What is Dragon Fruit?

organic dragon fruit

Dragon Fruit - Amazing Superfood

Only in 2008 did the US begin allowing dragon fruit into the country. Therefore, many people have never even heard of this exotic colorful looking fruit. Dragon fruit is grown in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Israel and South Africa. It is a newcomer to the produce section and can now be found in some grocery stores, health food stores and online sites. Dragon fruit benefits are numerous. It is low in calories, very nutritious, and it offers numerous health benefits. If you have never tried dragon fruit, the following information will help you locate, choose, prepare and even grow this wonderful fruit.

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What is Dragon Fruit?

Dragon fruit is actually a type of cactus with a sweet crunchy taste. Because of its tiny black seeds, some say that dragon fruit taste and texture resembles that of a pear or kiwi. It has a vividly pink outer layer with yellow and green tipped spines that actually resemble a dragon. Dragon fruit is very popular in Asian countries and is sometimes referred to as pitaya fruit. Dragon fruit comes in three different color combinations. White dragon fruit has bright pink skin with a white center. Pink dragon fruit has bright pink skin as well but with a darker pink center. And finally, purple dragon fruit has the same bright pink skin but with a deep purple flesh inside. All have the same tiny black seeds inside that resemble the black seeds of a kiwi fruit

How to eat dragon fruit

Start with a ripe dragonfruit that has bright, even-colored skin. A few blotches on the skin is fine, but if it has more than two or three it is probably over ripe. Place the fruit on a cutting board, and cut straight down the center with a sharp knife. Separate the fruit into two separate sections. Run a spoon around the sides, and scoop out the inside flesh as you would an avocado. Cut off any skin that may be left on the inner fruit. The skin is unhealthy to eat and should be discarded. The fruit can be eaten raw, or it can be added to a fruit salad. There are many dragon fruit recipes available online that you can try that are healthy as well as delicious.

How to grow dragon fruit

The dragon fruit plant resembles a green cactus and requires very little water. A new plant can be started simply by cutting a vine from a healthy dragon fruit plant and planting it about two inches deep in a pot with good potting soil. Once planted, the dragon fruit tree needs watering once every two weeks and should never be over watered. Roots can grow from anywhere on the plant and will anchor to walls, trees and even other plants. Growing dragon fruit is fairly simple as long as the plant gets plenty of sunlight and is never overwatered.

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Dragon fruit nutrition

Dragon fruit is delicious, low in fat and calories, and loaded with many health benefits. One average dragon fruit has only sixty calories. Eighteen of these calories are from unsaturated fat, eight are from protein, and the remaining 34 are from carbohydrates. It is high in fiber and potassium and does not contain complex carbohydrates, cholesterol, saturated fat or trans fat. An average dragon fruit provides ten percent of the daily value of vitamin C as well as vitamins B1, B2 and B3. It also provide the body with important minerals such as calcium, phosphorous and iron.

If you would like to know where to get dragon fruit, there are several options you can try. Dragon fruit is available at most health food stores as well as many online sites. Amazon.com is a good place to start. Also, smoothies made with dragon fruit are now available in juice bars in California, New Jersey, Virginia and New York. Dragon fruit is grown in the US in Hawaii, California and Florida, and can also be found in your local farmers market or Asian market. You may want to ask for pitaya instead of dragon fruit. It is the exact same fruit, but many people refer to it as pitaya instead. Look for it during peak dragon fruit season which is summer and early fall. This is when it will be the freshest and possibly the least expensive. Dragon fruit will keep on the counter for about three days. However, it will keep a few days longer if you store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or plastic container.

Dragon fruit health benefits and uses

When combined with honey and cucumber juice, dragon fruit can be used as a face pack to soothe sunburned skin. Take one tablespoon of each, and mix well in a clean bowl. Apply this mixture to sunburned skin, leave on for thirty minutes, and rinse with cool water. This mixture will cool and help heal sunburned skin on any part of your body. Dragon fruit juice also works well as a sun shield for your skin. Before going out in the sun, apply dragon fruit juice to skin with a cotton ball and let it soak in for about fifteen minutes. Rinse with cold water, and pat face dry. This will help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet rays. Dragon fruit juice also helps to soften hair that has been colored or chemically treated. Apply juice to hair and scalp, and rinse after fifteen minutes. Wash your hair as normal, and you will notice that your hair feels softer and looks healthier.

Dragon fruit is beautiful and delicious as well as nutritious and healthy. It is a smart addition to your diet, especially if you have never tried this exotic fruit before. It can easily be found online or in your local health food market or store. You can eat it raw, or add it to fruit salads or smoothies, and know that you are getting a host of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Use it as a face pack, a sun shield for your skin, or apply it to your hair for healthy shiny results. Consider trying dragon fruit, and take advantage of its many healthy benefits.

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DISCLAIMER: The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. None of the statements made on this website have been reviewed by the FDA. Any product mentioned is not meant to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or taking any medication, ask your doctor first before taking these or any other herbal remedies.

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