(NaturalNews) Because of the multiple scales on the outside of it, dragon fruit was originally known as pitaya. This night-flowering cactus plant is also known as strawberry pear, mood flower, skogkaktus, pa-ni-ni, catobarse and long gou. Originating in Mexico and South America, this fruit is now also grown commercially in Asia. There are a few different varieties of dragon fruit. While some are dark pink, others are yellow or white. They have a taste similar to that of kiwi fruit, pear and watermelon. Health benefits of this unusual fruit range from improving memory to boosting the body's metabolism.
Because of its ability to lower blood glucose levels naturally, those suffering from diabetes can also benefit from eating dragon fruit. Its high protein content makes it beneficial for those needing to boost metabolism. Its Calcium content enables it to assist with strengthening teeth and bones naturally. Having a high fibre content, it is ideal for those suffering from constipation or irregular bowel movements. It possesses natural skin moisturizing properties.
Dragon fruit is also known to be a natural appetite stimulant, making it a good choice for anyone recovering from a loss of appetite after illness. It is an excellent antioxidant, which helps prevent the spread of free radicals within the body. It is able to lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure naturally. It has also been shown to help those suffering from respiratory infections and asthma.
Besides calcium, this spiky fruit contains a host of other nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), carotene, phosphorus, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), iron, protein, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), carbohydrates, fibre and Vitamin C. It contains a small amount of ash and is approximately 83% moisture. The Vitamin C in dragon fruit enables it to help build the immune system and heal bruises and cuts naturally. It also acts as a natural detoxing agent, because it is able to help the body neutralize substances like heavy metals.
This versatile fruit can be served whole, in salads, on homemade pizza and as a beverage if squeezed. It can also be used to make spreads, jams and preserves.
Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography. Her blog may be viewed here Some of her photography work may be viewed here Other articles written by her may be viewed here