The first time I cut a dragon fruit in half, my initial reaction was, “That is so beautiful!”
The unique skin is bright pink and green (they can also be red or yellow). Part of the cactus family, it looks spiny but isn’t sharp. Often called pitaya, the dragon fruit’s outer appearance doesn’t prepare you for the stunning white meat with tiny black seeds (similar to those you see in kiwi). Truly breathtaking. Yes, I’m a food nerd.
Originally, I planned to slice it up. Then I realized that the flesh inside was the consistency of sorbet. Using a spoon, I scooped out a bite and promptly proclaimed it the best “on the go” snack of all time.
Wait…there’s more. Not only is it pretty and tasty, the benefits of dragon fruit will make your body hum with happiness!
In your effort to eat cleaner, the typical apples and berries begin to get boring. Mix it up with this superfood that is finding its way more and more into your local market.
7 Dragon Fruit Benefits You Need in Your Life
1. Packed with nutrients! An abundance of vitamin C, assorted B vitamins, calcium, protein, iron, and more make the dragon fruit a great superfood choice for those trying to ramp up their health while controlling their calorie consumption. It is comparable to the well-documented blueberry and acai berry when it comes to nutrient content!
2. A convenient answer to sugar cravings! It even comes with its own disposable container. There is no mess, nothing is wasted, and I promise you’ll feel great about such a healthy option. Chill it the night before and for less than 60 calories each, you have a “treat” that soothes the sweet cravings much like a gourmet ice.
3. Makes your heart happy! Dragon fruit is a great source of polyunsaturated fats and natural captin (an ingredient used in heart medication) which have been shown to lower unhealthy cholesterol and triglycerides.
4. Turn down the heat! Not only is the dragon fruit a natural anti-inflammatory food, it is also an outstanding choice for topical application to soothe sunburned skin and acne flare-ups! Scoop out the fruit and mash into a paste. Apply to the irritated skin and allow to sit for ten minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. This skin solution is safe to use several times a day.
5. Boost your gut health! These spectacular fruits are a great source of fiber which helps to boost vitamin absorption, regular bowel movements, and helps you feel “full” for longer.
6. Protect your vision naturally! In researched released by Miyazaki Medical College Hospital in Japan, the antioxidants in tropical fruits (including dragon fruit) have been linked to preserving eye health and preventing glaucoma.
7. Lower your risk of cancer! The lycopene in dragon fruit and other produce helps to protect your cells from damage and mutation. Most studies to date have focused on lycopene’s role in prostate cancer but the overall nutritional content of the dragon fruit makes adding it to your anti-cancer diet a simple choice!
Seeing this exotic offering in the produce department of my regular grocery store was such a surprise. I’d never seen one up close and simply had to get it. The health benefits of dragon fruit hit all the markers for my clean eating plan, tastes delicious, and appears “decorative” when sitting in my fruit bowl.
Now it is part of my weekly grocery list and I hope you’ll make it part of yours!
Have you tried dragon fruit? Did you like it? How do you choose to eat it? Tell me your dragon fruit stories in the comments below!