Dragon fruit what does it taste like

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What Does Dragon Fruit Taste Like?

Ever wonder what dragon fruit tastes like? What about caviar or saffron? Our culinary producers Jeanette Donnarumma and Grant Melton are here to answer your most-Googled flavor questions.

No. 1: What does dragon fruit taste like?
Rachael and Dr. Mehmet Oz sat down and tasted dragon fruit, along with the members of our audience. The verdict? Rach described it as “a weak kiwi” while Dr. Oz said, “It’s like the cauliflower of fruits.” Luckily for the funky-looking spiny pink, green and white fruit, it’s high in vitamin C and fiber. Although, you could “douse it with a little tequila and it would be delicious,” joked Rach. Or use it as a topper instead of kiwi in this tropical pavlova from Curtis Stone.
No. 2: What does quinoa taste like?
“It’s like a nutty-earthy, heartier rice,” says Jeanette of this tiny, round ancient grain, but gets gummy if you overcook it. “I actually prefer it slightly undercooked so it has a bit more bite,” she adds. How do you know when to stop cooking? “When the little ring pops out, you know it’s done,” she says, adding that she always cooks with half a cup less water than package directions for the perfect texture. Try it in this yum-o taco bowl.
No. 3: What does caviar taste like?
Grant describes these itty bitty fish eggs (a.k.a. fish roe) as “a juicy pop of briney, super-saltiness followed by a buttery aftertaste,” adding that “It’s oddly rich for how small it is.” American versions are far less expensive (between $50-$100 per ounce) than the famous Beluga kind—which is actually illegal to import and can go for upwards of $300 per ounce—but still it’s not a cheap treat. Good thing just a few bites are pretty satisfying, says Grant.
No. 4: What does turmeric taste like?
Turmeric root, which is not as widely distributed as it’s dried, pulverized powder version looks similar to ginger: “It’s extremely potent and will instantly stain anything it touches. I used it in my stainless steel juicer and it even turned that yellow!” says Jeanette. Full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, it has a pungent, earthy-sweet taste and is a key ingredient in most Indian curries (and these curry deviled eggs).
No. 5: What does saffron taste like?
“It’s kind of sweetly floral and you add it to dishes for more of an essence than a taste really,” explains Grant. (think saffron-scented pasta). “It’s pricey but all you need is the tiniest pinch, he adds.
MORE:
Chicken Thighs with Orange and Rosemary, and Saffron Rice with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins
Laura Prepon’s Turmeric Turkey
Quinoa Cobb Salad in a Jar

Are you wondering about what does a dragon fruit tastes like? Pitaya or Dragon fruit looks so exotic, beautiful and tantalizing that everybody wants to try it. Name and looks can be deceiving. Dragon fruits look so exotic that you would think that it must taste delicious as well but in reality, the taste of dragon fruit is very bland.

On Rachael Ray’s show Rachael and Dr. Mehmet Oz sat down and tasted dragon fruit, along with the members of the audience and Rachael described it as “a weak kiwi” while Dr. Oz said, “It’s like the cauliflower of fruits.”

Some people say that the taste of dragon fruit is melon-like, and it reminds them of a cross between a kiwi and a watermelon. Others include pear in this description. Sometimes, the taste is described simply as tropical. Keep in mind that each person may experience the flavor of dragon fruit a bit differently, and texture has a lot to do with this perception.

What is a Dragon fruit?

You will be surprised to know that dragon fruit is actually a kind of cactus and is one of the most widely grown cactus species in the world. Dragon fruit grows on several species of cactus that were originally native to Mexico and later transplanted to other countries.

In Mexico dragon fruits are called pitaya or pitahaya and they are widely cultivated and eaten in Southeast Asia, Florida, the Caribbean, Australia, and throughout tropical and subtropical world regions.

The edible, mushy, pulp of the dragon fruit can vary in colors, which makes up 60 to 70% of the total fruit.

Origin of Dragon fruit

There have been different stories and assumptions of the origination of dragon fruit but none of them are really reliable.

According to the legend, dragon fruit was created thousands of years ago by fire breathing dragons. During a battle the dragons were breathing out fire with the fruit. When the dragon was slain the victorious soldiers collected the fruit and presented to their Emperor as a coveted treasure.

It is a folklore but, a lot of people find it interesting and to some extent believable since there are many other similar folktales about fruits from ancient times.

It is also believed that the dragon fruit is native to South and Central America and has been known since the early 1300’s and later introduced to Asia. Vietnam and Asia presently grow the fruit extensively and have made it one of their major export crops with supplies to other countries around the world.

Taste of Dragon Fruits

There are four different species of dragon fruit, but there are hybrids available within these four species. Hylocereus dragon fruit are made up of three different species, and Selenicereus has just one. But it is easier to divide dragon fruit varieties up by color; white, pink or red flesh and white or yellow skin. Dragon fruits taste varies depending on the type.

White Dragon Fruit (White Flesh/Pink Skin)

The most common variety of dragon fruit is white fleshed with pink skin which is found almost everywhere. The scientific name of this type is Hylocereus Undatus. Seeds inside the white flesh dragon fruits are actually very firm and very small. White dragon fruit is refreshing but it doesn’t have a whole lot of flavor like the dragon fruits with red or pink flesh. They are like kiwi fruit but flavorless. Depending on your taste buds you can add lemon or honey when you eat a white flesh dragon fruit to add some flavor.

In the markets this variety may be sold under the name Alice, Cosmic Charlie, David Bowe, Guyute, Harpua, L.A. Woman, Neitzel, Seoul Kitchen, Thompson and Vietnamese Jaina.

Red Dragon fruit (Pink Flesh/Pink Skin)

Red or Pink dragon fruit is more common in Asia than other western countries. The scientific name of this type is Hylocereus Polyrhizus. Red dragon fruits are sweeter in taste than the white fleshed variety and also rounder and larger in size. Red/Pink dragon fruits have a berry sort of taste.

In the markets this variety may be sold under the name Bloody Mary, Red Jania, Voodoo Child, sugar dragon, red dwarf, pink panther and Zamorano.

Yellow Dragon Fruit (White Flesh/Yellow Skin)

Yellow dragon fruits or Hylocereus megalanthus are the smallest, sweetest and also the rarest among the dragon fruit varieties. They also have little thorns off the sides. The seeds in the yellow skinned dragon fruits are bigger than the white and pink dragon fruits and the flesh is more jelly like or pulpy. Yellow dragon fruits have a sweeter taste similar like lychees.

This variety is grown primarily in South America. It’s not produced on the mass scale like the other varieties. This is sold only as yellow dragon fruit.

How to Choose Dragon fruit?

Dragon fruit can be found year-round, though the season peaks in Summer and lasts into early Autumn.

To choose a ripe dragon fruit, look for bright, even-colored skin. A few blemishes on the skin are normal, but if the fruit has a lot of blotches, it may be over-ripe.

Hold the dragon fruit in your palm and try pressing the skin with your thumb or fingers. It should give a little, but shouldn’t be too soft or mushy. If it’s very firm, it will need to ripen for a few days.

How to Store Dragon fruit

A ripe dragon fruit can sit on the counter for a few days. You can also store it for longer by placing the fruit in a sealed plastic bag and storing it in the refrigerator. Dragon fruit can pick up the flavors and odors of other food, so make sure to put it in a plastic bag or container when you store it in the refrigerator.

Don’t cut your dragon fruit until you’re ready to eat it. Once cut, it needs to be refrigerated in a tightly sealed container just like most cut fruits. It can remain fresh for a day, possibly a little longer, depending on how ripe it is. Once the flesh begins to turn brown and mushy, it’s time to toss it.

How do You Eat a Dragon fruit?

Dragon fruits are most commonly eaten raw as a fresh fruit. The fresh pulp under the skin is very attractive, and goes great in fruit salad. Dragon fruits can also be dried, made into jams, canned or jarred. Juice extracted for dragon fruits can be used to make cocktails.

Dragon fruits can be used for and with many other things, including sherbets, ice creams, and yogurt.

How to Cut or Open a Dragon fruit

With the intimidating look that dragon fruits have, it might be confusing knowing where to start with it. You can either cut through a dragon fruit or peel through it to get to the edible flesh.

