Dragon Fruit: Queen of the night is a Superfruit


Dragon Fruit: Queen of the night is a Superfruit

Dragon fruit is a beautiful fruit with an intense color and shape, the flowers were breathtaking. Like blooms at night, this fruit also called Moonflower, Queen of the night, and the Lady of the Night. Usually the fruit is dark red, it can also be found in yellow or pink.

Dragon fruit was originally known as pitaya. This night-flowering cactus plant is also known as strawberry pear, skogkaktus, pa-ni-ni, catobarse and long gou. Originating in Mexico and South America, this fruit is now also grown commercially in Asia.

Dragon fruit have a taste similar to that of kiwi fruit, pear and watermelon. There are a lot of seeds in the dragon fruit. Apparently the seeds are unsaturated fats that are good for health because it lowers good cholesterol and expel the bad cholesterol.

To prepare a pitaya for consumption, the fruit is cut open to expose the flesh. The fruit's texture is sometimes likened to that of the kiwifruit because of its black, crunchy seeds. The flesh, which is eaten raw, is mildly sweet and low in calories. The seeds are eaten together with the flesh, have a nutty taste and are rich in lipids, but they are indigestible unless chewed. The fruit is also converted into juice or wine, or used to flavour other beverages. The flowers can be eaten or steeped as tea. The skin is not eaten, and in farm-grown fruit it may be polluted with pesticides.

Ingestion of significant amounts of red-fleshed dragon fruit (such as Costa Rican Pitaya) may result in a harmless reddish coloration of the urine (pseudohematuria) and of the feces. Several of the Padres who missionized Baja California recorded an unusual form of consumption of pitaya that is also shared in some O'odham stories from southern Arizona. It is called the "second harvest" of pitaya seeds. With the scarcity of fruits in their lands, the pitaya was such a prized fruit that once it was eaten, the natives would wait for their own excrement to dry, then break it apart separating the pitaya seeds. These seeds would be ground into a flour and eaten again, giving the pitaya's "second harvest" its name. Interestingly, the O'odham name for the Milky Way translates as "the second harvest of pitaya."
 

The mild taste of pitaya flesh is often remarked upon, as it stands in stark contrast to the vibrant exterior. The taste has been described as being "very bland... like a melon or kiwi," with a "mild sweetness.

There are two very noticeable differences between Pitaya from Central America and Pitaya (or Dragon Fruit) that comes from Asia. When you cut open most of the Pitaya from Asia, you will discover that it is very white on the inside. However, when you cut open a Pitaya from Central America the inside is a dark red magenta. The white varieties from Asia tend to be very bland and do not carry a lot of nutrients. However, the Pitayas from Central America have what some would describe as an earthy strawberry-raspberry taste.

The Pitaya fruit from Central America can be found along nutrient rich volcano mountainsides. The Pitaya fruit sprouts from a big beautiful white flower that only opens its petals under the night sky. The strong sun rises in the morning, and burns off the flowers petals. You are left with a small bud ready to grow into a delicious Pitaya fruit.

Health benefits of dragon fruit

Dragon Fruit among the many wonder fruits that are said to provide multiple health benefits. In addition, dragonfruits help protect the environment because they absorb carbon dioxide at nighttime, and then release oxygen to purify the air.

1. Helps in Weight loss, least calories

If you are looking for fruits that are filling and delicious, but will help keep your weight in check, dragonfruits are a perfect choice. A 100g serving of dragonfruit has only 60 calories: 18 calories from fat (all unsaturated), 8 calories from protein and 34 calories from carbohydrates. Dragonfruits do not have complex carbohydrates, so they can be easily broken down by the body.

2. No Fats and Cholesterol

Dragonfruits 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. In fact, 50% of the seeds were made up of an essential fatty acid, oleic acid, which helps lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.

3. Rich in Fiber

Dragon Fruit: Queen of the night is a Superfruit Dragonfruits are high in fiber, so regular consumption can help avoid constipation, improve your digestive health and help you reduce weight.

4. Good source of Vitamins and Minerals

Dragonfruits are rich in vitamin C, containing 9mg per serving that is equivalent to 10 percent of the daily value. Thus, eating dragonfruits helps strengthen your immune system and promotes faster healing of bruises and wounds. In fact, regular eating of dragonfruits will help ward off chronic respiratory disorders such as asthma and cough. Dragonfruits 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.

Dragonfruits 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.

5. Antioxidant due to Phytoalbumins

Dragonfruits contain phytoalbumins, which have antioxidant properties that help prevent the formation of cancer cells. In addition, dragonfruits are also known to increase the excretion of heavy metal toxins from the body.

6. Prevents prostate cancer due to Lycopene

Lycopene is also present in dragonfruits, and this is the pigment responsible for their red color. Lycopene is said prevent prostate cancer.
 

7. An anti inflammatory helps in Arthritis:

Dragon fruit helps to decrease the irritation of joints, so it is called as an anti inflammatory fruit. The symptoms of arthritis are alleviated once the swelling of the joints are reduced.

8. Good for the Heart:

The greatest of dragon fruit advantages if for cardiovascular health. It decreases bad cholesterol levels from the body and then increases good cholesterol levels. This fruit is a good source of mono saturated fats which helps to keep our heart in good condition.

9. Regulates Diabetes:

Dragon fruit contains a high amount of fiber that helps a person stabilize his blood sugar levels. It also avoids sugar spikes that are often observed after eating high glycemic index foods. Therefore, it is good for a diabetic patient though you should consult your doctor before consumption.

10. Fights Aging:

This fruit is a rich source of antioxidants. It helps us to fight free radicals in our body. It also helps to slow down the aging process after the free radicals are reduced. Due to this, the skin looks young, flexible and tight.

11. Asthma:

Dragonfruits contain high amounts of Vitamin C which strengthens the immunity system against and helps fight against respiratory disorders like Asthma.

Dragon Fruit: Queen of the night is a Superfruit 12. Dragon Fruit Face Pack to Treat Acne:

As dragon fruit is rich in vitamin C, it is really useful for treating acne. Take a quarter of dragon fruit. Make a smooth paste out of it. Apply it on affected area. Rinse off with lukewarm water once it gets dry. Apply this regularly, if possible twice a day for best result.

13. Dragon Fruit Face Pack to Soothe Sunburned Skin:

Take one tablespoon each of dragon fruit juice and cucumber juice. Add one tablespoon honey with it. Mix these well in a bowl and apply this pack on sunburned skin. Let this face pack stay at least for half an hour, so that it can cool your skin. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and continue with ice cold water. As dragon fruit is rich in vitamin B3, it soothes and moisturizes dry sunburned skin. So next time you suffer from sunburn, donít forget to apply this pack. The dragon fruit juice also works as a wonderful sun shield. Before going out, soak some cotton ball into some dragon fruit juice. Apply it on face. Allow the skin to absorb the juice and wash your face with cold water. This will protect you from the harmful effects of UV rays.

14. Dragon Fruit Face Pack for Bright Glowing Skin:


Take a dragon fruit. Scoop out its flesh. Make a smooth paste of it. Apply it on face, neck, and on the rest of your body. Let it absorb in your body. Take a shower. Do it twice a week.
 

15. Treat Coloured Hair:

Dragon fruit juice works really well on chemically treated hair and coloured hair. Apply some dragon fruit juice on your scalp. Wait 15-20 minutes. Wash your hair with shampoo.

 
 

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Dated 27 February  2014

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