Dragon Fruit Health Benefits, Medicinal Properties, Plant Description, Various Uses, Nutritional Value, Possible Side Effects and FAQ
What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is a juicy nutritious fruit packed with various health beneficial properties. It is a plant belonging to the ‘Cactaceae’ family. The fruit is grown in Mexico, Southeast Asia, India, USA, Caribbean, Australia, Mesoamerica and the entire tropical and subtropical world.
Dragon plants are a vine-like cactus, tropical fruit with a mushy texture and sweet taste. These are often grown as flower ornamental plants and fruit crops. The fruit is extremely decorative, with bright red skin, adorned with green peels. The fleshy part is white, juicy and sweet in taste, and contains numerous black seeds.
Antioxidants in this fruit play an important role in reducing your risk of cancer and diabetes.
Dragon Fruit Benefits and Uses
Dragon fruit is a great source of Monounsaturated fat and hence helps in maintaining heart health. There is a natural ability to reduce bad cholesterol and meet good cholesterol levels. Therefore, including dragon fruits in your diet helps you tackle cardiovascular health problems. It also maintains healthy tissues around the heart and hence reduces blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders.
The fruit has antioxidants which play an important role in reducing risk of cancer and diabetes. It reduces high oxidative stress and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Further, the article discusses the health benefits, nutritious properties and other related things about Dragon fruit.
Nutritional Value of per 100g of Dragon fruit
- Energy- 1,100 kj
- Carbohydrates- 82.14 g
- Sugars- 82.14 g
- Dietary Fiber- 1.8 g
- Protein- 3.57 g
- Vitamin C- 9.2 mg
- Calcium- 107 mg
- Sodium- 39 mg
Different Regional Names of Dragon fruit
- Assamese : Dragon fol
- Tamil: Aalippazham
- Malayalam: Pithaya
- Telugu: piaya
- Kannada: pitaya
- Hindi: pitaya
- Bengali: Dragon fruit
- Gujarati: kamlam
Scientific Classification of Dragon fruit
- Kingdom: Planta
- Clade: Tracheophytes
- Clade: Angiosperms
- Clade: Eudicots
- Order: Caryophyllales
- Family: Cactaceae
- Subfamily: Cactoideae
- Genus: Selenicereus
- Species: S. undatus
- Scientific name: Selenicereus undatus
Health Benefits of Dragon fruit
- Reduce risk of Diabetes
Fiber helps in maintaining blood sugar levels. Dragon fruit has high levels of fiber that can help balance your blood sugar levels. Consuming this fruit regularly can prevent your high blood sugar.
- Reduces Risks of Cancer
This fruit has anticancer properties that can reduce the risk of colon cancer. Its high source of vitamin C plays an important role in boosting the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that will help you stay away from chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Cancer, etc.
- Helps Boost Immunity
This fruit contains high levels of vitamin C which increases immunity and helps you stay healthy. More vitamin C means that your body is capable of fighting deadly infections that you may be prone to.
- Good for Digestion
This fruit is a rich source of oligosaccharide (a carbohydrate) that helps in the development of good bacteria, which helps in smooth digestion. It is packed with high fiber which helps in digestive health, reducing the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
- Soothes Skin Problems
Being rich in vitamin C, dragon fruit acts as a great remedy for Acne. It can also soothe sunburned skin and help in moisturizing the skin as it contains vitamin B3. When mixed with cucumber juice and honey, dragon fruit helps to calm the burnt skin.
- Fights Aging Skin
Stress, pollution and other factors (e.g. low nutritional diet) can speed up skin aging. However, dragon fruit is a rich source of antioxidants that can treat sunburn, dry skin and acne. Its vitamin C content stimulates glowing skin. You can consume dragon fruit juice daily for glowing skin.
- Good for Hair
Consume a glass of milk (250ml) with dragon fruit powder once a day for thick, black and shiny hair and it will make your hair better. The extract of this fruit is also found in the form of powder which is helpful in reducing hair damage caused by high sources of nutrients and artificial hair color and improving hair structure.
- Healthy Bones
Good bone health can contribute to avoiding many factors such as injuries, joint pain etc. This super fruit contains magnesium which strengthens the bones.
- Good for Eyes
This fruit contains beta-carotene (the pigment that gives the fruit its color) which prevents eye problems such as cataract and macular degeneration. 220 grams of dragon fruits a day are enough for this.
- Good During Pregnancy
This fruit contains vitamin B, folate and iron which make it an ideal fruit in pregnancy. B vitamins and folate prevent birth defects and increase strength during pregnancy. Its calcium content is responsible for the growth of the fetal bone. Its magnesium content helps women fight post-menopausal complications.
- Suppresses Arthritis
Dragon fruits can help reduce arthritis symptoms such as inflammation and stiffness. The health benefits of dragon fruit are so good for people with arthritis that the fruit has been renamed as “anti-inflammatory fruit”.
- Helps in Weight Management
Dragon fruit is a great ingredient and can be included in weight loss diets, as it is very low in cholesterol content. Dragon fruit gives you a feeling of fullness for a long time and helps in increasing metabolic rate in the amount of fiber thus helping you control weight.
- Healthy Heart
Dragon fruit is a good source of flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidant pigments that have a positive effect on heart health. Red-shaved dragon is especially battery-lined, which gives its distinctive color and has the ability to lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL). Its seeds contain omega-3 and omega-9 fats, which are good for your heart and offer many other benefits.
Uses of Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit can be eaten as fresh as any other fruit. Or you can make juice out of it, or you can make a smoothie of it.
Side effects of Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit has harmful effects to some extent as it has benefits. For some people eating dragon fruit can lead to diarrhea. Excessive consumption of dragon fruit is harmful. In some people, eating dragon fruits develops symptoms of allergic reactions, in which case it should be avoided.
Symptoms of food allergies may include:
- Tingling or itchy sensation in the mouth
- Swelling of the lips or tongue
- Nausea or vomit
NOTE: Dragon fruit should be used in the right quantity keeping in view its benefits and disadvantages as excessive use of any product can harm our health. The above mentioned information is provided only for general knowledge based on the information.
It is advisable to consult a doctor before using dragon fruit in curing the disease (especially if you are suffering from any chronic or lethal one).
The information included above about the benefits of using dragon fruit are only for knowledge purposes and based on trusted sources and studies. Please approach a doctor or specialist if you face any side effects from using it.
Also Read: Dragon Fruit Benefits (Assamese)
Q: Which country is dragon fruit native?
Ans: This fruit is native to Central and South America. It is currently cultivated in Mexico, Southeast Asia, the United States, India, the Caribbean, Australia, Mesoamerica and the entire tropical and subtropical regions.
Q: Is dragon fruit good for skin problems?
Ans: Dragon fruit is rich in vitamin C, and it acts as a good remedy for acne. It can also soothe the sunburn skin and help in moisturizing the skin as it contains vitamin B3. Adding cucumber juice and honey with dragon fruit helps to soothe the burnt skin.
Q: Can I drink water after eating dragon fruit?
Ans: No, to ensure smooth digestion you need to maintain PH level within a certain range of your stomach. Normal stomach PH levels are acidic and range from 1.5 to 3.5. Drinking water immediately after eating any fruit dilutes this PH. This may lead to stomach ache and indigestion.
Q: Which plant family does Dragon fruit belong to?
Ans: Dragon fruit is a plant belonging to the ‘Cactaceae’ family.
Q: What is the scientific name of dragon fruit?
Ans: The scientific name of dragon fruit is ‘Selenicereus undatus’.