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DRAGON FRUIT (Hylocereus undatus)

 

Also known as Pitahaya, Pitajaya, Pitaya roja or Strawberry pear.

 

Dragon Fruit Hylocereus undatas

Dragon fruit is the fruit of a cactus which blooms at night and originates from Mexico, Central and South America. The lycopene, responsible for the red colour in dragon fruit, is associated with a lower prostate cancer risk. The dragon fruit has only 60 calories per fruit so is a good addition to the diet for weight loss because it is a rich source of fibre, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium, iron and phosphorous.

It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which can help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Regular consumption can also help to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, skin disorders and thyroid dysfunction.

Dragon fruit can be combined with cucumber juice and honey to make an external soothing ointment that can help to relieve sunburn and other skin disorders. Abundant in vitamin B3, dragon fruit can moisturise sunburned skin and release heat from the affected area.

 

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NOTE: Because carotenoids, such as lycopene, are fat-soluble, dragon fruit should be consumed with an oily food such as avocado, coconut oil or milk, cream, nuts, seeds or yoghurt in order for the lycopene to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

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