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What Are The Health Benefits Of Pitaya Or Dragonfruit (Selenicereus undatus)?

JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO Monday, September 27, 2021 Science and Nature

 
This post will provide information on "What are the health benefits of pitaya or dragonfruit (Selenicereus undatus)?" as well as provide answers to questions like: Why is pitaya called Dragonfruit? What is the history behind dragon fruit? Is pitaya the same as dragon fruit? Which country is famous for dragon fruit? How healthy is Pitaya? Is Pitaya a Superfood? Can I eat dragon fruit everyday? What nutrients are in Pitaya?

History of Pitaya or Dragonfruit (Selenicereus undatus)

A pitaya or pitahaya is the fruit of several different cactus species indigenous to the Americas. Pitaya usually refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while pitahaya or dragon fruit refers to fruit of the genus Selenicereus (formerly Hylocereus), both in the family Cactaceae. Dragon fruit is cultivated in Mexico, Southeast Asia, India, the United States, the Caribbean, Australia, Mesoamerica and throughout tropical and subtropical world regions. These fruits are commonly known in English as "dragon fruit", a name used since around 1963, apparently resulting from the leather-like skin and prominent scaly spikes on the fruit exterior. The names pitahaya and pitaya derive from Mexico, and pitaya roja in Central America and northern South America, possibly relating to pitahaya for names of tall cacti species with flowering fruit. The fruit may also be known as a strawberry pear. Stenocereus fruit (sour pitayas) are a variety that is commonly eaten in the arid regions of the Americas. They are more sour and refreshing, with juicier flesh and a stronger taste. The sour pitaya or pitaya agria (S. gummosus) in the Sonoran Desert has been an important food source for indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Seri people of northwestern Mexico still harvest the fruit, and call the plant ziix is ccapxl "thing whose fruit is sour". The fruit of related species, such as S. queretaroensis and the dagger cactus (S. griseus), are also locally important foods. The fruit of the organ pipe cactus (S. thurberi, called ool by the Seris) is the pitaya dulce "sweet pitaya". It has a more tart aroma than Selenicereus fruit, described as somewhat reminiscent of watermelon.

Health Benfits of Pitaya or Dragonfruit (Selenicereus undatus)

  • It may help lower your blood sugar
  • It can strengthen your immune system
  • It can boost your iron levels
  • Dragon fruit encourages the growth of the probiotics lactobacilli and bifidobacteria which can kill disease-causing viruses and bacteria
  • They also help digest food
  • Side Effects of Pitaya or Dragonfruit (Selenicereus undatus)

    Allergic reactions with symptoms such as swelling of the tongue, hives, and vomiting. This type of reaction seems to be very rare. If you eat enough red dragon fruit, it might turn your urine pink or red. This symptom looks more alarming than it actually is.

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