As interesting as it sounds, Dragon fruit is not a fruit that magically appeared from a fire breathing dragon. It is an exotic fruit which is found in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of South America and Asia. Wondering as to why it is named as dragon fruit? Dragon fruit comes from the family of cactus, with an outer skin that resembles the mythical scales of a dragon. While you are still surprised with its name, you should also know more about its magical benefits. Loaded with essential nutrients like potassium, calcium, fibre, manganese, iron and more, this exotic fruit is also low in calories. It is one of the “Super Fruits” that you must consume to stay healthy throughout your life.
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Interesting Facts About Dragon Fruit
- Dragon fruit is a unique fruit that blooms from evening to midnight and is often referred as “moonflower” or “Queen of the Night”.
- At night, dragon flower is pollinated by moths and bats.
- Dragon fruits are the sweetest when they are mature, which is the best time to pick them.
- These cactus fruits come in sweet and sour flavours.
- Eating too much dragon fruit can turn your urine pinkish which is a non-harmful condition.
- Dragon Fruit is also known as strawberry pear or pitaya.
Health Benefits & Uses of Dragon Fruit Juice
1. Increases Immunity
Dragon fruit is one of the top fruits that is packed with Vitamin C which makes it one of the top Vitamin C loaded fruit. Rich in flavonoids, Dragon Fruit helps in fighting with flus and other infections. It also ranks high in antioxidants that help elimination of free radicals from the body. A study published in the Journal of Food Science observed that the presence of polyphenol and flavonoid have effects on several cancer cells (that lines from the extracts of the flesh and peel of the white and red dragon fruit).
How to Use: Take 2 dragon fruits, ½ cup lemon juice and ice cubes, blend them in a mixer and sip the juice of the amazing Dragon Fruit to stay healthy.
2. Helps in Digestion
The cactus family fruit has a lot of fibre present in it which helps in the elimination of constipation and IBS. It contains one gram of fibre on every 100 grams of the fresh fruit. According to research published in the journal 3 Biotech, “the functional compounds like prebiotics in the diet helps in getting rid of obesity, cancer, hypersensitivity, vascular diseases and digestive ailments.”
How to Use: To get rid of those digestive issues, you can make a dragon fruit salad for yourself. Take a dragon fruit, lettuce, olives, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes. Mix them well with olive oil and vinegar. Add a few chilli flakes and your Dragon fruit salad is ready!
3. Prevents Diabetes
A study published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research found that dragon fruit benefits insulin resistance and found that eating dragon fruit can help in reducing the risk of diabetes. The presence of fibre in dragon fruit can help in maintaining normal blood sugar levels.
How to Use: Yogurt contains a lot of fibre, so you can take your favourite yogurt and put some slices of dragon fruit over it to reduce the risk of diabetes. Also, it will give you a sweet taste which can satiate your cravings.
4. Lowers Cholesterol & Keeps the heart healthy
Dragon fruit is an astounding fruit that helps in lowering down the level of bad cholesterol. It is also a great source of monosaturated fats that help to keep the heart healthy. The black seeds present in dragon fruit helps in delivering Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
How to Use: If you are bored of drinking dragon fruit juice, then twist it a little and add some milk and vanilla essence to it. Make a smoothie and feel refreshed throughout the day.
Keeps Your Skin Healthy
Being rich in anti-oxidants, a regular consumption of dragon fruit makes your skin look fresh and flawless. The level of phosphorus in dragon fruit helps to slow down ageing. Vitamin C also helps the skin to remain firm and fresh.
How to Use: You can directly apply the dragon fruit pulp on your face. Leave it on your face for 15 minutes every day and rinse it with lukewarm water. Your skin will be fresh and smooth.
Dragon fruit is a great cancer fighting fruit that contains phytoalbumin which when combined with Vitamin C and other minerals present in dragon fruit helps to kick away the cancer cells formation. It also has lycopene that helps in fighting prostrate, lung, breast, lung and liver cancer. A study published in Nutrition and Cancer indicated that the cancerous cells had difficulty in living and were significantly reduced when treated with lycopene which is present in dragon fruit.
How to Use: A fresh glass of dragon fruit juice, mixed with a few mint leaves, can save you from the threat of Cancer.
