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10 Health Benefit of Dragon Fruit You Should Know

Olidhealth.com – Have you ever heard about a growing fruit on the edge of the cactus? Yeah. There is a fruit that has a red or yellow color with scaly green leaves called dragon fruit. This unique fruit grows in vine-like cactus called Hylocereus and is native to the tropical region. It can be obtained in the Asian market and most fruit stores. The benefits are known for health from cactus stems, flowers, and the fruit which has its own properties. People know dragon fruit as a superfood because of its benefit to keep your body healthy. However, there are some further health benefits that we want to know. Considering this fact, we want to explore the benefit of dragon fruit in this article.

What is Dragon Fruit?

dragon fruit grow on cactus

As we mentioned before, Dragon fruit is tropical cactus that its fruit has leathery skin like a dragon. Another interesting fact about this fruit is some countries consider this one as an invasive plant because of its fast-growing and resilience in any condition [1]. However, other countries have been cultivated this plant because dragon fruit has benefits for health.

dragon fruits with health benefit

There is some variant of dragon fruits which has been known such as:

  • Hylocereus Undatus – Known as common dragon fruit with red leathery skin and white flesh. It also has distinctive features like scaly green leaves.
  • Hylocereus Costaricensis – Called Costa Rican pitahaya. The fruit has red leathery skin and red flesh. People usually misinterpret it with Hylocereus Polyrhizus because have the same red-color flesh.
  • Hylocereus Megalanthus – Known as yellow dragon fruit since it has yellow leathery skin and white flesh.

Besides three variants of dragon fruit, there is also smaller wild fruit in the genus Stenocereus called sour pitaya. However, it a lesser-known to this type of dragon fruit because we usually consume it that has been cultivated. Dragon fruit has a ton of health benefits.

Below this point, we overview the benefit of dragon fruit to extend your knowledge and consider this fruit into your healthy food list.

Nutrient in Dragon Fruits

a group of mixed dragon fruits

Dragon fruits have a pack of nutrition to help maintain your health. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there is info about the nutrition of dragon fruit in 170 grams serving [2].

  • Calories: 102
  • Carbohydrate: 22 grams
  • Sugars: 13 grams
  • Fiber: 4.9 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fatty acid (saturated): 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 gram

Besides its nutrient, this fruit also has vitamins and essential minerals such as:

  • Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C): 4.2 milligrams
  • Vitamin A: 100 International Units (IU)
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 0.6 milligrams
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 0.2 milligrams
  • Magnesium (Mg): 68 milligrams
  • Calcium (Ca): 31 milligrams
  • Iron (Fe): 1.3 milligrams

There are also have small trace vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1 (thiamine) and phosphorus. With a load of nutrients in this fruit, we eventually know which benefit we can get if we consume dragon fruit for maintaining our health. This information can be extracted to have some facts to improve our health and prevent various diseases to our body.

May Reduce Risk of Heart-related Disease

Dragon Fruit is one of several fruits that can help you to prevent heart-related diseases. It has linoleic acid and linolenic acid that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disorder. Based on some studies said dragon fruit seeds also have unsaturated fat such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that contribute to a lower risk of coronary disease. Beta-carotene in dragon fruit can also help to reduce blood pressure and maintain cholesterol levels and prevent the risk of hyperlipidemia.

Have Hepatoprotective Properties for Maintain Your Liver

Hepatoprotective is the ability of certain chemical compounds to protect and prevent damage to the liver. As reported by the expert, Dragon fruit can prevent liver diseases since it has antioxidant properties which as the same as hepatoprotective properties to reduce liver damage due to oxidative stress. Betalain compound can help protect cells in the liver from free radical scavengers. It is also known can cure fatty liver if taken dragon fruit as medication.

Help Maintain Digestive System

Our digestive system has the main purpose to extract food and convert it into energy for your cell. Maintaining this system can be obtained by taking a good amount of fiber. Dragon fruit has prebiotic potential to maintain your digestion system since this fruit contains oligosaccharides which can improve the growth of good bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in your gut. Moreover, This fruit also has high fiber to help control carb absorption to improve your health.

Have Antioxidant Properties to Boost your immune

cultivating dragon fruit with care

Dragon fruit is the one of antioxidants rich food to boost your immune. Betacyanins and betaxanthins in skin and flesh can be used to combat free radicals. Vitamin C and Vitamin A also in dragon fruit to enhance cell protection again bacteria and unknown substances.

Dragon fruit with a red flesh as Hylocereus Costaricensis has more antioxidant properties than white flesh. Betacyanin is present in red-colored skin or flesh in the fruit.

Have Anti-inflammatory Properties for Preventing Swelling

Most common inflammation cases are caused by pathogens, internal injuries, or medical conditions such as dermatitis (swelling in the skin). The betalain compound in fresh dragon fruit can prevent inflammation and also serve as antioxidants to protect cells again free radicals.

Help Maintain Teeth and Bones Health

Keeping bones and teeth strong can be done by consuming enough essential minerals. Usually, these minerals are found in many dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. However, Dragon fruit also provides a good amount of calcium and phosphorus to maintain your teeth and bones. It can be alternative choice to your calcium food diet.

Help Reduce Your Blood Sugar Level

There are variants of food that can maintain or lower your blood sugar level, one of them is dragon fruit. The dragon fruit seeds have polyunsaturated fat that can improve insulin control and lower blood sugar level. It also has low carbohydrates which can be an option for food to maintain blood sugar levels. Some studies found that dragon fruit can help insulin break down sugar. Dragon fruit also has fiber to control absorb carbs in your guts.

Lowering The Risk of Anemia

dragon fruit juice with benefit for health

Dragon fruit has micromineral like iron to improve blood cell production. People can consume this fruit as a supplement to increase hemoglobin levels and prevent the risk of anemia. Based on some experts, consuming dragon fruit juice on pregnant women can increase hemoglobin production in 2 weeks.

May Have Anticancer Properties

In some case, Dragon fruit help reduces the risk of cancer since it has vitamin C, polyphenolic, and flavonoid compounds as an antioxidant to prevent cancer. According to the expert, betalains and lycopene in dragon fruit have a contribution as anti-cancer because their properties fight off oxidative stress and suppress cancer cells [3]. The small amount of hydroxycinnamates in dragon fruit also has the benefit to prevent cancer in some studies.

Risk of Dragon Fruit

Besides dragon fruit has a ton of benefits, there is also a risk for people who have allergic reactions to this fruit. The symptom if have this reaction such as hives, vomiting, and swelling in the lips and tongue. The worse care if excessive consumption of dragon fruit can lead to hypotension and reddish in your pee.

Conclusion

Dragon fruit is growing fruit on the cactus which have the benefit to your body. The health benefit of dragon fruit including rich in nutrition, having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, reducing blood sugar levels and risk of anemia, and many more. Although it’s called a superfood, we recommend consuming this fruit on a balanced diet. Excessive consumption of dragon fruit has less benefit for your health and your pee would be in reddish color.

Reference

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitaya – Dragon fruit in general

[2] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1925859/nutrients -Dragon fruit nutrient

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32378233/ Anticancer properties in pitaya

Dr. James Stunt Sp. PDhttps://olidhealth.com
You can call me Dr. James. I have been a doctor for almost 10 years. Experience in Siloam hospital.
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