10 Amazing Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit

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health benefits of dragon fruit

Dragon fruit (Pitaya) is one of the more curious looking fruits in the produce section of the grocery store. Perhaps you questioned it’s flavour, or brilliant pink hues. This psychedelic explosion of colour actually benefits your health in a myriad of different ways! In fact, the health benefits of dragon fruit far outweigh anything you’ve ever imagined!

Before we get to the amazing health benefits of this astounding fruit, you may wonder what it tastes like. If left to ripen (the green “leaves” on the fruit will start to brown when the fruit is ripe, and the fruit itself will be slightly soft to touch), this fruit tastes a little bit like a marshmallow kiwi! Incredibly sweet with a very slight background tang, this fruit is a definite must-try!

This fruit is excellent on its own, or paired with other fruit like kiwi and pineapple. It is also great as an addition to smoothies. Interested in trying a cookies n’cream inspired dragon fruit smoothie? Click HERE!

Here are 10 ways in which dragon fruit can start improving your health today!

dragon fruit infoCardiovascular

The seeds in dragon fruit are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids). These healthy fats actually help reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Dragon fruit also contains vitamin B3 which lowers our bad (LDL) cholesterol levels while raising our good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Additionally, dragon fruit is known to help decrease high levels of oxidative stress, one of the main contributing factors in cardiovascular disease.

Cancer

Dragon fruit is loaded with beneficial antioxidants like phytoalbumins (located mainly within the seeds) which aid in the prevention of cancer-causing free radicals. They also contain high levels of vitamin C, which helps to block tumour cell growth, and can improve quality of life of patients currently suffering from cancer (reduced symptoms like fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain and appetite loss). Dragon fruit can also help rid the body of toxic heavy metals, which are a major culprit in the formation of tumours in the body.

Digestion and metabolism

Dragon fruit is incredibly high in fibre! I can personally eat 2-3 dragon fruits and be satisfied for hours on end (I was actually quite surprised to feel so full after such little fruit!). The fibre content in dragon fruit helps regulate our digestion and prevents constipation and diarrhea. Keeping your stomach full for hours after you have eaten is one issue facing those who want to lose weight. This exotic fruit will not only keep you satisfied for longer periods of time, but it will help improve your metabolic rate, assisting with weight management. Dragon fruit also helps regulate blood sugar levels (again, due to the high fibre content), and helps your body from experiencing sugar spikes that you would normally get from eating refined sugary sweets (donuts, cakes, cookies, etc.).

Immune support

The high vitamin and mineral content in dragon fruit, ranging from Vitamin’s C, B1, B2, B3, as well as calcium, phosphorous, iron, protein, niacin and fibre, make it a great way to improve the functioning of your immune system. Your immune system starts in your digestive tract, and as we saw above, dragon fruit is a great way to support a healthy GI tract. Getting a proper amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet helps prevent you from getting sick and catching infections. As well, antioxidants (which dragon fruit is loaded), can help fight off bacteria and viruses in the body. The 80% water content of dragon fruit will also help flush out stagnant toxins, which may otherwise manifest as some sort of disease or illness (either now or in the future).

Eyes

Improved eyesight from eating dragon fruit? You bet! This fruit contains Vitamin A in the form of carotene which is needed by the retina of the eye for both low-light (night vision) and colour vision. Night blindness and other eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration can be caused by a deficiency in Vitamin A.

Nervous system

The high B Vitamin content in dragon fruit helps to support the formation and maintenance of some of the most basic structures in the nervous system. It helps in the formation of nerve cells themselves, and makes us more alert, and experience higher levels of mental clarity. Calcium in dragon fruit is also essential in enhancing the functioning of the nervous system. It keeps our nerves healthy and ensures their ability to communicate effectively. The healthy fats in dragon fruit are also crucial to help nourish and protect the myelin sheath which allows for proper conductive signalling in the brain.

Strong bones and teeth

Because it is a good source of calcium and phosphorous, dragon fruit helps strengthen your bones and teeth and aids in tissue formation and repair. These two important nutrients work together closely to build strong bones and teeth, which makes dragon fruit a wonderful fruit to help aid in the prevention of brittle bones and osteoporosis. The co-dependency of these two minerals means that taking a calcium supplement simply won’t help the health of your bones, as would eating whole ripe fruit which contains the combination of the two minerals. Always keep in mind that both calcium and phosphorous are needed to support any increase in bone mass.

Glowing skin

The high seed content in dragon fruit makes them a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats which improve the look and feel of our skin. Pretty much all fruit is antioxidant rich, including dragon fruit, and so consuming a diet rich in raw plant-based foods will stave off free radicals and make you not only look younger, but make your skin tighter, more flexible and bless you with a beautiful healthy glow!

Anti-inflammatory

Dragon fruit is known as a great anti-inflammatory as it helps to decrease irritation of the joints. Inflammation in the body caused by unhealthy eating habits and poor lifestyle choices (smoking, alcohol, drugs, etc.) create an acidic environment which manifests as a variety of diseases like arthritis, cancer, and diabetes to name a few. When we start to replace healthy foods, like dragon fruit, for unhealthy foods (like sweets and refined processed foods), we will notice that the aches and pains that used to haunt us day in, day out, suddenly fade away. Replacing your favourite sugary desserts for things like dragon fruit and mango (or any other fruit) will help get you out of your sugar-tooth rut and improve your body for the better.

Anti-aging

Skip the anti-aging cream, save thousands of dollars, and instead go eat dragon fruit! The high vitamin and mineral content as well as vast arrays of antioxidants in the dragon fruit make it an excellent anti-ager! The antioxidants work against free radicals in the body which are responsible for not only physical ailments (disease, and illness), but also for the aging of your skin. The more fresh fruit and vegetables you consume, the tighter and younger your skin will become.

     
Carly Fraser has her BSc (Hons.) Degree in Neuroscience, and is the owner and founder at Live Love Fruit. She currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with a determined life mission to help inspire and motivate individuals to critically think about what they put in their bodies and to find balance through nutrition and lifestyle. She has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals to re-connect with their bodies and learn self-love through proper eating habits and natural living. She loves to do yoga, dance, and immerse herself in nature.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the great info. I started to try the dragon fruit several times but unsure of the taste chickened out. Lol. Marshmallow and kiwi sounds pretty good. WOW. What SUPERFOOD!!

  2. Dragon fruit’s awesome! Just wish it was cheaper! Have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan when I first tasted it though. Thought it tasted like a kiwi fruit with no flavour lol. But would happily sit down to a mono meal of them now. Great article! Thank you 🙂

    • Hey Renee!
      I was exactly the same as you! I thought they had no flavour! It is amazing how sticking with raw veganism changes your tastebuds, even after 4 years (still changing!). I can definitely sit down and mono-meal the dragon now too! Such a blissfully ecstatic experience! I noticed that letting them ripen fully (so that the green leaves on the outside are no longer green), lets the sugars get more rich, and the flavour just pops! Thanks for checking out my website! 😀

  3. […] Dragon fruit is loaded with health benefits. It is a great source of calcium and phosphorous, both of which work together closely to help strengthen your bones and teeth and aid in tissue formation and repair. It is also very high in B vitamins to help support the formation and maintenance of nerve cells, and to help keep us alert and experience higher levels of mental clarity. […]

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