The beautiful, vibrantly coloured dragon fruit (pittaya) is sometimes known as ‘Moonlight’ or ‘Queen of the Night’ as it blossoms between the evening and midnight. It looks similar to a dragon egg but it packs in so much potency that it might make you feel like you can breathe fire! From adding it to fruit salads to blending it into breakfast smoothies, the uses of this unique fruit are endless. Curious? Then read on as we explore the Top 5 Benefits of Dragon Fruit!
1. Good for cardiovascular health
Dragon fruit is rich in monounsaturated fats. The body converts these fats into Low Density Lipoproteins, (LDL’s) the good cholesterol in the body. This also helps balance out the bodily cholesterol ratio thereby reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, hypertension and blood plaque levels, therefore reducing the risk of disease.
2. Immunity boost
Dragon fruit is high in Vitamin C, B1, B2 and B3, these help maintain a healthy immune system. One fruit contributes to approximately 10% of your daily recommended intake of these vitamins. This is because they help stimulate the activity of antioxidants in the body that play an active role in fighting off the onset of illness and infections. It has also been linked with anti-carcinogenic qualities.
3. Anti-aging properties
Dragon fruit is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which helps fight free radicals that can cause early signs of aging, helping keep the skin tight and firm. In addition to this, the fruit is a very good source of phosphorous, the mineral that gives anti-aging a helping hand. This is due to phosphorous playing a vital role in regenerating our skin cells.
4. Digestive health
As we all know, fibre serves a vital function in maintaining digestive health. For every 100g of dragon fruit, there is about 10g of fibre, making it a high fibre food. This could help those who suffer from digestive issues such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Another way this amazing fruit helps with digestion comes from its high content of oligosaccharides, a long chain carbohydrate. It works as a prebiotic which improves overall gut health and digestion.
5. Stronger bones and teeth
Dragon fruit contains calcium chloride, which, when metabolized by the body, turns into calcium. We need this mineral for the maintenance of healthy teeth and bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and calcium malabsorption in the body. Calcium is codependent on phosphorous, as they act together to help increase bone density.
Dragon fruit is readily available for purchase from a range of supermarkets such as ASDA and Ocado and others across the UK. You can also purchase dragon fruit powder from Planet Organic. The uses of dragon fruit are endless, so if you fancy trying something new, you should definitely give dragon fruit a go!