Peeling is a bit more technical than cutting but once you get the hang of it; it is as easy as can be. To peel a dragon fruit, start from the top and then peel all the way down of the fruit. Use your thumb, the whole skin should peel along with it and leave white surrounding strands covering the inner flesh of the dragon fruit.

Cutting a dragon fruit is lot easier. First cut the core which is the long spiky tip, and then slice the dragon fruit into halves and gently scoop out plump with a spoon.

Removing the flesh of the fruit is quite simple and similar to an avocado (without the big seed). Note that the skin of dragon fruit is not edible.

Dragon fruit Nutrition

Dragon fruit is very high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They promote heart health, decrease cholesterol and can even help to reduce signs of aging, acne and sunburn.

According to the USDA Food Composition Database, here’s a rundown of the main nutrients in a one-cup serving (227 grams) of dragon fruit:

  • Calories: 136
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 29 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Iron: 8% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 18% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 9% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 4% of the RDI

What Are the Benefits of Dragon Fruit?

Because dragon fruit is full of vitamins and nutrients, and offers potentially disease-fighting antioxidants, it probably comes as no surprise that eating dragon fruit on a regular basis can have a positive influence on your health and wellness.

Let’s look at some possible health benefits of dragon fruits:

  • Improves Cardiovascular Health
  • Supports Your Immune System
  • Aids Your Digestion
  • Plays a Role in Cancer Prevention
  • Lowers Blood Sugar in Diabetes
  • Promotes Skin Health
  • Reduces Inflammation
  • More on the RA Diet
  • Wards Off Anemia in Pregnancy

Dragon fruit Recipes

Dragon fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • Blackberry
  • Mango
  • Dragon Fruit
  • Blueberry
  • Kiwi Fruit

Directions

  • Combine the fruits in a medium bowl and stir gently to mix the fruits
  • Top with finely shredded mint leaves

Dragon fruit Smoothies

Ingredients

  • Bananas
  • Red Dragon fruit
  • Coconut water
  • Vanilla powder
  • Hemp seeds

Directions

  • Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
  • Top with hemp seeds

Dragon fruit Cocktail

Frozen Dragon Fruit Margaritas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 cups ice
  • 12 ounces frozen dragon fruit
  • 6 ounces frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Salt – to rim glasses
  • Pineapple wedges, dragon fruit, and lime – to garnish

Directions

  • Add the pineapple juice, ice, dragon fruit, and frozen pineapple to a large high-speed blender. Pulse a few times to start the blending process.
  • Add the tequila, orange liqueur, and fresh lime juice to the blender and process until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add additional pineapple juice (or tequila) as needed to help move things along. I wanted my margarita to be thick and smoothie-like so it took a little patience and stopping to mix with a spatula before processing again before I got the consistency I wanted.
  • Rim the desired number of glasses with sugar or salt and garnish with fresh pineapple, dragon fruit, and lime wedges, if desired.

How to Eat Dragon Fruit: 5 Delicious Ways to Try it

A popular fruit throughout Southeast Asia, in India, however, dragon fruit garners very less attention. Often seen in the exotic fruit section of the supermarkets, the bright pink and scaly fruit could be a little intimidating at first sight. It belongs to the cactus family, and its reference to dragons is probably due to its scaly outer skin. But get past your inhibitions and you will discover that it is a delicious fruit that can be enjoyed in a number of ways. It is also commonly known as Pitaya.
Dragon fruit is a rich source of antioxidants and ranks low in calories, making it the perfect ingredient for your morning fruit bowl. Including it regularly in your daily diet is said to lower cholesterol, maintain blood pressure and heart health. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the fruit, the pink scaly outer skin encloses a white or red fleshy inner specked with black seeds, which is sweet in flavour and extremely refreshing. The seeds too are rich sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for the body.So how do you eat it? It’s simple. Here are five delicious ways –
1. Scoop it Out
Take the dragon fruit and cut it into half. Then using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and enjoy it fresh or you can even drizzle it with a little honey and have it as a mid-meal treat. The outer skin is inedible though, so avoid it.

2. Slice it for Salads and Muesli
All you need to do is peal the scaly outer layer and then slice the inner flesh as per your liking. You can toss the pieces with other fruit slices to make a refreshing fruit salad. Or add it into your bowl of muesli containing bananas, nuts and seeds. Here’s a simple recipe that you can try at home – Fresh Fruit Muesli. Along with the apples and pears, add in dragon fruit. Here are some more recipes for you to try: DIY Muesli Recipes.

3. Blend it
Once you have peeled the fruit, you can use the flesh to make breakfast smoothies and refreshing juices at home. Dragon fruit has a subtle sweet flavour which can be teamed with a whole range of ingredients, especially kiwi, pineapple, banana, strawberries and oranges. Try this filling smoothie recipe by Chef Vicky Ratnani – Dragon Fruit and Yoghurt Smoothie.

4. Grill it
Grilling cubes of dragon fruit is another delicious way to enjoy this exotic ingredient. The caramalised sweet flavour can be balanced with a sprinkle of chilli powder, and the result is a lip-smacking treat. Here’s what you need to do to make a kebab –
Ingredients:
1 dragon fruit, cubed
1 pineapple, cubed
Oil for brushing
1 tsp red chilli powder
Sat to taste
Method:
1. In a bowl, add all the ingredients and toss well.
2. Arrange alternate pieces of dragon fruit and pineapple on the skewers, and grill for 10 minutes.
3. Serve hot.

5. Freeze it
Nothing like a refreshing popsicle or sorbet to beat the summer heat. And dragon fruit is a great option because it is loaded with vitamins besides being delicious to taste. All you need to do is juice the fruit (along with other fruits too, if you like, such as kiwi), and transfer it to a mould and freeze it till it’s set. Add in honey or jaggery to sweeten the treat.

Tips to Buying Dragon Fruit
Here are some points you should remember –
1. Dragon fruit tastes best when it’s ripe and fresh. So before buying the fruit, try pressing it slightly with your fingertips. If it is slightly soft, it’s good to pick up. Make sure it isn’t too soft, or else it’s overripe.
Comments2. The fruit should be bright pink without dark spots or bruises.

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If you’re like a lot of people, you probably haven’t heard of the exotic dragon fruit until around a few years ago. You might not have even heard of it at all until very recently, too.

Maybe you’ve only discovered it during one of your trips to the local supermarket. Regardless of how you’ve found out about the dragon fruit, though, you probably also know that it’s not just another sweet treat.

Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that’s native to Central America as well as around Mexico, though it is now grown everywhere, especially in Asia.

You can easily spot a dragon fruit due to its unique shape and color, and despite it having many different appearances based on variety, the most common ones sport a vivid red color to their skin, with green appendages or “scales” surrounding it.

What’s made dragon fruit so popular in recent years is its reported health benefits. And this isn’t just some trend that blew out of proportion – dragon fruit contains not only essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and Iron, but it also carries antioxidants that are reported to help against bad cholesterol, heart disease, and even cancer.

But let’s say you already knew all that. What now? Well, the only thing left for you to do is buy yourself a few pieces of fruit and eat it. But how exactly do you do that?

I mean, it isn’t as easy as peeling a banana or popping a grape in your mouth. Luckily for you, you’ll learn the ins and outs of eating this healthy fruit, so you can enjoy both the tastes and the benefits that dragon fruit brings to your health.

And if you love dragon fruit, check out these other exotic fruits you can try to find in your local market or online. There are probably hundreds of fruits out there you haven’t heard of, let alone tried!

How To Eat A Dragon Fruit

Now before you go on ahead and slice a piece, you’ll need to know the necessary steps in preparing the fruit itself. Like most fruits, you can’t just pick any dragon fruit you see in the grocery store and expect it to be good enough. There are good dragon fruits and bad ones too, and you’ll need to learn how to tell the difference so that you won’t be wasting your money and time preparing it later.

Step 1: Find Yourself Some Dragon Fruit

Now, this step may sound like a no-brainer, but trust me – it’s a lot harder than you think. Dragon fruit isn’t exactly as popular as, say, oranges or bananas, and not all grocery stores (especially the smaller ones) have them. Luckily for you, the chances of finding one in an Asian or even Central American/Mexican market should be a lot easier, given that these regions grow the fruit the most.

So head down to your local China town or any Asian/Mexican marketplace and look for some yourself. If you’re having trouble in a Mexican marketplace, ask for “pitaya”” or “pitahaya” as that’s the local name for dragon fruit.

