Nutrition

Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit

A half-cut Dragon Fruit

Known for its vibrant red skin and sweet seed pulp, the dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that is also called strawberry pear or pitahaya in many parts of the world. Over the years, many studies have been conducted on the potential health benefits of dragon fruit and most of the results have come out to be positive. This reason alone has made it quite popular amongst foodies. Today, luckily dragon fruit is not only available in tropical regions but can be frozen and consume fresh as well. Therefore, it is available in supermarkets worldwide. Let us discuss its superpowers in detail and see how it benefits humans in terms of health.

High in Nutrients

Although dragon fruit is low on calories but it packs a lot of essential vitamins and nutrients. Additionally, it also packs a substantial amount of dietary fiber. For instance, a one-cup serving of dragon fruit offers 136 g of calories, 3 grams of proteins, and 29 grams of carbohydrates. Another surprising factor is that dragon fruit does not carry any fat. Therefore, if you were to consume them on a daily basis, you will not have to be worried about gaining weight.

Might Help Fight Chronic Diseases

Most chronic diseases are caused by free radical cells that are basically unstable molecules damaging the healthy cells of the body. This leads to inflammation and potentially harmful diseases. One way to tackle and combat such health concerns is by consuming anti-oxidant rich fruits such as the dragon fruit. Anti-oxidants work by neutralizing the free radical cells, hence, preventing cell damage. Furthermore, studies also suggest that incorporating dragon fruit in your daily diet may prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.

Dragon fruit includes several types of potent antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Betalains, and Carotenoids. Studies conducted on the relationship between Vitamin C and cancer risk have displayed positive results. For instance, a major study conducted on 120, 852 people observed that those who received a higher dose of Vitamin C had comparatively lower chances of neck and head cancer than those who did not.

Meanwhile, observational studies conducted on Betalains found that betalains can help fight oxidative stress and might possess the ability to suppress cancerous cells. On the other hand, Carotenoids such as Beta-carotene and lycopene are plant pigments that give the dragon fruit its unique color. Diets with a large concentration of carotenoids might help reduce the chances of cancer and heart disease.

Dragon Fruit is Loaded With Fiber

As mentioned earlier, dragon fruit contains dietary fiber. Dietary fibers are non-digestible carbohydrates that feature a long list of health benefits. In fact, health experts recommend that women should intake 25 grams of fiber each day while men should intake 38 grams. With a one-cup serving offering 7 grams, dragon fruit tends to be an excellent whole-food source. Even though Fiber is known to help digestion and the digestive system altogether but several studies have shown that fiber might also protect against heart diseases. However, since dragon fruit is high on dietary fiber, you need to practice precaution especially if you are used to a low-fiber diet. Increase your intake of dietary fiber gradually to avoid stomach discomfort.

Dragon Fruit helps promote a Healthy Gut

The human gut is a splendid digestive machine. It is home to more than 100 trillion microorganisms including 400 species of bacteria. The majority of researchers believe that these organisms help protect your digestive system and improve it as well. If there are imbalances in your gut, it might lead to asthma and heart disease as tested on humans and animals. Since dragon fruit contains prebiotics, it can surely help improve the bacteria balance in your gut. In that respect, prebiotics is a specific type of fiber that promotes the growth of bacteria inside your gut. However, as compared to the other types of fiber, you cannot break them down. But the gut bacteria can certainly digest them. They use the fiber as a source of fuel, and your body gets to take the benefit.

In particular, dragon fruit promotes the growth of two gut bacteria families, lactic acid bacteria, and bifidobacteria. The regular consumption or intake of prebiotics will help prevent digestive tract infections and diarrhea. Since prebiotics promotes the growth of good bacteria, there comes a time when it outcompetes the bad ones. For instance, a study conducted on travelers showed that those who consumed prebiotics both before and during traveling experienced fewer and fewer episodes of traveler’s diarrhea.

Dragon Fruit Strengthens Your Immune System

The human body’s ability to fight against bacteria and diseases depends on several factors including diet. The vitamin C and carotenoids found in dragon fruit help protect the white blood cells from damage. Moreover, it helps boost the immune system as well and protects the body from all kinds of infections as well. The white blood cells are there to attack and destroy harmful substances. At the same time, they tend to be extremely sensitive to damage by free radical cells as well.

May Boost Iron Levels

Dragon fruit is one of the very few fruits that contain iron. Iron is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout your body. Plus, it also helps in breaking down food into energy. However, unfortunately, many people do not intake sufficient iron. It has been estimated that iron is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world. Therefore, to increase the concentration of iron in your body, it is suggested to eat iron-rich foods such as fish, meat, cereals, and nuts.

Dragon Fruit is a good source of Magnesium

As compared to most fruits, dragon fruit offers the most amount of magnesium. On average, a typical human body contains 24g of magnesium. Considering the low concentration, it is still present in every cell of your body and also takes part in over 600 chemical reactions. For instance, it takes part in bone formation, converting food into energy, and even DNA creation.

Dragon Fruit is Good For Hair

Everybody wants black, thick, and shiny hair. However, what most people are not aware of the fact is that dragon fruit can help them achieve that. Dragon fruit powder mixed with a glass of milk once every day is going to serve your hair the best way it can. The high concentration of nutrients found in the fruit extract prevents hair damage and improves the hair texture as well. Make sure that you are consistent with its intake. Otherwise, you will not get the results you expected.

Fights Ageing Skin

Our skin takes a beating on a regular basis. The puts the skin under extreme stress along with other external factors such as pollution and poor diet that add to the damage. However, if you were to consume dragon fruit, you can be sure that you are protecting your skin against acne and skin burn. You can prepare dragon fruit juice everyday and drink it any time of the day.

Final Word

To conclude, Dragon fruit is a delicious yet nutritious fruit that you can try and incorporate into your daily diet. Most people complain about the particular way it is eaten but you have to consider the essential health benefits as well. Since you consume fruits daily, try adding dragon fruit in there as well. It is definitely worth trying.

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