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Before breakfast I always use to have different kinds of fruits....My to-day's fruit was Dragon Fruit Granita

Health Benefits and Nutritional Values of Dragon Fruit Granita

Dragon fruit, also known as Pitaya, is said to originate from South America and is now grown in most of the tropical Asian countries. The skin is covered in 'scales' and comes either as a red-skinned or yellow-skinned variety. The red-skinned variety comes either as white or luminous red flesh. The yellow-skinned variety is available only in white flesh. latest chic wedding collections at affordable price

The popularity stems from the many benefits that dragon fruit has to offer. Generally, the red-skinned variety with red flesh offers more benefits compared to the yellow or the red-skinned (with white flesh) variety

The universities and cancer research centers only recently investigated the nutritional benefits of dragon fruits, and these benefits are as follows:

Dragon Fruit for People with Type 2 Diabetes

Statistic shows that people that suffer from diabetes has an increased chances of vascular complications by at least twofold.

However, based on the study conducted by School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Universiti Sains Malaysia, and published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, dragon fruits, which is rich in antioxidant betacyanins, can prevent this combative stress and diabetes.

In another study on patients with Type 2 diabetes who are not dependent on insulin, shows a decrease in blood sugar level by more than 19% when given 600 gm daily dosage of the red flesh red-skinned dragon fruit over a period of four weeks.

The flavanoid antioxidants present in red flesh dragon fruit is responsible for this reduction and hence, if you suffer from Type 2 diabetes, eating the red flesh dragon fruit can help control your glucose level.

Dragon Fruit can Reduce Cancer Risk

The red pigments in the red flesh dragon fruit is rich in lycopene, flavanoid antioxidants, and phytoalbumins, which can help prevent the formation of cancerous cells.

As documented in American Institute for Cancer Research eNews, the phytochemical lycopene that is present in red flesh dragon fruit can prevent prostate cancer.

It is however, important to note that you must lead a healthy lifestyle and go on an anti-cancer diet to help improves your chances of preventing cancer.

In addition, the flavanoid antioxidants can also prevent inflammatory diseases such as gout and arthritis.

Dragon Fruit can Reduce Cholesterol

Dragon fruit has high levels of both the insoluble and soluble fiber. 100 gm of fresh dragon fruit will give you 1 gm of fiber. In dried form, the fiber content is even more at 10 gm for every 100 gm of the powdered or dried fruit.

These fibers can improve the digestive system, which in turn will reduce the accumulation of dietary cholesterol in your system.

In a clinical study published in the American Journal of Applied Sciences 6 (7): 1341-1346, 2009 edition, eating the red dragon fruit over five weeks, saw an impressive drop in the total cholesterol level.

Prebiotic Action of Dragon Fruit

Based on the article in 'Food Chemistry' (June 2010 edition), the fiber in dragon fruit is made up mainly of oligosaccharides. This is not digested in the stomach, but act as prebiotics, which assists in the growth of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, which are the healthy bacteria.

When taken in the right amount, these microorganisms will assist in the digestion and keep the immune system strong.
Proteins, Carbohydrates and Calories in Dragon Fruit

100 g of dragon fruit will give almost 2.0 g of protein and 9 g of carbohydrates, which is about 3% and 4% of the recommended daily value, respectively.

Pitaya is also very low in calories at only 60 calories, which is about 3% of the daily value

This is good news if you are on a weight management program.
Vitamins & Minerals in Dragon Fruits

Dragon fruits have a high dosage of Vitamin C where 100 gm of the fruit will gives 500 mg of Vitamin C. It also contains Vitamin A, B1, B12 and E, but in smaller amounts.

Mineral contents in dragon fruits include a good dosage of potassium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. In smaller amounts, it has calcium, iron and copper.

Hence, with all these nutritional benefits, dragon fruit can be a complete meal of its own.

Dragon Fruit and Pregnancy

Fruits must be part of a pregnancy diet and with all the richness in vitamins, minerals, fiber and fatty acids in red dragon fruit, eating the fruit on a daily basis will be beneficial to a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.

Among its many benefits is its iron content that will assist a pregnant woman's demand for iron. This will help reduce chances of anemia. It also contains folates, which is essential for the formation of red blood cells.

Eat it fresh, as part of your mixed fruit salad, as a juice or as smoothies.

Is Dragon Fruit Stem Edible and Nutritional?

Surprisingly, based on the study by University Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the dragon fruit stem can be turned into a powdered form and consumed as it is rich in nutrient content. However, that does not stop you from eating the fruit stem, fresh!

The study concludes that premature stem of the red dragon fruit has more nutritional value compared to the matured stem.
Dragon Fruit Taste

Dragon fruit may look unique and exotic, but the taste can be bland and uninteresting. Not fiery and intense just like its name. However, the red flesh variety is sweeter.
Dragon Fruit Seed contains Omega-3 & Omega-9

The flesh has a nice texture with tiny seeds all over, just like kiwi fruits. But do not be put off by these tiny seeds as there are edible and nutritional. The seeds contain natural oils and fatty acids in the form of linoleic acid and oleic acid (Omega-3 and Omega-9), which are useful for your cardiovascular health.

If you have not tried it yet, go out, and buy some and if you have been eating the white flesh variety, this is the time to change to the red flesh variety.