You won’t breathe fire, but you’ll get some pretty great health benefits.
If you’ve ever seen Pete’s Dragon, you may recall that one musical number where the bad guys sing about all the uses for the various parts of a dragon. Bit of a dark song, in retrospect, but relevant to today’s topic. As a dragon is, apparently, the most multi-use creature in existence, it only makes sense that something named after it would have equally varied benefits.
The pitaya, better known as the dragon fruit, is native to southern Mexico and Central America. I first heard about them on a bottle of Vitamin Water in the mid-2000s, but apparently, people have been eating these exotic fruits since the 60s, or at least that’s how long the name “dragon fruit” has been around. With its fiery-looking peel and pale, seedy insides, the dragon fruit almost looks like something you’d find on another planet. But it’s from here, and it’s packed with nutrients.
Like most fruits, dragon fruit is a great source of vitamin C, which in turn promotes immune health, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A single piece of dragon fruit can contain up to 7g of fiber. That’s a fourth of your daily recommended amount right there, so if you’ve been having some trouble making your, ahem, “moves” lately, dragon fruit will get things flowing again.
Speaking of flows, dragon fruit is also good for promoting healthy blood flow and heart health. Dragon fruit is one of the few fruits of the world with a high iron content, which promotes hemoglobin production in your blood, as well as healthy hair and skin. The seeds of the dragon fruit are high in omega-3 and omega-9, which studies show are good for preventing inflammation and heart disease. Dragon fruit is also one of the only fruits with a high magnesium content, which promotes strong, healthy bones.
So while eating a dragon fruit probably won’t grant you eternal youth or magical shouting powers, some dragon fruit in your diet will go a long way to getting you your vital daily nutrients. Also, they go great in salsa.