Dragon Fruit Benefits You Didn’t Know
Dragon fruit or pitaya are fruits that only grow in tropical and subtropical regions such as in South America and Asia. As the name suggests, this dragon fruit skin resembles dragon scales which are mythical animals. This plant is considered a nutritious cactus plant. This unique fruit contains around 60 calories, each of which is rich in vitamins C, B1, B2, and B3, as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus. And that’s not all though. It is clear that the dragon fruit is the best fruit that we can easily get in Indonesia.
Various benefits of dragon fruit for health
Antioxidants are very important to keep the skin tight and elastic. These substances can fight free radicals in the body which can cause problems such as cancer. And dragon fruit is a good source of antioxidants because of the high content of vitamin C. The most important nutrients in this fruit are phosphorus. The body’s cells need phosphorus and phospholipid which are the main components of cell membranes. This can help prevent premature aging.
2. Cancer prevention
In addition to vitamin C, dragon fruit contains carotene, which is associated with several anti-carcinogenic qualities, including reducing the number of tumors. In addition, lycopene which is responsible for red in pitaya has been shown to be associated with lowering the risk of prostate cancer. A 2011 study published in the Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention found that intake of lycopene less than 2,498 mcg/day can increase the risk of prostate cancer, while a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in lycopene, and physical activity can reduce risk significantly.
In addition, dragon fruit skin contains polyphenols that we often find in nature. It is possible that some of these polyphenols work as an affinity for estrogen receptors, and change the behavior of other hormones to receptor sites in cells. That could be one of the reasons why it can protect the body against certain types of cancer.
3. Heart health
Dragon fruit can help improve your heart health because it can reduce bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol. A 2010 study published in the journal Pharmacognosy Research found that consumption of pitaya can reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. This exotic fruit is also a source of monounsaturated fats that can keep our hearts in good condition.
4. Preventing diabetes
The high amount of fiber in this exotic fruit can help stabilize a person’s blood sugar levels. It can also help to inhibit the sugar surge that occurs after eating foods with a high glycemic index. In the same study from the journal Pharmacognosy Research, researchers found that dragon fruit had a good effect on oxidative stress for aortic stiffness in diabetic rats.
5. Immune enhancers
High levels of vitamin C can provide an increase in the immune system, and stimulate other antioxidant activities. The presence of high levels of vitamin C, minerals, can fight free radicals. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, as well as calcium, phosphorus, iron, protein, niacin, and fiber also contribute to improving the function of your immune system.
6. Relieve cough and asthma
Respiratory disorders such as asthma and cough caused by fever or flu can be difficult to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Although this is not a substitute for medicine, the dragon fruit can help reduce your suffering. Keep in mind that this pitaya has a high amount of vitamin C, which makes your immune system stronger and more efficient in fighting infections every day.
7. Weight loss
One of the worst issues you might experience is holding back on eating foods that you like when you are on a diet to lose weight. Fortunately, with the help of this exotic fruit, you will get your appetite under control. How did it happen? This is because dragon fruit is rich in fiber and very low in calories, so you will feel full longer, compared to other fruits. This will also increase metabolism and manage body weight.