Dragon fruit is a nutritious, not to mention vibrant, fruit that can benefit your body and your taste buds. Ready to understand more? Here's how to use dragon fruit in your diet when it's in season, from summer to early fall.
What is dragon fruit?
Dragon fruit, also called pitaya or strawberry pear, is a pink oval characterized by green scales. Inside, however, it has a white pulp with black seeds. It almost looks like a psychedelic artichoke!
It is a tropical fruit that comes from a particular species of cactus. While it is available worldwide, it is native to Mexico and South America.
What does dragon fruit taste like?
Like many people, you too may have asked yourself: what does this fruit taste like? Generally, it may resemble the taste of kiwi and pears as it is sweet and crunchy.
Furthermore, there are different types of dragon fruit. For example, the best sellers are those with pink skin and white pulp. Instead, there are also those with pink skin and red or pink pulp, certainly sweeter than the former. Then, there are also with pink skin and purple pulp. Finally, with yellow skin and white pulp, the most difficult to find but also the sweetest.
The benefits of eating dragon fruit
Dragon fruit pulp is low in calories and fat-free. Here are the benefits you will get by including dragon fruit in your diet.
Dragon fruit is an excellent source of fiber. It is recommended to eat at least 25 grams per day. Fiber is important because it contributes to gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health and fills you up, especially when you're trying to lose weight.
Dragon fruit has lots of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Lycopene (may improve heart health).
- Magnesium (important for cell function and dragon fruit provides 18% of the recommended daily amount).
- Iron (important for blood health, dragon fruit contains 8% of the recommended daily intake).
- Vitamin C (helps your body absorb iron and improves immune system health).
- Improves gut health
It seems that some studies show how dragon fruit promotes the development of healthy intestinal bacteria within our bodies. In this way, it could have a beneficial effect on our health.
How to Cut and Eat Dragon Fruit
If you can't find dragon fruit at your local supermarket, you may have better luck at a specialty food store or Asian market. To choose one correctly, trust your instincts. Generally speaking, it should be slightly soft or you can choose a "harder" one and let it mature.
To eat it, however, you need to peel it and cut it into wedges, just like if it were an avocado. Eat the pulp and remove the skin. Dragon fruit is best eaten raw, but you can also cook it like other fruits. For example, it can be added to cocktails, desserts, fish, salads and smoothies.
Once you have cut it, wrap it in paper and store it in the refrigerator. When it reaches a brown color, it's time to throw it away!