Dragon Fruit: A Fruit With Vivid Colours And A Pleasant Flavour

A tropical fruit that has grown in popularity recently is dragon fruit. Although people mostly appreciate it for its distinctive appearance and flavour, data suggests it may also have health advantages. The Honolulu queen or Hylocereus cactus, which only blooms at night, is home to dragon fruit. The plant is indigenous to Central America and southern Mexico. It is now growing everywhere in the world. Pitaya, pitahaya, and strawberry pear are just a few of its various names. The name comes from the two most prevalent varieties, which have vivid red skin and green scales that resemble dragons. A less common variant with red pulp and black seeds is also available, however it is less common and has white pulp and black seeds. Another variant, known as yellow dragon fruit, has a yellow exterior and a white interior with black seeds. The flavours of dragon fruit are similar to those of other fruits, despite its unique appearance. A kiwi and a pear hybrid with a touch of sweetness has been used to describe its flavour. 

Dragon fruit has few calories, is high in fibre, and contains significant amounts of a number of vitamins and minerals. 

Antioxidants come in a variety of forms in dragon fruit. These substances shield your cells against the unstable chemicals known as free radicals, which are connected to ageing and chronic diseases. These are a few of the primary antioxidants found in the pulp of dragon fruit. 

Betalains: These dark red pigments, which are present in the pulp of red dragon fruit, have been demonstrated to shield ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol from oxidation or damage. 

Hydroxycinnamates: These substances, known as hydroxycinnamates, have shown anticancer action in both animal and test-tube investigations. 

Flavonoids: This vast, varied class of antioxidants known as flavonoids has been linked to improved brain function and a lower risk of heart disease. 

Despite having a modest antioxidant activity, in a study, dragon fruit was found to be the best in preventing free radical damage to specific fatty acids. 

Studies on animals indicate that dragon fruit may have a number of health advantages. They most likely contain antioxidants and fibre, which account for many of these. It has been demonstrated that both the red and white kinds of dragon fruit lower insulin resistance and fatty liver in obese rats. In one study, rats on a high-fat diet given the fruit extract acquired less weight and had lower levels of liver fat, insulin resistance, and inflammation, which were partly attributable to favourable changes in gut flora. Prebiotic fibre included in dragon fruit encourages the development of healthy bacteria in the gut, potentially enhancing metabolic health. Although some aspects of metabolic syndrome, a disease linked to type 2 diabetes, may be improved by this fruit, not all consequences may be positive. 

Despite its frightening appearance, dragon fruit is relatively simple to consume. 

How to consume dragon fruit is as follows: 

Choose a fruit that is fully ripe and has bright red, uniform skin colour that yields slightly when squeezed. 

Slice the fruit in half by cutting straight through it with a sharp knife. 

The fruit can be eaten with a spoon in its skin or the skin can be peeled off and the flesh cut into bite-sized pieces. 

Dragon fruit serving suggestions: 

Simply cut it into pieces and consume it. 

Add Greek yoghurt and chopped nuts on top after chopping it into small pieces. 

Add it to a salad.