Have you ever seen this fruit before? You might have while shopping at the grocery store, but have you had the curiosity to taste it? Well, I have, it has a sweet good taste, and the fun is that I can add it to my smoothies!
The story is that I didn't buy it, it was my lovely brother-in-law, who knows that I like to try new fruits and discover new tastes so while he was shopping the other day, he thought about buying some.
What do you know about the dragon fruit?
It is know as Pitaya or pitahaya is the fruit of several cactus species. "Pitaya" usually refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while "Pitahaya" or "Dragonfruit" always refers to fruit of the genus Hylocereus.
It comes from a cactus called the dragon fruit cactus plant, which only blooms at night. This fruit typically grows in tropical, dry or subtropical environments. The fruit can be eaten fresh or dried, and both forms are full of nutrients and health benefits.
According to NaturalFoodBenefits.com, dragon fruit is a good source of fiber, with nearly 1 g of fiber for every 100 g of fresh dragon fruit. When dragon fruit is dried, the fiber content rises even more, with 10 g of fiber or more found in 100 g of the dried fruit, depending on how much water the dried fruit has. Eating the skin of this fruit adds to the fiber content--just make sure the skin is free of mold and dirt.
Cholesterol and Fats
Dragon fruit has low amounts of cholesterol, and has minimal amounts of fats that raise cholesterol levels, states the Diabetic Life Diet website. The cholesterol in dragon fruit comes from the many seeds that are in the fruit, sometimes thousands of seeds in one piece of fruit. When you eat dragon fruit, the seeds are extremely small and diffused throughout the fruit, so it is impossible to remove all of the seeds prior to eating. These seeds add fat and protein to the fruit, but the majority of fat in the seeds is the good kinds of fat called monounsaturated fat.
Vitamins and Antioxidants
The dragon fruit is chock-full of vitamins, including vitamin C and antioxidants. The amount of vitamin C in each fruit can vary, depending on soil nutrients and differences in dragon fruit cacti, but the website Dragon Fruit Pitaya Fruit estimates that approximately 50 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement can be met by eating 100 g of dried dragon fruit or 1 kg of fresh dragon fruit. Other nutrients in dragon fruit include carotene, phosphorus and vitamins B1, B2 and B3, according to Agriculture Business Week. Antioxidants help destroy free radicals in the body, which are molecules that may cause cancer, cardiovascular issues and other health problems.
Effects on Diabetes
Dragon Fruit Pitaya Fruit notes that the fruit can help control glucose levels in some people with Type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, it is best to talk to your doctor about the possible health benefits of dragon fruit.