Dragon Fruit

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Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya or pitahaya, belongs to the Hylocereus genus of the Cactaceae family. It is recognized as leathery, slightly leafy – skinned sweet fruit of many cactus species rooted from Mexico, which was believed to be then brought to Central America by the European. Nowadays, dragon fruits are widely cultivated in the United States, the South East Asia region, Israel, Australia, Cyprus, as well as the Canary Islands (Morton, 1987). The term “dragon fruit” is used in English to express the vernacular Asian name. There are various types of dragon fruit derived from three main species of white – fleshed fruit (H. undatus), red – fleshed fruit (H. polyrhizus), and yellow – skinned fruit (H. megalanthus). In this research, …show more content…
The highest amount of antioxidant content present in dragon fruits is vitamin C, which accounts for 10% of the daily value (Mercola, 2017). Along with vitamin C, dragon fruits are also known as a good source for thiamin vitamin and other B vitamins that help in breaking down of foods in the body. The phytochemical captin present in the fruit is used in medication to treat heart problems. Dragon fruits have no complex carbohydrate. The carbohydrate source comes from fructose and glucose, which are the main sugar component in the fruits (Liaotrakoon, 2013). Besides, they also contain other nutrients such as polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids, carotene, and protein. Lycopene pigment, a carotene responsible for the red color in red – fleshed dragon fruit, is believed to help in lowering the oxidative DNA damage, thus preventing the prostate cancer risk (Shahar, et al., 2011). The mineral content in dragon fruit includes calcium, which is believed to be beneficial for strong bones and teeth, iron and phosphorous that help in tissue formation and blood circulation. These positive effects from the fruits can be realized in numerous ways from consolidated immune system to fewer respiratory problems. For the seeds, dragon fruits’ seeds are high in polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) that reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The seeds oil is also used in medication as mild laxative. Frequent consumption of dragon fruit can help in maintaining normal body function such as removing from the body toxic heavy metals and improving eyesight (Mercola, 2017).

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