From the cactus family, specifically the genus Hylocereus or sweet pitayas, dragon fruit is football-shaped and has a leathery, leafy skin that is deep red or pink in color. It comes in three varieties, red dragon fruit, white dragon fruit and yellow dragon fruit, all of which are embedded with hundreds of black seeds and have a mild, sweet taste. The best-tasting variety is the one with red flesh, which is succulent when eaten.
If you are looking for fruits that are filling and delicious, but will help keep your weight in check, dragon fruits are a perfect choice. A 100g serving of dragon fruit has only 60 calories: 18 calories from fat (all unsaturated), 8 calories from protein and 34 calories from carbohydrates. Dragon fruits do not have complex carbohydrates, so they can be easily broken down by the body.
Fats and Cholesterol
Dragon fruits do not contain cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat, so regular consumption will help manage your blood pressure and control your cholesterol levels. The seeds of dragonfruits are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) that reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of cardiovascular disorder.
Dragon fruits are high in fiber, so regular consumption can help avoid constipation, improve your digestive health and help you reduce weight.
Vitamins and Minerals
Dragon fruits are rich in vitamin C, containing 9mg per serving that is equivalent to 10 percent of the daily value. Thus, eating dragon fruits helps strengthen your immune system and promotes faster healing of bruises and wounds. In fact, regular eating of dragon fruits will help ward off chronic respiratory disorders such as asthma and cough. Dragon fruits also contain B vitamins such as B1 for better carbohydrate metabolism, B2 for recovery and improvement of appetite, and B3 for reducing bad cholesterol while improving the skin condition.
Dragon fruits are also packed with minerals such as calcium for stronger bones and teeth, phosphorus for tissue formation and iron for healthy blood. One dragonfruit contains approximately 8.8g of calcium, 36.1mg of phosphorus and 0.65mg of iron.
Dragon fruits contain phytoalbumins, which have antioxidant properties that help prevent the formation of cancer cells. In addition, dragon fruits are also known to increase the excretion of heavy metal toxins from the body.
Lycopene is also present in dragon fruits, and this is the pigment responsible for their red color. Lycopene is said to prevent prostate cancer.