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HEALTHY EATING

Dragon Fruit

"Health benefits of red pitaya"
By: James BarramedaDragon Fruit

Dragon fruit, also known as red pitaya, is a colorful and flavorful fruit that is slightly similar in taste to melon and kiwi. It grows in Central and Southern American as well as Southeast Asian countries.

Dragon fruit has been reported to have properties that help fight cancer, prevent memory loss, provide antioxidants, control blood sugar levels, and hasten wound healing. It is rich in flavonoids: naturally-occurring plant pigments which are known to be powerful antioxidants. This fruit contains phytoalbumins, also valued for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants prevent cell degradation and aging brought about by exposure to pollution, toxins, and other harmful chemicals found in the environment.

Flavonoids also have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-viral properties that keep you away from diseases. There have been epidemiological studies (Cook and Samman, 1996) that link high intake of flavonoids and lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Dragon fruit is rich in fiber—almost a full gram of it in every 100 grams of fresh fruit. This makes consumption of dragon fruit great for digestive health, as well as management of cholesterol levels and weight. Fiber is also important in the prevention of colon cancer and type-2 diabetes.

Presumably because of its vitamin C content, dragon fruit is said to be a certified immune system booster. It is also rich in potassium, sodium, calcium, and protein. This wonder fruit does have a small amount of fat—but of the good kind! It has heart-friendly mono-unsaturated fats that actually help improve reduction of belly fat. This is according to a study conducted by the American Diabetes Association.

Eating dragon fruit may help supercharge your body with a host of health benefits, but it has to be part of a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle. It’s okay to eat one fruit a day, but remember that your body needs a variety of foods as well. Regular exercise is just as important in maintaining a well-nourished and physically fit body.
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