Dragon fruit is not only a beautiful piece of produce, but is one of the best “super fruits” out there as it contains numerous benefits for the body. Everything from helping your skin glow, to improving bone health, to assisting in suppressing arthritis. Your cholesterol will lower faster than eating cheerios when this exotic fruit becomes a part of your routine. It's so easy to eat, too. All you need is a spoon to scoop out the middle… similar to a kiwi.
Dragon fruit, sometimes called pitaya, moonflower, strawberry pear, comes in both sweet and sour varieties. Its shape and size also depends on the species. This exotic fruit is most prominent in Mexico, South and Central America, as well as other Southeast Asian countries. It typically grows in hot areas as it is actually a fruit of a cactus called Hylocereus.
You can also get dried dragon fruit, which keeps longer than fresh pieces. They make a great snack to take on the go. It looks much different, but is still good to eat. It has a sweet taste with a crisp texture. I also like using it to make a delicious dessert parfait. The fresh fruit is made into wines, and its leaves can be used as a tea.
The vitamin C in dragon fruit, together with vitamins B1, B2, B3, calcium, phosphorus, iron, protein, niacin and fiber, boosts your immune system and stimulates the activity of other antioxidants, keeping free radicals away. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties that naturally heal wounds and keep infections away.
Aside from being a rich source of vitamin C, dragon fruit is also packed with lycopene, which lowers your risk of diseases like prostate cancer.
Additionally, dragon fruit is a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and these good fats keep the heart in good condition by reducing bad cholesterol and controlling your blood pressure. The likelihood of suffering from heart attacks and stroke is also reduced.
The high levels of fiber in dragon fruit prevent sugar spikes, so it’s a healthy snack for people with diabetes or someone who is cutting bad sugar. And as we know, fiber prevents constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, which means it’s also good for your gut and digestive health.
Another great source of plant-based protein, dragon fruit helps build muscles and repair damaged tissues. With a good amount of calcium, it can also keep your bones and teeth stronger than cow's milk ever will.
Dragon fruit is also good for your skin, thanks to its rich amount of antioxidants that keep your skin firm and young. Its phosphorus content also helps in preventing premature aging. Some people mix it with honey and use it as an anti-aging facial mask.
Dragon fruit is best eaten chilled so you can add it to your salads and smoothies. Some also use it to make jams, puree, dessert creams and other drinks. If you're going to add it to your grocery list, make sure to buy organic!
Other benefits include:
– Keeps hair healthy and smooth
– Assists in suppressing arthritis
– Gives you a nice boost in energy
– Helps treat sunburned skin
– Improves eyesight