Dragon Fruit: Why & How You Should Be Including It Into Your Diet
What’s with the speckled alien looking fruit always featured in mouth water tropical smoothie bowl posts?
That my friends is a Dragon fruit. Also known as a Pitahaya or strawberry pear. When I first heard of a Pitahaya-bowl in Hawaii, I literally thought Pitahaya was the Polynesian word for smoothie. Wrong, but you do see this funny looking fruit featured in many healthy breakfast recipes for a darn good reason.
What is it?!
Hot pink, with green arm like layers, bearing white speckled meat on the inside. Think if a pomegranate had a threesome with a pineapple and a football…..You try describing this fruit! It’s no easy task!
The Dragon fruit calls Central America home but is also grown and exported from Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam.
Like most fruit, the skin is to be discarded. Once cut and peeled, dig into the seed spotted white meat. It is somewhat crunchy similar to a jicama and compares to the sweetest of a pear. Not too sweet, not too soft, just right.
Show me the benefits!
Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are more utilized in the body when consumed through whole foods. Making the nutrient packed Dragon fruit a food we can feel fantastic about enjoying! Loaded with antioxidants, the Pitahaya can help our body fight free radicals caused by toxins in the environment, food or bad lifestyle choices. Crazy weekend? No judgement here!
When we talk about ‘healthy’, or ‘weight loss’, in a conversation, you’re almost always guaranteed to hear ‘fiber’ thrown right back at you.
By slowing down the digestion of your food, which allows you to stay satiated longer, fibre also supports a healthy digestive system by keeping you regular. Studies show increasing your fiber intake undoubtedly helps you drop a few stubborn pounds due to healthy digestion or decreasing your caloric intake.
So where can we get a good source of dietary fiber? Insert dragon fruit…
With 7 grams per 1 cup serving this med evil sounding fruit is a great addition to kickstart your healthy day of eating.
Dragon fruit also contains a specific type of fiber called prebiotic fiber, which feeds the good bacteria in your gut. This supports a healthy immune system and staying clear of infection, by protecting the white blood cells from becoming damaged caused by free radicals. This is especially important when traveling as we are exposed to harmful foreign bacteria.
Anyone rather spend their weekend on the porcelain throne rather than a sun chair? Didn’t think so.
Do you have tight muscles? Find yourself rather tense especially with Chad from human recourses tells you to ‘chill out?’ Before you deservingly punch Chad right in the mouth, increasing your magnesium intake may be a good choice. And what better way to do it than enjoying a tropical fruit?
Dragon fruit boasts having more magnesium than most fruits! Magnesium helps the muscles relax, relieve pain within headaches and migraines, and plays an important role in over hundreds of reactions throughout the body including carbohydrate and glucose metabolism.
Strong To The Bone
Similar to calcium, magnesium helps in bone formation and keeping bones healthy, strong and dense. Crucial for not breaking any bones in your hand when you do choose to punch Chad’s face. Someone’s gotta do it.
Helps with muscle recovery, high in healthy fats, helps detox heavy metals and improves eyesight. With all these magical benefits, no wonder it’s called the Dragonfruit!
Ok, so how do we include it into our diet?
Since it is a tropical fruit and contains a decent amount of fructose, although natural, I recommend enjoying it in your first meal of the day. Fruit digests much faster then other foods so if we eat fruit after a meal, it can ferment causing bloating and gas as it waits in line to be passed through the digestive system.
Here are some delicious recipes I’ve gathered on different ways you can enjoy the beautiful, vibrant, delicious Dragon fruit.
Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl
Dark Chocolate Dragon Fruit Coconut Treats
Vegan Dragon Fruit Panna Cotta
Dragon Fruit Sorbet
Dragon Fruit Strawberry Chia Pudding
Vegan Summer Rolls