Dragon fruit is an exotic, tropical and delicious fruit that has some wonderful health benefits. Also known as pitahaya or strawberry pear, dragon fruit grows on cacti and it received its name from its long flowers, which were said to look similar to a flying dragon.
According to legend, the fruit was created thousands of years ago by fire breathing dragons, and soldiers would present the fruit as a coveted treasure to their emperor. It was believed that those who ate dragon fruit would be granted the strength and ferocity of a dragon.
Today, research has revealed numerous health benefits related to dragon fruit.
Here Are The 11 Top Health Benefits Of Dragon Fruit:
1. May Help Fight Chronic Disease
Dragon fruit is loaded with antioxidants which help combat free radicals which cause cell damage, inflammation and disease. Studies have shown that diets high in antioxidants may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and arthritis. The betalains, vitamin C and carotenoids found within dragon fruit all improve the body’s health.
2. Boosts The Immune System
A one-cup serving of dragon fruit contains 9% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, and consuming high amounts of vitamin C helps to boost the immune system. Dragon fruit also contains healthy amounts of calcium, iron, B vitamins, phosphorous and fiber.
3. Promotes A Healthy Gut
The human gut contains more than 100 trillion diverse microorganisms and more than 400 species of healthy bacteria, and this bacteria can impact one’s health. Dragon fruit contains prebiotics, which are a specific type of fiber that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, and consuming dragon fruit regularly can improve the balance of good bacteria in the intestines.
4. Prevents Cancer
The antioxidants found in dragon fruit helps to combat free radicals. Studies have also shown that the betalains found within dragon fruit help to fight oxidative stress and may have the ability to suppress cancer cells. Research has shown that the carotenoids; beta-carotene and lycopene, found within the pigments of the fruit, are linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
5. Lots Of Fiber
As it’s recommended that people consume between 25 to 38 grams of fiber daily, the 7 grams found within a one-cup serving of dragon fruit make it a wonderful whole-food source of fiber. The health benefits of fiber are numerous, and the fiber found in dragon fruit can help to positively regulate the digestive process.
6. Slowing Down The Aging Process
The high amounts of vitamin C found within dragon fruit help to slow down the aging process by tightening skin to help it look younger, and by fighting off damaging free radicals in the skin.
7. Strengthens The Nervous System
The high amount of B vitamins help to support one’s nervous system. Consuming dragon fruit helps the body in the creation of nerve cells, and may help to improve mental clarity.
8. Boosts Iron Levels
Dragon fruit is one of just a few fresh fruits which contains a good amount of iron. Iron plays an important role in transporting oxygen within the body, and also in converting food into energy. As it’s estimated that 30% of the world’s population is deficient in iron, the 8% of our daily recommended iron intake found in a one-cup serving of dragon fruit is a great way to boost iron levels.
9. Boosts Magnesium Levels
Magnesium is present in every cell within the body and plays a role in over 600 important chemical reactions that take place daily. Breaking down food into energy, bone formation, muscle contraction and the creation of DNA all require healthy levels of magnesium. A one-cup serving of dragon fruit contains roughly 18% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium.
10. Helps To Control Blood Sugar Levels
Dragon fruit not only helps to prevent diabetes, but for those with type-2 diabetes, dragon fruit can be a wonderful way to help stabilize blood sugar levels by suppressing sugar spikes.
11. Promotes Weight Loss
Dragon fruit is high in fiber and low in calories, with only 136 calories per one-cup serving. Eating dragon fruit can help to satiate hunger levels and will make you feel fuller faster, and for longer periods of time, which reduces the amount of food you consume overall.
How To Eat Dragon Fruit:
Preparing dragon fruit is easy; you simply cut it in half lengthwise and can eat the fruit with a spoon. The key is choosing a dragon fruit which is perfectly ripe.
Unripe dragon fruit is green, and ripe dragon fruit is bright red. It’s okay if there are some spots on the shell of the fruit, but too many dark bruises can indicate that it’s overripe. Similar to both avocados and kiwis, a ripe dragon fruit should be soft but not to squishy. It also tastes best when chilled.
Do you eat dragon fruit?
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