Step 2: Choose Ripe Fruit

Now that you’ve found the fruit, it’s time to pick the best ones from the batch. Don’t be too intimidated when you first pick the ripe ones though – it’s not that difficult. Like most fruits, you’ll want to eat dragon fruit when it’s ripe, and you can tell if the fruit is ready to eat by judging both its color and texture.

Ripe dragon fruit has a bright red or pink color to it, so you can tell straight away which ones look promising. All that’s left to do now is to give the fruits a little squeeze. If they’re a little soft, then the fruit is probably ripe, and you’ve got yourself a perfectly good dragon fruit you can buy.

Don’t buy the fruit if it’s TOO soft, though. That fruit’s most likely overripe, meaning that it’s past its peak eating condition. You can buy ones that aren’t soft at all, though – those that are a bit tough aren’t ripe yet, but they aren’t bad either, so just keep the fruit in your kitchen for a few days and let it ripen on its own.

Finally, check for bruises on the fruit – for obvious reasons. If you’ve done everything correctly, you should be bringing home some quality dragon fruit for your next meal. Nice.

Step 3 – Cut The Dragon Fruit In Half

Again, this may sound like such a simple step, but keep in mind that there are many fruits (such as mangos) that have a seed that prevents cutting down in the middle, while others (like bananas and some kinds of orange) are best peeled and not sliced. Thankfully, dragon fruit belongs to neither category, and you can slice it up any way you like (though down the middle is obviously the best choice).

Another reason why you’re cutting it in half is so that you can easily scoop the soft flesh out of its skin with a spoon. For this reason, you’ll want to cut it along its long side, so you cover as much surface area as possible.

Step 4 – Scoop Out the Dragon Fruit

Now it’s time for the fun part – grab yourself a spoon and scoop out all the flesh inside that sucker. Try getting as much flesh as possible in a single scoop, digging all the way to just under the fruit’s skin – that way, you won’t be wasting the little extra flesh attached to the skin, and you won’t have to scoop thin layers a second time.

If possible, try scooping an entire side in one go, to get a nice semicircle cut of the flesh. When you’re done, you should have a bowl or plate full of juicy, dragon fruit flesh, as well as the skin where the flesh was once found in.

Step 5 -Enjoy!

Now that you’ve finished all of the necessary preparations, you can now enjoy dragon fruit in any way you want. You can start eating it by itself raw, as it’s plenty good on its own – or, you can do a few more preparations and make some tasty snacks and beverages with the flesh.

And this next section will cover just that. Here’s a recipe that uses your freshly scooped dragon fruit to get you started. Spoiler alert: it’s smoothies.

How to Make Dragon Fruit Smoothies

Tired of eating the dragon fruit? You can make yourself a delicious smoothie made of the stuff instead. Here’s how:

Step 1 – Get Some Fruit Ready

Alongside your dragon fruit, prepare some ready-to-blend pieces of fruit that you want in your smoothie. This is based on your personal preference, so feel free to add anything from bananas to even avocados – which are surprisingly fruit, as we discussed in an article you can find here.

Step 2 – Select The Base Of Your Smoothie

Smoothies can be made with many different fruits, and even bases can be different depending on what suits your tastes. You can have the base be non-fat or soy milk, some yogurt, or even nut milk such as almond milk. If you’re tight on a budget, water combined with condensed milk and/or sugar should be just fine, though it’s best to stick to healthier bases if you can.

Step 3 – Add Some Extra Ingredients

If you’re like me and would prefer adding a little extra flavor to the smoothie, then adding some extra ingredients can help out a lot. For those who really want to stick to the healthy aspect of the smoothie, natural sweeteners such as honey or syrup like maple syrup can be great additions to the smoothie. For those on a budget, sugar does the trick just fine – though you probably don’t want to add too much of the stuff.

You don’t even need pure sweeteners to get the job done – apple juice or grape juice should do just fine. If you’re really feeling it, you can add some twists to the smoothie by adding in peanut or almond butter.

Personally, I like the exotic spices in the recipe below:

Step 4 – Throw The Ingredients In A Blender And Blend Away

Now it’s time to actually turn your ingredients into a smoothie. Add the different ingredients together and blend them using the “Pulse” or “Smoothie” feature of your blender if they have any, and blend until everything turns into a nice, liquid beverage. Pro tip: blend the toughest fruit along with a little bit of the base first before adding in the other ingredients – that way you can minimize the number of lumps that may remain in the smoothie.

Step 5 – Drink Up!

Unless the ingredients you used were in room temperature (which they shouldn’t be), you can now pour yourself a glass of the fruit smoothie and enjoy it by itself or alongside a good meal.

Dragon fruit hasn’t really seen popularity until recently, but its fame is well-deserved. If you want to board the hype train yourself and try a piece of this fruit, with our help you should be well on your way into becoming a dragon fruit connoisseur – if that’s even a thing.

You can even grow your own dragon fruit at home, depending on your climate. I live in a relative warm California area, but it does get cold in Winter. I have two dragon fruit plants, and they have not produced any fruit so far (3 years!), but I’m still hopeful.

Dragon Fruit: How to Buy and Eat this Tropical Treat

It’s one of the oddest-looking items you’ll find in the produce section, but it’s worth getting to know the dragon fruit. Cloaked in skin as bright red as a dragon’s fire, it’s shaped something like an oddball artichoke. The tropical fruit, also known as pitaya, is high in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Plus, it tastes great, especially when served chilled on a hot summer day. Here is all you need to know to choose, prepare, and eat this tropical treat.

Image zoom Photo by Meredith

Dragon fruit got its start in the western hemisphere. Europeans carried the climbing cactus to Asia, where it acquired its name. The quick acceptance of the tropical fruit in places such as Malaysia and Vietnam probably had something to do with its stunning appearance. When split open, the roundish fruit reveals custardy white, pink, or magenta flesh, crammed with tiny black seeds. It looks and tastes like a kiwi, although its sweetness is slightly muted. Don’t be disappointed if its flavor isn’t as vibrant as its exterior hue.

Now Asian countries are sending dragon fruit back to the Americas. Its newfound popularity is owed partly to it’s impressive health benefits: The 60-calorie fruit contains twice as much vitamin C as rhubarb, and is considered a good source of iron. A single serving also provides 10 percent of your recommended daily allowance of fiber.

Shopping for Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is highly perishable. Look for one that isn’t overly firm; the spiny leaves should be green, not browning. Store it in the refrigerator, but don’t stash it too far in the back: Even when stored properly, it should be eaten within a few days.

Image zoom Photo by Meredith

Enjoying Dragon Fruit

The soft, spoonable texture of dragon fruit makes it an ideal ingredient for smoothies and sorbets. Its skin isn’t edible, but it’s fine to eat the seeds. When chopped up, it is a striking addition to a fruit salad or a frozen yogurt bowl.

Like other tropical fruits, dragon fruit is almost always served raw, although it can be preserved as a jam. Combine it with other summer fruits in this cooling dragon fruit milkshake, or impress your guests with an unusual cocktail, a dragon fruit colada.

You can substitute dragon fruit anywhere you see kiwi, in recipes for margaritas and salads. Browse our library of kiwi recipes and imagine the possibilities!

Try adding dragon fruit to one of our fruit salad recipes.

Find more cooking inspiration, food news, and general how-to brilliance on Allrecipes Dish.

A bite of this wildly nutritious tropical superfood can deliver a cornucopia of benefits for the human body. Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, can be either sweet or sour, depending on the species. The most common form of dragon fruit, which is smaller than a cantaloupe, red, and covered with spiky growths, can protect the body from aging and diabetes.

In the U.S., the exotic fruit has gone under the radar compared to many mainstream fruits and health foods, such as apples and kale. Typically, it is widely distributed from South Florida, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, and Vietnam, according to the University of Florida. Dragon fruit also undergoes food irradiation in the U.S. when shipped from overseas to improve its safety and extend its shelf life by reducing or eliminating microorganisms and insects.

Although exotic, it is safe for consumption even by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and continues to grow in popularity while becoming more affirdable in the U.S. The fruit is rich in vitamin C, but it is also a rich source of fatty acids. Kevin Meehan, a holistic practitioner and founder of Meehan Formulations and owner of Teton Valley Health Clinic in Jackson, Wyo., told Medical Daily in an email: “It is not this fruit’s vitamin C content which gives it the health potential but rather its fatty acid and phosphorus content.”

