With their scaly skin, sweet flesh and nutrient-packed seeds, dragon fruits are often hailed as one of the healthiest and most delicious fruits on the planet. These exotic beauties are native to parts of Southeast Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, yet a surge in the popularity of pink pitaya powder has made this once little-known fruit a new superfood staple in the West.
While it may be named after a mythical creature, its health benefits are anything but fantasy. Read on to discover 10 benefits of the mighty dragon fruit.
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Dragon fruits contain very high amounts of dietary fiber, making them beneficial for digestive health. They also contain oligosaccharides which act as prebiotics and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria for a healthy gut. For this reason, dragon fruit is an ideal fruit to use in a breakfast bowl or morning smoothie.
Fact time: Did you know that you can eat the skin of dragon fruit too? It may not taste as good as the fleshy center, but it’s also very high in fiber.
Dragon fruit provides a decent dose of monounsaturated fats, which can help to lower bad cholesterol and keep the heart in good shape. The fruit also contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which play a vital role in reducing triglycerides and can help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Another plus is that dragon fruits are a very filling fruit. Their high levels of fiber along with the protein contained in the seeds will help to keep those hunger pangs at bay. The delicious taste also helps to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings without having to reach for cakes, cookies and ice creams (unless it’s a homemade vegan pitaya ice cream of course).
This rather beautiful fruit contains more Vitamin C than a carrot, plus the flesh is rich in flavonoids. Add in a myriad of vitamins and minerals including Vitamins B1, B2, B3, as well as calcium, phosphorous, and iron and you get a superstar superfruit that offers powerful immune-strengthening properties.
Dragon Fruits are full of antioxidants that reduce oxidation and fight free radical damage, which in turn can help to slow down some of the most common signs of aging. On top of this, dragon fruit contains high levels of phosphorus, which is a mineral that is found in every single cell of the body. This mineral plays an important role in cell regeneration, it also helps to prevent premature aging and promote a healthy, glowing and youthful complexion.
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The pink varieties of dragon fruit, also called pink pitaya, contain high levels of one of the most powerful types of antioxidant in the world called lycopene. Lycopene, which is also present in tomatoes, is anti-inflammatory and supports eye health. A recent study by the Department of Pharmacology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences found that lycopene was able to help prevent cataracts in a large majority of the test cases.
A Guilt-Free Snack
Dragon fruits are also a low calorie and low-fat fruit. The exact amount of calories that they contain depends on their size and variety, but on average you are looking at around just 60 calories per medium-sized fruit, which makes them a perfect low-calorie snack.
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Blood Sugar Stabilizer
The high levels of fiber in dragon fruit can also assist in lowering blood sugar levels, and even help to reduce the risk of sugar spikes after eating foods with a high G.I. A study published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy Research states that dragon fruit may also be beneficial in helping to reduce some symptoms that are associated with diabetes.
A Delicious Superfruit
Okay, so this may not exactly be a health benefit but it is definitely one more reason why this is such a raved about superfruit - and that is its taste. This deliciously moorish fruit tastes like a unique blend of berries, melons, pears and apples. The black seeds have a similar crunch to those found in kiwis, adding a nice bit of texture to the otherwise soft fruit. It’s a burst of tropical flavour that’s makes it wonderful when enjoyed by itself (tip: slice it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon) or when used in a recipe.
A Very Versatile Ingredient
With a little creative know-how, you’ll be able to transform dragon fruit it into all manner of delicious drinks and dishes. Think dragon fruit smoothies, jams, dips, sauces, cakes, cocktails and much more. If you’re feeling creative you can even blend it up with some coconut milk, add a few dates, and then freeze to create a fruity vegan ice cream.
Dragon fruit is typically found in abundance in certain tropical regions, but it can be trickier to get a hold of in Europe and North America. If you are in need a dragon fruit fix, then a great way to enjoy both the taste and the nutrition of this exotic fruit is to use a pink pitaya powder in your culinary creations.
Our pitaya powder is made from the ripest and juiciest pink dragon fruits sustainably sourced from Thailand. The fruits are then carefully freeze-dried to preserve their freshness, taste and nutrients. Just a spoonful of this ready-to-go powder will transform drinks and foods into vibrant, Instagram-worthy delights that taste as good as they look.