he health benefits of dragon fruit is very great for health, a variety of nutrients therein. Dragon fruit is also called pitahaya and pear strawberry. Its skin is like a dragon with tufts like a dragon’s skin causing this fruit to be called a dragon fruit. Now dragon fruit is very popular as a raw material for juice which has many health benefits.
Its unique taste and its deep red color are the main attraction for dragon fruit. Although dragon fruit is a tropical fruit, but for now anywhere we can enjoy the delicious dragon fruit. This fruit is now available in all supermarkets in the world.
So what are the nutrients of dragon fruit so that the health benefits of dragon fruit are very popular among lovers of healthy drinks? Below we see what the benefits of this tropical fruit are based on nutritional facts.
7 Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit and How to Eat
1. Rich in nutrients
Dragon fruit is a fiber that is rich in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals and low in calories. So, how many nutrients in one serving with a size of 227 grams. [healthline]
- Calories: 136
- Fat: 0 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Carbohydrates: 29 grams
- Iron: 8% of the RDI
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Magnesium: 18% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 4% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 9% of the RDI
Not only are these nutrients present in dragon fruit, but these sweet and delicious fruits also contain important compounds such as polyphenols, betacyanins, and carotenoids.
2. Fighting chronic diseases
Free radicals are the cause of damage to body cells or also called unstable molecules that can cause inflammation and disease.
Dragon fruit is a fruit rich in antioxidants. This is an important compound that can eliminate toxins and free radicals in the body so that the body remains healthy and youthful and far from dangerous diseases.
Research shows that a daily diet high in antioxidants is very good because it can prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and joint inflammation.
Dragon fruit does not only contain one type of antioxidant, but there are several types of antioxidants in dragon fruit, including:
- Vitamin C: Research says that between vitamin C and cancer is related. Who is high in consuming foods that are rich in vitamin C has a lower risk of cancer, especially neck and head cancer.
- Betalains: Battalions are said to be able to stabilize oxidative stress and can be beneficial for suppressing the growth and development of cancer cells.
- Carotenoids: Beta-carotene and lycopene are plant compounds called pigments that give red color in dragon fruit. A diet rich in carotenoids is associated with a reduction in the risk of cancer and heart disease.
The best antioxidants are those found directly in food and eaten naturally. Unlike the case with antioxidant supplements, this can sometimes cause harmful effects and for those who consume antioxidant supplements, he must be under the supervision of a team of experts (doctors).
From the other side, dragon fruit is a health fruit that is highly recommended for consumption. However, do not consume it on an excessive scale.
3. Rich in fiber
Furthermore, the health benefits of dragon fruit is related to the fiber in it. Dietary fiber is a whole carbohydrate that cannot be digested anymore, and it has many health benefits.
Health authorities advise women to consume 25 grams of fiber [per day, while men consume 38 grams of fiber per day.
While in a cup we can get as much as 7 grams of fiber. So with 4 glasses of dragon fruit a day we have met the daily fiber needs. But it is not necessary to consume all dragon fruit, because we also consume other foods rich in fiber in the whole day.
Fiber not only plays a role in maintaining digestive health but is also good for maintaining cardiovascular health, beneficial for diabetes, and good for maintaining healthy body. Indeed we still need further research in this matter, but at least, dragon fruit has been proven to protect us from large milk cancer.
Consuming dragon fruit or other high-fiber foods can also have adverse effects on health especially if you are accustomed to a low-sugar diet. So, for the safety of the body, you can gradually increase your intake of fiber-rich foods.
4. Good for intestinal health
The benefits of dragon fruit for intestinal health related to the presence of prebiotics that are useful for balancing the bacteria in your intestines. Based on information that there are around 100 trillion microorganisms in the intestine and 400 different types of bacteria.
Various studies believe that these microorganisms are closely related to human health. This imbalance of microorganisms causes problems such as asthma and heart disease, both in animals or in humans.
Also read: Benefits of Red Rooibos Tea
Prebiotics in dragon fruit are beneficial fibers to stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the intestine. Fiber cannot be broken down by the intestine itself but can be broken down by bacteria in the gut, healthy bacteria in the gut use fibers in the human intestine to enhance its growth.
Dragon fruit is useful for increasing the growth of two types of healthy bacteria in milk, namely lactic acid and bifidobacteria. If we consume prebiotics regularly, the risk of digestive infections can be minimized, and prevent diarrhea.
Some research also shows that prebiotics can reduce and relieve inflammation of the intestine and colon cancer. But these findings are inconsistent, as said healthline.com
So, one of the health benefits of dragon fruit lies in the content of prebiotics or dietary fiber that can stimulate the growth of good bacteria.
5. Benefits of dragon fruit to strengthen the body’s immunity
How strong the body is in fighting disease and infection is determined by several different factors, and the food we eat is one of many factors. The body’s immunity works by protecting white blood cells from damage.
White blood cells are very useful in this defense system. White blood cells work to attack harmful substances or poisons that enter the body.
Antioxidants, vitamin C and carotenoids present in dragon fruit provide protection against white blood cells so that they remain healthy and strong.
Also read: Mulberry Vs Blackberry
6. Able to increase low iron
Dragon fruit is included in the fruit that contains iron which is very needed in the formation of red blood cells. The function of red blood cells is to carry food essence throughout the body and carry oxygen.
In addition, red blood cells also play a role in breaking down food essence into energy. But not all people get enough iron for their body’s needs, in fact about 30% of the earth’s population has iron deficiency.
To prevent low iron in the body, a person needs to consume iron-rich foods such as dragon fruit, sweet potato leaves, and others.
In one serving of dragon fruit already gives about 8% of iron from daily intake. This means that you have to consume other iron-rich foods such as sweet potatoes, cassava leaves, cereals, fish, beans and meat.
7. Good Source of Magnesium
The next health benefits of dragon fruit because it is rich in magnesium. Dragon fruit is one of the fruits that are rich in magnesium compared to other fruits. In one cup of dragon fruit you can get 18% RDI.
The average human body contains 24g of magnesium. Even though this is very small, but this mineral is obtained in all body cells. It also plays a role in over 600 important chemical reactions in the body. [healthline.com]
Those are some of the health benefits of dragon fruit, including benefits for diabetes, chronic diseases, provide iron supply and strengthen the body’s immunity.
Now, we see how to eat dragon fruit, how to consume dragon fruit for maximum nutrition. Immediately, we check below.
How to Eat Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit skin is thick and rough, but it is very easy to open and consume this fruit. The important thing is, take the perfect dragon fruit maturity.
Ripe dragon fruit is bright red, or bright yellow, or reddish black dragon fruit. When it was young, dragon fruit was green and it was not yet time for consumption. The way to eat dragon fruit is to choose ripe, but not mushy, this is the same as the ripeness of kiwifruit or avocado.
Here’s the correct way to eat dragon fruit:
- Cut the ripe dragon fruit lengthwise with a sharp knife,
- Take the flesh of the fruit with a spoon, or dice it vertically and horizontally inside without cutting the skin, like you cut a mango on the skin.
- Then, push or press from the back of the fruit skin to remove the results of cutting, take with a spoon or with a finger, can also be directly eaten with your mouth.
You can also enjoy dragon fruit with salads, smoothiest, yogurt. This is a delicious and healthy snack that you should try besides making juice.