Every now and then, there’s a food that is not only delicious, but also has potentially amazing healthy benefits; the dragon fruit falls into this category.
You might have heard about this tropical fruit in passing, or maybe you’ve seen a diet that incorporates dragon fruit into the eating structure. But what are the specific benefits of dragon fruit, and how on earth are you supposed to eat this strange-looking food? In this article, we’ll dive into just how you can incorporate eating dragon fruit into your diet and what benefits you might see.
What Is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is a peculiar pink and white tropical fruit that’s dotted with black seeds inside. At times, the interior flesh is red or pink in hue. Also known as strawberry pear and pitaya, dragon fruit comes from the cactus and is available and enjoyed around the world.
Crops of dragon fruit are typically grown in tropical regions throughout the world atop the Hylocereus climbing cactus. This increasingly popular fruit has been around for a while. While its entire origin and history are mostly unknown, dragon fruit was brought to Southeast Asia at one time in the 19th century by the French.
When asked about the taste of dragon fruit, it can be described as sweet and crunchy. Many people would describe the taste of this unique tropical fruit as a combination of pear and kiwi; however, it’s not as sweet as either of the two similar fruits.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Eating Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is chock-full of potentially amazing benefits for those who eat it regularly. Here are some of the most common (and enticing!) benefits of eating this fabulous tropical fruit:
- Combating Chronic Diseases – Most likely due to dragon fruits being rich in antioxidant properties, they are shown in some studies to help combat certain chronic diseases like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Healthy Gut Support – Prebiotics are contained in dragon fruit, which can contribute to balancing the bacteria in your gut. The types of helpful bacteria in dragon fruit are bifidobacteria and lactic acid.
- Better Fiber Intake – Fiber is an essential and necessary part of your diet because it supports proper digestion and can even help with weight loss. Dragon fruit offers seven grams of fiber per serving, which can place you firmly on your way to meeting the daily requirements of 25-38 grams.
- Overall Increased Nutrients – Dragon fruit has a high amount of essential nutrients in every serving. Vitamin E, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and fiber are all found in dragon fruit. Plus, every one-cup serving of this fruit is only 136 calories and has only 29 grams of carbohydrates.
- Immune System Strength – With the high amount of vitamin C and antioxidants found in dragon fruit, it’s thought to offer necessary immune strength support. There’s even a possibility that dragon fruit can help prevent infection.
- Magnesium Boost – As mentioned, dragon fruit is packed full of magnesium. Magnesium is vital because it plays a role in essential body processes, such as energy production, new bone formations, and muscle contractions.
- Iron Level Support – Iron is an important nutrient for your body, as it assists with breaking food down for energy use and helps distribute oxygen. Iron deficiencies, or anemia, are common throughout the world, but dragon fruit can help with its high levels of iron per every serving.
How to Eat Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit can be an unfamiliar fruit to many people. At this point, you may be wondering what the best way to consume this fruit is. Dragon fruit has a tough outer skin, but it’s relatively easy to cut and serve; here’s how:
- Cut the dragon fruit lengthwise down the middle.
- Using a spoon, scoop the fruit out inside the dragon fruit, and enjoy! You can consume the seeds and all with this crisp and sweet tropical fruit.
If you’re looking for ways to jazz up your dragon fruit consumption, we’ve got some yummy and simple recipes to try below.
Dragon Fruit Pudding
Dragon fruit pudding is a yummy and creative way to integrate the fruit into your daily diet. Here’s how you can make this delicious recipe:
- One dragon fruit, cut and smashed into pulp
- 1/2 cup of water
- One can of coconut milk
- Five rambutans, prepared and diced
- One packet of plain gelatin
- Two tablespoons of brown sugar
- In a medium bowl, combine water and gelatin and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk and sugar and simmer over medium heat.
- Add dragon fruit pulp to the coconut milk and brown sugar concoction and continue to simmer.
- Add gelatin mix to the simmering saucepan and allow it to heat for three minutes more.
- Remove your mixture from the saucepan and pour it into a large bowl. Place the dragon fruit pudding mixture into the fridge to chill for four hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
Dragon Fruit Smoothie
Looking for a great way to get your morning started? Try this dragon fruit smoothie recipe. Here’s how you can make this delicious blend in just a few steps:
- Two dragon fruits, prepared and diced
- Two diced bananas, frozen
- One cup of diced pineapple, frozen
- Two cups of coconut water
- Combine dragon fruit, bananas, coconut water, and pineapple into a blender.
- Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy!
If you’re looking for an excellent way to jazz up your dragon fruit smoothie, try adding granola or coconut flakes on top.
Dragon Fruit Parfait
Dragon fruit parfaits offer a healthier treat option for when you’re craving something sweet. Here’s how you can easily make this recipe at home:
- Two dragon fruits, peeled and cut
- One banana, peeled and cut
- Two cups of plain Greek yogurt
- One tablespoon of honey
- In a blender or food processor, blend dragon fruit slices, honey, bananas, and one cup of yogurt until the mixture is smooth.
- Divide the remaining cup of Greek yogurt among bowls and top with your blended mixture.
- Sprinkle granola and blueberries on top of blended parfait mixture.