The next time you come across a fruit with hot pink bulbs and green leaves, think about the health benefits of dragon fruit – you may be staring at one! The beautiful fiery display of the color of this fruit is what earned the name, just in case you are wondering.
Dragon fruit is a food that grows on climbing cactus. Although it is not so common, you can find them in tropical regions around the world. In any case, here are some of the top health benefits of dragon fruit.
History and Nutritional Profile
In Central America, dragon fruit is called pitaya. Asians refer to it as strawberry pear. Even with all the different names given to it in other regions worldwide, it is one of the few fruits with no varieties. The same dragon fruit you find in the United States will be found in Africa.
Primarily, dragon fruit is known more for its nutritional profile rather than its sweet taste. That's not to say it tastes bad. In fact, it has a lovely nutty taste. A serving of dragon fruit, which is about 6-ounce contains about 102 calories, 2 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of dietary fibers, and 13 grams of sugar. Asides from this, this same serving offers a sizable amount of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
5 Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit
Even though it is not as popular as other fruits, there are numerous potential health benefits of dragon fruit.
High In Nutrients
From the summarized version of the nutritional profile above, you will know how packed dragon fruit is. It is low in calories and has a rich supply of minerals and vitamins alongside a substantial amount of dietary fibers.
Asides from this great nutritional profile, dragon fruit also contains vital plant compounds such as carotenoids, betacyanins, and polyphenols – all of which are beneficial for optimum health.
May Help Fight Chronic Disease
Often, chronic diseases result from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that attack the body cells.
Dragon fruit contains many antioxidants, which help fight chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer.
High Fiber Content
Proper functioning of the digestive and urinary systems is largely dependent on dietary fibers, which are non-digestible carbohydrates.
Asides from its effects in preventing digestive conditions, studies have also suggested it may have a role in managing type 2 diabetes and maintaining a healthy weight.
Strengthens the Immune System
The functionality of the body, especially in preventing infections and diseases, is mostly dependent on the strength of the immune system. Vitamin C and carotenoids, which are present in large quantities in dragon fruit may help strengthen the body's immune response and neutralize free radicals.
May Boost Iron Levels
Iron is a vital element responsible for several metabolic processes in the body. Although it is essential, it is usually at low levels partly because it is present in low quantities in diet and may not be absorbed by the body.
Dragon fruit is one of the few fruits that contain a high level of iron. Aside from increasing iron level, it also increases the body's ability to absorb iron from other food. In any case, it’s a win on both sides.
Bottom Line of Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is surprisingly simple to eat and can be added to salads, yogurts, or even smoothies. Whichever way you decide to eat it, make sure you are getting all you can from the health benefits of dragon fruit.