Replenish your body and feed it the six benefits of this tropical superfood.

1. Anti-Aging

Antioxidants are essential for keeping the skin tight and firm. They fight off free radicals that circle around the body that are known to cause problems like cancer. Dragon fruit is a good source of antioxidants due to its vitamin C content.

Meehan reminds eaters probably the most overlooked nutrient in this fruit is its phosphorus punch. “One of the most important key regulatory events in our cells require phosphorus and the phospolipids are primary components of cellular membranes. This could help in preventing premature aging,” he said.

2. Cancer Prevention

Aside from vitamin C, dragon fruit contains carotene, which is linked to several anti-carcinogenic qualities, including reducing a number of tumors. Moreover, lycopene, responsible for the red color in dragon fruit, has been shown to be linked to lower prostate cancer risk. A 2011 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention found lycopene intake of less than 2,498 mcg/day increased the risk of prostate cancer, whereas a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and lycopene-rich foods, including being physically active, can significantly reduce the risk.

Moreover, the peel of dragon fruit contains polyphenols, which are chemicals often found in nature. “There is the possibility that some of these polyphenols work as affinities to estrogen receptors and possibly alter the attachment behavior of this and other hormones to their receptor sites on cells,” Meehan said. “This could be one reason why it may protect against certain forms of cancer.”

3. Cardiovascular Health

Dragon fruit can help boost your heart health, as it decreases bad cholesterol levels while improving the good levels. A 2010 study published in the journal Pharmacognosy Research found the consumption of dragon fruit may lower the risks of developing heart disease and developing high blood pressure. This exotic fruit is also a good source of monosaturated fats which help to keep our heart in good condition.

4. Diabetes

The high amount of fiber in this exotic fruit can help stabilize a person’s blood sugar levels. It also helps to inhibit the sugar spikes that occur after eating high glycemic index foods. In the same study in the journal of Pharmacognosy Research, researchers found dragon fruit had a valuable effect on the oxidative stress from aortic stiffness in diabetic rats. This suggests regular consumption of the fruit could be beneficial in preventing common issues linked to diabetes.

5. Digestion

Dragon fruit has a significant fiber content. This means it can improve the body’s bowel movements by facilitating the passage through the digestive tract. The consumption of this exotic fruit can help reduce the chances of conditions like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

6. Immunity Booster

The high levels of vitamin C found in dragon fruit can give the body’s immune system a boost while also stimulating the activity of other antioxidants. The presence of high level of vitamin C, minerals, and pytoalbumin is involved in fighting free radicals and possessing antioxidant properties. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, as well as calcium, phosphorous, iron, protein, niacin, and fiber also contribute to improving the functioning of your immune system.

Add this exotic fruit to your diet to feed yourself back to good health.

Although it may sound like it belongs in a fairytale or story book rather than on your plate, dragon fruit is a versatile, vibrant and nutritious ingredient that’s brimming with health benefits.

Also called dragon pearl fruit, cactus fruits, pitahaya or pitaya, dragon fruit is a tropical and delicious superfood that can do a lot for your health. In fact, a few of the potential health benefits of dragon fruit include slowed signs of aging, enhanced immune function and improved blood sugar levels, all of which are important for supporting overall health.

In recent years, this flavorful ingredient has continued gaining popularity among adventurous eaters and fruit-lovers alike. In fact, it has even inspired a Starbucks drink that pairs the fruit with green coffee bean extract, mango and white grape juice.

So while dragons may not be real, the namesake fruit most certainly is. Let’s take a look at a few ways that pitaya can benefit the body.

What Is Dragon Fruit?

Originating in tropical regions throughout the Americas, pitaya is actually part of the cactus family, which makes sense given its spiky outer layer. It comes from a dragon fruit plant that looks like a climbing vine and grows best in dry areas.

This fruit can be rather intimidating upon first glance, but it peels quite easily. It’s usually oval, elliptical or pear-shaped and has a sweet, sometimes sour taste. The inside is typically white or red with little seeds that look a lot like sesame seeds and offer a similar crunch as the seeds found in a kiwi.

Today, distribution mainly comes from areas like South Florida, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Taiwan and Malaysia. It’s known as Pitahaya in Mexico and as Pitaya roja in South and Central America. Pitahaya is the Spanish name for fruiting vines of Central America.

Keep in mind that dragon fruit is much different than dragon eye fruit, also known as longan, which is a tropical fruit closely related to other species such as the lychee, rambutan and ackee.

Types

There are several different varieties of pitaya available, each of which differs slightly in terms of taste and appearance. Here are a few of the most common kinds:

  • Pitaya amarilla (Hylocereus megalanthus): this type of yellow dragon fruit has white flesh and distinct black seeds.
  • Pitaya blanca (Hylocereus undatus): also known as white dragon fruit, this variety has vibrant pink skin, white flesh and black seeds inside.
  • Pitaya roja (Hylocereus costaricensis): this red dragon fruit has bright reddish-pink skin with red flesh and black seeds.

Nutrition

Take a look at the dragon fruit nutrition facts and it’s easy to tell why this tropical fruit is so stellar for your health. Not only is it low in calories, but it’s also a great source of dietary fiber, magnesium and riboflavin.

Other components of the fruit also boast other nutrients; the seeds, for instance, are high in healthy fats while the skin is a great source of fiber.

100 grams of pitaya contains the following nutrients:

  • 60 calories
  • 13 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.2 grams protein
  • 3 grams dietary fiber
  • 40 milligrams magnesium (10 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams riboflavin (8 percent DV)
  • 0.7 milligrams iron (4 percent DV)
  • 2.5 milligrams vitamin C (3 percent DV)
  • 0.4 milligrams niacin (2 percent DV)
  • 18 milligrams calcium (1 percent DV)

Benefits

1. Immune Booster

Dragon fruit is jam-packed with flavonoids and flu-fighting vitamin C, which is great for the immune system. In fact, it contains more vitamin C than a carrot, making pitaya one of the better vitamin C foods around.

Dragon fruit also ranks high on the antioxidant list, which helps kick harmful free radicals to the curb. And even more support steps up from vitamins B1, B2 and B3, as well as calcium, phosphorous, iron, protein, niacin and fiber, all of which team up to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

2. Digestion Helper

We know that fiber aids in digestion and the best way to get fiber is through fruits and vegetables. Pitaya contains a good bit of fiber, which can help keep you regular and eliminate issues like constipation and acid reflux.

Fresh dragon fruit contains about one gram of fiber per 100 grams whereas dried dragonfruit packs in about 10 grams per 100 grams, making it a great high-fiber food. To get a bit more fiber, you can even eat the skin and seeds of the pitaya.

Another reason dragon fruit benefits digestion is due to the oligosaccharides it contains. These oligosaccharides work as prebiotics, which in turn improve gut health and digestion. And that’s not all prebiotics can do.

According to research published in the journal 3 Biotech, “the introduction of functional compounds like prebiotics in the diet seems to be an attractive alternative to ameliorate the quality of life ridden with obesity, cancer, hypersensitivity, vascular diseases and degenerative ailments.”

3. Diabetes Treatment and Prevention

Besides promoting better digestion, the fiber found in pitaya can also help stabilize blood sugar levels to maintain better blood sugar control.

An animal model published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research noted that pitaya helped reduce oxidative stress, suggesting that its consumption could help prevent some issues associated with diabetes. Not only that, but further research examining how dragon fruit benefits insulin resistance in obese mice found that eating dragon fruit could reduce the risk of developing diabetes as well.

4. Heart-Healthy

The animal model mentioned above in the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research showed that dragon fruit may help decrease levels of bad LDL cholesterol while improving good HDL cholesterol, making dragon fruit an excellent cholesterol-lowering food.

And let’s not forget those little black seeds inside the dragon fruit. Each serving delivers a mega-dose of omega fatty acids, which can help reduce triglycerides to protect heart health.

5. Keeps You Looking Youthful

Antioxidants are not only awesome at keeping the inside of the body in good order, but they also pack a powerful punch when it comes to skin health as well. Antioxidants do a great job of keeping the skin tight and firm, which can help preserve a youthful appearance.

