Michele du Plessis
Dragon fruit, very pretty, and the dragon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor dragon is (im) possible to eat…
Dragon fruit is the fruit of a variety of cactus species. It has a unique appearance, sweet taste, and crunchy texture. The dragon fruit contains multiple antioxidants that are beneficial for good health. Dragon fruit also contains many vitamins and minerals that are important for a healthy body.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), dragon fruit has the following nutritional value in a serving of 100 grams (g), which is roughly the size of one dragon fruit:
Calories: 264; Protein: 3.57 g; Fat: 0 g; Carbohydrate: 82.14 g; Dietary fibre: 1.8 g; Sugars (total): 82.14 g; Calcium: 107 milligrams (mg); Iron: 0 g; Sodium: 39 mg; Vitamin C: 6.4 mg; Cholesterol: 0 mg
Free radicals, the compounds in the body that cause cell damage, are neutralized by betacyanins and betaxanthins, found in dragon fruit, and can prevent further damage. (According to a study in the African Journal of Biotechnology.) The antioxidant activity of dragon fruit can be helpful in preventing inflammatory conditions, such as gout and arthritis.
A meta-analysis that appeared in the journal PLOS ONE looks at the effects of consuming dragon fruit on blood glucose control in those with pre-diabetes and those with type 2 diabetes.
“According to the paper, previous animal studies had shown a potential link between dragon fruit consumption and better control of diabetes. This is because dragon fruit encourages the growth of pancreatic cells that produce insulin.
The analysis examined multiple clinical trials, and its authors conclude that the dragon fruit’s effect on fasting plasma glucose in people with pre-diabetes was significant. They also found that the more dragon fruit a person eats, the greater the blood sugar benefits can be. However, the study did not find a correlation between eating dragon fruit and improved control of type 2 diabetes.”
According to research that appeared in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the nutrients present in dragon fruit include magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, smaller amounts of calcium and copper.
Eating dragon fruit has a prebiotic effect on the body that enhances digestion and nourishes gut bacteria, according to a study in the Electronic Journal of Biotechnology.
“Dragon fruit contains carbohydrates called oligosaccharides, which researchers believe help stimulate the growth of healthful bacteria in the stomach and intestines. Doctors also call these bacteria probiotics because they support many aspects of human health. Benefits of prebiotics such as those present in dragon fruit include enhanced digestion, enhanced immune system function, and a lower risk of intestinal infections.”*
According to research in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the small seeds in dragon fruit contain fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids as well as natural oils. Doctors consider all of these components beneficial for a person’s heart health.
Add dragon fruit to your diet by blending it into a smoothie or simply slice and eat.
*Information from Medical News Today.