Night Blooming Cereus – A wonder fruit
Also known as “ Pitahaya” or “ Pitaya” .
Originated from central and south America. Its cultivated in south Asian and south east Asian countries east Asia such as Thailand, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, SriLanka ,Indonesia , Philippines, Bangladesh, USA, Israel, Australia, Cyprus, Canary islands.
Botanically, belongs to genus Hylocereus . Its also known as monster fruit. It’s a attractive and magnificent plant , with stunning and beautiful fruits and flowers in various colors. Its skin colour is red and yellow with edible fleshy inside. On cross section, the central part of the fruit has lots of small black seeds which are rich in fats.
It’s a climbing cactus and grows on trees with the help of aerial roots produces yellow and pink color flowers . This plant blooms from evening to mid night and withers in sunlight and their flowers are pollinated by bats and moths . So its known as “Moon Flower or Queen of night “.
Its known as Dragon fruit because the fruit is shaped like a scaly dragon . In Chinese society this fruit is offered to God as a tradition.
Health Benefits of this exotic ,delicious tropical super food.
Immune Systems : This fruit contain highest quantity of Vitamin C, Vitamin B1,B2,B3,Calcium,Phosphorus,protein, niacin and fiber. Due to increase vitamin C , they stimulate activity of antioxidants which eliminate the free radicals in the body .This fruit rich in 80% to 90% water so it keeps the body hydrated and healthy throughout the day . It also prevents from catching infections , like cough , cold and Asthma.
Weight Loss : As its rich in fiber and low in calories . It boosts metabolism and keeps your appetite under control.
Preventing high BP and Heart diseases : As cholesterol level in blood decreases, there is decrease chance of plaque formation in arteries and veins, which results lesser chance of development of atherosclerosis .Then there is less chance of development of heart attacks .
The seeds of this fruit contain monounsaturated fatty acid which are edible. Its keeps your heart healthy. This fruit decreases the LDL ( low density Lipoproteins ) and increases the HDL
( high density Lipoproteins) Ref: LDL is the Bad cholesterol & HDL is good cholesterol.
Digestion : As it has high fibre and water content ,it facilitates smooth movements through the digestive tract by peristalsis . They decrease the chance of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and colorectal cancer. It promotes growth of probiotics.
Cancer : This super fruit contain carotene. It reduces size of the tumors’ as it has anti carcinogenic qualities . Due to increased vitamin C content and antioxidant properties, they boosts immune system . People who feels sick can have this tropical fruit. Lycopene ( Red color) present in the fruit lowers the risk of prostate cancer.
Anti bacterial and anti fungal : They help in increasing white blood cell count in the body which protects against toxins . They stimulate regeneration of cells which speed up healing of bruises and wounds. As it contains vitamin C , it makes immune system stronger.
Metabolic rate : this fruit speed up metabolic rate in the body . Protein intake is essential for the smooth functioning of the body . Proteins from fruits , vegetables, chicken, meat are metabolized by enzymes which convert into usable proteins . They help in cell repairs , tissue breakdown , bone and teeth development , maintains tensile strength of hair and tonicity of skin.
Diabetes : Due to its high fibre content, it stabilizes blood sugar levels by decreasing the sugar spikes.
Ageing : as its rich in antioxidants, due to vitamin C, it keeps the skin smooth, tight and young . It fights the free radicals which cause cellular damage thus resulting in wrinkles and fine lines .
Antioxidants : This fruit contain antioxidants which fight free radicals roaming in the body and prevent them from affecting our vital functions . It helps in detoxifying your body and builds stronger immune system.
Treatment of Colored hair : Dragon fruit juice is an excellent agent for treatment of colored hair. This keeps the hair follicles open and allow the hair to breathe as the chemicals on colored hair leave it dry and dull. Thus it keeps the hair healthy and smooth.
Suppresses arthritis : Its also known as anti inflammatory fruit. It affects the joints , causing irritation and immobility .
Avoids Acne : As its rich in vitamin C , it can be used as a topical ointment . Ref: Slice of fruit made into paste, can be applied on affected areas on face or skin . Then rinse with water to get better result.
Soothe Sunburned Skin : As its rich in vitamin B, it moisturizes sunburned skin and releases heat from affected areas . Ref : Slice of fruit with honey and cucumber can be applied on sun burned area to get better result.
Dragon fruit should be consumed in moderation : As it contains fructose .
It improves eye sight.
It improves memory .
It prevents dengue hemorrhagic fever as it contains vitamin C.
Safe for Pregnant Women and for breast feeding mothers .
This fruit has no side effects .
Energy : 60 Calories
Protein : 2 Grams
Sugar : 9 Grams
Water: 83 Grams
Calcium : 8.8 mg
Potassium : 436 mg
Benefits for pregnant women :
- This fruit helps in formation of RBC ( red blood cells ) . Intake of iron helps in the formation of RBC which benefits pregnant women who are anemic . Its beneficial to the fetus in womb, as it needs oxygen and nutrients for its growth.
- It contains carbohydrates : Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for pregnant women who get exhausted quickly .
- Contains folate : Pregnant women need folate to prevent the baby from developing neural tube defects.
- Its rich in fibre : Due to its rich fibre content, its best for pregnant women as they suffer from problems like constipation .
- High Nutrition : As is contain vitamin C, Protein, Potassium, they are beneficial for both mother and the fetus. Vitamin B is good for growth of fetus.
- They promote bone development : the calcium present in the fruit strengthens the bones and teeth of developing fetus during pregnancy .
- They promote cell regeneration and healing of wounds in pregnant women as it has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties .
- The fats present in the fruit provides energy . They promote brain formation of fetus .
- They are good for circulatory system as they decrease emotional stress and neutralize toxins in blood.