Additionally, the phosphorus in the fruit provides a boost in the anti-aging department. Phosphorus, an important mineral found in every cell of the body, makes up about 1 percent of your total bodyweight. Because it’s found in every cell, its effect on the repair of those cells is important to the youthfulness of our skin and prevention of premature aging.

6. Potential Cancer Prevention

Dragon fruit contains a host of antioxidants, including phytoalbumin, vitamin C and lycopene. These antioxidants can help neutralize harmful free radicals and may even offer protection against cancer

Lycopene, in particular, has been shown to be particularly effective against cancer cells. In fact, some research shows that a higher intake of lycopene-rich foods could be linked to a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

What’s more, an in-vitro study published in Nutrition and Cancer also showed that treating ovarian cancer cells with lycopene blocked the growth and spread of cancer cells and reduced cell viability.

How to Eat

Figuring out where to buy this tasty fruit can be a bit challenging and may require you to search beyond your local supermarket. However, it is often available at many farmers’ markets, health food shops and specialty stores.

There are a few methods for how to tell if dragon fruit is ripe, but the easiest way is to look for a fruit with an even color and no soft spots or signs of spoilage. When squeezed, it should give slightly, which indicates that it’s fully ripe and ready to enjoy.

Wondering how to eat dragon fruit? And what does dragon fruit taste like? With its sweet, slightly sour flavor, pitaya makes an awesome addition to salads, smoothie bowls and shakes. It can also be paired with other fruits and used as topping for yogurt and oatmeal and even works well in salsa recipes, baked goods and sherbets.

The quickest method for how to cut dragon fruit involves simply slicing it down the middle and separating into two halves. The fruit can be enjoyed as is with a spoon, or you can peel the skin back and slice it into chunks or cubes for use in your favorite recipe.

Risks and Side Effects

For most people, this flavorful fruit can be enjoyed safely as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet.

In rare cases, however, some people have reported experiencing an allergic reaction after consuming the fruit. If you experience any dragon fruit side effects like hives, itching and swelling, discontinue use immediately and talk to your doctor.

Because it’s also relatively high in fiber, increasing your intake suddenly could cause issues like bloating, constipation and stomach pain. Be sure to increase fiber intake slowly and pair with plenty of water to prevent negative side effects.

Final Thoughts

  • Dragon fruits are a type of tropical fruits that are notable for their unique appearance and impressive nutrient profile.
  • The dragon fruit origin is thought to be in tropical regions in the Americas, but it is now widely cultivated in other areas including Southeast Asia, Florida and the Caribbean.
  • The climbing vine in which the fruit grows on looks similar to a dragon fruit tree, but is actually a type of dragon fruit cactus that grows best in dry areas.
  • Potential benefits of dragon fruit include improved heart health, enhanced digestion, increased immunity, better blood sugar control and protection against certain types of cancer.
  • There are many options for how to prepare dragon fruit and it makes a great addition to salads, smoothie bowls and shakes, along with many other recipes. Other ideas for how to eat dragon fruit include adding it to baked goods, yogurt, oatmeal or even salsa.

Dragon fruit Herbal Medicine

Dragon fruit Mechanism of action in disease treatment and prevention

Pitaya plants also known as Dragon fruit are rich in naturally-occurring flavonoids, which are primarily found in dragon fruit peel. Flavonoids have a wide range of biological activities, such as cell proliferation-inhibiting, apoptosis-inducing, enzyme-inhibiting, antibacterial, and antioxidant effects (Cook and Samman, 1996; Havsteen, 2002; Middleton and Kandaswami, 1993). Moreover, some findings indicate that flavonoids\ has various clinical properties, such as antiatherosclerotic, antiinflammatory, antitumour, antithrombogenic, antiosteoporotic, and antiviral effects (Cook and Samman, 1996; Havsteen, 2002). Numerous epidemiological studies confirm significant relationship between the high dietary intake of flavonoids and the reduction of cardiovascular risk (Cook and Samman, 1996). The formulation of preventive and healthy nutrition requires information about phenolic and flavonoid composition in the dragon fruit waste.
http://umpir.ump.edu.my/805/1/Lee,_Qiao_Hui.pdf

Proximate analysis of dragon fruit (Hylecereus polyhizus).

Dragon fruit is also rich in phytoalbumins which are highly valued for their antioxidant properties. Dragon fruit or Hylocereus polyrhizus is rich in fibers, vitamin C, minerals and phytoalbumins which are highly valued for their antioxidant properties. The dragon fruit helps the digestive process, prevent colon cancer and diabetes, neutralize toxic substances such as heavy metal, reduce cholesterol levels and high blood pressure and consumed regularly the dragon fruit can help against asthma and cough. It is also rich with potassium, protein, fiber, sodium and calcium which goods for health than other fruits.

The Nutrition and Health Benefits of Tropical Fruits with Special Reference to Red Pitaya

This study indicates hypocholesterolemic effect of tropical fruits including dragon fruit or pitaya as shown in-vivo and human intervention trial, therefore it has a potential of reducing the risk factor for CHD (dyslipidemia)

Soluble fiber increase fecal bile acids losses and chemodeoxycholic acid synthesis and appear to be the best substantiated mechanism by which fiber lowers serum cholesterol.

Other factors that may have contributed to the cholesterol-lowering effects are the plant sterol and phytochemical present in fruits that interfere with cholesterol metabolism

These effects maybe attributed by the active components present in the pitaya fruit such as antioxidant, polyphenolics, thiols, and their antioxidative activity from the betacyanin contents (Wybraniec & Mizrahi, 2002).

The present study results revealed that both treatments (Red pitaya fruit and Lovastatin drug) showed a similar effect in increasing HDL-C and lowering TC, TG and LDL-C level
http://www.madamsun.com/files/Download/The nutrition and health benefits of tropical fruits with special reference to red pitaya.pdf

Dragon fruit confers prebiotic benefits

The researcher concluded that dragon fruit may be used as an ingredient in functional food and nutraceutical products for the overweight individuals and diabetic prevention management. Meanwhile, the prebiotic effect of dragon fruit should be tested in clinical studies with both the raw and extracted flesh for comparison.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0887/is_12_29/ai_n56719678/

Wound healing properties of Hylocereus undatus on diabetic rats.

Aqueous extracts of leaves, rind, fruit pulp and flowers of Hylocereus undatus were studied for their wound healing properties. Wound healing effects were studied on incision (skin breaking strength), excision (percent wound contraction) and the nature of wound granulation tissues, which were removed on day 7 and the collagen, hexosamine, total proteins and DNA contents were determined, in addition to the rates of wound contraction and the period of epithelialization. In streptozotocin diabetic rats, where healing is delayed, topical applications of H. undatus produced increases in hydroxyproline, tensile strength, total proteins, DNA collagen content and better epithelization thereby facilitating healing. H. undatus had no hypoglycemic activity. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.1724/abstract;j sessionid=6F4BF99B4BA76679BBF030DA132FCB20.d02t01

Dragon Fruit During Pregnancy – Benefits and Side Effects

Craving in a pregnant woman could manifest in any form. It could be in the form of sweets, it could be for spicy food or sometimes even from the visual appearance of the food. Dragon fruit as we all know is reddish wine coloured fruit with a scaly appearance making it very attractive and can immediately raise a desire to try the same. But wait a minute – Is it safe to consume dragon fruit during pregnancy? Check out this article to know more about the dragon fruit.

Dragon fruit is not very commonly sold in Indian markets, but if there is some store which stocks exotic fruits, then there are chances that you would spot dragon fruit there. Dragon fruit has a reddish or wine colour with a scaly surface. On removing the skin peel, the flesh of the fruit appears to be red or purple. It contains black-coloured seeds. The texture of the fruit is gelatinous like Kiwi and has a mild sweet taste. This fruit is also believed to bring good luck in Chinese mythology.

Dragon fruit is a fruit native to Southern America, Mexico and some parts of Central America but is now easily available all over the world including the Indian subcontinent. It is also commonly known as pitaya. This fruit comes in the reddish wine colour and is scaly from the outside. It has a combination taste of sweet and sour. Its inner texture is similar to that of kiwi and is white with small back seeds.

