This fruit, which resembles a dragon, was given the name ‘dragon fruit.’ It is cactus based and has several health benefits, like lowering the risk of a spike in blood sugar levels and aiding in digestion.
Are you curious about how to consume this fruit no matter what form and size it is? It’s simple. Divide it into two parts and scoop out the middle part with a spoon. You can also make a smoothie out of it.
What is Dragon Fruit?
Hylocereus spp, more widely acknowledged as dragon fruit or pitaya, is getting more and more renowned in several nations, Thailand being one of them. This country has a great weather for generating multiple types of tropical and subtropical fruits, with dragon fruit being a great example. Betacyanin, which is a crimson or violet colouring with antioxidant properties, is another significant element of it.
Apart from being eaten fresh, it can also be transformed into juice and puree. A plethora of items consist of these edibles including candy, frozen yogurt, gelato, pies, preserves, spreads, and alcoholic drinks. The special coloration (such as the red or purple pigments in red-flesh dragon fruit) along with the high nutritional content and potential antioxidant benefits, all contribute to the popularity of this fruit.
A great deal of waste, like peels and seeds, is the consequence of processing a large amount of dragon fruits.
Other common labels for it are cactus fruit, dragon pearl fruit, and pitaya.
This plant originally comes from Southeast Asia, but it is now found in the Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands.
Why is it Called Dragon Fruit?
The pointed ridges that form a ring around the egg-shaped fruit are representative of a dragon. Its look was similar enough to an artichoke that it was given the same name. There are four distinct kinds of fruit: three that possess pink exteriors, one which has a white interior, one having red innards, and one possessing a purple center.
The nickname associated with this exotic fruit is attributed to its extraordinary look, characterized by its spines evoking the flames of a dragon and its plates resembling the scales of a mythical creature, as specific to Chinese fables.
How Does It Taste?
The flavor of Dragon Fruit is comparable to a combination of kiwi and pear. When you first cut into this fruit, it could look like a milkshake with Oreos mixed in because of the pale pulp and small black seeds. This tropical fruit is packed with numerous health benefits, making it a beneficial addition to any diet. By incorporating this fruit, you can access its many advantages to improve your overall wellbeing.
Different Types of Dragon Fruits
Depending on the way it appears, there are three main categories.
- A reddish-brown skin with a reddish-brown flesh
- Skin that is red with white flesh
- Skin that is yellow with white flesh
The seeds of every Dragon Fruit appear to be like the seeds of kiwi, and they are edible and black in color.
Some other classifications are as follows:-
- Sour Dragon Fruit –Stenocereus is a species of dragon fruit that is commonly consumed in the dry regions of the Americas. Sour dragon fruit is refreshing due to its juicier flesh, in addition to having a powerful and sour taste. This fruit is still harvested by locals in northwestern Mexico, and it is known by the term “ziix is ccapxl,” which means “thing whose fruit is sour.” This fruit has a more tangy, watermelon-like aroma. The seeds, which have a nutty flavor, are edible.
- White Dragon Fruit– Hylocereus Undatus is another name for Selenicereus Undatus. It’s a sort of dragon fruit with a pink exterior and white flesh. It is the most common and tasty fruit. Thompson, the largest dragon fruit with a weight of up to 1.5 pounds, belongs to this family.
- Red Dragon Fruit– Pitaya Roja is another name for Hylocereus costaricensis. It’s a red fruit with crimson skin and red flesh. It’s a delicious fruit with a similar texture to a Kiwi. It’s delicious on its own or in salads, smoothies, cocktails, and salsa. One disadvantage of eating red dragon fruits is that it stains your fingers, but combining it with strong-tasting fruits like pineapple is enjoyable.
- Yellow Dragon Fruit– Pitaya Amarilla, species known as Hylocereus megalanthus and widely called Selenicereus Megalanthus, is a dragon fruit variety endemic to South America with a yellow-skinned scale pattern and firm white flesh. This variety only comes in one type, yet it is widely regarded as the best dragon fruit.
- Pink Dragon Fruit– Despite the fact that these fruits are related to the red-type dragon fruit, their flesh is different. The edible flesh of the pink dragon fruit ranges from soft to scorching pink. This variety of fruits can adapt to a wide range of climates and soil conditions. These types include Makisupa, Delight, Cosmic Charlie, Purple Haze, Voodoo Child, and American Beauty (Hylocereus guatemalensis).
Every one of these dragons tastes wonderful and is especially delightful when served cold.
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit
The Chinese believe that this type of fruit was created from the flames of a dragon in the midst of a fierce fight. Disproving the notion attached to this produce, it has qualities that make it incredibly beneficial for us. Here is a compilation of 15 advantages to your health that can arise from eating dragon fruit.
Reduces Risks of Cancer
The abundance of vitamin C in this substance is beneficial in strengthening the body’s defense system. Vitamin C is a potent antidote that can stop the onset of serious illnesses including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, and others.
Helps Boost Immunity
This fruit is overflowing with vitamin C that increases your immunity and helps maintain good health. An increased intake of Vitamin C can help bolster your body’s ability to combat infectious diseases. One should ingest 200 gram of this produce daily in order to be healthy.
Good for Digestion
This type of fruit has a plentiful supply of oligosaccharides (a type of sugar), which helps foster the growth of healthy bacteria, such as flora, and facilitate digestion. This food item is rich in dietary fiber which promotes gastrointestinal well-being, lowers the probability of developing cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Reduces Risk of Diabetes
This produce has a high content of fiber which maintains the sugar level in the blood and avoids quick rises for individuals with diabetes. Eating this fruit often can be beneficial for diabetics as it can help to stabilize blood sugar and prevent more negative medical effects.
