Dragon fruit: nutritional value and health benefits

A dragon fruit has a pretty interesting appearance. It usually has bright pink or yellow skin with green leaves and a white fleshy substance and black seeds inside. The name may seem a little intimidating, but it has many benefits. Whether it’s a digestive issue or a weakened immune system, dragon fruit can benefit your health. This is why many people, including diabetics, swear by this product. Researchers in a 2017 study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine noticed a trend toward reduced blood sugar levels after eating the fruit. Read on to learn about the health benefits of dragon fruit and its nutritional value.

Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit has an impressive nutritional profile. The nutritional value of 100 grams of dragon fruit (the pink one) is approximately:

• Calories – 60 kcal
• Carbohydrates – 9 grams
• Fiber – 1.5 grams
• Sugars – 8 grams
• Protein – 1 gram
• Fat – 0.4 grams
• Vitamin C – 9 mg
• Calcium – 9 mg
• Iron – 0.9 mg

Remember that the nutritional content may vary depending on the type of dragon fruit and its ripeness, says Ekta Singhwal, dietician, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Dragon fruit has many health benefits, making it a superfood. Image provided by: Shutterstock

Here are some health benefits of dragon fruit:

1. Dragon fruit improves health

Dragon fruit is full of antioxidants such as vitamin C, which help protect your cells from free radical damage. This can help improve your overall health.

2. Digestive health

The high fiber content of dragon fruit may support healthy digestion. Dietary fiber promotes regular bowel movements, prevents constipation and promotes a healthy intestinal environment, the expert tells Health Shots.

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3. Heart health

Dragon fruit contains beneficial fiber and fats that can help lower bad cholesterol levels. It also contains natural compounds that may support heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease.

5. Immune System Support

The vitamin C contained in dragon fruit plays a key role in strengthening the immune system. You need a strong immune system to help your body fight infections and disease. This means you won’t always get sick when the season changes.

6. Hydration and electrolyte balance

Dragon fruit has a high water content, which helps keep you hydrated. Additionally, it provides essential electrolytes like potassium, which are essential 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. This can make a satisfying and nutritious snack without contributing to excessive calorie consumption.

Dragon fruit pieces
Dragon fruit may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Image provided by: Freepik

8. Skin health

Dragon fruit contains vitamins and antioxidants that may contribute to healthier skin. The vitamin C in dragon fruit helps with the production of collagen, which is essential for skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, says Singhwal. Antioxidants help fight oxidative stress, which can contribute to skin aging. But don’t rely only on this fruit. Make sure you follow a proper skin care routine for healthy skin.

As with any food, moderation is key. Do not eat too much dragon fruit as it may lead to digestive upset due to its high fiber content.

You may be wondering when the best time to eat dragon fruit is. The answer is: eat it when you are 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 a snack a few hours after lunch. You can also have it after sweating at the gym.

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