Dragon Fruit: Nutrition Info and three Health Benefits

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Dragon fruit is a nutritious — to not point out vibrant — fruit that may profit your physique and your style buds, says registered dietitian Mira Ilic, MS, RDN, LD.

Ready to get a little bit adventurous? Here’s find out how to incorporate dragon fruit into your food regimen when it’s in season from summer season to early fall.

What is dragon fruit?

Dragon fruit, additionally known as pitaya or strawberry pear, appears like one thing straight out of a Dr. Seuss e book: On the surface, it’s a pink oval with inexperienced scales (therefore the “dragon” identify). Inside, it has white flesh with tiny black seeds. The fruit’s unusual look additionally provides off “psychedelic artichoke” vibes.

“It’s a tropical fruit that comes from a cactus. It’s available everywhere around the world, but it’s indigenous to Mexico and South America,” Ilic notes.

What does dragon fruit style like?

“If you like kiwi fruit and pears, then you’ll probably like dragon fruit. It’s sweet and crunchy.”

Dragon fruits are available in a wide range of shapes and colours:

  • Pink pores and skin with white flesh. This is essentially the most well-known variety, nevertheless it’s the least candy. It’s offered below the names together with Alice, Cosmic Charlie and Guyute.
  • Pink pores and skin with crimson or pink flesh. Bigger and sweeter than its white-fleshed cousinthis selection is offered in shops below names resembling Red Jaina and Bloody Mary.
  • Pink pores and skin with purple fleshLook for the identify “American Beauty” in shops.
  • Yellow pores and skin with white flesh. Yellow dragon fruit is the toughest to seek out, nevertheless it’s additionally the sweetest.

The advantages of consuming dragon fruit

The flesh of the dragon fruit is low in energy and fat-free. It additionally accommodates loads of:

Fiber

Dragon fruit is a wonderful supply of fiber, Ilic says. The each day suggestion for adults is at the very least 25 grams — and dragon fruit packs 7 grams in a single 1-cup serving.

“Fiber, may benefit gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health,” notes Ilic. “Fiber is also filling, which is helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. People who eat whole, fiber-rich foods are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.”

Nutrients

Dragon fruit has a ton of useful nutritional vitamins and minerals, together with:

  • Carotenoids (could cut back most cancers danger).
  • Lycopene (could enhance coronary heart well being and cut back most cancers danger).
  • Magnesium (vital for cell perform, and dragon fruit gives 18% of the really useful each day quantity).
  • Iron (vital for wholesome blood and vitality, and dragon fruit accommodates 8% of the really useful each day consumption).
  • Vitamin C (helps your physique take in the iron and boosts immune system well being).

Improves intestine well being

Healthy micro organism in your intestine could assist digestion and even cut back colon most cancers danger. “Some studies appeared to show that dragon fruit promoted the growth of healthy gut bacteria,” says Ilic. “It may have a positive effect on the gut microbiome, the good bacteria in our intestines.”

How to chop and eat dragon fruit

If you possibly can’t discover dragon fruit in your native grocery store, you will have higher luck in a specialty meals retailer or Asian market.

To decide one out, Ilic recommends trusting your intestine. “Follow your fruit know-how,” she says. “It should be slightly soft when you’re testing it with your finger. If it’s overly firm, you can still bring it home and leave it on your counter to ripen.”

Peel and lower it into sections if you’re able to eat it. Much like an avocado, you eat the flesh and discard the pores and skin. You might additionally lower it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon or melon baller.

Dragon fruit is greatest eaten uncooked, however you possibly can throw it on the grill like another fruits. Enjoy it by itself or add it to:

  • Cocktails.
  • Desserts.
  • Fish, particularly cod, tuna and mahimahi.
  • Salads.
  • Smoothies.

Once you cut it up, wrap it tightly and put it in your fridge,” says Ilic. “When your dragon fruit starts to get mushy and brown, throw it away.”

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