Dragon Fruit (Pitaya): Dragon’s Blood Punch – Health Benefits
Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)
Dragon Fruit (Pitaya) is a tropical fruit which is loaded with plenty of nutrients and healthy compounds. These compounds have antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
These are medium to large in size, with a red outer covering or peel, with red or green fleshy scales. The inner flesh is usually white in color and has sweet taste which has numerous small edible seeds. These are mainly cultivated in northern Australia, East and Southeast Asia, Central and South America.
Red Pitaya (Strawberry Pear)
It has red outer skin as well as red inner flesh.
It has yellow outer skin and white inner flesh.
It has red outer skin and white inner flesh.
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)
Rich In Nutrients
It is completely filled with an array of nutrients. This super fruit conatins a good amount of minerals such as phosphorous and calcium and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E.
Besides, it is also a rich source of dietary fiber and has a high moisture content too. This makes it an amazing food ingredient for weight loss and obesity management.
Studies has shown that eating this fruit improves the action of insulin. This further helps in lowering high blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar level increases oxidative stress in the body, which further leads to diabetic complications. Since it is loaded with antioxidants, it helps in scavenging free radicals and thus reduces oxidative stress. Thus this delays diabetic complications.
Furthermore, this amazing fruit is a rich source of dietary fiber that helps in the management of diabetes. Dietary fiber slows down the conversion of carbohydrates to simple sugars on digestion. Thus, glucose enters into the bloodstream slowly and this prevents a sudden spike in blood glucose levels. It promotes satiety and hence, prolongs eating time. And this helps to control blood sugar levels.
Promotes Skin Health
- It helps fight the free radicals and slows down the aging process. This makes your skin look younger and smoother.
- The solution comes in the form of an exotic fruit which when applied topically can reduce acne. This is due to the abundance of vitamin C in dragon fruit
- A combination of vitamins E and C has been proven to protect your skin against UV rays and soothe sunburns.
- Drinking one glass of tangy dragon fruit juice is a good way to start your mornings. It will not only make you healthy but will also help release all the toxins from the body, leaving behind a glowing skin.
- Dragon fruit also has an incredibly high water content (a whopping 90%) which is essential in providing hydration to your skin, especially when you have dry skin.
Promotes Hair Health
Dragon fruits, especially the red variety, contain abundant antioxidants and enzymes that can make your hair smoother and healthier.
- Scoop out the flesh of the dragon fruit and process in a blender to make a smooth paste.
- Apply this paste to your hair and scalp.
- Keep it on for 15-20 minutes, and wash it off with a mild shampoo.
- Repeat this process once a week and see the change yourself.
It’s seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids that help lower cholesterol. With the addition of abundant antioxidants, it is a good weapon to fight dangerous levels of LDL.
Reduces Stomach Ache
It is rich in fiber and has high water content, which makes it ideal for people suffering from constipation. They help improve our body’s bowel movements by facilitating the proper passing of digested food through the tract. The fiber present also helps bulk up the stool, further helping in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
It is rich in an enzyme called lycopene, in addition to the essential vitamin C and carotene, which is said to have anti-carcinogenic qualities. They together help prevent the formation of tumors. Additionally, the peels of the dragon fruit are full of polyphenols, chemicals that may protect us from certain cancers.
Selection And Storage
- Choose a dragon fruit with bright outer covering free from spots and blemishes.
- Press the dragon fruit with the help of your fingers. A perfectly ripe fruit will not be too hard or too soft.
- Smell is an important indicator of freshness of the fruit. A fresh and ripe dragon fruit will have a tropical and light aroma.
- Store unripe dragon fruit at room temperature till it ripens fully.
- A completely ripe fruit can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Side Effects of Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)
- Avoid over consumption of dragon fruit as it contains fructose, which can add flab to your body and come in the way of your weight loss goals.
- Avoid having the outer skin of this fruit, as it may contain pesticides which can harm your health.