This blog contains affiliate links for our full disclosure click here
What Is Dragon Fruit Good For?
Whether its because of its high fiber content, delicious taste or unique name, the Dragon Fruit is becoming popular fast. The Dragon Fruit is part of the cactus family and it gets its name due to its reddish texture and spiny outside. It's true origins are still unknown but it is speculated they may have started in central america (where they are also known as the pitaya roja).
The Dragon Fruit has black edible seeds and its texture is similar to a kiwi. It can be eaten raw or cooked in multiple different ways which we will cover below.
The nutritional facts of the Dragon Fruit are as follows:
(Per 3.5 oz / 100 grams)
The Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit
The Dragon fruit has been recognized as a great option for people suffering from diabetes and has also been known to provide numerous other health benefits
Low GI Index: The Glycemic Index is a measurement of how foods that contain carbohydrates effect our bodies blood sugar level which is especially important for those with diabetes. The higher the food is on the scale, the quicker it raises your blood sugar. Dragon fruit has a low GI rating despite being super sweet which makes it a great option for those who have a sweet tooth but have to watch their blood sugar level.
Lowers Bad and Heightens Good Cholesterol: The Dragon fruit has been shown in some studies to reduce bad cholesterol while increasing the amount of good cholesterol which leads to better heart health. Good cholesterol is HDL (High Density Lipotien) and bad cholesterol is LDL (Low Density Lipotien) for a quick recap check out this article.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Dragon fruit possess's powerful anti-inflammatory properties which can help with the pain that comes with arthritis, one of the most common diseases affecting over 1.5 million people in the United States alone.
Contains Large Amounts of Vitamins and Minerals: Dragon fruit has a large amount of Vitamin C, B1, B2, B3; all of which play an important part in maintaining a healthy immune system. It also contains a lot of potassium, magnesium and zinc which are all important for helping your body grow, develop and stay healthy.
Where to Find The Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit can be enjoyed right when you get it home from the store. It is delicious raw and similar to a kiwi in texture. Preparing this fruit is simple, the trick is finding one in your local store and making sure it is of the right quality. Dragon fruit can be hard to find year a round depending on where you live in the world. They are most commonly found in Asia, and in the US you are likely to locate them in Asian Markets.
When searching for a dragon fruit that is ready to be eaten you are looking for three characteristics:
1. Pink or Red color
2. Firm to the touch (To soft means overripe, similar to an avocado)
3. No dark splotches or bruises and the spines are flexible
Preparing a dragon fruit for eating is actually fairly simple and straight forward:
1. Take the fruit and lay it on a cutting board and then cut the fruit in half, exposing the white flesh on the inside which will have black seeds strewn through out.
2. Take a spoon and scoop out the white flesh. You then have the choice of either eating it straight from there or cutting it so that it can be included it in one of the many dishes that dragon fruit compliments.
Cooking With Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is able to be used in a variety of dishes and while typically served raw, can also be cooked.
One of the most common dishes you will find Dragon fruit included in is salads. If you are a fan of fruit salad, then throwing dragon fruit into the mix can elevate this dish to a whole new level. Another option would be to include them on a fruit "shishkabob" with other delicious items such as kiwi, pineapple and grapes (or cheeses!).
Dragon fruit can also be grilled and a lot of people find the taste absolutely delicious. If you are looking to enjoy Dragon fruit this way, we suggest counterbalancing its super sweet taste with something on the spicier side (a tsp of chill pepper will do)
One of the most popular ways people enjoy Dragon fruit is in a good ole fashion smoothie. Because of their sweet taste they are a great addition to any smoothie when added with the right ingredients. We especially enjoy adding blackberries and raspberries to the mix.
For some GREAT Dragon fruit recipes we suggest you check out this article, all of these suggestions are exceptionally DELICIOUS.