Behind the bright color and fresh taste, dragon fruit is a good source of nutrients for health. The benefits of dragon fruit that can be felt include increasing endurance and helping prevent cancer. This unique fruit is also a type of fruit that is low in fat so it is good for the diet.
Then, what are the benefits of dragon fruit for the human body? Check out the following review.
Dragon fruit’s nutritional content
The benefits of red, white, and purple dragon fruit can be obtained because of their various vitamin and mineral content. In 100 grams (7 tablespoons) of dragon fruit content, there are a number of the following nutrients:
- Calories: 60
- Protein: 1.2 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Carbs: 13 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Calcium: 18 mg
- Iron: 0.74 g
Dragon fruit is not a low-calorie fruit. However, one of the things that make dragon fruit a healthy snack alternative is the absence of fat and cholesterol in this fruit. In addition, dragon fruit has a high vitamin C content, which is 2.5 milligrams in every 100 grams of dragon fruit.
The efficacy of dragon fruit for body health is not a new fact. However, the specific efficacy of dragon fruit has not received much attention. Here are the benefits that you can get by eating this one fruit:
1. Help reduce the risk of infection and chronic disease
Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants that can boost the immune system and help reduce the risk of various types of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.
Antioxidants will work better if they are obtained naturally from food than from supplements or drugs. Some antioxidants present in this fruit include betalains, hydroxycinnamates, and flavonoids
The body’s ability to fight infection is also determined by the type of food you eat. Quoted from research, vitamin C, phosphorus, and carotenoids in dragon fruit can help increase the body’s resistance and prevent infection, by protecting white blood cells from damage.
2. Maintain digestive tract health
Dragon fruit also contains fiber which can help maintain digestive health and maintain an ideal body weight. Plus, dragon fruit can also help increase the growth of good bacteria in the intestines that are useful for digestive tract health.
However, the side effects of dragon fruit for stomach acid also need to be considered. People with stomach acid may consume dragon fruit, but it should not be excessive. The reason is, this fruit also contains acid which can be a problem for ulcer sufferers.
3. Increase iron levels in the body
Another benefit of dragon fruit is being a source of iron for the body. Iron is needed by the body to carry oxygen throughout the body and digest food to be used as an energy source.
4. Good source of magnesium
Dragon fruit has a relatively high magnesium content. Consuming one medium-sized dragon fruit weighing about 100 grams can meet 18% of the daily magnesium requirement for the body.
Magnesium itself is needed by the body for biochemical processes that take place in the body. In addition, this mineral is also said to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
5. Helps control blood sugar
The fiber content in dragon fruit is not only good for digestion but also good for people with type 2 diabetes. Fiber will help the stomach feel full longer so you can limit food consumption. In addition, dragon fruit is also considered effective in lowering blood sugar levels.
6. Helps maintain heart health
Dragon fruit is said to help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. This benefit is obtained from the antioxidant content in dragon fruit. In addition, dragon fruit seeds also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body.
7. Helps prevent cancer
Dragon fruit is also believed to prevent cancer because of the content of vitamin C and lycopene in it. In addition, the antioxidants found in dragon fruit have also been shown to help reduce cancer cells in the body.
8. Good for skin health
For skin health, dragon fruit is useful in reducing wrinkles and overcoming acne and dry skin. These benefits are obtained from vitamin C and the antioxidants contained in it. The antioxidant content in dragon fruit can also ward off excessive free radical exposure which is often the cause of premature aging.
9. Reduce inflammation in the body
For those of you who suffer from chronic pain due to rheumatoid arthritis, consuming dragon fruit is believed to help reduce inflammation that occurs. This fruit contains anti-inflammatory substances that also work as a natural pain reliever.
Even so, dragon fruit will not eliminate chronic pain. This fruit only helps relieve it.
10. Good for bone health
Another benefit of dragon fruit for bone health is obtained from the magnesium content in it. Magnesium is important for keeping bones strong.
11. Good source of B vitamins for the body
Dragon fruit contains vitamins B1, B2, and B3 which are believed to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Besides being good for high blood pressure, B vitamins are also good for maintaining thyroid gland function and hemoglobin levels, as well as playing a role in carbohydrate metabolism.
12. Helps maintain healthy hair
Consuming dragon fruit can help keep hair healthy and shiny. The nutritional content of dragon fruit will also help reduce hair damage caused by chemicals from hair dyes.
13. Helps prevent eye disease
Dragon fruit is said to prevent the growth of cytochrome P450 protein in the liver. This protein is often associated with the occurrence of congenital glaucoma. In addition, the content of beta carotene in dragon fruit is also believed to help prevent macular degeneration, which is a medical disorder of the eye that usually affects the elderly, and cataracts.
14. Good for pregnant women
Dragon fruit is also good for pregnant women because it contains iron, B vitamins, and folate. In pregnant women, iron can help red blood cells deliver oxygen to the fetus and prevent anemia. Meanwhile, B vitamins and folate can prevent birth defects and increase energy.
15. Improve brain work
Dragon fruit is also useful for improving brain work. These benefits are obtained from the content of B vitamins and vitamin C in dragon fruit.
Both vitamins are believed to help cell membranes stay healthy. The activity of these vitamins in the body can also help prevent cognitive impairment and keep brain function healthy.
Dragon fruit side effects
Although useful, you still need to be careful in consuming this one fruit. In general, dragon fruit is safe for consumption. However some other side effects cancan be caused if consuming dragon fruit in excess are:
- Digestive disorders
- If consumed in excess, dragon fruit can be harmful to the digestive organs. The content of dragon fruit makes other nutrients that you consume cannot be absorbed properly as they pass through the intestines. In breastfeeding mothers, the side effects of dragon fruit when consumed in excess can increase the risk of digestive disorders, such as gas or flatulence. Not only the mother but this condition can also be experienced by your baby.
- Excess antioxidants
The danger of dragon fruit when consumed in large quantities is that it can damage healthy body cells. This fruit is high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and carotenoids that can weaken cells in the body.
- Increases the risk of hypoglycemia
Another danger of dragon fruit if consumed in excess is that it can cause a decrease in the absorption of sugar in the blood. If continued, this will increase the risk of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels in the body.
- Increases the risk of hypotension
The potassium content in dragon fruit that is consumed too much can lower blood pressure to below normal limits or hypotension.
- Interaction with hypertension drugs
Hypertensive patients who consume dragon fruit along with high blood pressure drugs are also not recommended. Hypertension medication from a doctor that is taken at the same time as eating dragon fruit can interfere with the effectiveness of the drug.
- Trigger Allergies
In some people, this fruit can cause allergies. Someone who is allergic to dragon fruit can feel symptoms, such as swelling of the tongue, bumps, to vomiting.
How to eat dragon fruit
The shape of the dragon fruit sometimes intimidates those who see it for the first time. However, this is only visible from the outside. You will get fruit flesh with a fresh color on the inside. Choose fruit that has bright skin and is slightly soft when pressed.
To eat it, you simply cut the skin in half to see the shape of the flesh. Then, simply cut the dragon fruit flesh to the size you like.
You can consume it directly. You can also mix it into a fruit salad with the addition of yogurt as a dressing. Dragon fruit can also be used as juice with a mixture of lemon.
Regular consumption of dragon fruit can provide many health benefits because of the high nutritional content of dragon fruit, such as vitamins and minerals. You can get these benefits by including them in your daily menu. Besides being delicious, dragon fruit is also practical for consumption. You can eat it right away, or process it into a variety of menus, such as pudding to juice.