11 Great Reasons to Add Dragon Fruit to Your Diet
The pitaya plant is one of the most distinctive plant in the nature. This plant bears a fruit known as the dragon fruit which is almost pinkish-red in colour with spikes on the outer covering of the fruit. The dragon fruit belongs to the cactus species and has a fleshy stem that provides a very delicious and a healthy fruit. This fruit is basically native to Central America, but it is also grown in various countries of Southeast Asia.
The inner part of the dragon fruit is either red or white flesh with tiny black seeds which are edible. The fruit is slightly sweet in taste. Dragon fruit is not only sweet and flavoursome in taste, but also has great health benefits.
- Storehouse of nutrients: Dragon fruit has considerable amount of dietary fibre, is relatively low in calories and is packed with lots of vital vitamins and minerals. One whole dragon fruit contains around 2.5 to 3 grams of protein, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 132 to 138 calories, great amounts of iron, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin E. This fruit is best for the people who are trying to lose weight in a healthy way as it has all the required nutrients and has absolutely no fat.
- Helps to maintain a healthy gut: Our gut has a wide range of microorganisms which tends to affect our health. One great benefit of dragon fruit is that it contains prebiotics and promotes the growth of good bacteria like bifidobacteria 21, 22, 23 and lactic and acid bacteria which reduces the risk of diarrhea and digestion problems.
- Boosts low iron level: Iron is very important for our body as it helps to break down the consumed food into energy and transports oxygen throughout the body. Unfortunately, many people especially women are iron deficient. There are many sources of iron like fish, meat and green leafy vegetables like spinach. Dragon fruit is one of the iron rich sources and contain approximately 8 to 9% of our RDI. It also contains good amount of vitamin C which is required to absorb iron from the consumed food.
- Good for the bones: Dragon fruit contains considerably good amount of magnesium which is essential for a healthy skeletal system. One whole dragon fruit contains approximately 18% of our recommended daily intake.
- Makes your immune system strong: Our immune system is responsible for protecting the white blood cells which are required for fighting with harmful bacteria and germs. Dragon fruit contains vitamin C, antioxidants and carotenoids which help to neutralise free radicals and protects the white blood cells from any damage.
- Helps to control blood sugar level: One of the serious health problems which people face in this modern era is probably diabetes. Dragon fruit is a great source of glucosinolates, polyphenols, thiols and carotenoids. All these sources help to lower down the blood sugar level in our body. It also helps to lower the sugar spike caused due to consumption of food with high amounts of sugar.
- Provides relief from arthritis pain: People suffering from arthritis should include this amazing anti-inflammatory fruit in their daily diet as it helps to supress joint pains, immobility and irritation caused due to arthritis.
- Helps to fight dengue: The platelet count in dengue patients is very low when compared to a normal person. This is a very serious disease and can also cause death if not treated at an early stage. There are various fruits and vegetables which helps to increase the platelet count. Among all the fruits, dragon fruit is one such fruit which is rich in antioxidants and helps to trigger the platelet count.
- Helps to improve vision: Dragon fruit contains an essential pigment known as beta-carotene. The presence of this pigment is necessary to fight off the harmful effects of free radicals and thus protect our eyes from any damage. So, people suffering from indistinct vison and pain in their eyes should regularly consume this wonderful fruit to improve their vision and to prevent diseases like macular degeneration and cataract.
- Fights aging: Saggy skin, dullness, wrinkles and fine lines under the eyes and on our forehead is caused due to aging of skin. With time, each and every person gets old and goes through the phase of aging. Perhaps, there are situations where we look older than we actually are. This is probably due to the presence of free radicals in our body which cause cellular damage. Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants which fights off these harmful free radicals in our body and thus slows down the aging process. Eating at least one whole dragon fruit each day would be beneficial for our skin as well as our body.
- Promotes healthy hair growth: Dragon fruit contains various enzymes which helps to improve the texture of our hair, treats dull and rough hair, makes hair healthy and shiny and also helps to control hair fall. Drinking a glass of dragon fruit juice or by applying the fruit pulp as a mask on the hair for just once in a week would bring a great difference in our hair.