5 Fantastic Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit

Who knew this beautiful tropical fruit is so good for you?

Aug 17, 2020

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Dragon fruit, also known at pitahaya or strawberry pear, grows on the hylocereus climbing cactus plant and is almost too beautiful to eat. This tropical fruit comes in three varieties – and are colored either vibrant hot pink or yellow – and has spike like green leaves shooting up like dragon fire.

When you cut one open, dragon fruit is filled with a fleshy white (or pink) seed-speckled pulp that has a slightly sweet taste while the seeds have a nutty like flavor. It’s unusual look and superfruit powers, according to Healthline have made it very popular among foodies and people who are eating healthy.

Dragon fruit is packed full of essential vitamins including vitamin C and E, minerals like iron and magnesium, and contains a high amount of dietary fiber. WebMD said that one cup contains 136 calories, three grams of protein, and seven grams of fiber. That is one healthy fruit.

It’s easier to eat than it looks. Just cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the fruit. Dragon fruit is great in salads, as a topping for yogurt, or put it in smoothies. You can even cook it into a jam. Or just eat it as is.

Originally from South America, Central America, and parts of Mexico, it is also grown in southeast Asia and available fresh – it’s a seasonal late summer fruit – or frozen in most places. Try some today and reap the five surprising health benefits of dragon fruit.

Healthy Filling Snack

Cube dragon fruit and keep it in airtight containers to keep on hand for snacking. Since dragon fruit is fat free and high in fiber it makes a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.  And since fiber is filling, a serving will keep you full between meals and you won’t be reaching for chips or baked goods.

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Superfruit for Vegetarians and Vegans

Dragon fruit can be an important part of a plant-based diet. That’s because it is one of the few fresh fruits that contain iron; an important mineral that gives you energy and moves oxygen through your body, according to WebMD. In fact, this superfruit contains an impressive 8 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron and combining iron with vitamin C will help your body absorb it better.

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Could Help Fight Chronic Diseases

Since dragon fruit is high in antioxidants, like flavonoids, phnenolic acid and betacyanin, it may help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, some cancers, autoimmune diseases like arthritis, and diabetes according to Healthline. In fact, a recent study of people who were prediabetic  showed that dragon fruit helped in the prevention of the disease due to its glycemic control. Foods high in antioxidants and vitamin C can also strengthen your immune system that fights off bacteria and viruses.

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Great for Gut Health

The really good news is that dragon fruit may promote good gut health by promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria, probiotics, according to the Cleveland Clinic. That’s because this tropical fruit contains prebiotics like lactic acid and bifidobacterial that actually feed the healthy gut bacteria. Having more prebiotics improves the ratio of good/bad bacteria in your intestines, helps to keep you healthy, and helps you digest your food.

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For Healthy Looking Skin

Dragon fruit is also really good for your skin but you do not have to eat it to derive the benefits. Here are some tips from Life Hacks. You can make an anti-aging mask by combining the pulp with honey instead of buying a commercially prepared mask. If you are prone to acne, make a paste from the fruit and apply it to your skin where you see redness and rinse with water. To sooth sunburned skin, combine dragon fruit with cucumber juice and honey to create a compound that heals like aloe.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.