Exotic Fruit Market offers Yellow Dragon fruits
grown in South America and Israel. Sweet, juicy yellow dragon fruit is obtained
from the cactus family plants of Central American origin, in the genus:
Hylocereus. They sold as pitihaya or pithaya (Spanish name) in the western
markets. It is one of the popular South-East Asian countries, especially
Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Some of the common names are strawberry
pear, thanh long in viatnamese, Huolóng guo in Chinese, Doragonfurutsu, and
Kæwmangkr in Thai.
The pitahaya is a fruit that you may have never
heard of before. However, you might know it as the Dragon fruit or cactus
fruit. It’s an exotic fruit with some definite health benefits.
Just as it has three different names, it also
has several different colors. The most widely found pitahaya has a Yellow flesh
and black seeds. Others may have a red flesh and still, others have a yellow
skin with a white flesh.
Though it may look strange and have strange
names, it’s a great source of antioxidants, is rich in important nutrients, and
contains lots of different vitamins essential to good health. Even better than
that, it’s got a great taste.
Called a tropical superfood by some, the
pitahaya may appear to be a mix between a kiwi and a pear. It’s like a kiwi
because the seeds also contain a ton of nutrients like omega 3s and omegas
6s—the good fats.
The fruit’s flesh is high in Vitamin C which
contributes to a strong and healthy immune system. It’s also a good source of
carbohydrates and even fiber. Although not as high in complex B vitamins, the
pitahaya does contain some B1, B2, and B3, along with calcium, iron, and
phosphorus. Finally, lycopene, with its cancer-fighting properties, also makes
an appearance, on our list of important vitamins found in the pitahaya. So,
what are some practical ways that these vitamins and minerals found in the
pitahaya can help us?
First, the pitahaya can assist in controlling
our blood sugar. It’s a fantastic food for diabetes because of its low glycemic
index. But, it doesn’t just help those already diagnosed with diabetes; it also
could help prevent the development of diabetes in those who don’t have it. In
laboratory rats, it was discovered that the pitahaya reduced one of the risk
factors for diabetes.
Because it’s a good source of dietary fiber, the
pitahaya helps keep you regular. The fiber makes sure that our digestive system
is operating properly and prevents constipation.
The fiber that the Yellow Dragon fruit contains
is a soluble fiber, so it slows the absorption of sugar and stabilizes blood
sugar levels. Additionally, it may lower LDL levels, the bad cholesterol, and
provide an extra full feeling which could also aid in weight loss.
Pitahayas contain betalains, which are pigments
that give the fruit its rich colors. But that’s not all the pigments do. They
are principally responsible for maintaining lower levels of the bad
cholesterol, that has already been mentioned.
Because of the high level of antioxidants and
anti-carcinogens found in the Dragon fruit, it’s able to work to fend off
certain cancers. Add it to the list of great-tasting fruits that are also rich
in antioxidants for a healthy lifestyle.
The Vitamin C found in the pitahaya is great for
your skin. It’s been shown to slow the aging process and fights the effects of
over-exposure to the sun. This great fruit makes your skin feel good, but it also
makes it look good too.
The pitahaya has flavonoids that have been
proven to lower the risk of heart disease. Various studies have found that
foods rich in flavonoids are extremely important for a healthy heart. However,
the high Vitamin C levels also contribute to our cardiovascular health by lower
the risk of strokes, according to the American College of Clinical Nutrition.
While you can't eat the peel of a pitahaya, you
need to pay attention to this peel when you’re at the market picking out your
fruit. It’s best to pick a firm one and let it ripen at home for a juicy pulp
with a great taste.
Much like a kiwi, in order to extract that
creamy middle flesh, you’ll need to cut it in half and spoon out the flesh and
edible seeds. Try adding it to a fruit salad for its extra great taste and cool
look. You won’t be sorry.
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