Let us read in further details about the benefits of dragon fruit for pregnant ladies.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Dragon Fruit and Is it Safe to Eat Dragon Fruit in Pregnancy:

Some certain fruits and beverages should be avoided altogether as they are considered heat-producing. Pitaya fruit, on the other hand, can be consumed without any inhibitions. Besides the nutritional benefits contained in it makes Dragon fruit is safe during pregnancy and a must-have. To begin with, you can try the reddish Dragon Fruit to get used to its taste.

See More: Drinking Water During Pregnancy

Nutritional Values of Dragon Fruit During Pregnancy:

Dragon fruit contains multiple nutrients in small quantities. It is a good source of iron, magnesium, and fibre. Have a look at the nutritional value of dragon fruit per 100gm.

Nutritional Component Value

  • Calories 60
  • Proteins 1.2g
  • Fats 0
  • Carbohydrates 13g
  • Fiber 3g
  • Vitamin C 3%
  • Iron 4%
  • Magnesium 10%

We can see that dragon fruit is rich in magnesium and fibres and low in calories, which makes dragon fruit good for a pregnant lady.

Dragon Fruit Health Benefits During Pregnancy:

Following are the various benefits of dragon fruit for pregnant woman:

1. Rich in Antioxidants:

Eating Dragon fruit during pregnancy is considered good as it is richly packed with Vitamin C.Vitamin C is also known by the name of ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid consumption in any form be it, in the form of raw fruits and vegetables or in the form of juices is considered good while you are pregnant because it contains lots of powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help your body during pregnancy by helping your cells fight free radicals, help to strengthen your immune system, help to regulate collagen synthesis in your body and also help to prevent problems associated with joints and gums.

2. Prevents Neural Birth Defects:

Apart from Vitamin C, Dragon fruit also contains Vitamin B12 or folic acid. Women who are pregnant are advised to take B 12 vitamin supplements during pregnancy so that the neural growth of the developing baby can take place appropriately.

3. Prevents Cancer:

Other vitamins belonging to the B-complex family, such as Beta-Carotenes and lycopene are also present in the Dragon fruit in copious amounts. They work together to repair the internal damages and take care of the free radicals. They also provide the body with anti-carcinogenic bodies to prevent the growth of any tumour.

4. Prevents Gestational Diabetes:

Dragon fruit contains lots of dietary fibre or roughage. This is of a lot of importance during pregnancy because high fibre food helps to keep you fuller for longer and prevents sugar cravings and hunger pangs. Also, high-fibre foods are considered good for those who have gestational diabetes or those prone to developing diabetes in later life due to obesity or family history. High-fibre foods help to keep your heart healthy too.

5. Helps to Relieve Constipation:

Dragon fruit, due to its high roughage content works towards, keeping constipation at bay by soaking up moisture in the intestine and increasing the bulk of stools, as well as softening it. This also helps in preventing haemorrhoids, which is a very commonly faced problem by pregnant women.

6. Energy Boosting Carbohydrates:

Dragon fruit, also known as Monster fruit, contains healthy carbohydrates which help in providing you with the energy you need to carry out day to day activities. Natural foods are a much better source of calories than sugary beverages, which contribute nothing towards nutrition.

7. Assist in Teeth and Bone Development:

Dragon fruit also contains calcium. Calcium is required to keep your bones and teeth healthy and to keep those of your developing baby in good health, as well. Calcium has a role to play in muscular contractions as well. So, if you are lactose intolerant and cannot take milk products than dragon fruit would help to make up for the additional calcium requirement in your body.

8. Boosting Immunity:

Dragon fruit has phytochemicals, which are strong antioxidants which strengthen your immune system and help your body battle against infections.

9. Haemoglobin Elevation:

The elemental Iron (Fe) present in Dragon fruit helps the blood cells improve the oxygen-carrying capacity, thereby reducing the severity of anaemia if any in pregnant women.

10. Protects Against Infection:

Getting infected can pose a risk to the baby in the womb as the microbes can find their way to the baby through the placenta. The Dragon fruit provides the benefit of cellular regeneration that helps in preventing the infection. Besides, the antifungal and antibacterial bodies, it can handle the microbes already present in the body.

11. Prevents Preeclampsia:

Hypertension during pregnancy can cause pre-eclampsia. Dragon fruit helps in maintaining the blood pressure and the blood sugar and thereby minimising the complications associated with pregnancy.

12. Reduced Risk of Miscarriage:

There is a high risk of miscarriage during the first trimester. Dragon Fruit is rich in folic acid, and its consumption reduces the risk of miscarriage to a great extent.

Side Effects of Dragon Fruit During Pregnancy:

To your surprise, there are hardly any side effects of consuming pitaya fruit during pregnancy making it safest for consumption without any inhibitions.

How to Include Dragon Fruit in a Pregnancy Diet?

The following are the various ways in which you can include dragon fruit in your pregnancy diet:

  • Consume it as a regular fruit
  • Extract the juice and consume it
  • Add it to your fruit salad and make a tasty preparation

Hope we have solved all your queries related to dragon fruit during pregnancy. Including pitaya fruit during your pregnancy will probably be one of the best decisions to support the healthy and safe growth of your baby inside the womb. It has numerous potential benefits without any risks, and that makes dragon fruit one of the safest fruits for consumption during pregnancy.

See More: Best Pregnancy Vitamins

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers:

Q1: Is it ok to Eat Dragon Fruit During Breastfeeding Time?

Ans: Though absurd in look and typical in taste, dragon fruit is highly nutritious to be consumed during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. In fact, it is one such fruit that has no inherent side effects and can be easily consumed without any restriction. So, it is absolutely ok to eat dragon fruit during breastfeeding time.

Q2: What are The Various Types of Dragon Fruits? Which One is Best for Pregnancy?

Ans: There are three main types of dragon fruits or Pitaya. They are:

  • This is a Hylocereus Undatus or the white-fleshed pitaya
  • Hylocereus Costarricense or the red-fleshed pitaya
  • Hylocereus Megalanthus or the yellow-skinned pitaya with white flesh

All these three types of dragon fruits are best for consumption during pregnancy.

Q3: Can I Consume Dragon Fruit Juice During Pregnancy?

Ans: Pitaya fruit health benefits in pregnancy makes it ideal to be included in the pregnancy diet be it in any form. You can safely drink the dragon fruit juice during pregnancy or consume it in any form of your choice.

Related Items

DRAGON FRUIT FOR PREGNANT

05 health benefits of dragon fruit for pregnant woman you should to know

1. Helping the formation of red blood cells

The formation of red blood cells carried the body through the intake of iron. Dragon fruit is a fruit that contains a lot of iron. In 100 grams of dragon fruit contains approximately 0,55 iron. This iron will be converted into red blood cells, so it is beneficial for pregnant women who tend to anemia experience. Besides beneficial for pregnant women, dragon fruit is also very beneficial to the fetus in the womb. It is because the fetus needs oxygen and nutrients that are good for growth, red blood cells have an essential role in this process.

2. Containing Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate is the need to be in inadequate by pregnant women. One of the health benefits of dragon fruit for pregnant women is to give a proper intake of carbohydrates to the body. In 100 grams of dragon fruit contains 9 to 14 grams of carbohydrates. While pregnant women are recommended to consume a minimum of 135 grams of carbohydrates per day. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for pregnant women.

3. Containing Folate

In addition to carbohydrates, essential ingredients in Dragon fruit is folate. Folate is also one of the substances that are needed by pregnant women. Among the functions of folate for pregnant women is to form red blood cells and avoid the baby from neural tube defects. Thus, the adequacy of folate for pregnant women is paramount to note.

4. Rich in Fiber

Fruits are rich in fiber are fruits important for pregnant women. During pregnancy, gastrointestinal problems such as constipation often occur. Dragon fruit is one of the fruits with lots of fiber content, making it suitable for pregnant women. In 100g of dragon fruit, estimated contain 3g of fiber. Pregnant women are recommended to consume 28 grams of fiber per day. Read: Health benefits of mangosteen fruit

5. High nutrition

Health benefits of dragon fruit for pregnant women can not be in doubt when discovered nutrients that are very much in it. Among other important compounds that exist in the dragon fruit is vitamin C, phytochemicals, protein, potassium, and others. So, dragon fruit is very beneficial for pregnant women and fetuses. Special over again, dragon fruit contains Vitamin B1, which is known to be very good for the growth of the fetus, stimulating protein absorption, and helps burn carbohydrates into energy.

