The earth has been blessed with a limitless range of delicious, naturally beneficial foods. One of the most exotic and rare fruits, that’s only now beginning to gain the recognition it deserves in the world of medical remedies, is the dragon fruit.
Also called a ‘pitahaya,’ this tropical fruit is found on certain indigenous species of American cactus. The most attention-grabbing aspect of the dragon fruit is its unique appearance, consisting of bright pink skin, with translucent seed-dotted white flesh inside.
Apart from visuals, dragon fruit also happens to be super good for your health—and that’s what this article will discuss. We’ll take a deep dive into its health benefits, potential side effects, and the recipes you can try. Let’s get into it!
Benefits of dragon fruit
1. Helps with weight loss and lowering cholesterol
Dragon fruits are extremely low in trans fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol. Consuming them regularly can therefore be great for one’s long-term heart health.
If you’re interested in natural, organic, and healthy ways to lose weight, dragon fruit is worth a shot. It packs various essential minerals and vitamins, all while being very low in calories.
It also has a high omega-3 fatty acid content, which keeps your appetite at bay for longer, and helps you stay away from junk food or midnight snacks. Its high fibre content also plays a role in preventing cravings as it helps stabilise your blood sugar levels.
2. A great vitamin C source
Dragon fruits are a good vitamin C source, which has shown to help boost the functioning of your immune system. It also prevents your white blood cells from getting damaged.
As it’s an antioxidant, vitamin C is also effective in fighting the body’s free radicals. According to experts, this can delay or prevent certain heart diseases and cancers, while also promoting healthy aging.
The benefits of vitamin C are countless. It’s essential for collagen production, which helps with maintaining glowing skin and improving dental health. It can also aid in iron absorption, which we need in order to produce haemoglobin in red blood cells.
3. Organic skincare potential
Dragon fruit has been used traditionally as an effective herbal beauty treatment for years. Since it has been found to contain high a vitamin and antioxidant content, we can use it regularly as an organic skincare remedy. It can reduce the risk of skin cancer, and prevents skin damage from harmful environmental toxins.
As a simple natural remedy, you can make dragon fruit flesh paste and apply it to your face regularly, just like aloe vera gel. It’s thought to help slow down the aging process, promoting a brighter youthful look.
This paste can also be used in treating sunburns and acne organically. If you’d like to try something fancier, combine dragon fruit paste with honey and cucumber juice to create a skin-burn solution compound like aloe vera. Thanks to dragon fruit’s high vitamin B3 content, it can moisturize sunburnt skin and heal the area of effect.
4. Improves gut health
The prebiotics in dragon fruits can potentially play a vital role in improving the good bacteria balance in your gut. These prebiotics are carbs that your body cannot digest and hence passes down to your lower digestive tract, where they can fertilize the growth of healthy bacteria. Without these prebiotics, the good bacteria thriving in your gut could deteriorate.
Apart from feeding good bacteria in the gut, prebiotics can also prevent sudden rises in blood sugar, help with calcium absorption, and promote faster food fermentation, assisting the digestive system in keeping your bowel movements healthy and regular. Dragon fruit can also help the cells lining your gut maintain good health. According to some studies, prebiotics such as dragon fruit can play a vital role in preventing obesity and managing problematic gut ailments.
5. Helps with digestion
Digestion largely depends on the health of your gut. As mentioned above, dragon fruits are rich in prebiotics called oligosaccharides, which help promote gut bacteria growth, assisting in smooth digestion. Adding dragon fruit to your daily diet is a simple way to maintain a healthy gut which keeps your digestion smooth and regular.
Dragon fruits are also fibre-rich; hence they can help stimulate bowel movements and encourage smooth passage through your digestive tract. Regulating healthier bowel function through increase dietary fibre, dragon fruit can help you prevent common digestion-related issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, or constipation.
6. Anti-cancer potential
Since dragon fruit boasts a high antioxidant content, it can protect the body’s cells from experience damage from free radicals. These unstable molecules are linked to certain cancers, and putting up a fight against them can hence reduce cancer risks.
According to one study, dragon fruit showed decent promise in fighting breast cancer specifically, by targeting and killing selective breast cancer cells. Through this study, the need for more reliable research for the anti-cancer potential of dragon fruit is evident.
The prebiotics called oligosaccharides in dragon fruit doesn’t just help with gut health, but they also fight colon cancer, according to another study. The ‘prebiotic effect’ they have on the digestive system can significantly neutralize colon cancer risks. However, before we fully understand dragon fruit’s potential against these types of cancer, more research is needed to make stronger claims.
