Dragon fruit is a healthy source of carbohydrates and fiber.
What makes it a healthy option?
1. Promotes GI health
Dragon fruit is considered good for digestion because it is rich in fiber. The prebiotic fiber helps in the growth of good bacteria (probiotics) like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in the body. These bacteria provide us with essential compounds that our body cannot synthesize. Dietary fiber also improves bowel movement and treats conditions such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and gastrointestinal issues.
2. Improves heart health
The seeds of dragon fruit are a rich source of essential unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acids, that lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. The presence of phytonutrients such as lycopene can also help in improving cardiovascular health.
A diet that contains higher dietary fiber is positively linked with lowering the risk of heart disease.
3. Strengthens the Immune System
Dragon fruit contains antioxidants such as vitamin C, betaxanthins, betacyanins, and polyphenolic compounds. Vitamin C is integral in maintaining an active immune system as it assists in killing harmful pathogens and promotes the growth of white blood cells (immunity cells) The colored pigments in dragon fruit – betalains – has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Stabilizes the blood sugar levels
Dragon fruit has hypoglycemic properties hence it can reduce blood sugar levels. This could be helpful for people who are pre-diabetic or diabetic. Research shows that the glycemic control of dragon fruits is dose-dependent. This means that as the amount of dragon fruit consumed increased, the blood sugar levels decreased. Importantly, consuming too much dragon fruit can also lead to adverse effects like insulin resistance.
5. Escalates iron levels in the blood
Dragon fruit is rich in iron and vitamin C. Iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells that carry oxygen to various parts of the body. Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron apart from helping in the body’s defense system. Both iron and vitamin C are involved in regulating major physiological functions in our body.
6. Suppresses the arthritis pain
Traditionally, dragon fruit was suggested as a remedy for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and joint pains. Dragon fruit has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Hence, it has the ability to relieve inflammatory pain caused by arthritis.
SIDE EFFECTS OF DRAGON FRUIT
Dragon fruit is safe to consume. In rare cases, some people may develop allergic reactions with symptoms such as rashes, itching, nausea, and swelling of the mouth. Very few cases of allergic reaction to dragon fruit have been reported.
FAQs on Dragon Fruit
1. Can I consume dragon fruit every day?
A. Yes, dragon fruit can be eaten every day as it is full of vitamins and minerals. However, do not go overboard as it is high in fiber. Introducing high fiber suddenly into your diet can cause flatulence, bloating, and diarrhea.
2. I am a kidney patient can I eat dragon fruit?
A. Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants and can help in improving the functioning of internal organs such as kidneys. It can capture harmful toxins and may help in reducing the risk of kidney stones.
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