(Source: www.thealthbenefitsof.com)

Tags: dragon fruit, dragon fruit benefits, pitahaya, pitaya

Is it Safe to Eat Dragon fruit During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy it is quite imperative to take care of your health. You body is getting prepared to give birth a child so your health is directly related to the child’s health. Everything pregnant women eat has a direct impact on the foetus. To maintain a sound health there are some fruits which are needed during pregnancy. One of such beneficial fruit is dragon fruit.
The dragon fruit consist of numerous vitamins, nutrients and essential minerals which are beneficial to maintain good health besides beauty. But, before including dragon fruit in your diet, you must consult your doctor as each pregnancy is different.
Is it Healthy to Eat dragon fruit During Pregnancy?
It is very healthy to eat dragon fruit during pregnancy period. It consists of several contents which are good to maintain sound health. In dragon fruit lycopene content is much higher compared to other fruits. Lycopene is beneficial in combating cancer and heart disease besides it is also helpful in controlling blood pressure.
Dragon fruit consist of other contents such as beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamin C and fibre which are much needed during pregnancy to maintain sound health. Many women ask a question that “Can I eat dragon fruit during pregnancy”. So the answer is yes, and you should eat this fruit as to overcome fatigue during pregnancy because the carbohydrate content of dragon fruit is very helpful to get rid of it.
Is it Harmful to Eat Dragon fruit During Pregnancy?
As per many research it is said that dragon fruit can never be harmful to eat at any condition. Instead it is beneficial to eat during pregnancy. It is better not to go with any misconception and enjoy this benefit of this amazing fruit. So if anyone has the question in her mind that whether, is it good to eat dragon fruit during pregnancy then the answer is absolutely yes. There are no harmful effects of eating dragon fruit during pregnancy.
Benefits of Eating Dragon fruit during Pregnancy
During pregnancy a woman is asked increase the intake of fruits. You can have dragon fruit in the form of juice sometimes you can also add a little low fat milk to it. At the time of pregnancy women face the issue of defecation and this can be overcome by eating dragon fruit as it consist of a natural fibre which is helpful in solving the problem of defecation. There are several other benefits of dragon fruit some of these are as follows:
Enhances Immune system
A beneficial aspect of dragon fruit to consider is its quality to boost your immune system. It consists of high level of Vitamin- C which is taken as the strongest content for boosting immune system.
Helps to Prevent Cancer
Besides containing Vitamin- C, dragon fruit also consist of other natural antioxidants. One of the components of dragon fruit is Carotene and it has anti-carcinogenic qualities. Carotene is also beneficial in reducing the tumour size.
Provides Relief from Constipation
During pregnancy many women face the issue of constipation thus it is necessary to ensure tje adequate intake of fibre rich foods. Dragon fruit consist of much fibre in it which stands as a saviour from constipation issues.
Now that you have come to know the benefits of dragon fruit, you can increase its intake. At the time of pregnancy one should take much care and this will help to maintain sound health. For mother and baby both eating healthy foods is the best way to enhance immune system. Instead of junk foods one should go for healthy fruit diet which in turn will be beneficial in long run. So get a dragon fruit yourself and enjoy its benefits.

(iStock)

If there were a contest for the most strikingly colorful fruit, the dragon fruit would definitely make the top of the list.

This vividly pink tropical fruit with yellow- and green-tipped spines is actually a type of cactus, and is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. The fruit is also very popular in Asian countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Sometimes known as the ‘pitaya’ in South America, the dragon fruit’s texture is often compared to that of a kiwi due to the tiny black seeds inside, and many people describe the taste as somewhere between a kiwi, a pear, and a watermelon.

Dragon fruits may not be readily available at your neighborhood grocery, but you can usually find them in Chinatowns around the country. When choosing a dragon fruit, look for a specimen with bright, evenly colored skin. If it has too many brown blotches, or if it has a dry, shriveled stem, it’s probably overripe. If the fruit is very firm, let it ripen a few days until the flesh gives slightly.

The fruit is simple to cut; simply slice it in half and crack it open. The flesh inside can be white or red, depending on the variety. To remove the flesh from the inedible bright pink husk, simply scoop it out with a spoon. Be sure to remove any remnants of the skin from the inner fruit, as the skin should not be consumed.

(Mik Canavan/ Flickr Creative Commons)

Once you’re removed the soft inner flesh, cut it into cubes and either eat them as-is or add them to a fruit salad for an extra exotic crunch!

Have you ever tried a dragon fruit? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! (And if you have any favorite dragon fruit recipes, we’d love to hear them!)

How to Prepare and Eat Dragon Fruit

We have to start by saying that Dragon fruit is clearly one of the most dramatic fruits around. If you have teenagers, especially if you have teenage girls, then you may be familiar with the term “extra”. Extra basically means what is sounds like – above and beyond, a bit more than what the norm is. This is a phrase used to describe someone who is a little much, dramatic, emotional, sometimes needy, or a little bit of a pain in the butt. Anyway, I don’t want to attribute human qualities to produce, but if a fruit was going to be labeled extra, dragon fruit might be that fruit. Or at least show-offy.

But what in the world does one do with this attention-grabbing fruit?

What is Dragon Fruit?

Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit, actually a member of the cactus family. It can also be called a pitaya or a strawberry fruit.

What Does Dragon Fruit Look Like?

The appearance of dragon fruit is part of its appeal. It comes in three varieties: yellow with white flesh, pink with red flesh, and pink with white flesh. There will be a lot of thick petal-like protrusions all over the fruit. The inside color is vibrant, especially the red-fleshed version. All of the insides have tiny edible black seeds, sort of like kiwi seeds, sprinkled throughout.

It’s always so hard to describe the flavor of a fruit, and the default is to compare it to the taste of other more familiar fruits. Kiwi is the most common comparison, sometimes combined with the flavor of pear. The taste of dragon fruit is sweet, but usually not intensely so.

It has a crunchy texture enhanced by the crunchiness of all of the tiny seeds scattered inside.

How Do You Eat Dragon Fruit?

Don’t cut dragon fruit until just before you plan to use it or eat it, as it will start to dry out and discolor. To prepare dragon fruit, you can simply slice it in half, and then scoop out the slightly firm flesh with a spoon and eat it right out of the shell, or carefully use a sharp spoon to cut and remove the flesh from the skin, the slice or cut it any way you like. Dragon fruit can also be pureed and used in sauces, and puddings, and frozen desserts, and drinks.

Don’t eat the skin, but if you want, you can save it and use it for serving your dragon fruit creation (continue the dramatic presentation!)

Where Do I Buy It?

Dragon fruit can be found in well stocked supermarkets, and definitely in specialty stores that carry produce. You can also find it in Latino and Asian markets.

How Do I Know Which Dragon Fruit to Buy?

Look for dragon fruit in the produce aisle, usually near the other tropical fruits. The skin should be smooth and leathery, with those firm petal-like protrusions all over the fruit, sometimes with green tips. Look for bright evenly colored skin, that gives slightly when you press into it, but not too much—you don’t want it to be too soft.

How Do I Ripen Dragon Fruit?

Dragon fruit can be ripened on the counter for a few days if it’s hard when you purchase it.

And How Do I Store It?

Dragon fruit can be stored on the counter as long as it’s not getting too soft. If it starts to yield too much when you press into it, transfer it to the fridge in a sealed plastic bag for a few days. When it gets mushy, toss it.

When is Dragon Fruit in Season?

Dragon fruit is grown in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Israel, Australia, the Caribbean, as well as warmer US states like Texas, California and Florida (pretty international, no?) It is in season during the summers of those climates, but available all throughout the year.

Is Dragon Fruit Nutritious?

Dragon fruit is high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber and antioxidants. It also offers calcium.

Want to know more about unusual produce?

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When you think of a dragon, you might think of a brightly colored, fire-breathing creature with green scales. If you’ve ever seen a dragon fruit, the description kind of fits — minus the fire-breathing part, of course.

But do surprising health benefits lurk behind that unique, scaly, and admittedly weird appearance?

Dragon fruit is growing in popularity, but is it good for you, and should you be eating it? And if so, where can you find it? And how do you use it?

iStock.com/Klahan

Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that grows on the Hylocereus cactus, otherwise known as the Honolulu Queen.