- DO YOU DARE TO SLAY THE DRAGON (FRUIT): Our delicious Dried Dragon Fruit Powder is sourced from freshly ripened dragon fruit that is carefully sliced, dried & powdered to perfection. Our dragon fruit powder is natural with no added ingredients. It has a dark pink color and the flavor isn't super sweet.
- NUTRIENT-DENSE: Dried Pink Pitaya Powder is an easy way to add a boost of body-boosting nutrition to your diet. This powder has a high nutrient density, with fiber plus essential vitamins & minerals. Use it in smoothies or for dragon fruit syrup.
- PERFECTLY PACKAGED: Our delicious Dragonfruit Powder is carefully packaged and ready to enjoy in a convenient resealable bag. Simply slip open the top of the container, sprinkle or scoop out the perfect amount & reseal to keep it at its freshest.
- AMAZING SKIN-BOOSTING EFFECTS: Did you know that Dragon Fruit Powder has a unique skin-boosting effect in addition to being nutrient-dense and delicious? That’s right! Dragon fruit naturally contains a compound that acts as a moisturizer.
- SHELF STABLE | Our pink pitaya powder is dried red dragon fruit, gently processed into a shelf stable powder. You get the full spectrum of nutrients with the added convenience of powder on the go!
- BENEFITS | Pitaya / Dragon fruit is loaded with antioxidants!
- INDEPENDENTLY TESTED | We test our pink pitaya powder at a respected independent lab for lead, arsenic and other heavy metals. Passes all FDA & World Health Organization Requirements
- PITAYA is an oddly shaped fruit with a delicious umami flavor. Our pitaya powder blends well into smoothies, tea lattes, and anything you can imagine!
- Wilderness Poets Freeze Dried Dragon Fruit Powder (Pitahaya) - 3.5 oz
- Ingredients: Freeze Dried Dragon Fruit
- Non-Gmo, Gluten Free, Raw, Vegan, No added Sugar or Salt
- Dragon Fruit Powder is a Superfood Packed with Antioxidants, Fiber, Vitamin C and B
- JUICY DRAGON FRUIT FLAVOR: Pitaya Foods Organic Dragon Fruit Powder is unique in color & flavor. Bursting with magenta, this red dragon fruit powder is mildly sweet, similar to a pear, with tropical notes of berry & a crunch of chia-like seeds.
- PERFECT FOR SMOOTHIES, COCKTAILS, & MORE: Our delicious fresh fruit powder is perfect for cooking, baking, desserts, drinks, & more. Enjoy in smoothies, acai bowls, agua fresca, or chia pudding. Even use before & after your workouts—zero added sugar!
- A REMARKABLE SUPERFRUIT: Dragon fruit, AKA pitaya, has powerful vitamins & minerals—like fiber, magnesium, antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, iron, & potassium. Add to a well-balanced diet to help support digestion, energy levels, & immune health.
- BETTER QUALITY, BETTER HEALTH: We only use the best quality, sustainably grown superfruits picked at the peak of ripeness to give you the most antioxidants, vitamins, & minerals possible. No added anything—gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, & non-GMO.
7. Helps control diabetes
Regular dragon fruit consumption is associated with reduced blood sugar levels, which is especially beneficial for people suffering from type 2 diabetics, and individuals with pre-diabetes. This is thought to be because dragon fruit can help replace damaged cells in the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin—the hormone that helps your body in breaking sugar down.
According to a recent study, pre-diabetics who consumed dragon fruit demonstrated a significant reduction in blood sugar levels as compared to people who hadn’t eaten it. The evidence was further strengthened by those who consumed dragon fruit in higher quantities, as they showed even bigger reductions in their blood sugar levels.
8. Haircare properties
Aside from maintaining good organ health, dragon fruit is also highly beneficial for your hair health. Adding a regular intake of dragon fruit to your daily diet can help you maintain nourished and luscious hair.
It contains several nutrients responsible for working against the damage caused to hair by the chemicals typically present in artificial hair colour products. It can also bring back the shine to your hair, and nurture its texture.
As a simple organic hair care remedy, you can apply dragon fruit juice to your scalp directly to protect it from the harmful effects of the chemicals in hair dyes. By doing this, your hair follicles won’t be blocked shut, and your hair will have room to breathe to maintain its smooth and healthy appearance.
