All about dragonfruit / pitaya / pitahaya fruit

Update: 12/21/2012

Pitaya Fruit, Pitahaya Fruit or commonly known as the Dragon fruit is among the most nutritious and wonderful exotic fruits. It is a favorite to many, particularly people of Asian origin. It features a mouth watering light sweet taste, an intense shape and color, not forgetting its outstanding flowers. In addition to being tasty and refreshing, this beautiful fruit boasts of a lot of water and other vital minerals with varied nutritional ingredients.

Due to its vital nutrients, the Pitaya fruit is suitable for all diets as it supplements fiber which is best for laxative and the liver. Similarly, people who have high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity have attested to the fruit’s goodness. Recent findings show that if an obese person eats a Pitahaya fruit on a regular basis, it naturally reduces the weight considerably, creating a well balanced body without compromising on the individual’s health.
The dragon fruit is precisely of the Hycocereus undatus family, thus making it one of the widespread red dragon fruit. Typically, the fruit has red pulp, or red flesh if you like. The fruit originates from the dragon fruit cactus plant, which usually appears like vines. Unlike day pollination done by bees, it is surprising to note that this nutritious and tasty fruit blooms at night where pollination is caused by nocturnal living things such as bats and moths. What is more, it blooms a few times annually, blossoming with the now synonymous huge aromatic buds.
Despite the fact that people avert and dislike bats, they play a very important role in the pollination and formation of these dragon fruit cactus plants. This is because the dragonfruit cactus plant will only come out successfully after a complete pollination process. Note that even dragonfruit plants that carry out self pollination fail to create a dragonfruit cactus if they don’t get the assistance of the bats. In simple terms, the bats carry out a successful and proper pollination process of the dragonfruit cactus plant to bring out the delectable fruits that we relish.
You can stay healthy by eating a dried or fresh Pitaya. For the people suffering from diabetes, a dry or fresh Pitaya guarantees one of blood glucose control. Basically, a dry dragonfruit has about 10 times the punch of a fresh one, with an amazing chewy feel. To get a simple, healthy chewy texture, blend in a dried pitahaya into your salads. On the other hand, a fresh dragon fruit features a soft creamy feel.
That said, you can eat dragonfruit as a desert, raw, of you can make its juice and use in cocktails. Cocktails of ice cream are an example, or you can even ferment the cocktail into a mouthwatering healthy alcoholic beverage. In Taiwan for instance, the Pitaya fruit is used by diabetics to substitute food for rice and to enhance the fiber content of the diet.
Pitahaya fruits are highly concentrated with Vitamin C, minerals and boasts of high fiber content. The following table shows a characteristic nutritional value of the dragonfruit.
 Equally available in affluent in a dragonfruit is phytoalbumins. Basically, these nutrients are vital and known world over for the antioxidants they possess which usually help in the prevention of the formation of free radicals that cause cancer.


Fiber 0.9g
Fat 0.61g
Ashes 0.68g
Carotene 0.012g
Water 83.0g
Phosphorus 36.1mg
Ascorbic Acid 9.0mg
Protein 0.229g
Riboflavin 0.045mg
Calcium 8.8g
Niacin 0.430mg
Iron 0.65mg
1. Carotene helps maintain and equally improve the health of the eyes
2. The fiber enhances digestion in our bodies
3. The fiber equally reduces fat
4. The protein component of the pitaya fruit enhances the body’s metabolisn
5. Calcium reinforces bones and aid in formation of healthy teeth
6. Vitamin B2 acts as a multi vitamin to recover and improve loss appetite
7. Vitamin B1 assists in production of energy as well as metabolizing carbohydrates
8. Vitamin B3 lowers bad cholesterol level and enhances the appearance of the skin by moisturizing and smoothening it
9. Vitamin C ensures bruises and cuts heal faster and improves the general immune system of our bodies
10. Phosphorus aids in tissue formation
As mentioned above, eating a dried pitaya fruit equals eating 10x the punch of a fresh pitaya fruit, constituting essential vitamins such as Vitamin C, micro nutrients and fiber. Thus, consumption of 1.5 oz of a dried dragonfruit, equates to almost eating a full pound of the fresh dragonfruit. Note that all the necessary and important dietary fiber, micro nutrients and vitamin C are still in abundance in a dried dragonfruit.
While a fresh pitahaya fruit contains lots of water, justifying the soft creamy texture you feel when eating it fresh, a dry Pitahaya fruit features a chewy feel, and generally appears darker than the fresh fruit. This then explains the phrase “color your diet” for this amazing fruit rich in all vital nutrients that your body requires, and what is more, it is very easy to eat.


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