Dragon Fruit


Dragon Fruit is said to have originated in the tropical and subtropical forests of Mexico and Central and South America. Gradually, the fruit spread to other tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Currently, Dragon Fruit is cultivated in at least 22 countries including Australia, China, Israel, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. According to some accounts, the French took the fruit from Nicaragua and Colombia, while other accounts state that the French brought it with them from Guyana (South America) in 1870 as an ornamental plant. In fact, the French introduced the fruit to Vietnam over a hundred years ago. Today, Vietnam is the world's leading exporter of Dragon Fruit, with revenues from Dragon Fruit making up 55 percent of the country's fruit export turnover. The fruit is popular across Southeast Asia. It is increasingly being cultivated in several countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Israel, northern Australia, southern China, the Philippines and Hawaii.

Legend has it that the Dragon fruit was created ages ago by a fire breathing dragon. Whenever the Dragon breathed fire, it would end with the fruit tailing the fire: hence the name 'DRAGON FRUIT'. In the course of a violent battle, when the dragon breathed fire, and as soon as the fruit emerged, the beast was instantly slain by a large contingent of soldiers. The triumphant soldiers picked up the fruit and proudly presented it to their King as a coveted treasure. The soldiers then celebrated their victory by slaughtering the dragon and devouring its flesh. It was believed that those who feasted on the dragon's flesh would be endowed with the strength and ferocity of the dragon and that they too would be coveted by the king. It is possible that the story graced popular folklore at the time when the pitaya was first introduced to Asia from South America, perhaps in an effort to create an impression that this exotic fruit was their own. Whatever the story, the exciting legend of the Dragon Fruit certainly adds to the marketing narrative of this truly exotic and mysterious fruit.

Dragon fruit is declared as a super fruit in 2013 by USFDA.

  • Dragon Fruit is referred to as Pitaya, Pitahaya or Strawberry Pear in different parts of the world
  • There are as many as 140 species
  • Three main types of Dragon Fruit are 'Hylocereus undatus', 'Hylocereus megalanthus' & 'Hylocereus polyrhizus'
  • There are three main varieties depending on its appearence.
    • 1. Red skin with red flesh
    • 2. Red skin with white flesh
    • 3. Yellow skin with white flesh
  • All Dragon Fruits have black tiny edible seeds that are similar in appearance to kiwi seeds
  • The texture of Dragon Fruit is similar to kiwi or watermelon, and the flavour is mildly sweet with subtle earthy notes
  • The cultivars with deeper pink flesh (Hybrid) are said to have the most flavour and higher brix (Upto 21)

Nutritional Content

Energy (kj) 130 283 238 276 243
Protein (g) 0.5 0.2-1.1 0.5 0.7 0.3
Fat (g) 0.1 0.6-0.9 0.3 0.4 0.2
Carbohydrates (g) 9.5 11.2 14.7 16.8 13.7
Glucose (g) 5.5 4.7-5.7 - 0.8-1.5 -
Fructose (g) 1.9 1.8-3.2 - 6.4-9.4 -
Crude Fibre (g) 0.3 0.7-1.3 5 0.9 0.4
Calcium (mg) 3.1-6 2.3-10.2 10 10 17
Magnesium (mg) 26.6 31.3-38.9 Not detected 8.8 13
Sodium (mg) 3.3 7.3-8.9 1 7 1
Potassium (mg) 399.5 272-328.4 135 189 146
Iron (mg) 0.4 0.6-3.4 0.5 0.4 0.5
Phosphorus (mg) 19 27.5-36.1 10 13 8
Dragon Fruit contains various anti-oxidents and pigments like Betacyainins, Hydroxycinnnamates, Flavonoids, Astaxanthin, Phytoalbumin.

Dragon Fruit contains Highest Vitamin-C content approximately 34% (20.5 milli grams) of daily requirement dose per serving.

Health Benefits

Skin Benefits

  • 1) Fights Signs of Aging
  • 2) Treats Acne
  • 3) Soothes Sunburned Skin
  • 4) Promotes Skin Health
  • 5) Provides Essential Moisture to Dry Skin

Hair Benefits

  • 6) Treats Coloured Hair
  • 7) Promotes Healthy & Strong Hair (By increasing Hydroxyprolin, Total Proteins & DNA collagen content)

Other Health Benefits

  • 8) Lowers Cholesterol
  • 9) Relives Constipation
  • 10) Lowers Blood Sugar (Complex Carbohydrates)
  • 11) Improves Cardiovascular Health
  • 12) Increases Haemoglobin
  • 13) Helps in Weight Management
  • 14) Prevents Cancer (Phytoalbumin & Anti-Oxidents)
  • 15) Prevents Glaucoma
  • 16) Boosts Immunity & Prevents Infections
  • 17) Helps Suppress Arthritis Pain (Anti-Inflammatory)
  • 18) Nutritionally good fruit during Pregnancy
  • 19) Prevents Renal Bone Disease
  • 20) Stronger Teeth and Bones
  • 21) Improves Platlet Count during Dengue Fever
  • 22) Repairs Body Cells
  • 23) Improves Appetite
  • 24) Improves Vision
  • 25) Boosts Brain Function
  • 26) Prevents Respiratory Disorders
  • 27) High in Anti-Oxidents & Vitamin-C
  • 28) Decreases Stress
  • 29) Prevents Liver Disorders (Non Alcholic Fatty Liver Disease)
  • 30) Acts as a Natural Probiotic

How To Eat Dragon Fruit?

  • Slice the Dragon Fruit in half, length-wise (Just as you would slice a Lemon in half)
  • Just scoop out the flesh and eat. Make sure that you eat only the white part containing the seeds and discard the pink portions, as they may not be edible.
  • OR slice the halves into small cubes without cutting into the skin/peel. (Just as you would slice a cake into small squares without touching the wooden/cardboard base). Remove the cubes and eat.

The fruit is commonly eaten raw. It's best eaten chilled as a tasty snack. It can also be sliced into small cubes and added to deserts - pastries, ice cream, salads, smoothies and yogurt.


Storing the full fruit

  • Place the dragon fruit in a paper bag. Do not peel or cut it prior to storage
  • Store the dragon fruit in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator (Best stored at temperatures between 5 to 8° C)
  • Refrigerated fruit can be stored for up to three months

Storing the cut fruit

  • Scoop out the pulp from the skin once the dragon fruit has been cut
  • Place the pulp in a tightly sealed container
  • Cut Dragon Fruits must be stored frozen as their quality quickly declines
  • Keep the Dragon Fruit pulp in the freezer for up to three months