If you are on a quest to reduce weight, then consuming this cactus clan fruit will definitely help you with that. Being rich in fibre and proteins, it helps in increasing the metabolism rate that helps in a better digestion. The fruit helps in maintaining a clean system and helps in getting rid of toxins.
How to Use: Make a Dragon fruit detox juice for yourself by blending 1 dragon fruit, half pear, 2 baby spinach leaves, 2-3 mint leaves and a small piece of ginger. This detoxifier will help in increasing your metabolism along with giving you a great taste.
The vitamin C and antioxidants present in dragon fruit helps to soothe the skin when applied directly. The water present in dragon fruit aids in treating sunburn and makes your skin feel fresh. The vitamin B3 present in the dragon fruit helps in releasing the heat and soothing your skin.
How to Use: Mix the dragon fruit pulp along with cucumber and honey in a bowl. Apply to the affected area and leave it on your skin for 15 minutes and rinse it with cool water.
Arthritis is caused due to weakening of the bones and inflammation in the joints which causes pain. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the dragon fruit is said to relieve the pain of people suffering from arthritis. People who regularly consume the fruit are able to avert the disease.
How to Use: Use the dragon fruit along with some veggies in your diet. Sprinkle salt for a good taste and get rid of arthritis.
Boosts the Functioning of Brain
Dragon fruit helps in the production of RBCs in the body. It contains vital vitamins and minerals that protect from diseases that affect the brain. The nutrients present in the fruit help in healthy nerve functioning.
How to Use: Consuming almonds with dragon fruit, works wonders for your brain. Make a dragon fruit almond salad for yourself and boost your memory along with healthy brain functioning. Add some lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sliced dragon fruits and some olives, mix well and make your memory sharp.
Also Read:Muskmelon Benefits | Benefits Of Watermelon
Nutritional Value of Dragon Fruit & Dragon Fruit Juice
|Nutritional Content||Nutritional Value|
Note: The table shows the nutritional value per 100 grams of the dragon fruit.
Also Read: Watermelon Nutrition
Risks While Consuming Dragon Fruit & Dragon Fruit Juice
With various health benefits comes the flip side of consuming dragon fruit. So, beware about the facts mentioned below:
- As dragon fruit contains a good amount of fructose, overconsumption of the fruit may lead to extra flab. So, consuming it in the right amount is the key to a great health.
- Sometimes the dragon fruit’s outer covering may contain pesticides, so avoiding the consumption of the outer covering may prevent exposure to harmful chemicals.
- Over-consumption of dragon fruit may turn the urine and faeces pink in colour. However, this is not harmful.
How to Consume Dragon Fruit & Dragon Fruit Juice?
1. Dragon Fruit Popsicles
Blend dragon fruit in a mixer and crush some ice cubes along with it. Freeze this Dragon fruit juice in a Popsicle freeze tray. Your awesome fruity ice-cream is ready.
2. Dragon Fruit Rice
Stir fry some garlic cloves, ginger, red chillies and salt. Add boiled rice and dragon fruit pulp to it. Mix well until the colour of rice turns pink. Your Dragon Fruit Rice are ready!
3. Dragon Fruit Salad
Slice dragon fruit into halves and mix it with iceberg lettuce, fresh semi sweet cherries, grape tomatoes, oranges, cucumber, olives and walnuts. Add some vinegar and olive to it and eat the delicious Dragon Fruit Salad.
4. Dragon Fruit Yogurt Smoothie
Crush some ice along with dragon fruit and blend it with plain yogurt. Add a few drops of vanilla essence and sugar as per requirement. If you want a refreshing taste, add some mint leaves to it. Pour it and enjoy its heavenly taste.
5. Dragon Stir Fry
Boil some eggs and cut them into halves, stir fry paprika along with bacon/chicken. Once the bacon/chicken becomes golden brown add the dragon fruit to it while letting it stir fry a little more. Add some pepper, salt and lemon drops to give it a unique taste.
Fun Facts About Dragon Fruit
- Dragon Fruit ranges from 150 to 1000 grams and usually has an oval or round shape.
- The Cactus flower that produces dragon fruit survives only one night.
- Dragon fruit when mixed with cucumber and honey can help moisturize your skin.
- As per a belief in a culture, people re-eat the seeds of dragon fruit after passing it through the body.
- The flower buds of the fruit are also edible.
Dragon fruit is a blessing in disguise, with its amazing health benefits, it is surely a fruit that you must include in your diet.