This plant is pretty exotic-looking, as you might expect from a Honolulu Queen. It’s a sprawling cactus that grows along nearby rocks and trees like a vine. The cactus opens its large, white flowers only at night, earning them the nicknames “Lady of the Night” and “moonflowers.” The fruits start to grow on the plant after the cactus flowers.

According to ancient Chinese legend, dragon fruit was formed out of fire breathed by a dragon in a battle.

Other common names for dragon fruit include pitaya and strawberry pear. I might say that while the latter two names are pleasant-sounding, they’re just not quite as enticing as dragon fruit! Also, there are no ancient Chinese legends about strawberry pears. So, case closed. It will always be dragon fruit to me.

The vivid and leathery skin isn’t the only part of the dragon fruit that’s unique. The inside is also something you won’t find anywhere else. The first time you cut a dragon fruit open, you’re in for a surprise. Inside the most popular varieties of this fruit is a white pulp with small black seeds. It looks like the Oreo milkshake of the plant world!

The seeds aren’t just for looks, either. They add a nutty flavor and contain healthy fats.

Where Does Hylocereus Cacti Grow?

Though likely native to Mexico and Central America, they are now grown commercially in places all over the world. This includes some parts of the United States, including Hawaii, California, and Florida, as well as Israel, Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Even if you don’t live in one of these areas, pitaya is (for better or for worse) transported globally, and you can find it at many mainstream grocery stores. I’ve often seen a small selection of dragon fruit placed near the mango, kiwi, and pineapple where I live.

You might be surprised when you bite into the edible pulp of dragon fruit. It doesn’t taste as pungent as you might guess based on its name and appearance.

In fact, it has a refreshing, remarkably subtle, and refined taste, punctuated by an enticing and mild sweetness. Some people say it tastes like a cross between a kiwi and a pear.

There are some differences in taste, depending on the coloring of the variety. Pitaya that has white or yellow skin tastes milder than varieties that have darker pink or reddish skin.

But whatever the color, dragon fruit can provide some incredible healing and nutritional benefits.

9 Dragon Fruit Benefits

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#1 — It Contains Prebiotics, Which Are Good for Your Gut Health

Prebiotics play the role of fertilizer for the good bacteria in your digestive system.

Red flesh dragon fruit contains an abundance of oligosaccharides, which are a type of prebiotic. Research shows that the oligosaccharides in pitaya can trigger the growth of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, two important probiotics.

#2 — It’s Good for Your Digestion

Fiber is essential for digestive health. And dragon fruit is packed with high-quality fiber.

Particularly, a form of fiber that can reduce your risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

One cup of pitaya contains seven grams of fiber. This is almost one-quarter of your recommended minimum daily fiber needs.

#3 — It Boosts Your Immune System

Dragon fruit pulp is rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, which is great for your immune system.

Antioxidants help your body stave off cell damage and degenerative diseases.

#4 — It Helps Prevent and Fight Cancer

Dragon fruit contains antioxidants called hydroxycinnamates, which can help prevent cancer.

It also contains lycopene, a powerful compound also found in tomatoes, which has been shown to be beneficial in protecting against chemical and natural toxins.

#5 — It Helps Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

Not only is the fiber in dragon fruit great for your digestive health, but it also maintains blood sugar balance.

Adding pitaya to your diet could help steady your blood sugar after eating other glucose-spiking foods. Pitaya has been shown to counteract insulin resistance induced in mice.

#6 — It’s Heart Healthy

Dragon fruit is a good source of flavonoids, which are antioxidant pigments that have a positive impact on heart health.

And dragon fruit with red pulp is particularly high in betalains, which provide its color and can reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.

And the edible and tasty seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-9 fats, which are good for your heart and provide many other benefits.

#7 — It’s Healthy for Your Skin

The vitamin C in pitaya does more than boost your immunity. It also boosts collagen production, which can help keep your skin looking healthy and young.

#8 — It Can Boost Your Iron Levels

Six ounces of chopped dragon fruit provide 1.26 mg of iron.

Iron is important for transporting oxygen throughout your body and to your organs. It’s also necessary for metabolism, growth, and development, among many other intricate processes in the body.

If you’re looking to boost your iron stores naturally, you may want to consider adding pitaya to your diet. Vitamin C helps enhance your iron absorption, so having both nutrients in a pitaya makes for a sweet package deal.

#9 — It Can Help Support Healthy Bones

Dragon fruit contains magnesium, an essential mineral for maintaining a strong skeletal system.

One cup provides 80 mg of magnesium, which is one-quarter of the minimum daily recommendation.

What About Potential Dragon Fruit Side Effects?

Although there are very few such reports, some people have had anaphylactic reactions after eating dragon fruit.

Upon further investigation, the individuals were found to have antibodies against pitaya in their blood. How common is this? Probably not very common. Nonetheless, you can have allergic reactions to just about anything, so it’s always good to be aware.

Another potential side effect — though not anything to be fearful of — is called pseudohematuria. If you ever eat beets, you’ve already experienced this. It’s a condition in which eating too many pitayas (or beets) can turn your urine or stool a pink or red color. Don’t worry — it’s harmless and temporary!

Dragon Fruit Sustainability

Cacti require very little water to grow and can sustain harsh desert climates. Many produce farmers have switched to growing pitaya instead of avocado or citrus groves because it requires so much less water.

Freezing temperatures will kill it, but many home gardeners enjoy growing dragon fruit in greenhouses or pots that can be brought indoors for the winter. For more on how to grow your own dragon fruit, go here.

And on the “con” side, if dragon fruit doesn’t grow near you, then it may need to travel hundreds, if not thousands, of miles to get to your grocery store. For more on the benefits of locally grown foods, see this article.

How to Find Dragon Fruit

One of the easiest ways to use this remarkable fruit is to buy organic frozen pitaya (dragon fruit).

Another option is to get freeze-dried organic dragon fruit powder. Or you can try to find the whole fruit in the produce section.

You can make your own dragon fruit smoothies, smoothie bowls, drinks, salads, agua fresca, chia puddings, and more.

How to Choose and Cut Fresh Dragon Fruit

Choose a pitaya that has evenly red skin.

Test its firmness like you would an avocado, by giving it a slight squeeze in your hand.

Dragon fruit may look complicated, but it’s surprisingly easy to prepare.

When you’re ready to eat it, wash it under cold water and slice it in half with a sharp knife. You can then use a spoon to eat the pulp inside. Alternatively, peel the skin off and slice the flesh into chunks or slices.

This video may help:

5 Delicious and Healthy Dragon Fruit Recipes

Dragon fruit can simply be enjoyed raw (that’s my favorite way to eat it!). But if you’re looking for other ways to use it, check out the recipes below. I’ve also heard of it being cut into cubes and grilled, similar to pineapple.

Liver Rescue Smoothie from the Medical Medium (scroll down on the page for the recipe). This is an intriguing combination of pitaya with a few other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.

Dragon Fruit Sorbet from The Spruce Eats. The sugar is optional here, leaving a combination of beautiful pink pitaya with lemon juice for a refreshing frozen treat.

Strawberry Dragon Fruit Chia Pudding from Choosing Chia. This is a simple snack made with whole food ingredients and is sure to melt in your mouth. You can omit the maple syrup if you want.

Tropical Fruit Salad from Simple Vegan Blog. This colorful fruit salad is delightfully simple to pull together with a variety of healthy fruits and lemon or lime juice.

Dragon Fruit Salsa from Mama Likes to Cook. With only a few ingredients, you can pull together this snack or appetizer quickly.

The Final Word on Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is fun to eat and offers an impressive nutrient profile. And in suitably warm climates, it can grow easily, without needing excess water. I expect we’ll be seeing more and more of this fabulous fruit in the years to come.

But if it doesn’t grow near you, then it might be pricey and come with a sizable, excessive carbon footprint. And there are certainly many other fabulous fruits, each of which delivers their own special nutritional benefits.

So if you like it and can get it — fabulous! But if not, don’t stress. It’s not like a dragon’s going to come and burn your house down over it.

Tell us in the comments below:

  • Have you ever tried dragon fruit? What did you think of it?

  • What other exotic fruits have you enjoyed?

Featured Image: iStock.com/enviromantic

Read next:

  • What is jackfruit? What you need to know about this odd yet nutritious and sustainable food

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