Dragon or dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Although people eat a unique view and enjoy the taste according to research is a healthy fruit.
What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit grows in Hylocereus cactus, also known as the Honolulu queen, which opens flowers only at night. The plant is native to southern Mexico and Central America. Now, the whole world is grown. Pitaya has many names including pitahaya and strawberry pear. The two most common species have a bright red crust with green scaly like dragon, hence the name. The most widely available variety includes white seed with black seeds, but there is also a less common type with red pulp and black seeds.
There are another kind of yellow shell, black seed and white pulp, called yellow dragon fruit. Dragon fruits may look exotic, but their flavor is similar to other fruits.
The taste is described as a slightly sweet mixture between kiwi and pear. In summary, the dragon fruit is a tropical fruit of Mexico and Central America. It has a mix of kiwi and pear mix.
Dragon fruit contains a few nutrients in small amounts. It is also a good source of iron, magnesium and fiber. Nutritional values of a portion of 3.5 grams or 100 grams:
• Calories: 60
• Protein: 1,2 grams
• Fat: 0 grams
• Carbohydrate: 13 grams
• Fiber: 3 grams
• Vitamin C : 3% of RDI
• Iron : 4% of RDI
• Magnesium: 10% of RDI
Considering the high amount of fiber and magnesium as well as the extremely low calorie content, dragon fruit can be considered as a dense fruit with a high proportion of nutrients. In summary, Dragon fruit is a low-calorie fruit that provides a high fiber content and a good amount of vitamins and minerals. The health benefits of Dragon fruit are as follows:
Provides Several Antioxidants
Dragon fruit contains several kinds of antioxidants. They are compounds that protect cells from unstable molecules called free radicals due to chronic diseases and aging. These are some of the main antioxidants found in the dragon fruit pulp :
• Betalain: These dark red pigments, found in the content of the red dragon fruit, were determined to protect the poor LDL cholesterol from oxidation or damage.
• Hydroxycinamates: This group of compounds showed anticancer activity in tube and animal studies.
• Flavonoids: Antioxidant This broad and mixed group is linked to better brain health and reduced risk of heart disease.
According to a study, the antioxidant capacity of the dragon fruit is not particularly high compared to 17 tropical fruit antioxidant properties, but it has been found that some fatty acids are the best in the protection of free radical damage. In short, the dragon fruit contains various antioxidants that protect cells from damage. These include betalaines, hydroxysinamates and flavonoids.
Potential Health Benefits
Animal studies show that dragon fruit can provide various health benefits. Most of them are likely to be due to fiber and antioxidant content. Dragon fruit, Insulin resistance and fatty liver and obesity have been observed to be beneficial in reducing both red and white fat varieties. In a study conducted on mice, mice with a high fat diet of fruit extracts gained less weight and, in part, reduced insulin resistance and inflammation in liver fat attributed to beneficial changes in bacteria in the liver intestine.
Dragon fruit contains prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and potentially improves metabolic health. Although this fruit may improve some of the characteristics of the metabolic syndrome, all the effects associated with type 2 diabetes may not be appropriate. In a study on rats related to a high-carbohydrate diet, the group receiving the dragon fruit juice had better blood sugar responses and decreases in some liver enzyme markers, while another liver enzyme marker increased significantly.
In another study, diabetic mice treated with fruit extract showed a 35% reduction in malondialdehyde, a marker of free radical damage. There is also less arterial stiffness than the control group. The results of the study of the effects of dragon fruit on type 2 diabetes in humans are inconsistent and further research is needed to confirm these beneficial effects. Animal studies show that dragon fruit can improve insulin resistance, liver fat and heart health, but the results of human studies are inconsistent.
In general, the dragon fruit is considered safe. However, in some rare cases people may develop an allergic reaction. In two cases, women without a history of food allergy developed anaphylactic reactions after consuming a fruit mixture containing dragon fruit. The tests confirmed the presence of antibodies against dragon fruit in their blood. These are only two allergic reactions reported at this point, but others may be allergic to this fruit when they know it. To date, only two cases of severe allergic reactions to dragon fruit have been reported to date.
How to Eat?
Although it looks scary, dragon fruit is very easy to eat.
• When the fruit is gently squeezed, choose a mature fruit with a soft, bright red, evenly colored bark.
• Use a sharp knife and cut the fruit straight in two.
• Use a spoon to remove the fruit from the skin or it can be eaten by peeling and slicing it into small pieces.
Ideas for the Dragon fruit service:
• Simply sliced and edible as
• It can be eaten by adding to salad.
Dragon fruit is easy to prepare and can be matched to other foods alone or in healthy recipes. It is a low-calorie fruit that contains less sugar and less carbohydrates than other tropical fruits, and although some health benefits are known, there is a need to do more research to verify. In general, the fruit of the dragon is unique, incredibly delicious and can add variety to feeding.