With a greater selection than ever available in your fresh fruit aisle, you may have come across this fruit that is a type of cactus.
Resembling an exotic flower or even a coral colored flame, this could well be something new to try for you and your family. The brightly colored skin that comes in 3 colors, conceals a sweet flesh which might remind you of the kiwi fruit.
Sometimes known as the red pitahaya
, the belle of the night
or a strawberry pear
, it is often called the dragon fruit
and yet another fruit to add to your list of vitamin C rich foods for speeding up healing and boosting the immune system.
It has many other health benefits too
- Carotene helps maintain and improve eye health.
- High in fiber, aiding digestion, reducing fat and guarding against colon cancer.
- The protein component of the fruit enhances the body’s metabolism.
- Calcium reinforces bones and aids in formation of healthy teeth, while phosphorus assists in tissue formation.- Vitamin B2 acts as a multivitamin to recover and improve loss of appetite; Vitamin B1 assists in production of energy as well as metabolizing carbohydrates; while Vitamin B3 lowers bad cholesterol level and enhances the appearance of the skin by moisturizing and smoothing it.
- A natural detox, helping neutralize toxins such as heavy metals and others within the body.
Along with these many heath benefits, the dragon fruit can also help regulate asthma and acts as a natural appetite stimulant for those recovering from illness.
So how do you know how to choose a ripe dragon fruit?
Look for fruit with bright even colored skin but be wary of lots of blotches and blemishes as these could mean the fruit is over ripe – just a few is normal. Always watch out for fruit with dry and brittle brown stems or brown tips to those leaves on the skin. The fruit should give a little when held but not be too soft or mushy. A firm feel means you can safely ripen the fruit at home for a couple of days.
And how do you serve the dragon fruit?
When you place the fruit on a cutting board, cut straight down the middle with a sharp knife through to the other side so you have 2 sections. Inside you will see white or red flesh with tiny black edible seeds. You can run a spoon around the inside of each section to separate or scoop out the flesh from the skin before slicing up into cubes. The skin is not edible.
Serve in a dish alone or with other fruit for a fresh fruit salad. You can use the empty skins to showcase the delicious dessert or as an any time healthy snack.