I have a special guest today who is going to talk about the benefits of eating dragon fruit. I didn’t know it but this fruit can help our overall skin and health. Keep on reading to find out more about dragon fruit.
Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya. It’s the fruit of several cactus species that are indigenous to North and South America. The fruit is praised in both traditional and conventional medicine for its wide array of health benefits.
These benefits come from the fruit’s unique nutrient profile. Dragon fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and the seeds contain a modest dose of healthy fats. One dragon fruit can also provide you with around 2% of the recommended daily value of protein.
The antioxidants found in dragon fruit protect your skin health and your overall health as well. Which can make you look and feel vibrant. Keep reading to learn more about the many health benefits of this exotic cactus fruit.
Vitamin C For The Better Health
Dragon fruit is a good source of vitamin C. Just one serving of dragon fruit will give you 21mg of this important vitamin. That is around 34% of the daily value for vitamin C according to Healwithfood.org. Our body is not able to make vitamin C on its own, so it is important that you get enough of this vitamin from food sources such as dragon fruit.
Vitamin C serves a role in a wide range of bodily functions such as in immune system functioning, cancer protection, free radical scavenging, collagen production, iron absorption, and wound healing just to name a few. Vitamin C is also found abundantly in the skin, protecting it from harmful UV rays and free radicals. If you have oily skin, vitamin C found in dragon fruit can help prevent acne flares as vitamin C also shows anti-inflammatory activity.
Higher Nutrient Intake
Dragon fruit can also prevent early formation of neck and chest wrinkles by boosting collagen production. Once again this is thanks to its high vitamin C content. But the health benefits of dragon fruit are due to other nutrients found in this exotic fruit.
Dragon fruit contains 10% of the daily recommended value of iron. Iron requires vitamin C to be absorbed properly, so you can get effective protection against iron-deficiency anemia by eating dragon fruit regularly in addition to other sources of iron.
Dragon fruit also contains other important nutrients, albeit in smaller amounts and these include vitamins B1,2, and 3 as well as the minerals calcium, phosphorous and zinc. The seeds found in the fruit’s crunchy pulp contain beneficial fatty acids important for overall heath.
Protection Against High-Mortality Diseases
Studies on dragon fruit have examined the effect this fruit has on health. A study published in Pharmacognosy Research found that dragon fruit may protect cardiovascular health in those afflicted with diabetes. This effect was found to be a result of the fruit’s ability to protect the body from oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is the result of a series of events in the body. This can lead to the overgrowth of free radicals. Unstable molecules that damage cells are leading to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease. And it even leads to certain types of arthritis.
Poor immune system functioning, nutritional deficiencies, chronic stress, radiation, and other things can all make you more susceptible to oxidative stress. A diet high in vitamin C and antioxidants is believed to significantly reduce the burden free radicals place on the body.
Reduced Risk Of Liver Disease
Dragon fruit may also help reduce the risks associated with obesity and metabolic disease. A study published PLOS One found that mice were given dragon fruit juice, while also fed a high-carbohydrate and high-fat diet.
The mice that were given dragon fruit juice had the better liver functioning and reduced insulin resistance compared to mice who did not. The study also suggests that the fruit protects the liver from fatty liver disease while also improving overall metabolic functioning.
These findings, however, do not mean that dragon fruit is a weight-loss miracle serving as a buffer for a bad diet. It rather means that the fruit exerts many metabolic health benefits that would be enhanced when following a weight-loss or any healthy diet.
Improved Digestion With Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is also a great option for those with digestive issues. The fruit is traditionally recommended to help with constipation and poor digestion. This should come as no surprise considering that the fruit is high in fiber. But the tiny seeds in the fruit’s pulp are also believed to help aid in digestion as the stimulate bowel movements. Furthermore, a study published recently in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that dragon fruit positively affects the gut microbiota.
What this means is that by eating dragon fruit regularly, you will develop better gut health. And as far as the study above goes, better gut functioning may also reduce your risk of excess weight gain, poor liver functioning, and insulin resistance.
Adding the exotic pitaya fruit to your smoothies or fruit salads is a great way to improve your skin and overall health. The high vitamin C-containing fruit is known to show on your skin by reducing acne flares and wrinkles. Some even suggest that dragon fruit works better than some top skin moisturizers such as Bella Serata. However, the benefits of dragon fruit are not just skin deep.
The pink and white fruit also protects your body from cancer, diabetes, liver disease. And even other conditions associated with a bad diet and poor lifestyle choices.
While you can’t expect the fruit to eliminate your risk of developing these diseases, adding it to your daily diet will certainly improve your outcomes. Just make sure to eat the fruit fresh to ensure that you are getting the maximum number of nutrients and antioxidants found in dragon fruit.
Kathy Mitchell is a writer and avid researcher on the subject of Beauty, nutrition and general wellness. She likes to go out with her friends, travel, swim and practice yoga. In her free time, you can find Kathy curled up reading her favorite novel, or writing in her journal. She is regular Contributor at Consumer Health Digest. To know more about her follow her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.