Dragon fruit, also known as strawberry pear and pitaya or pitahaya, is an exotic fruit that is grown primarily in Asia, Mexico, Central America, and South America. This fast-growing crop with translucent dark-red flesh is considered a rich source of nutrients and minerals .
Dragon fruit contains iron. One serving of it offers about 8% of our recommended daily intake (RDI). Iron is needed for the proper function of hemoglobin (a protein needed to transport oxygen in the blood) and plays an important role in breaking down food into energy (1,2). Aside from this, the mineral also promotes healthy pregnancy, increased energy, and better athletic performance. A shortage of iron in the blood can lead to a range of serious health problems, including iron deficiency anemia (3).
The fruit also has high amounts of magnesium. A cup of it offers 18% of our RDI. Magnesium is importance for cell function (4).
Being rich in vitamin C, consumption of dragon fruit may help is promoting a healthy and glowing skin, strengthening immunity, aiding the absorption of iron by the body, and producing collagen which makes our teeth healthier. A one-cup serving (227 grams) of the fruit contain 9% of the RDI (6).
One cup of dragon fruit contains 7 grams of fiber thus making it an excellent whole-food source. Aside from keeping our digestive system healthy, fiber may also play a role in stabilizing glucose and cholesterol levels and protecting against weight gain (7,8).
Cut the dragon fruit in half lengthwise. Remove the outer peel and discard any remaining pink portions of the fruit. Eat the flesh including the small black seeds.
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