidants are antagonists to oxidative reactions. Oxidative reactions lead to free radicals generation which eventually harms the body cells and their working. Antioxidants suppress the actions of these free radicals and break their chain. Some striking antioxidants present in dragon fruit are described below.
Flavonoids are present in dragon fruit which on account of their detoxifying property regulates the cellular activities and prevent the cells from any damage.
This antioxidant apart from giving reddish color to dragon fruit heals the liver syndrome and prevents the inflammation.
9 Promising Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit :
From the nutritional facts about dragon fruit, it is evident that this fruit has huge potential benefits regarding human health. The most striking health benefits of pitaya are elaborated below.
- Control Diabetes:
Dragon fruit is the most suitable food for diabetes control due to the good content of polysaccharides and oligosaccharides. These carbs aid in controlling the blood sugar due to the low glycemic index of the pitaya. An experiment conducted on rats showed that dragon fruit is potential diabetes reducing factor. Further research disclosed that this fruit reduces the insulin resistance in Type-2 diabetic patients.
- Lowers the Cholesterol level:
Dietary fiber contains pectin which reduces the low-density lipoproteins also named as bad cholesterol from the body. In addition, pectin possesses galacturonic acid that opens the blood vessels which have been blocked by bad cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.
- Facilitate in Proper Digestion:
Studies have shown that Dragon Fruit possesses high fiber content that promotes the growth of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. These bacteria assist in nutrient absorption and prevent diarrhea and constipation.
- Provides Essential Fatty Acids:
The black crunchy dragon fruit seeds contain two essential fatty acids named as linoleic acid and linolenic acid. These fatty acids are not synthesized in the human body and are very vital for proper body functioning.
- Reduces Cardiac Stress:
Flavonoids present in dragon fruit are very effective in preventing cardiac stress. These are powerful antioxidants that slow down the plaque formation rate and reduce the risk of coronary inflammations and thrombosis.
- Fights Cancer:
As pitaya is a rich antioxidant source it contains lycopene, polyphenols, and betalains which are anticancerous in nature and effective in reducing a variety of cancers. Lycopene is specifically productive in the reduction of prostate cancer while betalains suppress the cancer cells.
- Boosts the Immunity:
Free radicals produced in the body hamper body immunity and cause inflammatory diseases. Carotenoids, powerful antioxidants, and vitamin C present in dragon fruit spikes up the immunity level of our body and strengthen the defense mechanism against infections.
- Prevents Acne:
As we know dragon fruit is a major source of vitamin C and this vitamin apart from immunity boosting is very effective for good skin. Apply a paste of Dragon fruit on the skin it will detoxify the skin and reduces the chances of pimple formation.
- Keeps the Body Hydrated:
One standard size dragon fruit contains 80-90 % of water content which keeps our body naturally hydrated and absorbs the water-soluble vitamins.
Adverse Effect of Dragon Fruit:
In general dragon fruit is full of health benefits and seems to bear no adverse effect. But in some occasional cases, allergic reactions were observed. So far two incidents have been reported in which women showed allergic symptoms after consuming dragon fruit.
How to consume Dragon Fruit:
Most of the people get confused regarding how to eat dragon fruit. There is no complex methodology behind it you just have to take off the peel then cut the fruit into small slices and enjoy white juicy sweet flesh with ease. Try adding it to your favorite salad for additional taste and vibrant look.
Dragon fruit is a complete package of taste, aroma, pleasure, and nutrition. This fruit single-handedly put a stop to several acute and chronic diseases. Being low in calories and rich in antioxidants, carbohydrates, and magnesium regulates the blood flow, detoxifies the skin, maintains the blood glucose level, and boosts body immunity.