Some of the most healthy foods that can be found on this planet are unique fruits that resemble the dragon fruit. They vary in size and shape, but have many health benefiting qualities.
So what exactly is a Dragon Fruit?
Often called a pitaya, the dragon fruit has a hot pink coloration, with green tips that have a scale-like appearance and a funky look . This odd-looking fruit is readily grown across South America, Central America, and in Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. The plants themselves that bear these fruits are called the Dragon Cactus, as they are part of the cactus family.
The flowers that blossom from a dragon cactus mysteriously bloom only at night, hence it is called “ Queen of the Night.” By the time sunrise hits, the flowers then begin to fade away, and by noon, the flowers will die from the smoldering heat of the hot sun.
What does the Dragon Fruit taste like?
My first encounter with this fruit occurred 4 years ago during my first trip to Vietnam. I was amazed at how the dragon fruit tasted. It was wonderful – sweet and crunchy, with a flavor like a cross between kiwi and pear. It is quite juicy, and I was so captivated by this fruit that I had to buy a dragon cactus and grow it in my backyard. Some countries even utilize the outer skin to make jam.
Dragon Fruit Medicinal Properties
Similar to another member of the cactus family, aloe vera, dragon fruit has been reported to have a variety of medicinal usages. Among these beneficial usages is the reduction of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), promotion of appetite, moisturization of the skin, prevention of constipation, decrease in the chance of UTI, promotion of clearer vision, and balanced blood sugar. There are also rumors that dragon fruit fortifies bones and teeth formation in toddlers.
In many Asian cultures, the dragon fruit is lionized and treasured for its medicinal properties, especially for its quality to lower blood pressure for the elderly. In addition, for individuals that suffer a poor diet, the prevention of Type II diabetes is a desirable characteristic of this super food.
So what makes the Dragon Fruit so amazing?
Well for starters, this healthy fruit is rich in vitamins A and C, protein, fiber, iron, riboflavin, calcium, and is jam-packed with nutrients and antioxidants that fight cancer and prevent diseases.
Health Tip of the Week
For those who are completely bored with their fruit intake by limiting themselves to solely apples, oranges, and bananas each and every day, try a different fruit or vegetable each and every week. Researchers have proven that a diet consisting of a variety of fruits and vegetables provides a wider range of nutrient intake.