Benefits of dragon fruit plant have been known for decades, and still many of us do not know any of them.
Dragon, just by its name, should attract our attention.
But we seem not to be bothered and we just eat it without even knowing what are its associated health benefits.
This really annoys me, as sometimes I hear my own children saying, I don’t really want dragon fruit anymore.
I had too much of it.
I mean, if they really knew the value of the fruit to their health, they would never ever dear say this.
From my personal point of view, I like to understand what are the red dragon fruits benefits to me.
Like this, I can eat it fully armed with the knowledge and share the knowledge with friends and family (maybe apart from my children this time 🙂 ).
What is dragon fruit?
Dragon fruit is also called dragon pearl fruit. But it has other names such as cactus fruits, pitahaya or pitaya.
It is a tropical fruit and known for being one of the few superfoods (or superfruit like some call it).
It has a lot of substances that can do a lot for your health.
If you want to know, dragon fruit benefits include the like of anti-aging, diabetes through sugar stabilization, and immune system boosting.
Obviously, the fruit does not come from dragons, but its skin looks like it does, hence the name.
The dragon fruit comes into two different colors. The red and white dragon fruit as per the below picture.
This fruit grows on top of a cactus and that is why it is known to be called cactus fruits. Here is how the cactus tree looks like.
Below, I provide you some of dragon fruit benefits to your body.
Dragon Fruit Benefits – Health
There are so many benefits of dragon fruit that I have chosen to list just 6 of them.
And these are the one I feel are the most important to us.
1. Immune Booster dragon fruit benefit
And we all know that flavonoids are great to improve our immune system. (1)
What you need to know is that this fruit contains more vitamin C than a carrot.
This makes dragon fruit one of the best vitamin C foods around.
Antioxidants are also on the list for dragon fruit.
Eating this fruit will fill you so much with antioxidants that your body will start ‘ejecting’ free radicals like no body’s business.
And even more, it contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, as well as calcium.
And as if this was not enough.
All of these compounds team up and work together to formulate the best immune system you ever had.
The micronutrients content in dragon fruit is also highly impressive.
What do the experts say about the benefits of eating dragon fruit?
Here is what the experts have to say about eating the fruits and its micronutrients.
The journal also describes the positive effects on several cancer cell lines from ingesting the extracts of the flesh and peel of the white and red dragon fruit.
This correlation suggests that the extract is a valuable ingredient in foods to fight cancer.
But it is also a valuable ingredient that can be used in cosmetics, nutraceuticals and even pharmaceutical applications.
And the reasons why you should be looking for dragon fruit in all of these applications is that the fruit has a high immune-boosting ability, one of the top dragon fruit benefits.
2. Digestion benefits of dragon fruit plant
Fiber is probably one of the best compounds for digestion.
And the best way to get natural fiber in your body is through eating fruits and vegetables.
But not all the fruit and vegetables are the same.
And dragon fruit contains quite a bit of fiber.
So eating the fruit in the morning would definitely help with that morning bowel movement.
Latest research shows that it helps eliminate constipation and IBS issues. (2)
In terms of the nutrition factor for Dragon fruit, let me tell you that it contains about one gram of fiber per 100 grams for the fresh version.
But it does contain a lot more fiber in the dried version. It has about 10 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
This makes it a high-fiber food.
A little trick for you, and to make a much higher fiber-rich fruit, you can go ahead and eat the skin of the cactus plant.
Now, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are oligosaccharides in the pitaya.
Oligosaccharides act as prebiotics.
And prebiotics has been demonstrated to improve gut health and digestion. (2.1)
There’s more to prebiotics as the journal 3 Biotech mentions “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)
All in all, if you have guts problems, you may want to eat pitaya.
3. Dragon fruit health benefits as diabetes treatment and prevention
Now, we all know from the above that fiber helps with digestion.
However, what I did not tell you is that fiber is really good at stabilizing blood sugar levels. And by doing so, it also maintains normal blood sugar.
As dragon fruit contains a lot of fiber, it can, therefore, help to prevent sugar spikes.
And this is true even after eating high glycemic index foods. But please do not overdo it in eating these foods.
At the end of the day, they are high glycemic foods.
Now here is what the experts say. In the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research, researchers describe that dragon fruit is positively affecting oxidative stress. (3)
This suggests that its consumption is beneficial in reducing some diabetes issues.
Amongst Dragon fruit benefits is insulin resistance.
A test was performed on obese mice specifically targetting this matter.
