We all know how beneficial to our health it is when we include fruits in our diet. Not only that, eating different types of fruits can be a refreshing means of satisfying our sweet cravings.
There are many types of fruits in the world. The typical fruits we find stacked in supermarket shelves are usually bananas, apples, oranges, different types of berries, lemons, and many more.
However, there are certain fruits that are considered exotic but packed with plenty of health benefits as well. One of these fruits is the dragon fruit.
What is a dragon fruit?
The other name for this fruit is pitahaya or strawberry pear. If you haven’t seen one, it’s characterized by its bright red or pinkish skin with green scales that’s similar to a dragon, and juicy white pulp that’s speckled with tiny black seeds.
However, there are also different types of dragon fruits available like the red-skinned ones with red flesh and the yellow-skinned ones with white flesh. The most commonly seen, though, are the ones with red skin and white flesh.
One of the main features of the dragon fruit is that it has staked its claim as a superfood not because of its unique appearance, but for the mountain of benefits it contains. On top of that, the dragon fruit has also recently become one of the top fruit choices for health-conscious individuals. We will explain further in this article.
Though exotic as the dragon fruit looks, the best thing about this is that it’s basically available and sold in most grocery stores worldwide.
Most people who have tasted this fruit tastes just like most fruits and has described its flavor to be a cross between a pear and a kiwi fruit.
However, to know its origins, the dragon fruit is actually a tropical fruit commonly found in Central America and Mexico.
Dragon Fruit Nutritional Facts
As the dragon fruit is well-known for being jam-packed with nutrients, it’s also best we understand what they actually are. Dragon fruits are mostly rich in nutrients like fiber, iron, and magnesium, among others.
Furthermore, they also contain plenty of antioxidants that are said to help protect our cells especially from toxins and damage from free radicals.
What are the benefits?
With all that’s said about dragon fruits, it’s about time we understand the health benefits we gain when we include them in our diet.
Below, we have listed the top ten benefits of dragon fruits, mostly backed up science.
- Helps boost our immune system
Since dragon fruits are said to be rich in antioxidants, strengthening our immune system is considered one of its main benefits. It is because dragon fruits contain high amounts of Vitamin C that can help promote stronger immunity against free radical damage. Studies have shown that dragon fruits are also linked to helping recovery from dengue go faster by increasing the platelet count.
- Helps in digestion
It is also suggested in some scientific studies that dragon fruits contain nutrients that can help boost the growth of gut bacteria which can aid in smooth digestion.
- Helps protect against certain cancers
Some studies have also shown that dragon fruits contain properties that can help reduce the risk of cancers like colon cancer. On top of that, lycopene and carotene are also found in this fruit which can also help protect against cancer in the prostate for men and lessen tumors in the body as well.
- Helps reduce the risk of anemia
Iron is also present in dragon fruit and has enough amount to promote healthy hemoglobin levels while increasing red blood cell production.
- Helps regulate blood sugar
Science has also discovered the association of dragon fruits with controlled blood sugar levels which can effectively reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes or those with the onset of prediabetes.
- Helps support healthy cardiovascular function
When we eat excessive saturated fats, we risk our cardiovascular system to malfunction and succumb to problems like stroke and heart disease. Dragon fruits do not contain those unhealthy saturated fats. This means that there is less chance for our veins and arteries to develop plaque that can block the passageway for our blood.
- Aids in hair and skin care
Healthy skin and hair are also noticeable when dragon fruits are included in the diet. It is because the dragon fruit contains a multitude of nutrients that can help bring back the shine to our hair and keeps our fingernails strong.
- Helps support strong teeth and bones
Dragon fruits are also said to have high amounts of calcium which is capable of contributing to the daily requirements our body needs to keep our teeth and bones strong and healthy. Not only that, but eating dragon fruits can also prevent the risk of osteoporosis.
- Helps support brain function
Since dragon fruits contain vitamin C and B vitamins, both these nutrients can help keep the membranes of our brain cells healthy. Eating dragon fruits daily can also reduce the risk of cognitive disorders as well.
- Helps improve respiratory function
The antioxidants and vitamin C in dragon fruits help promote healthier respiratory functions. If you’re one who’s suffering from respiratory problems like asthma, dragon fruits are the ideal natural remedies you can include in your list. There is scientific evidence that proves the positive effect of dragon fruits on the respiratory system.
Eating a dragon fruit is easy. You just have to slice open the fruit in half and use a spoon to scoop up the flesh inside of the fruit.
It is also said that the skin of the dragon fruit can be used to make wine. You can also slice the dragon fruit into smaller pieces and add them to yogurts or salad for a delightful dessert treat.
Unlike most fruits, dragon fruits contain minimal amounts of sugar and can be a great and tasty addition to your food.
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