Good For Heart
Dragon fruit featuring a red internal flesh contains betalains, which gives rise to the fruit’s red hue, and minimizes the amount of unfavorable LDL cholesterol in the body. The minuscule dark-colored grains within the fruit are full of omega-3 as well as omega-9 fatty acids which are beneficial to the cardiovascular and lessen the chances of cardiovascular ailments.
Fights Aging Skin
Stress, air pollution, and having a bad lifestyle like eating unhealthy, can cause your body to age faster. There are also some positives to this, though, as antioxidants obtained from this source can help you heal sunburns, dry skin, and acne. The vitamin C it contains can help promote a brighter complexion. Dragon fruit juice can be made up and consumed each day for a healthy and glowing complexion.
Good for Hair
Need thick, black and shiny hair? Consume dragon fruit powder blended with a 250ml glass of milk on a daily basis and it will be beneficial to you. This fruit extract powder is packed with important nutrients that limit the harm done to your hair by hair dye and make your hair smoother and brighter. If you want to see improvements, just take this item once daily.
Having strong bones can help in avoiding traumas, aches in the joints, and other similar issues. This incredible fruit is packed with 18% magnesium which helps promote stronger bones and is beneficial for bone health. You need to have a glass of dragon fruit smoothie to consume each day.
Good For Eyes
The beta-carotene present in this fruit, responsible for its hue, can help protect against optical issues like cataracts and macular degeneration. Consuming a daily amount of 220 grams of dragon fruit would be advantageous for you.
Good During Pregnancy
This fruit is rich in vitamin B, folate, and iron, making it an ideal choice for pregnant women. It is essential to take B vitamins and folate during pregnancy, as these help avoid birth defects and increase energy. The calcium found within it helps to facilitate the growth of the baby’s bones. Magnesium in its composition helps to combat difficulties related to menopause in women.
How to Eat Dragon Fruit?
The secret is to find fully ripe fruit. It’s advisable to pick the vivid scarlet ones and not the emerald ones. Bear in mind that a great abundance of blemishes could be an indication of over-maturity. Cut it in half using a knife. Subsequently, employ a spoon to remove the flesh and include it to salads, drinks, shakes, or yogurt. You can create small cubes and shape them to obtain an alluring presentation for your meal.
Are you tired of the same old apple and banana options? You have the okay to take hold of the extraordinary fruit since it is so scrumptious that it ought to be banned. One dragon fruit makes for a great snack, yet you will find yourself wanting more.
- Cut the fruit in half lengthwise (as if it did with lemon) and scoop out the meat to consume. Ensure you only consume the white part with the seeds and toss out the pink parts, which may or may not be edible.
- Without chopping the skin/peel, split the halves into small cubes. ( Like cutting a cake into tiny squares without hitting the wooden/cardboard base.) Take out the cubes and consume them.
How to Select Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruits develop a vivid, darker coloring when they are completely mature. A little discoloration is to be expected, however if there are numerous dark spots or blemishes present, it likely indicates that the fruit is overly ripe and will not be enjoyable to eat. It will almost lose its flavor and become tasteless. The exterior should feel tough yet flexible. The skin on fruit or vegetables that is moist or sagging is a sign that it is past its prime and should be discarded.
- Before storing it, do not peel or cut it.
- Keep it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator (temperatures between 5 and 8° C are ideal).
- Fruit can be kept frozen for up to three months.
- Once the dragon fruits have been chopped, scoop out the pulp from the peel.
- Place the pulp in an air-tight container.
- Because the quality of cut dragon fruits degrades quickly, they must be kept refrigerated.
- Refrigerate the pulp for up to 3 months.
Dragon Fruit Recipes
Apart from these cooking methods, dragon fruit can be used in a variety of creative ways. The great thing about dragon fruit is how it tastes with ice cream. You can incorporate it in two different approaches when making ice cream – either as a critical flavor component for a homemade variety or as a flavor boost for regular vanilla ice cream. This food item can be employed as an attractive garnish for the main meal because of its eye-catching form and hue. It can be cut into slices and then put into any drink. Dragon fruit can be utilised to reap the health advantages it offers by incorporating it into cakes, mousses and even just individual slices paired with macarons.
This fruit has a lot of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which makes it ideal for use in healthy recipes that you can make right in your own kitchen.
- Dragon Fruit Shake
Beginning your day by having a dragon fruit smoothie every morning is a great way to commit to leading a healthy life.
- Banana cut in small pieces
- 1 full dragon fruit
- 1 glass of milk (250ml)
- 4 ½ glass of water
- 3 spoonfuls of sugar (Optional)
- 2 Cashews (Optional)
How to Prepare?
- Step 1: Put the sliced banana and dragon fruit into the blender.
- Step 2: Pour a glass of milk (250ml) into a blender and add 3 spoons of sugar. Blend till it turns smooth. (If it appears thick, add water or more milk).
- Step 3: Pour it in a glass and add crushed cashew to give its final touches.
- Dragon Fruit Salad
A fruit bowl can help prevent heart problems, combat type 2 diabetes, and regulate body weight. Instead, the dragon fruit bowl includes a blend of other nutritious fruits like strawberries, bananas, watermelons, pineapple, and black grapes.
- 2 dragon fruits neatly sliced
- ½ watermelon sliced into small pieces
- 1 banana cut in small pieces
- 1 cup of black grapes
How To Prepare?
- Step 1: Add sliced dragon fruit, bananas, watermelon and grapes to a bowl.
- Step 2: Sprinkle some salt and pepper mix (optional).
- Step 3: You could add a scoop of ice cream to give you a rich taste.