Pitaya usually refers to the fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while pitahaya or dragon fruit refers to the genus Hylocereus, both in the Cactaceae family.
The dragon fruit is cultivated in south-east Asia, Florida, Australia and throughout the tropical and subtropical world regions.
Nutritional Content Of Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit can be considered a highly nutrient dense fruit, as well as the extremely low-calorie content and contain a good amount of fiber and magnesium, iron.
The nutritional content of 100 gm dragon fruit are as follows : 1
- Calories : 60
- Protein : 1.2 grams
- Fat : 0 grams
- Carbs: 13 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin C : 3% of the RDI
- Iron : 4% of the RDI
- Magnesium : 10% of the RDI
Pitaya, commonly known as dragon fruit, has generated considerable consumer interest because of its attractive colour and micro nutrient content.
Dragon fruit is low in calories but rich in vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds such as polyphenols, carotenoids and betacyanins.
Studies have shown that the total polyphenol and flavonoid content exhibit antioxidant activity against various free radicals and thus prevent oxidative damage, and also have an anti-proliferative effect on several cancer cells.2
They contain potent antioxidants such as – vitamin C, betalains, carotenoids, which can fight against free radical and can suppress the ability of cancer cells, reducing the cancer risk and heart diseases.3
Good source of fibers
They are good sources of fibers, which acts as prebiotics to the friendly bacteria in your body, helps in reducing the risk and severity of GI infection and inflammation, including diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease, and ulcerative colitis as well as bowel function disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome. Prebiotics also increase the bioavailability and uptake of minerals and data suggest that they reduce the risk of obesity by promoting satiety and weight loss.4
Boost Immune System
The vitamin C and carotenoids content in the fruit may boost your immune system and prevent infection by protecting your white blood cells from damage.
Good for bone and heart
Dragon fruit contain a good amount of magnesium and it can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and can support good bone health and prevent bone loss.
They also contain a good amount of iron, can prevent anaemia. Iron plays a crucial role in transporting oxygen throughout your body. It also plays an important role in breaking down food into energy.