It is native to Central America and its rich history dates back centuries ago to the Aztecs of the 13th century. They called this fruit Pitaya.
Appreciated by its native country for its strangely beautiful design, vibrant color and countless health benefits. The French introduced this fruit to Vietnam and is now one of its biggest exporter. Dragon Fruit is now also being cultivated in Southeast Asia, Israel, and Mexico.
It’s quite an unusual product of nature. This plant is not sensitive to soil type and can therefore grow in tropical or subtropical climates. It comes from vining cactus which can grow on its own or cling to trees. The fruits produced by this type of cactus vary in sizes and weighing less than a pound. Its skin comes in pink, magenta and yellow while the flesh is either red or white with a multitude of tiny black seeds. It takes 45 to 150 days for the fruit to mature, reaching its optimal sweetness. The flower that grows from this type of cactus blossoms only at night, thus getting the name “Belle of the night”.
In terms of nutritional value, this superfood is a powerhouse! It is packed with high level of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, vitamin B1 to enhance carbohydrate metabolism, vitamin B2 to improve appetite and vitamin B3 to reduce bad cholesterol and improve skin condition. Added to that is a good supply of calcium, protein and phosphorus that supports in tissue formation. Dragon fruit helps in the digestion process due to its high fiber content which also cleans toxic ingredients, hence preventing occurrence of colon cancer. It also promotes the growth of probiotics.
The glucose in dragon fruit helps control blood sugar level of persons with diabetes. It holds enough naturally occurring flavonoids to control cholesterol level, thereby preventing Cardio related diseases. It also aids in neutralizing toxic substances like heavy metal. This super fruit is brimming with phytoalbumins, highly valued for their antioxidant properties that prevent formation of cancer cells.
The dragon fruit’s red flesh has lycopene that is known to combat heart diseases and lower blood pressure. Its edible seed contains heart healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation. And if that is not enough, It has zero complex carbohydrates and is very low in calories. Dragon fruit is very safe for consumption. Pregnant and nursing women can enjoy the goodness of this fruit without worries, but should be in moderation.
If you are in search of a super fruit that will help you live a healthier life, include a dragon power in your diet. I read somewhere that a dehydrated dragon fruit tastes better… this I have to try. Happy eating!
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