Written by Alon Calinao Dy: It is very interesting to know about this amazing fruit called Pitaya or Dragon Fruit. For health conscious people, Dragon Fruit is considered as one of the "Superfruits" in the world today. This fruit comes in three different colors, but the same nutritional values: white, yellow and red in flesh. It is common in Central and South America, Mexico, and many Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, and Philippines.
In the Philippines, there are plenty and fresh dragon fruits at the Bautista's Family Farm in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija. To order, you may contact the municipality of the province and ask where is this place exactly located and look for Mr. Gregorio Bautista, the owner of the farm.
The productivity of this fruit particularly depends on the season of the year. Usually, it has massive productions from the month of June to September. But it all depends on the availability of this fruit since many Filipino consumers are ordering in advance and enjoying the tastes & numerous nutrients of this beautiful fruit.
10 Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit:
- Dragon fruit is high in fiber that can help avoid constipation. It lowers bad cholesterol and fights obesity which may predispose you to cardiovascular disease in the time to come. It also regulates blood sugar, therefore, reduces the chance of having diabetis mellitus in life.
- Dragon fruit seeds contain phytoalbumin. A phytoalbumin belongs to a family of chemicals called phytochemicals and is highly regarded for its antioxidant properties that prevent cancer-causing free radicals. It is also said to have small black seeds, which has a good protein source and is naturally low in sodium.
- Dragon fruit has lycopene. It has the same bright red carotenoid pigment found in tomatoes. This is the reason why we see a red color dragon fruit. Studies also show that it prevents prostate cancer due to its antioxidant properties.
- Dragon fruit contains oleic acid, an essential fatty acid, which helps lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol like olive oil.
- Dragon fruit is rich in vitamin C. It is an essential nutrient for human beings and is necessary for the treatment of common cold, and prevention of scurvy. It also fights infection and promotes fast healing of wounds and cuts.
- Dragon fruit has flavonoids. It protects human gastrointestinal tract against oxidative stress state and is known to prevent heart problems in the future. Some studies even suggest that it has anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral and anti-diarrheal activities. Therefore, the consumption of this amazing fruit is vitally important for us.
- Dragon fruit is rich in calcium. As we age, people need calcium for strong bones to prevent osteoporosis that can lead to an increased risk of fracture. A particular age group that is evidently affected, are women, who have advanced age and reached at their menopausal stage due to estrogen deficiency.
- Dragon fruit has vitamin A. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that maintains healthy skin in our body. It also promotes good eye sight and improves vision, especially in low light.
- Dragon fruit do not have simple carbohydrates, refined sugars that have little nutritional value in our body, and therefore, it can be easily broken down by our digestive tract.
- Dragon fruit has vitamin E and B complex. Some studies say that eating vitamin E has a protective antioxidant in our brain to prevent brain disorders. Also, vitamin B complex improves mental acuity. Like vitamin E, it has properties that stop Alzheimer's disease in the elderly.
In short, Dragon Fruit is known to have many health benefits in our body. Many researchers encourage people to consume a lot of dragon fruits because of its medicinal uses in it. However, it is still advisable to consult a doctor first if it is a good idea for you to eat this fruit, especially if you have chronic conditions such as diabetis, cancer, respiratory diseases, and so on.