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Dragon Fruit: Tropical, Tasty, and Healthy

By Paul Rothbart

Dragon fruit is an exotic, tropical fruit that is carried in many supermarkets. It can be tricky to choose and eat for people not familiar with it. A ripe dragon fruit is bright red and may have a few spots. Green ones are not ripe yet and bruised fruit is overripe. The texture should be soft, much like a kiwi or avocado. The skin is thick and tough. The best way to eat a dragon fruit is to cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. It is eaten raw and has a sweet flavor that goes well with yogurt or in a smoothie. Dragon fruit is also nutritious and has several health benefits.

Nutritional Content

A serving of dragon fruit is one cup and contains plenty of nutrition. With just 136 calories, a serving contains 29 grams of carbs, three grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat. It also has seven grams of fiber and 18 percent of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. Dragon fruit also contains smaller amounts of iron and Vitamins C and E. Some of dragon fruit's health benefits come from its antioxidant content.

Plenty of Fiber

Dietary fibers provide numerous health benefits. These carbohydrates help feed healthy bacteria in the gut and aid digestion. Fiber is also filling and can reduce hunger pangs which is helpful for those trying to lose weight. Research has also suggested that fiber may play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer. Dragon fruit in your diet can contribute to the amount of fiber you ingest.

Helps Fight Disease

Many chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis are caused by free radicals. These molecules attack cells, causing oxidative stress and damaging them. The cells may mutate and lead to diseases. Dragon fruit contains betacyanins, polyphenols, and carotenoids. These powerful antioxidants fight free radicals, preventing them from damaging cells. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like dragon fruit can lower the risk of chronic disease.

Boost the Immune System

Immune system health is important because this is the system that keeps the body healthy. The Vitamin C and antioxidants in dragon fruit can boost the immune system. They protect white blood cells from damage. White blood cells attack antibodies that cause illness. They are especially vulnerable to free radicals and benefit from the presence of antioxidants.

Tropical fruits are tasty, exotic, and fun to serve. Dragon fruit is one of the most colorful and unusual looking. Its sweet taste is a nice addition to your diet. Its health benefits are even better.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brandon, Fla.

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