Dragon Fruit, The Late Monsoon Fruit With 7 Health Benefits
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Bright pink with green tips on the outside, shockingly white or pink flesh with black seeds on the inside, dragon fruit is quickly becoming a very popular late monsoon fruit in India. Also known as Pitaya or Pitahaya, dragon fruit is actually native to South America and the Pacific Islands, from where its cultivation has spread to Southeast Asia and even India. Known for its mildly sweet taste and stunning colour, dragon fruit is now used to make salads, smoothies and desserts around the world.  

In India, dragon fruit is primarily grown in the southern and northeastern states which have suitable climatic conditions for the pretty fruit to grow. The Kolar, Tumkur and rural Bengaluru areas of Karnataka, the Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Pune districts of Maharashtra, certain areas of Andhra, Telangana and Gujarat, and the northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura grow dragon fruit. Dragon fruit cultivation has been on the rise in India not only because the fruit is extremely popular, but also because it has plenty of health benefits to provide. 

Here are some such benefits of eating dragon fruit that you should know about. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Village Cooking Channel

Rich In Nutrients 

A true nutritional powerhouse, dragon fruit is an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is particularly rich in vitamin C, vitamin B2 and vitamin B3, which combine to improve collagen production, boost the immune system and strengthen the body’s metabolism. So, the overall benefits of eating dragon fruit are many. 

Chronic Disease Prevention 

Packed with antioxidants like vitamin C and betalains, eating dragon fruit can help protect your cells from cell damage caused by harmful free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that cause cell damage and oxidative stress. By reducing oxidative stress and cell damage, dragon fruit can reduce your risk of chronic diseases. 

Immunity Boost 

Rich in a plethora of vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds along with healthy carbs in the form of dietary fibre, dragon fruit consumption can help give your immune system a much-needed boost especially during season change. Because it is also hydrating, the nutrients in dragon fruit are easily soluble and can be used by your immunity to bolster itself against seasonal infections. 

Helps With Digestion 

A great source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, dragon fruit is excellent for the health of the digestive system and the gut microbiome. Eating dragon fruit can add bulk to your stool and make it easier to pass, which in turn can prevent constipation. Further, dragon fruit also has a mild laxative effect which can further aid the prevention of constipation.  

Heart Healthy 

Dietary fibre, vitamins and antioxidants are known to help keep blood pressure levels in control while also lowering the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol. Packed with all of these nutrients, dragon fruit can also help with blood pressure and cholesterol control, which in turn can aid your heart health. 

Keeps You Hydrated 

With approximately 90% water content, dragon fruit is one of the most hydrating fruits out there. As you may already know, dehydration is a major health issue across India during the summer and monsoon months. Eating dragon fruit can help prevent that, replenish the body’s electrolytes, regulate internal body temperature levels and boost your energy levels.  

Blood Sugar Control 

Mildly sweet and low in glycaemic index, dragon fruit can have a positive impact on your blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes. The soluble and insoluble fibres in dragon fruit can help with insulin sensitivity and prevent rapid blood sugar spikes after meals. So, dragon fruit is perfectly suitable for those with pre-diabetes and diabetes.