As part of our health and nutrition series, we will be introducing a fruit every month! If you don’t already know of it, it’s time to start introducing it to your regular diet. You can even use it for juicing or blending.
Let’s get to know this month’s fruit of the month: the DRAGONFRUIT!
Commonly known as the dragonfruit, it is also known as a variety of other names, including dragon berry, pitaya, strawberry pear, mood flower, skogkaktus, pa-ni-ni, catobarse and long gou. It is a member of the cactus family which flowers at night. The fruit is ellipsoid in shape with scales, and the fruit on the inside is either white or pink in colour. The fruits is embedded with many black seeds, and the taste is usually slightly sweet.
Originating in Mexico and South America, the dragonfruit is now commercially grown throughout Asia, including Malaysia. The fruit is easily available in our fruit markets and supermarkets at affordable prices.
Here are some of the health benefits of the dragonfruit.
Low in cholestrol.
The dragonfruit is very low in cholestrol, especially the unhealthy LDL cholestrol.
Loaded with nutrients.
The dragonfruit is packed full of nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B, calcium, carotene, phosphorus, iron, protein and carbohydrates. The dragonfruit also contains healthy monounsaturated fats, and has plenty of good dietary fibre.
Full of antioxidants.
The dragonfruit is full of antioxidants, which is able to reduce free radicals which causes cancer and many other illnesses.
Regulates blood sugar.
The dragonfruit is able to able to lower blood glucose levels, which makes it an ideal fruit for diabetics.
Antiviral and antifungal properties.
The vitamins in the dragonfruit helps build the immune system, and helps to heal bruises and cuts naturally.
Natural detoxifying agent.
The dragonfruit has been found to help excretion of heavy metal toxins from the body.
You can eat the dragonfruit raw, or you can include it in your fruit salads or smoothies. Feel free to experiment with the dragonfruit to make jam, jelly, spreads, or even putting it on homemade pizza!
This article first appeared on Surya Yoga’s blog at Fruit of the month: Dragonfruit, the Super Fruit.