Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya or pitahaya, is native to South America. It can also be found in Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. The Philippines and California also grow dragon fruit. Pitaya is the fruit of a night blooming cactus. Dragon fruit come in red and yellow varieties, both with white or pink inside, dotted with small black seeds, which are also edible. Dragon fruit can be eaten raw or can be used in spreads, salads, sorbets or made into juice. Dried dragon fruit is also available, and you can sometimes buy the fruit in cans or jars.
The nutritional benefits of this fruit makes it a very popular choice among people.
Nutritional Values of Dragon Fruit:
Following are the nutritional values of dragon fruit present in 100 grams of fruit:
- Niacin – 1.3 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.044 mg
- Thiamine – 0.0 mg
- Vitamin C – 9 mg
- Vitamin B3 – 0.43 mg
- Vitamin B2 – 0.045 mg
- Vitamin B1 – 0.043 mg
- Iron – 0.65 mg
- Phosphorus – 36.1 mg
- Calcium – 8.8 mg
- Carotene – 0.012 mg
- Crude fiber – 0.9 g
- Fat – 0.61 g
- Ash – 0.28 g
- Protein – 0.229 g
- Moisture – 83 g
- Others – 0.68 g
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit:
- As dragon fruit is a good source of antioxidants, it prevents free radicals and protects from causing cancer and other health detriments from entering your body.
- This fruit helps in neutralizing the toxic substances such as heavy metals. Besides, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels can be reduced by consuming dragon fruit.
- Regular consumption of this aids in fighting against cough and asthma.
- This has high amounts of vitamin C and helps in healing bruises and cuts quickly, and enhancing the immune system.
- Vitamin B2 present in dragon fruit acts like a multivitamin and helps to improve and recover the loss of appetite.
- Vitamin B1 in this fruit helps in increasing the energy production and also in metabolizing carbohydrates.
- Due to the presence of vitamin B3, it helps in lowering bad cholesterol levels. It improves the appearance of your skin by smoothing and moisturizing it.
- It improves eyesight and prevents hypertension.
- As it is a good source of phosphorus and calcium, it reinforces bones, helps in tissue formation and forms healthy teeth.
- Regular consumption of dragon fruit decreases weight, thereby creates a well-balanced body.
- Dragon fruit is also helpful in reducing blood sugar levels in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.