One can understand the sometimes strange reasons why we call things by the names that we do, when we look into the folklore of the day and the stories that have been passed down generation to generation. To someone who has never seen or tasted a Pitaya, hearing the word “Dragon Fruit” for the first time, immediately conjures up images of great, fiery power and mysticism. The thought that if one ate a “dragon fruit”, it would become a great big ball of fire in your mouth and possibly even turn you into a heap of ashes, one could understand the almost crazy notion of it all!!
And no, a Pitaya or Dragon Fruit (by its common name), will not become a fireball in your mouth! On the contrary, Dragon Fruits are one of the most beneficial foods to eat! Their health and beauty benefits are such that it was classified a Super-food in 2013.
Occurring naturally in the America’s, the Dragon Fruit is a broad-leafed cactus-type vine and usually thrives in sub-tropical regions. Of late, and due to its health and beauty properties, it is now being commercially grown in many regions, including South Africa. The Dragon Fruit is an oval shaped fruit bound by a soft, leathery skin that forms “scales”. The inner flesh is exotic and exquisite! Intense hues of white, reds, magentas, deep pinks and psychedelic burgundy-red to cerise-pink cultivars with minute black specs, which are the seeds, are available in South Africa! Without a doubt, this fruit is every dessert fundi’s dream come true!
Come up Trumps and tell your Doctor: “You’re Fired!”
The health and beauty properties of Dragon Fruit is so extensive, that this fruit should be the number one item in the shopping basket of any shopper who is serious about eating right! Here are a few of the benefits:-
• The red fleshed varieties contain lycopene. Lycopene is a natural antioxidant known to fight cancer, heart disease and lowers blood pressure. It has also garnered the focus of recent research for its connection to anti-aging and UV skin protection.
• Despite its sweet taste, Dragon Fruit lowers blood sugar levels and helps with the treatment of diabetes.
• Dragon Fruit strengthens bones and teeth by increasing the bone density. It helps in the formation of cell membranes and heals bruises and wounds faster.
• It strengthens the immune system and promotes healthy blood and tissue formation
• Dragon Fruits contain beneficial vitamins and minerals which are essential for a healthy body which includes- vitamin B1, B2, B3, Calcium, iron and phosphorus. They are also rich in anti-oxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids, carotene and protein. And the seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids.
• The fruit aids respiratory problems, promotes eye health, prevents anaemia and lowers cholesterol.
• Eaten regularly, Dragon Fruit helps shed unwanted weight.
With this kind of impact on your day-to-day health, who is going to need a Doctor!?
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