A dragon fruit has quite an interesting appearance. It generally has a hot pink or yellow skin with green leaves, and fleshy white stuff and black seeds inside. The name might be a little intimidating, but it comes with a lot of benefits. Whether it is a digestion issue or weak immune system, dragon fruits can be beneficial for your health. That’s why many people, including diabetics, swear by it. Researchers of a 2017 study published in the US National Library of Medicine noticed a trend towards blood glucose reduction after having the fruit. Read on to find out the health benefits of dragon fruit and its nutritional value.
Health benefits of dragon fruit
Dragon fruit has an impressive nutrient profile. The nutritional value of 100 grams of dragon fruit (the one that comes in pink colour) is approximately:
• Calories – 60 kcal
• Carbohydrates – 9 grams
• Fiber – 1.5 grams
• Sugars – 8 grams
• Protein – 1 gram
• Fat – 0.4 gram
• Vitamin C – 9 mg
• Calcium – 9 mg
• Iron – 0.9 mg
Remember that nutritional content can vary based on the type of dragon fruit and its ripeness, says Ekta Singhwal, Dietician, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Here are some health benefits of dragon fruit:
1. Dragon fruit improves health
Dragon fruit is loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin C, which help to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. This can help to improve your overall health.
2. Digestive health
The high fiber content in dragon fruit can support healthy digestion. Dietary fiber promotes regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, and supports a healthy gut environment, the expert tells Health Shots.
3. Heart health
Dragon fruit contains fiber and beneficial fats that can help to lower bad cholesterol levels. It also contains natural compounds that may promote heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease.
5. Immune system support
The vitamin C in dragon fruit plays a key role in boosting the immune system. You need a strong immune system so that it can help your body fight off infections and illnesses. That means you won’t always fall ill when the season changes.
6. Hydration and electrolyte balance
Dragon fruit has a high water content, which helps to keep you hydrated. Also, it provides essential electrolytes like potassium, which are crucial for maintaining fluid balance and muscle function.
7. Weight management
Those watching their calorie intake can include dragon fruit in their diet as it is relatively low in calories. It can be a satisfying and nutritious snack without contributing to excessive calorie consumption.
8. Skin health
Dragon fruit contains vitamins and antioxidants that can contribute to healthier skin. The vitamin C in dragon fruit aids in collagen production, which is essential for skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, says Singhwal. Antioxidants help to combat oxidative stress, which can contribute to skin aging. But don’t just rely on this fruit. Make sure your follow proper skin care routine for healthy skin.
As with any food, moderation is key. Don’t overeat dragon fruits as it could lead to digestive discomfort due to its high fiber content.
You might be wondering when is the best time to eat a dragon fruit. The answer is, eat it when you feel hungry and need a nutritious snack. There is no specific time that is better than others, so include it in your breakfast or have it as snack a few hours after lunch. You can also have it after sweating it out in the gym.