By: Klinsa Kurien, Bureau Chief-ICN Kerala
It was only when I went with my son to the market, I discovered this lovely fruit. It looks and tastes like a coconut too.The dragon-fruit is a seasonal fruit and is found in dry, tropical climate and grows mostly in Maharashtra, Southern part of India. It has an attractive look about it.
Pinkish in colour with green horns like thing, it truly is a sight to reckon with! A fully grown fruit on a tree looks very beautiful. This fruit has many health benefits which are unknown to most of us due to its unavailability.
The first health benefit that the fruit offers is a whole array of nutrients like Vitamins C and E, Iron, Magnesium and Fiber as well. Secondly, this fruit helps in the prevention of chronic disease and also inflammation due to its levels of Vitamin C, Carotenoids, Betalains. Carotenoids are plant pigments that give this fruit its colour.
A diet which has this element helps in managing both heart problems as well as cancer. Betalains are also elements that control cancer and oxidative stress. Thirdly the dragon- fruit is fully loaded with fiber and carbohydrates. The fourth most important point is that it contains gut relieving properties. It contains prebiotics that help in promoting good bacteria.
Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria are used. It also helps in the formation of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. Next, it helps in strengthening the immune system. It prevents infection by stopping the formation of damaged white blood cells. It contains antioxidants and Vitamin C. After this, the next most important function it performs is that it ups low iron levels. Iron has a very important role in giving oxygen to the body and it converts food into energy.
Dragon Fruit provides almost 8% of the total iron that the human body requires. Lastly, it gives the body sufficient magnesium. Magnesium got from this fruit is about 24%. Magnesium is required by the body to break down food into energy, muscle contraction and bone formation. Magnesium is also helpful in order to reduce the risk of heart strokes and other heart-related conditions and gives good bone health.
Dragon fruit can be had as a fruit, or used in salads or curds in order to make it tastier. Pop this fruit into your mouth this season and enjoy its various health benefits. May you be in the pink of your health!