The great thing about the world we live in is that we have access to a wide range of delicious, beneficial natural foods from across the globe. One of the less common fruits that’s only now revealing proven health benefits is dragon fruit.
Otherwise known as a pitahaya, dragon fruit is a tropical fruit found on several different indigenous American cactus species. The unique appearance is what draws most people to dragon fruit – it has a bright pink skin and a clear white, seed-dotted flesh. But visuals aside, dragon fruit is also incredibly good for your health.
In this video, we’re going to take a closer look at the benefits of dragon fruit. Like the majority of health foods, dragon fruit can also cause side effects, which we’ll also be discussing.
So lets take a look at the Benefits of dragon fruit first
No 1 Can lower cholesterol and promote weight loss
Dragon fruit is extremely low in cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats. Regular consumption of the fruit can help you to maintain a healthy heart in the long run.
If you’re looking to lose weight healthily and naturally, it’s worth including dragon fruit in your diet. This is because it’s low in calories but packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Dragon fruit’s high quantity of omega-3 fatty acids will help you stay fuller for longer, making you less likely to reach for an unhealthy mid-afternoon snack before dinner. The exotic fruit is also rich in fibre, which stabilises blood sugar levels, preventing cravings.
No 2 Good source of vitamin C
The vitamin C content in dragon fruit has been found to boost your immune system and prevent infection by protecting your white blood cells from damage. As an antioxidant, vitamin C also fights free radicals in the body, which experts say can prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease, as well as promoting healthy aging.
Vitamin C’s benefits are endless. It can also assist in the absorption of iron, which we need for producing haemoglobin in red blood cells, helping oxygen to travel around the body. Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, which makes our teeth healthier, as well as promoting healthy and glowing skin.
No 3 Natural skincare properties
Traditionally, dragon fruit was used as a herbal beauty treatment for the face. Nowadays, we can use it as a natural skincare remedy in the knowledge that it contains a high antioxidant and vitamin content. This prevents skin damage and can even reduce the risk of skin cancer. A simple natural remedy to try out for your skin is to make a paste out of dragon fruit flesh and apply it regularly on the face, which is thought to help slow down the process of ageing, making you look younger.
Dragon fruit paste is also used in treating acne and sunburn. For something a little fancier, try combining dragon fruit with cucumber juice and honey to create an aloe vera-like compound that can soothe burned skin. Thanks to its high content of vitamin B3, dragon fruit can moisturize sunburned skin and relieve the affected area by releasing heat.
No 4 Promotes gut health
Because dragon fruit contains prebiotics, it can potentially improve the balance of good bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics are carbohydrates your body can’t digest, so they pass to your lower digestive tract, where they act like fertilizers to help the healthy bacteria grow. Without prebiotics, good bacteria in your gut would suffer.
Aside from feeding your good gut bacteria, prebiotics can help you to absorb calcium, prevent blood sugar spikes from food, and ferment foods faster, so that they spend less time in your digestive system and help you stay regular. Generally, dragon fruit can keep the cells that line your gut healthy. Some studies even suggest that prebiotics like dragon fruit can help manage gut diseases and play an active role in controlling and preventing obesity.
No 5 Aids in digestion
Dragon fruits are rich in a type of prebiotic that helps promote the growth of gut bacteria that we need for smooth digestion. The healthier your gut, the better your digestion – and consuming dragon fruit as part of your daily diet is a simple way to encourage this.
Dragon fruits are also high in fibre, which means that they can help to bulk up bowel movements, promoting the movement of material and encouraging a smoother passage through the digestive tract. By regulating bowel function with dietary fibre, you’ll be able to use dragon fruit to prevent common digestive conditions like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
No 6 Anti-cancer potential
Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals, which are linked to certain cancers. One study found that dragon fruit shows promise in fighting breast cancer in particular, by acting on selective breast cancer cells and killing them. The study proved the need for more research into the anti-breast cancer benefits of dragon fruit.