(NaturalNews) With a name like "dragon fruit," how could one not eat it, or at least be tempted to? The exotic-looking fruit is also known as "pa-ni-ni," "mood flower" and "strawberry pear," and the speckled flesh inside its colorful, scaly outer skin has a bevy of health benefits too good to pass up. (1)
Some may turn away because of its scaly, cactus-like appearance, but doing so is only contributing to a growing food waste problem. In fact, the many foods that are discarded by consumers and retailers are ones that are deemed undesirable because of their unusual appearance, or because they are slightly bruised. While many initiatives to help combat this issue exist, such as Fruta Feia, or "Ugly Fruit," a food cooperative in Portugal dedicated to fighting food waste, the reality is that food waste still remains a problem on a global level.
So, why not try something new? Dragon fruit may have an "edgy" name with an equally bold look to match, but the health benefits it provides are well worth enjoying.
The health benefits of dragon fruit
With a mere 60 calories in one small dragon fruit, it's ideal for those watching their weight. Furthermore, while it has 14 grams of carbs, they are healthy, unprocessed, nutrient-packed ones that won't contribute to weight gain.
Reduced risk of illnesses like cancer
Dragon fruit is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant known to help eliminate free radicals. In fact, it has more than three times the amount of vitamin C as carrots. (2) Because cells are protected from damaging stress, the body is better protected from illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.
Better bone, muscle and nerve health
Dragon fruit's high calcium content has led The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations to refer to the food as one that is of high nutritional value. Foods with good amounts of calcium have been shown to play a role in improving nerve function and keeping bones strong.
Helps fight constipation
The seeds of a dragon fruit have laxative properties, making it an ideal natural alternative when faced with constipation. (2)
Why not enjoy the health benefits of dragon fruit today? It's typically eaten raw, but many people enjoy them in smoothies or using them in other creative food preparation ways.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle