20 Proven Dragon Fruit Benefits for Your Overall Health

This article is reviewed by an expert

Dragon Fruit Benefits

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, there are a lots of health benefits of dragon fruit. 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.

Dragon Fruit Nutritional Value

NutrientAmount per 100g
Calories60 kcal
Protein1.5 grams
Carbohydrates9 grams
Dietary Fiber1.5 grams
Sugars8 grams
Fat0.4 grams
Vitamin C9 mg (15% DV)
Calcium9 mg (1% DV)
Iron0.65 mg (4% DV)
Magnesium30 mg (8% DV)
Phosphorus22 mg (3% DV)

Dragon Fruit Benefits

Here are the top 20 dragon fruit benefits you should not miss out on.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Increases Production Of Red Blood Cells

Red Blood Cells - Chemical Structure of Riboflavin

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

Chemical Structure of Thiamin

4. 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.

Dragon Fruit Benefits - Rich Source Of Prebiotics

5. 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. 

6. 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.

7. Promotes Wound Healing

The dragon fruit benefits 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.

8. 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. 

9. 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. 

10. 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.

11. Anti-obesity effect

Dragon fruit is low in calories and can aid in weight loss. Also, being rich in fiber, dragon fruit can speed up metabolism and help you lose your extra pounds. [1]

12. Pain management

Anti-inflammatory properties of dragon fruit can treat arthritis, joint inflammation and pain. It is an amazing natural analgesic. [3]

13. Immune system booster

Dragon fruit has high nutrient content. It is loaded with Vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, and C, and minerals like Calcium, Iron. These nutrients can strengthen your immune system and defend your body from infections and other diseases. [1]

14. Hepato-protective properties

Dragon fruit extracts can show positive results against fatty liver disease and liver tissue damage. Consume dragon fruit to improve the health of your liver. [3]

15. Relieves constipation

Dragon fruit can act as an excellent laxative, and the huge fiber content that it has, adds bulk to your stool, pushing it down through the gut quite quickly. [2] This holds especially true for yellow dragon fruits.

16. Protects against cough and cold

Seasonal flu, cough, and cold can attack people with compromised immunity power easily. This exotic fruit’s high Vitamin C content empowers your immune system to defend you against cough and cold. [1]

17. Supports female health

Being high in iron dragon fruit maintains good hemoglobin levels, prevents anemia in pregnant women. [1], [6] Also, after menopause, dragon fruit’s magnesium content prevents post-menopausal complications.

18. Ideal snack for growing children

Growing children need immense nutritional support. On the other hand, they are mostly picky and fussy eaters. So in the midst of all these, this interestingly spiky fruit is a good bet. It supplies all the vital nutrients in a tasty way. [2]

19. Delays aging

Wish to look younger for many years to come? Dragon fruit is one of the elixirs guaranteed to induce youthfulness. Vitamins C and E and other helpful antioxidants in Dragon fruit can slow down aging due to their excellent free radicals-scavenging power. [1], [2]

20. Improves Vision

Vitamins A, C, and a pigment called beta-carotene in Dragon fruit can nourish your cornea and prevent issues like macular degeneration and cataracts. Eat one dragon fruit per day and keep eye-related issues at bay. [1]

How to consume Dragon Fruit

  1. Eat raw just like that. Scoop the white flesh out of the fruit and simply eat it up.
  2. Eat it as a salad. Add diced dragon fruit to a bowl containing other fruits too. That will give you a delicious summer salad. Drizzle with honey, and enjoy!
  3. Make a delicious dragon fruit smoothie by blending it with yogurt. The creamy, white smoothie looks tempting and tastes great.
  4. Apart from the above options, you may add dragon fruit to your porridge, muesli, ice cream, custard, halwa, or any other dessert of your choice.

FAQ’s on Dragon Fruit

1. Can I eat one dragon fruit daily?

Yes, you can. But, before expecting to get benefited through its consumption, you must talk to your doctor.

2. Why is the name Dragon Fruit?

This fruit looks unique and has a unique name too. The scales on the fruit look similar to that of the mythological Chinese dragon. The spikes replicate ‘fire.’ 

3. What are the different types of Dragon fruit?

Five dragon fruit types are there, namely yellow dragon fruit, white dragon fruit, pink dragon fruit, red dragon fruit, and sour dragon fruit.

Conclusion

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.

Disclaimer 

This article is written from a health and wellness perspective and is not medical advice. So, please see a doctor before starting a dragon fruit-based treatment.

References

  1. Cultivation, Nutritional  Value,  and  Health  Benefits  of Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus spp.): a Review
  2. 5 Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit which is incredible!
  3. Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant, and Other Health Effects of Dragon Fruit and Potential Delivery Systems for Its Bioactive Compounds
  4. Dragon Fruit, A Vibrant Superfood For Seniors – Demystified
  5. Have All Fruits in Diet with Curative Properties during Dengue Fever Treatment
  6. EFFECT OF CONSUMING RED DRAGON FRUIT (HYLOCEREUS COSTARICENSIS) JUICE ON THE LEVELS OF HEMOGLOBIN AND ERYTHROCYTE AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN
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Livayur Ayurvedic Team

The LivAyur Team includes more than 10 Ayurveda specialists, with more than 20 years of experience. They have a deep understanding of Ayurveda and are committed to sharing their expertise through our blogs, videos, live sessions, and consultations. Our experts also stay updated & monitor on the latest developments in health and wellness.

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