DRAGON‌ ‌FRUIT‌

What is Dragon Fruit?

Dragon Fruit is a Unique fruit with Unique name and having Unique Taste.

It commonly grows in a climbing cactus known as hylocereus (“hyle,” means “woody,” and  “cereus,”  means “waxen.”). It is commonly known as the white fleshed Pitaya or Pitahaya from the family Cactaceae.

From some reports it is indigenous to the America but still the native of this species is never been resolved.

CULTIVATION- Mostly in Southeast Asia, India, United States, the Caribbean, Australia Mesoamerica and throughout tropical and subtropical world regions.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION-

STEM- scandent (climbing habit), creeping, sprawling or clambering & branched profusely. There can be 4–7 of them, between 5 and 10 m or longer, with joints from 30–120 cm or longer, and thickness of 10–12 cm with generally 3 ribs

Margins- corneous (horn-like)and undulate with age.

Areoles- It is the small area that is bearing spines or hairs on a cactus, are 2 mm across with internodes 1–4 cm. Spines on the adult branches are 1–4 mm long,  acicular (needle-like) to almost conical and color is grayish brown to black and with a deep green epidermis and spreading.

Flowers- Scented, nocturnal flowers, Length- 25 to 30 cm, Width- 15 to17 cm with the pericarpel-  2.5 to 5 cm long.

Colour of flower – greenish-yellow or whitish, rarely rose-tinged; inner tepals are lanceolate (tapering to a point at the tip) to oblanceolate or pointed at the base.

Stamens- 5 to10 cm long, are declinate, inserted in one continuous zone from throat to 35 mm above the pericarpel and cream. The style (bearing the stigma) to 17, they are 5 to 24.5 cm long, stout, 6 to 8 mm thick, cream, and up to 26 stigma lobes, they can be whole or sometimes split at the top, cream and about 25 mm in length.

Fruit oblong to oval with Magenta Exterior and white or purple flesh

Size-  6 to12 cm long, 4 to 9 cm thick, red with large bracteoles, having white pulp and edible black seeds.

SCIENTIFIC NAME- Selenicereus undatus

FAMILY-  Cactaceae

VERNACULAR NAMES-

  • English- Pitahaya, dragon fruit, Night blooming cereus, Strawberry pear, Belle of the Night, Cinderella plant, Jesus in the cradle, moonflower.
  • Dansk: Dragefrugt
  • French: Pitaya, fruit du dragon, poire de chardon
  • German: Drachenfrucht
  • Greek: fruto tu draku
  • Hawaiian: panini-o-ka-puna-hou or Punahou cactus.
  • Japanese: Pitaya (ピタヤ), Dragon fruit (ドラゴンフルーツ),
  • Korean: Yong-gwa (용과, 龍果)
  • Portuguese: pitaia, cato-barse, cardo-ananaz,rainha da noite
  • Spanish: Pitahaya roja (Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela); flor de caliz, pitajava (Puerto Rico); junco, junco tapatio, pitahaya orejona, reina de la noche, tasajo (Mexico)
  • Swedish: skogskaktus, röd pitahaya
  • Vietnamese: thanh long
  • Thai: แก้วมังกร (kaeo mangkon)
  • Malay: buah naga. pronounce:boo-ah naa-gaa
  • Italian: Pitahaya, Frutto del Drago
  • Bengali: ড্রাগন ফল or dragon fal
  • Lithuanian: kertuotis

NUTRITIONAL CONTENTS OF THE FRUIT-

  • It is enriched with vitamin C and antioxidants that are good and boost up your immune system.
  • Iron is very important for moving  the oxygen throughout your body and further  raises your energy levels.
  • It is enriched with iron thus helps to maintain iron levels in the body and vitamin C helps in iron absorption in the body.
  • Rich in Healthy Fibre, protein, low fat and cholesterol free.

AYURVEDIC VIEW-

Pitaya or Dragon Fruit is juicy and Bright colored

RASA or TASTE- Sweet taste

It can be described as a cross between a kiwi, a pear and a watermelon.

Seeds- Nutty flavor

By looking at its properties and taste it Pacifies the Pitta Dosha in the body.

Deepana and Pachana- It enlightens the digestive fire and helping in overall health.

MEDICINAL BENEFITS-

  • Weight loss-  If you are someone who is fed up of extra fat in our body and become healthy, You should add on this fruit to your diet. This fruit can be added to your diet as it is having low calorie
  • It is a good source of fibre making you will feel full for a long time and overeating would be Avoided.
  • Pregnancy- It is a good source of iron and thus helps in prevention against the anemia in pregnancy.
  • Inflammation- Pitaya benefit you in chronic pain as it contains anti-inflammatory properties, thus helps in getting rid of inflammation.
  • Skin Health- Fruits and nuts are great sources to improve your skin quality. Some essential nutrients like Vitamin-C and Antioxidants present in this fruit benefits your skin to get relief from pimples, fine lines, age spots, acne, and wrinkles
  • The Antioxidants help to unclog your pores, repair damaged cells, and thus giving you a natural glow.
  •  Blood sugar level: If you are a Diabetic then add on this fruit to your diet as it improves your Blood Sugar level.
  • Immunity Booster: It is a rich source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Health-related problems can be prevented by the use of this fruit as it boosts up your immunity.
  • ANTI CANCEROUS- This fruit contains Lycopene antioxidant which is known to prevent the cancer. This antioxidant helps to reduce the free radicals that leads to cancer problem.
  • Digestive Health- In Ayurveda it is said that all the disease are produced by the decrease in digestive fibre i.e. almost all diseases are related to your guts health. This fruit benefits to improve your gut health because it is a good source of fibre and fibre helps to improve digestion. If you are suffering from irregular bowel, definitely add this fruit in your diet.
  •  Cardiovascular health: This fruit benefits you to prevent the chances of a heart attack and stroke. Further it helps to improves your cardiovascular health leading to prevention against the cardiovascular diseases.
  • The fruit is having tiny seeds which are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids help to improve your blood circulation and thus reducing the risk of blood flow.