This article is reviewed by an expert
Ayurveda refers to dragonfruit as Kamalam, since its exterior resembles the national flower – the lotus. Because of its high nutritional value and bioactive components, including potent natural antioxidants, dragon fruit offers a wide range of health benefits. The fruit extract has been shown to contain hepato- and cardiovascular-protective qualities as well as prebiotic potential. Due to its alluring color, delectable pulp with edible black seeds embedded inside, and high nutraceutical value, people seek its numerous dragon fruit benefits.
Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit
Lowers the Risk of Cancer
The presence of vitamin C and antioxidants in dragon fruit helps to lower the risk of cancer. Evidence suggests that the fruit contains antioxidants such as polyphenols, anthocyanin, betalains, steroids, and triterpenoids, which can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Enhances Iron Levels In The Body
Most plant-based foods have a relatively low iron content, which is why iron deficiency anemia is more common among vegetarian populations. Dragon fruit is an exception, as it is one of the few fruits with a high iron content. One serving of dragon fruit has 8% of your daily required consumption, so it could be a fantastic alternative. Moreover, it contains vitamin C, which aids in the body’s absorption of iron. In addition to dragon fruit, you can also include legumes, nuts, and iron-fortified cereals to boost your iron levels.
Increases Production Of Red Blood Cells
Chemical Structure of Riboflavin
Vitamins such as iron (Fe), vitamins C, E, B12, thiamine, and riboflavin are some of the essential nutrients that can be obtained from dragon fruit. Some studies claim that the high vitamin C content of dragon fruit is the cause of its anti-anemia effect since it makes it easier to absorb the non-haem iron and iron which is essential for the synthesis of blood.
Chemical Structure of Thiamin
Rich Source Of Prebiotics
Dragon fruit contains prebiotics, which are nutrients that nourish the beneficial bacteria or probiotics in your gut. Prebiotics can help your body maintain a healthy ratio of good to bad bacteria in your intestines. In particular, dragon fruit supports the development of the probiotic bacteria lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. The presence of such beneficial bacteria can inhibit the growth of pathogens, lowering the risk of gastrointestinal infections, while also supporting healthy digestion.
Loaded With Antioxidants
A variety of antioxidants, including those that specifically combat free radicals, can be found in dragon fruit. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are mainly linked to the presence of phytochemicals such as betalains and squalene. Free radicals have the potential to harm cells and create inflammation, which can result in chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In addition to antioxidants, carotenoids in dragon fruit may also offer some cancer protection.
Increases Insulin Sensitivity
The health benefits of dragon fruit are not limited to the fruit pulp. In fact, some studies show that adding peel powder to diets may help to avoid hyperlipidemia or high levels of bad cholesterol. The fiber content of the fruit peel helps trap cholesterol and bile acids in the small intestine and can also improve insulin sensitivity. The peel’s high crude fiber content (69.30% total dietary fiber, made up of 56.50% insoluble food fiber and 14.82% soluble food fiber) contributes to lowering energy intake.
Promotes Wound Healing
The health benefits of dragon fruit extend beyond boosting immunity and providing protection from lifestyle diseases in the long term. It can also be used to treat a number of skin conditions and wounds. Some research shows clear benefits of dragon fruit for skin and wound healing as it increases collagen fiber density.
Has Antiviral Properties that can Help Manage Dengue
In addition to supporting immune function, red dragon fruit benefits include the antiviral activity of compounds such as betacyanin, which can help fight the dengue virus. More research is needed, but dragon fruit could provide potential natural treatments for dengue in the future.
Promotes Heart Health
Antioxidants in dragon fruit pulp and seeds can provide you with a good vegan source of omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids. At the same time the fruit’s red, thick peel is rich in dietary fibre.
Supports Healthy Hair And Skin
In addition to nourishing skin, dragon fruit can also help relieve conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and dandruff due to the presence of essential fatty acids. In addition, it can control the movement of oils and nutrient-rich collagen beneath the skin, which in turn can improve the metabolism of the skin, hair, and nails.
Dragon fruit makes for a healthy addition to anyone’s diet, but it’s always a good idea to introduce any new food in small quantities because of the risk of an allergic reaction. Although this risk is extremely low, it helps to be cautious.