Red pitaya is often known as the red dragon fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus). Betacyanin is a pigment that is responsible for the red-purple color of the fruit. It has a mildly sweet taste and contains several health benefits. It has been comprehensively researched for its antioxidant potential especially the polyphenols and betacyanin.
Here are some interesting facts about red pitaya!
- It is a climbing vine cactus, which is native to the tropical forest regions of Mexico and Central and South America
- Mayas (people of Mexico) traditionally used the leaves and flowers of H. undatus as a hypoglycemic, diuretic and wound healing agent.
- Dragon fruit is a good source of several natural antioxidants like betalains, polyphenols and ascorbic acid.The rich antioxidants are known to prevent diabetes and cancer, neutralize toxic substances such as heavy metals and reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure
- Dragon fruit extract is adequate to formulate cosmetic products for the protection of the skin and hair integrity against oxidative processes.
- Red Pitaya has been reported to have high crude fibre and mineral content, especially potassium, sodium , magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and iron. These dietary components in red Pitaya which have been shown to have a hypocholesterolemic effect through increased excretion of bile acids are soluble fiber, unsaturated fatty acids and minerals especially potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc
Nutritional content of Pitaya fruit (H. polyrhizus).
Nutritional Value (per 100 g)
- Carotene – 0.012 g
- Vitamin C – 9.0 mg
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1) – traces
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – 0.045 mg
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – 0.430 mg
- Calcium -6 -10 mg
- Iron – 0.3 – 0.7 mg
- Phosphorus – 16 – 36 mg
- Carbohydrates – 9-14 g
- Protein – 0.15 – 0.5 g
- Fiber – 0.3 – 0.9 g
- Water – 80-90g
- Fat – 0.1 – 0.6 g
- Calories – 35 – 50
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