The Enchanting Dragon Fruit
The dragon fruit, also known as pitahaya, is a highly sought-after exotic fruit that is native to Mexico and Central and South America. Its nickname is derived from its captivating appearance; a deep magenta outer skin and white flesh dotted with a bed of black, crunchy tiny seeds. A cross between a cactus, a watermelon and a kiwi, the dragon fruit provides a uniquely textured, succulent and sweet flavor.
The Awe-Inspiring Appearance
The dragon fruit’s vivid magenta hue is as captivating as its nickname suggests, along with its unique shape. With its thorns and scales, the fruit evokes dragon-like characteristics and gives off an air of exoticism. As a matter of fact, dragon fruit is also known as the ‘Queen of the Night,’ due to its flower which blooms under the moonlight. The fruit can be smooth or have a spiked texture, with each variety having its own unique appeal.
Exploring the Health Benefits
Beyond its beauty and unique taste, dragon fruit has an impressive array of health benefits. It contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep you healthy and strong, with a notable amount of vitamin C. Sadly, this is masked by its sweet flavor, as you can’t taste all the healthy goodness.
Apart from its nutritional content and taste, dragon fruit is rich in fiber; 4 times more than that in a medium-sized banana! This means it can help to improve digestion and keep you fuller for longer. It also has notably lower levels of sugar than other fruits, making it a perfect treat for those managing diabetes.
Picking the Perfect Dragon Fruit
The key to picking a good dragon fruit is to check whether it’s ripe. Unlike other fruits, the dragon fruit’s primary indicator of ripeness is touch; it should be firm, but not too soft. You can even smell it; when it’s ripe, it will have a sweetly fragrant aroma, comparable to that of a melon. If the dragon fruit is unripe or overripe, you won’t be able to enjoy its full succulent flavor.
Delightful Ways to Enjoy Dragon Fruit
The simplest way to eat a dragon fruit is to cut it in half and scoop out its flesh with a spoon. If you’re feeling creative, you can also pound the flesh and make Dragon Fruit juice. No dragon-fruit-based feast is complete without a Dragon Fruit smoothie bowl, topped with crunchy granola and sweet honey.
Moreover, the dragon fruit goes beyond smoothies and juices. Its unique and subtle taste makes it a great ingredient for baked goods, such as cakes and pies. Or why not grill it; the sweet and smoky taste is a great combination that you won’t easily forget!
Nutrients to be Found in Dragon Fruit
Research has shown that dragon fruit is packed with nutrients. Here is a small list of what you can find:
• Vitamin B and C: Vitamin B and C are great for the health of your skin, nails and hair.
• Calcium: Dragon fruit is a great source of calcium, which is fantastic for strong bones and teeth.
• Iron: Iron is important for strong muscles, red blood cells and overall vitality.
• Magnesium: Magnesium assists in calcium absorption, supports muscle development and helps nerve function.
• Potassium: Dragon fruit is rich in potassium, a mineral that helps the body to lower blood pressure.
• Carotene: Carotene is an antioxidant with anti-aging properties and healthy eyesight.
Dragon fruit is truly a magnificent creation. We’ve learned of its exotic appearance and its amazing health benefits, its ripening process and its delightful uses. With this newfound knowledge, what are you waiting for? Go out and get yourself some delicious dragon fruit right now!
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