Well, if someone were to ask me what dragon fruit was like 5 years ago, I wouldn’t know, but lately, this tropical fruit has gained a lot of popularity. Although they have a very unique taste and texture which people love, they also seem to have several health benefits. But what is dragon fruit exactly? Dragon fruit also called pitaya, pitahaya, and strawberry pear grows on Hylocereus cactus which is also called the Honolulu queen and is known for its unique characteristic of blooming at the night. Dragon fruits have a common type of bright red skin with green scales that somewhat looks like a dragon, hence the name. The widely available one across the world has white pulp consisting of many black seeds and there are also fewer common ones that have red pulp or yellow and white pulp with black seeds.
What does dragon fruit taste like?
Dragon fruits feel like they probably smell and taste bland but a ripe one is very mild in sweetness and it usually is compared to a combination flavor of pear and kiwi and has a very soft texture that resembles a ripe kiwi. Unripe dragon fruit is just flavorless.
Health benefits of dragon fruit
Coming to the health benefits, there are several good things about this fruit that makes it all the more suitable for all of us to procure it.
- It is rich in antioxidants such as phenolic acid or flavonoids and these protect the cells from getting damaged especially by the free radicals that lead to cancer or premature aging.
- They are naturally fat-free and are high in fiber as well which makes them healthy snacks for all age groups.
- They strengthen one’s immune system as dragon fruits are high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants. They also help in digesting the food.
- They may help in increasing iron content in the body. Iron is vital for the body to function as they move oxygen throughout the body. Dragon fruits contain high amounts of iron and an added benefit is that they also contain vitamin c which makes iron absorption by the body faster.
- It also contains prebiotics which is food for the good bacteria in the body called probiotics. The more one has prebiotics in their system, the healthier the intestines are. Dragon fruits help in the growth of probiotics lactobacilli and bifidobacterial which are the good bacteria living in your item. This help kills and prevents various diseases caused by viruses and bacteria.
Can dogs eat dragon fruit?
It is very much safe for dogs to eat dragon fruit as they are non-toxic and any pet for that matter can consume dragon fruits. There are different types of dragon fruit, yellow, red, purple, and pink, and all of these can be given to the dogs as they are very much rich in vitamin C, potassium, folates, and other antioxidants. Most seeds are usually harmful to dogs, but dragon fruit seeds are completely safe. The skin is very spiky and probably not suitable for chewing so it is best to strip off the skin before giving them. It is not very much suggested to feed the dogs the dragon fruits in large quantities but a moderate level is always beneficial to the dogs.
How to cut and eat dragon fruit-best method
Although they look very complex, it is very simple when it comes to eating dragon fruit. You first start by taking a ripe fruit that is bright red and uniformly colored when given a little squeeze. Using a sharp knife, cut straight through the fruit, slicing it in half. Now, you can take a spoon to eat the fruit straight out of the skin or conveniently peel the skin off and cut the pulp into further small pieces.
If you wish to make it even more interesting and pleasant to eat, top it with fresh Greek yogurt and chopped nut and berries. Including it in a salad can be very nutritious.