Dragon fruit is unique to the tropical regions and its popularity has increased significantly in recent years.
This fruit is believed to originate from Central America and southern Mexico. It became popular in the global scale thanks to New World settlers.
Nowadays, it appears in almost all corners of the world. In Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand or Vietnam, dragon fruit is a familiar part of their diet.
There is a wide range of names for this fruit. Some people use pitaya or pitahaya, while some others prefer “strawberry pear”.
In spite of various types of dragon fruit, the most common one is characterized as a fruit with red skin, green scales, white pulp and black seeds.
Some other types might differ in colors, for example, yellow skin, red pulp…
Dragon fruit is becoming the favorite choice of many people, because of its sweet flavor and various health benefits.
By looking at dragon fruit nutrition facts, it is reasonable why it is such an important part of Asian eating.
Dragon fruit is low calorie in its content, as 100 grams give only 52 calories.
Fat and protein make up for minimal proportions; whereas, the amount of fiber is relatively high.
Interestingly, dragon fruit contains considerable amounts of vitamins and essential nutrients that human beings can profit from.
Vitamin C and iron are top outstanding elements with 34 and 10.6 percent of the RDI, respectively.
Besides, antioxidants are another amazing part in dragon fruit nutrition facts.
They have protective impacts on the prevention against many chronic diseases.
A research examined the antioxidant quality of different tropical fruits.
Among 17 different types, dragon fruit was the best to prevent the bad effects of free radicals on fatty acids.
From dragon fruit nutrition facts, it is easy to make a conclusion about some of dragon fruit health benefits.
But to help you have the full understanding, this article will introduce top 6 health benefits of dragon fruits which many studies have supported.
1. Immune System
As vitamin C is a star in dragon fruit nutrition, it is undeniable that one of the best benefits of dragon fruit is to strengthen your immune system.
The main responsibility of the immune system is to protect the body from bacteria or virus. When it becomes stronger, you will have higher chances to stay away from diseases.
For long, there has been a widespread belief that vitamin C is related to stronger immunity. And this statement has also got support from many studies .
Vitamin C is also beneficial for the eradication of free radicals which might put your life in danger.
Bottom Line: The high content of vitamin C in dragon fruit can enhance the immune system to prevent many diseases.
2. Against Cancer
While vitamin C contributes to a stronger immunity, antioxidants in dragon fruit nutrition will be super effective to prevent cancer.
Thus, one of top health benefits of dragon fruit is to support the cancer prevention.
Carotene which is anti-carcinogenic is present much in dragon fruit. It might reduce the tumor size significantly .
In addition, dragon fruit contains a group of antioxidant compounds, hydroxycinnamates, which have showed effectiveness of preventing cancer in animals.
Bottom Line: With its long list of antioxidants, dragon fruit is an ideal choice to lower the risk of cancer.
Digestion enhancement is another among top health benefits of dragon fruit, thanks to its substantial content of fiber.
Your digestion might profit from its fiber in many ways.
First, fiber plays an essential role in maintaining smooth bowel movements by adding bulk to your stools.
With the help of fiber, foods will pass through the digestive tract easily and faster.
Second, dietary fiber will raise the amount of digestive juices to prevent irritable bowel syndrome.
Furthermore, dragon fruit also contributes to the prevention against colorectal cancer.
Bottom Line: Dragon fruit impresses us with its positive impacts on the digestive system because of its richness of fiber.
4. Heart Health
Benefits of dragon fruit on the heart health come from its nutrition facts.
There is almost no unhealthy fat in dragon fruit, which explains why it is beneficial for the cholesterol balance.
Along with the reduction of cholesterol in your blood, the risk of forming artery plaque will be lower and you can be safe from strokes or heart attacks.
Besides, betalains, a group of antioxidants in dragon fruit, is great for preventing the oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol.
Flavonoids are associated with a much lower possibility of developing cardiovascular diseases.
On the other hand, dragon fruit still contains some fats, but they are good to increase the amount of HDL cholesterol.
Unlike LDL cholesterol, HDL is beneficial for the cardiovascular health.
Among top health benefits of dragon fruit, you can make use of some to cope with metabolic syndrome.
One study on mice indicated that the juice of dragon fruit could reduce liver enzyme markers and result in better responses in the blood sugar level.
Another research with the use of dragon fruit extract also pointed out that it reduced the damage caused by free radicals by 35 percent.
It is beneficial to prevent arterial stiffness as well.
Therefore, dragon fruit might be a suitable support for the diabetic treatment. Nevertheless, more studies are necessary to confirm this.
6. Weight Loss
The fact that dragon fruit is low calorie might make us think of these dragon fruit health benefits immediately.
With its abundance of fiber, dragon fruit can improve your fullness without a lot of calories. This is important for those who want to lose weight healthily.
Moreover, dragon fruit will have great effects on the metabolization of proteins from foods inside the body, which is vital for building muscles.
Generally speaking, dragon fruit is safe for almost everyone. Nevertheless, this information should not make you underestimate some potential risks.
A number of people might have allergy to dragon fruit, even though it is extremely rare.
Thus, it is a good idea to seek for medical help if you have anaphylactic reactions when consuming dragon fruit.