The yellow dragon fruit, also known as yellow pitaya or yellow pitahaya, derives from the Hylocereus megalanthus climbing cactus, which is native to Colombia, Ecuador, and northern South America. The plant has a 15-foot maximum height. It has an oblong shape and is slightly smaller in size than the more common red varieties. When immature, thea fruit's thick yellow skin is coated in tiny knobby protrusions that have little spines; however, as the fruit ripens, these spines will naturally fall off. Several tiny, delicious black seeds are dispersed throughout the dense, white flesh that lies beneath the skin. Yellow dragon fruit has an acid-free, crisp, juicy texture and an extremely sweet, tropical flavour with floral undertones.
Despite having a peak in the early summer and fall, yellow pitaya is accessible all year long.
Yellow Dragon fruit is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. They contain dietary fibre and protein and have higher amounts of calcium than the red skinned varieties. They provide small amounts of iron, vitamins A and C, and niacin. Yellow Dragon fruit are a good source of antioxidants and beneficial fatty acids. The edible seeds contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for a healthy heart.
How to keep yellow dragon fruit fresh?
The storage period of dragon fruit is two days at room temperature. Dragon fruit can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week if you need to keep it for a longer period of time.
How to consume yellow dragon fruit?
You can eat yellow dragon fruit either raw or cooked. You can simply split a raw dragon fruit in half and remove the meat with a spoon when eating it. Although the skin of the dragon fruit can be eaten, some people prefer to remove it (the skin is tasteless and can be bitter).
Yellow Dragon fruit can also be added to salads or other prepared foods. It can be included in sweets, ice cream, smoothies, and drinks. Since dragon fruit is a high source of vitamins and antioxidants, it is a nutritious food to include in your diet.
Health benefits of yellow dragon fruit:
Dragon fruit has the power to increase immunity, enhance digestion, and promote weight loss, among other health advantages. The anti-inflammatory qualities of dragon fruit are also suggested to help reduce blood sugar levels.
Enhances the Immune System:
The quality of your diet is one of several variables that affects your body's capacity to fight infection. By preventing damage to your white blood cells, the vitamin C and carotenoids in dragon fruit can strengthen your immune system and help you avoid infection. Your immune system's white blood cells hunt down and eliminate dangerous things. However, they are incredibly vulnerable to free radical damage. Vitamin C and carotenoids are strong antioxidants that can combat free radicals and protect your white blood cells from damage. The abundance of vitamin C and carotenoids in dragon fruit can have immune-boosting effects.
Boosts Low Iron Levels:
One of the few naturally occurring fruits that contains iron is yellow dragon fruit. Your body's ability to distribute oxygen depends heavily on iron. Additionally, it is crucial for converting food into energy. Sadly, a lot of people do not consume enough iron. Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutrient deficit globally, estimated to affect 30% of the global population. It's crucial to eat a range of iron-rich meals to battle low iron levels. Rich sources of iron include meats, fish, legumes, nuts and cereals.
Dragon fruit can be another great option, as one serving contains 8% of your recommended daily intake (RDI). It also contains vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron.
Yellow dragon fruit provides more magnesium than most other fruits. Your body typically contains 24g, or about one ounce, of magnesium. Despite this allegedly negligible amount, the mineral is found in all of your cells and participates in over 600 crucial bodily chemical processes. For instance, it participates in processes necessary for the conversion of food into energy, muscular contraction, bone growth, and even DNA synthesis.
Combats Chronic Diseases:
Unstable chemicals called free radicals harm cells, which can result in inflammation and disease. Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as dragon fruit, is one approach to combat this. By combating free radicals, antioxidants stop cellular damage and inflammation. According to studies, eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help avoid chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.
The powerful antioxidants found in dragon fruit includes:
- Vitamin C intake and cancer risk have been linked in observational studies. For instance, some studies have demonstrated that reduced risks of head and neck cancer were connected with higher vitamin C intake.
- Betalains: Research conducted in test tubes suggests that betalains can prevent oxidative stress and may be able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
- The plant components beta-carotene and lycopene are what give dragon fruit its vivid colour. A lower risk of cancer and heart disease has been associated with diets high in carotenoids.
Interestingly, antioxidants function best when consumed organically in food as opposed to as a supplement or in tablet form. Antioxidant supplements may really have negative consequences, thus it is not advised to use them unsupervised. On the other hand, dragon fruit is highly recommended.
Loaded With Fibre:
Dietary fibres are nondigestible carbohydrates with a long list of possible health advantages. For women, a daily fibre intake of 25 grams is advised, while for men it is 38 grams. The health advantages of fibre supplements are not as great as those of dietary fibre. Dragon fruit is a fantastic whole-food source with 7 grams in a single cup. Observational studies have shown that high-fibre diets can prevent colon cancer.
Skin and Hair Care:
The antioxidants in dragon fruit assist to lessen the harmful effects of free radicals and maintain the youthful appearance of the skin. Additionally, it helps with dry skin, sunburn, and acne. It also supports having healthy hair.
The B and C vitamins in dragon fruit support the maintenance of healthy cell membranes in the brain, enhancing cognitive function and reducing the risk of cognitive diseases.
Consuming dragon fruit in moderation is safe. However, too much fruit might result in issues like:
Excess of Antioxidants:
The ingestion of too many antioxidants such as beta-carotene can result from excessive dragon fruit eating, and this can cause lung cancer. Increased vitamin E consumption also raises the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
Some people may have an allergic reaction to the fruit, which can cause symptoms including a burning sensation in the mouth, swollen lips and tongue, and an itchy throat.
Due to its high fibre content, which acts as a natural laxative and promotes smooth bowel movements, dragon fruit is typically excellent for the digestive tract. However, excessive eating of the fruit may result in gastric blockage, flatulence, stomach pain, and poor nutrient absorption. Additionally, these fibres take in a lot of water from the body.