The outcome was that eating dragon fruit often may help reduce the risk for diabetes and some of the diabetes symptoms. (5)
4. What are the benefits of eating dragon fruit for the heart?
Please, I am addressing this message to all of you who will read this message.
Currently, the estimations for global heart problems are that 175 million die annually with conditions associated with bad hearts.
This is about 31 percent of all deaths worldwide. Do I have your attention now? (5)
Dragon fruit has something unique. It compounds work very on oxidative stress, which is one of the causes of heart disease, especially coronary heart disease. (6)
Do not underestimate this. Take action against this as this is most likely that you’ll die if you have it.
The good news is that the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research summarises the positive effect that dragon fruit has on your heart.
First, and foremost, it ‘kills’ bad cholesterol and at the same time improves the good cholesterol.
For this, dragon fruit has been numerous times named as excellent cholesterol-lowering food.
Second, it’s also an excellent source of monounsaturated fats.
And this substance helps to keep the heart in good shape.
Research defines that omega-3s and omega-6s do drop problematic triglycerides. By doing so, you decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Younger looking benefits of dragon fruit plant for the skin
As I said, the antioxidants inside this fruit are great at keeping the inside of the body in perfect shape.
But we all like a little boost for our outside looking too.
Well, it is those antioxidants that are again awesome and powerful to help your skin too.
The fruit gives you plenty of vitamin C, which is the antioxidant I’ve been speaking about.
And these ones are unique when it comes to keeping the skin tight and firm.
So, if you want a tight skin and a youthful appearance, you just need to eat a little more of it.
Dragon fruit also contains phosphorus. And this substance, funny enough, provides a nice little boost in the anti-aging department.
Phosphorus is a very important mineral found in every cell of your body.
In a human body, it makes up about 1 percent of your total body weight. That’s quite a lot.
So you need to feed your body with this substance.
As it’s found in all of your cells, it is important to give your body the compound to repair damages to old cells. (7)
6. Dragon fruit benefits for cancer
You really need to know that dragon fruit contains Phytoalbumin.
When you combine Phytoalbumin with vitamin C and the minerals dragon fruits hosts, you’ll get the optimized antioxidant cancer fighting and preventing properties.
So, the combination of these three substances will prevent you from getting cancer.
But there is another hidden gem in this plant. It is called lycopene.
And this substance shows that it can prevent and fight “chemopreventive effects for breast, prostate lung, skin and liver cancer.” (8)
The Nutrition and Cancer publication confirms this finding by describing that cancerous cells have difficulties living in bodies that had lycopene.
Another good news for us is that this fruit is really good for ovarian cancer.
People who absorbed dragon fruits had a decrease in cancerous cell numbers.
Nutrition facts of dragon fruit
If you absorb 100 grams of dragon fruit, you’ll gain the following: (11)
- The fruit contains about 50 calories
- You’ll get 11 grams carbohydrates
- Ingest 1.1 grams of protein
- No much fats as you’ll only be absorbing 0.4 gram – That’s why the fruit is so good for weight watchers
- 3 grams of fiber which is plenty for better bowels
- This is a great ingest with 20.5 milligrams vitamin C (34 percent DV)
- 1.9 milligrams iron (11 percent DV) – you need this if you have low iron content in your body which can make you faint. Eat dragon fruit if it is the case
- 0.05 milligram vitamin B2 (3 percent DV) – No comment. You need these.
- 0.04 milligram vitamin B1 (3 percent DV). Again no comment. You need these.
- 22.5 milligrams of the body wanted phosphorus (2 percent DV).
- 8.5 milligrams calcium (1 percent DV). We all know about calcium, so no comment.
- 0.16 milligram vitamin B3 (1 percent DV). You need these vitamins, so eat some more dragon fruits.
There are probably millions of dragon fruit health benefit.
In this, I am just scratching the surface, but with the above 6 benefits, you’ll get the point.
If you think that you can prevent cancer, reduce the effect of diabetes, improve your skin, target IBS and have better bowels with the dragon fruit plant, then you are onto a winner.
The high content in vitamins, micronutrients, fiber, and others from this simple fruit means that you may need to eat it more often.
The fruit’s taste is not bad and it has some nice color attached to it that it always attract your attention.
If you start eating it, you’ll never want to stop.
Back to you
Today, we have tried to empower you in understanding the benefits of dragon fruits red or white in color.
I can ensure that the benefits of eating dragon fruit every day are endless.
You just need to try and you’ll see that you’ll feel better.
Anyway, speak soon in another Omigy article.