Dragon fruit, the tasty ally of our health

Dragon fruit, the tasty ally of our health

the Dragon fruitalso called the pitaya, is an exotic fruit growing popular with consumers. Recognizable thanks to its pretty pink scales, which can also range from blood red to shimmering yellow, pitaya and its sweet and colorful flesh, is full of as many small black seeds as it is flavorful.

This tropical fruit, from a cactus called hylocereus undatus, is native to Latin America, especially Mexico, but is mainly grown in Vietnam. It is divided into three main varieties, each recognizable by its color, and can be enjoyed fresh from September to December.

Its original name refers to its many scales, reminiscent of the skin of the dragon – highly prized animal of Vietnamese mythology.

Note that the dragon fruit is more expensive than other exotic fruits, on average at 12€ per kilo, in particular because it requires patience and meticulousness during its harvest, but also during its pollination.

Because if in the wild, this step is carried out by bats or moths, in the context of harvests, Those are farmers who have to brush the flower pistils with pollen of pitaya, one by one with a brush.

Furthermore, they cannot perform fertilization only at nightbecause, in the early morning, the flowers, which produce only one fruit each, close.

Dragon fruit, an ally packed with antioxidants

In addition to its sweet flavor that delights gourmets, dragon fruit is also a health ally.

In 2006, researchers studied the content and benefits of red dragon fruit. “The results indicated that the flesh and the skin were both rich in polyphenols and were good sources of antioxidants”, tells us the article published in Food Chemistry. Polyphenols are molecules that prevent the oxidation of cells, that is to say the early aging of our body.

Low in calories, the pitaya is nevertheless rich in vitamin Ca vitamin that contributes to the proper functioning of our immune system and to the reduction of fatigue.

Also rich in water, the dragon fruit, thanks to its many seeds, has an anti-constipation effect, thus promoting intestinal transit.

This exotic fruit also contains magnesium, famous for its anti-stress properties and can help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (pain, swollen belly).

But that’s not all: the pitaya is also the ally of your skin and your hair ! In addition to hydrating and regenerating the skin thanks to its vitamins and water content, dragon fruit can also be used in hair care, helping to revive the color and prolong its life.

How to taste the pitaya to take advantage of its benefits?

Although the pitaya knows a slight increased public interest and is available in some supermarkets, Asian grocery stores will sell it to you most often. For optimal flavours, the fruit must be chosen carefully : firm scales, without being too hard, but above all without stains.

It is eaten raw, as most professionals recommend eating the fruit, since cooking kills vitamins. For easy tasting, slice it lengthwise, remove the skin, which is inedible because it is very bitter, and consume it quickly (or keep it only a few days in the fridge).

The pitaya flower is also edible, it can be used in particular to make tea. Elegant and colorful, the shell of the pitaya can easily dress your plates and serve as a support for presenting your dishes.

But this fruit can especially bring a touch of originality on your plates: we favor cheesecakes, sorbets or pitaya-based fruit salads when it’s hot. We don’t hesitate to use it as we please in a sauce or even in a cake, for us comfort as the start of the new school year approaches.

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