Dragon fruit or some called it “pitaya” have been thriving in the market these days because of its unique physical features and claimed to have medicinal value because of its richness in nutrients. It is the fruit of several cactus species, specifically genus Hylocereus (sweet pitayas). These species are native to Central and South America, and are also cultivated in Asia.
There are three varieties of Dragon Fruit or Pitayas. The first is the variety with dark pink skin and white flesh, sometimes called the Vietnamese dragon fruit. It is the most common variety in Asia, specifically Philippines. The second variety is the one with dark pink skin and red flesh; they call it the Malaysian dragon fruit.
There is also third variety of dragon fruits but are rarely seen in Asia. It’s the variety with yellow skin and white flesh. They said that this is the sweetest variety of dragon fruit.
The edible part of dragon fruits consists of mostly water and carbohydrates, with some protein and fat content. It also contains small amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin C and other nutrients that can be anti-oxidants.
A serving of dragon fruit typically weighs 100 grams. And the nutritional information assumes that the fruit’s seeds are eaten to acquire all of its nutritional value. A serving of the fruit provides 60 calories, which is 3 percent of the daily value (DV) for calories. It also contains a total of 9 grams of carbohydrates for every serving of the fruit, which includes 8 grams of sugar and 1 gram dietary fiber. With these, the dragon fruit provides 3 percent of the daily value (DV) for total carbohydrates and 4 percent of the daily value (DV) for dietary fiber for every serving. No worries because the carbohydrate content of the fruit doesn’t contain any complex carbohydrate.
Not only that, a serving of dragon fruit contains 1.5 grams of good fat, which is 2 percent of the daily value (DV) for total fat, but it doesn’t contain any saturated fat, trans fat or cholesterol. And, it contains 2 grams of protein as well, which is 4 percent of the daily value (DV) for protein.
Of course, dragon fruit provides vitamins and minerals that are good to our health. It has Vitamin C that varies significantly, but a typical fruit provides about 10 percent of the daily value (DV) for Vitamin C. But, according to studies the Vitamin C content can reach 25 percent for dragon fruit with very red skin.
The fruit also contains 60 milligrams of sodium for every serving, which is 3 percent of the daily value (DV) for sodium. And, it contains 8 percent of the daily value for iron as well.
Moreover, dragon fruit is rich in phytoalbumins, which are highly valued for their antioxidant contents that help prevent the formation of cancer cells. With these, it also helps increase the excretion of heavy metal toxins from the body. And, lycopene is also present in dragon fruits, especially those varieties with red flesh which is the pigment responsible for the red color that is said to prevent prostate cancer. Well, it’s good news! The dragon fruit contains several necessary nutrients we need for our healthy living and the more natural we take the healthier we live.
To make some twist on your dragon fruit, you could make it your everyday beverage along with your meal. Some would just simply blend it, without any added ingredients. Or, some would add a little bit of water, ice, milk and sugar as desired to make dragon fruit shake.
Some would add measured amount of vodka or any other alcohol, lime juice, sugar, coconut milk and ice for a twist of beverage and many other drink recipes. You may refer to our best friend Google for more details of dragon fruit drink recipes. Or you may share your own recipe on the comments section below.