9. Helps prevent degeneration of eyes
Dragon fruit can inhibit human cytochrome P450 growth, which is a protein linked with congenital glaucoma. This ailment occurs in young children and babies, commonly caused by incorrect eye drainage system development before birth as a genetically transferred irregularity.
The beta-carotene element found in dragon fruit is also thought to help prevent cataract formation and macular degeneration, or the clouding in the eye’s natural lens. It does so by keeping the eyes well-protected from the negative impact of harmful free radicals. With the help of beta-carotene, dragon fruit is an essential food to maintain long-term eye health by keeping your cornea (the eye’s surface) moist and healthy.
10. Promotes healthier pregnancies
As folate, iron, and B-type vitamins are found in dragon fruits, they’re highly beneficial for pregnant women.
The iron itself can prevent haemoglobin deficiency, while also reducing anaemia risks. On the other hand, folate and B vitamins prevent birth defects in the baby, relieving certain negative pregnancy symptoms, and also boosting the mother’s energy levels.
Constipation is one of the most common issues faced by pregnant ladies. As dragon fruits possess mild laxative properties, they can be taken as an effective remedy to treat them naturally.
The fruit’s calcium content can also assist the baby’s healthy bone development, playing a role in ensuring a healthy pregnancy. The high levels of magnesium and calcium in dragon fruits can help battle osteoporosis symptoms in women post-menopause. Magnesium can also help prevent the uterus from contracting too early.
11. Improves heart health
As a good source of flavonoids, dragon fruit is known to have a highly positive impact on a person’s heart health. Flavonoids are antioxidant pigments, which may also protect against certain cancer types.
They can reduce the risks of developing several different disorders including dementia or Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, arthritis patients have found considerable relief from symptoms through regular consumption of the fruit.
Dragon fruit is also high in betalains—particularly the ones with red pulp. Betalains can greatly help deal with unhealthy levels of cholesterol in the body. The fruit’s seeds are also edible. They’re rich in omega-9 and omega-3 fats, known to reduce inflammation that can lead to strokes, heart disease, and damaged blood vessels.
Dragon fruit side effects
Being an organic gift of nature, dragon fruit doesn’t bring many harmful side effects it. However, you may experience an allergic reaction to it in very rare cases.
Dragon fruit allergy signs include an itching or tingling sensation, breathing difficulties, sickness or nausea. If you’re allergic, you may also experience swelling on your tongue, lips, or mouth.
If you experience any of these allergic symptoms upon consuming dragon fruit, visit your doctor immediately, especially if your symptoms begin to get worse.
Dragon fruit recipe ideas
Though dragon fruit is on the bland side when it comes to flavour, it has a unique sweet flavor. It can be used as an ingredient for healthy sweet snacks and meals.
A popular way to consume dragon fruit is in the form of fresh juices or fruit smoothies. It gives your smoothies a bright pink blast, and many people like to use it for simply aesthetic purposes in the fresh juices they blend at home. If you’re feeling extra confident, feel free to make dragon fruit flavoured yoghurt, ice cream, or a sweet sorbet. You could even add it to a homemade sangria recipe.
Many people also like dragon fruit’s texture and taste in their vegetable or fruit salads. It’s said to work well together with certain seafood or meats, including scallops and chicken. If you’re interested in experimenting with it in different ways, you can easily find numerous helpful recipes online to make the best use of this exotic fruit.
You should be able to find dragon fruit in your local vegetable and fruit market when it’s in season. However, you’ll probably find it in the freeze-dried or frozen section of the supermarket more often. If you don’t see dragon fruit anywhere in your local area currently, it’s worth waiting it out, because it’s luckily becoming more and more popular all over the world.
Dragon fruit is refreshing and subtle in taste, with a soft, mild texture. Some people say it tastes like a cross between a kiwi and a pear.
With a subtle sweet taste, a mild and soft texture, and an eye-catching shade of pink, dragon fruit is many people’s favourite fruit. People tend to describe it in different ways.
While some think it’s a mixture between a pear and a kiwi, others find it too bland to compare it to other fruits. Generally speaking, you’ll probably enjoy its distinct flavour, but if not, you can always consume it in the form of a mixed fruit juice or a dried snack. You can also buy Dragon Fruit powder here.
No matter how you eat it, ensuring a certain amount of daily dragon fruit intake is highly beneficial to lead a much healthier lifestyle. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time to pick one up from your local fruit store right away.
Its impressive nutrition portfolio surely makes up for its slightly costly price tag, and it’s likely only going to get more popular with time!