Every time you pass by the fruit market, you must have wondered watching this unique shaped, pinkish dragon fruit! Well, it is attractive and has a crunchy texture. The fruit derived its name from its unique appearance resembling the majestic dragon. In addition, it has been loaded with immense health benefits compelling you to add it to your regular diet. Here is a detail about the nutrient value and the health benefits of this superfood that you need to know!
Before we understand dragon fruit’s benefits, let us introduce what dragon fruit means and its nutritional value.
What is a Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that was grown in Mexico and Central America. However, it is grown all over the world today. It is also called by different names: pitaya, pitahaya, and strawberry pear. The fruit has a bright red or pinkish skin with green scales, which looks like a dragon. The fruit inside has white pulp with black seeds predominantly, while slightly different varieties are also available. Its taste is a cross between the kiwi and pear.
So, shall we get started understanding the dragon fruit health benefits right away?
Top Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is rich in nutrients
The dragon fruit contains fewer calories and several nutrients. Here is the dragon fruit nutrient information of one serving of 100 grams.
Calories - 60
Carbs - 13 grams
Protein - 1.2 grams
Fat - 0 grams
Fibre - 3 grams
Vitamin C - 3% OF RDI
Iron - 4% of RDI
Magnesium - 10% of RDI
Therefore, it is a nutrient-dense fruit recommended for the intake of children and adults regularly. Moreover, as it is naturally fat-free and high in fibre, it is a good snack that keeps you full for a long time.
The dragon fruit also contains antioxidants that protect your body cells from excessive damages that lead to chronic diseases and ageing.
Flavonoids - It is a diverse and large group of antioxidants linked to better brain health and heart function.
Betalains protect bad LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidised.
Carotenoids - Lycopene and beta-carotene are the plant pigments that provide the vibrant colour for the dragon fruit. Foods rich in carotenoids reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Hydroxycinnamates has been proven to exercise anticancer activity in animal studies.
Dragon fruit can improve your immune system
The carotenoids and vitamin C present in the dragon fruit will boost your immune system by protecting the white blood cells from getting damaged. The activity of white blood cells in your body is crucial for fighting infections.
However, it is extremely sensitive to the damage by the free radicals present in your body. The vitamin C and carotenoids will neutralise the free radicals and protect the white blood cells from further damage. Boosting your immunity levels is extremely important, especially in the current pandemic scenario.
Good source of fibre and magnesium
Dragon fruit is rich in fibre content. Dietary fibres are nondigestible carbohydrates that improve digestion, help manage type-2 diabetes, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent heart disease.
Magnesium is an important mineral that aids in over 600 chemical reactions within your body, such as breaking down food into energy, bone formation, muscle contraction, etc. If you are looking for a good dietary source to improve bone health, you can choose to consume dragon fruit every day.
Prebiotics in the dragon fruit may provide a healthy gut
The dragon fruit has prebiotics that strengthens your gut by improving the balance of good bacteria there. It promotes the growth of the lactic acid bacteria and the bifidobacteria. As a result, it reduces the risk of any digestive tract infection, incidences of diarrhoea and related inflammatory bowel diseases. Therefore, people having gastrointestinal tract infections and related diseases can consume the dragon fruit for improved benefits.
Dragon fruit benefits for skin
Vitamin B3 in the dragon fruit can soothe sunburnt skin and provide relief against inflammation and itchiness. When the pulp inside is applied topically, it will reduce acne. Vitamin C protects the skin against dullness, rejuvenates and keeps your skin feeling fresh. Regular application can prevent free radicals from damaging your skin, leading to premature ageing.
Antioxidants provide the best benefits when consumed naturally in food rather than as supplements.
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Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit, less in calories and high in nutritional benefit. The antioxidants present in the fruit prevent body cells from getting damaged by the free radicals. It strengthens your immune system by protecting the white blood cells considerably.
The rich prebiotic content improves the digestive tract, while magnesium proves beneficial in carrying out varied chemical reactions throughout the body. Also, consuming dragon fruit regularly can assist in managing diabetes, preventing heart disease, and nourishing your skin. Therefore, consider including this super nutritious unique in appearance fruit for improved health benefits!