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Why you should try dragonfruit

Why you should try dragonfruit

Based on its strange appearance you've probably passed up dragonfruit at the grocery store. But despite its intimidating name and shape, this superfood has many delicious and nutritious benefits.

What is dragonfruit?

Dragonfruit, sometimes called pitaya, flourishes in abundance in tropical and subtropical regions in South America and Asia, though it is commercially grown in Mexico, Texas, Peru, Argentina, Vietnam and Australia. The fruit's outer skin is cactus-like, which resembles the scales of the mythical dragon. This fruit, with its creamy white flesh spotted with black seeds, contains around 60 calories each.

What are the health benefits?

This fruit is rich in many natural properties such as in vitamin C, B1, B2 and B3, and minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus, which can all give the body’s immune system a boost while also stimulating the activity of other antioxidants. But that's not all; the fruit helps regulate blood sugar spikes, lower bad cholesterol, and move oxygen through our blood thanks to its iron levels. A 2010 study published in the journal Pharmacognosy Research found that the consumption of dragonfruit may lower the risks of developing heart disease and developing high blood pressure. This exotic fruit is also a good source of monosaturated fats which help to keep the heart in good condition.

What are some of the best ways to eat dragonfruit?

When eaten fresh, Dragonfruit is mildly sweet with its texture similar to kiwifruit. It is also easy to prepare; cut the fruit into quarters or slices, peel off the skin and use as a garnish or in a smoothie. The delicately sweet fruit is crisp and refreshing, and can also be used in fruit salads, marmalades and jellies. Alternatively, dragonfruit can work in savoury salads, and also pairs nicely with seafood or in cocktails. The fruit can also be made into fruit or wine, or the flowers can be eaten or steeped as tea.

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