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Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya or pitahaya, or strawberry pear, is a delicious tropical fruit that can be eaten raw or prepared in your favorite sweet or savory dishes. It is native to Central America and South America.

Dragon fruit is oval fruit that comes in many different colors ranging from white flesh to purple while others have bright pink skin. While Hylocereus undatus is the most beautiful in their family. They have a sweet flavor that tastes like that of a blended pear and kiwi. White dragon fruit is semi-sweet almost grape-like and red dragon fruit has a sour taste when ripe.

Although you may be familiar with the many different flavors of dragon fruit, did you know there are several types of dragon fruit? Keep reading to learn more about the different types of dragon fruit available.Dragon fruits are exotic tropical fruit that brings many health benefits to humans thanks to their bioactive components, including powerful natural antioxidants.

 Red dragon fruit is well known to fight diseases like cancer, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes.Dragon fruit extracts contain cardiovascular and hepatoprotective properties and prebiotic potential. Some of them are tolerable to a wide range of environmental conditions like red and white dragon fruit.

Pitaya is of the genus Hylocereus, familyCactaceae; However, it is native to south America, north, and Central America, it has been grown worldwide due to its commercial interest, this is due to its adaptation to light intensity, tolerance to drought, and high temperatures it is also very adaptive to different soil salinity and of course its benefits to human health.

There is a species that is commonly grown in south Africa on small scales called Selenicereus megalanthus which is another species of dragon fruit that have the same benefits to human health. They are red skin/red flesh or white flesh/white skin or purple flesh, vibrant pink skin, and have black seeds inside although purple haze is sweet and has few seeds inside. It is good to note that dragon fruits are self-pollinating

Due to off-season technologies like artificial lengthening of the daytime, pitaya fruits are produced throughout the year. Since the introduction of the pitaya fruit by the French over ten centuries ago, Vietnamese Jaina has become the most profitable fruit to Vietnamese farmers, which makes them the largest producers of Jaina dragon fruit in the whole of Southeast Asia.

Red flesh dragon fruit also known as (Hylocereus costaricensis) has a sweet taste and they are a bit smaller than others but all of them have black seeds, and red skin. While others have pink skin to yellow skin, they are commonly grown in Israel while white flesh dragon fruit is grown in costa Rican.

NUTRITIONAL VALUES

Dragon fruit also known as pitaya fruit is a delicious fruit that can be eaten raw or prepared in your favorite sweet or savory dishes. Although dragon fruit may be familiar with the many different flavors and skin colors, did you know there are multiple dragon fruit varieties?

Different DRAGON FRUIT VARIETIES

There are many dragon fruits varieties ranging from red dragon fruit , white dragon fruit and yellow dragon fruit (Hylocereus megaliths) varieties

They include:

1. hylocereus guatemalensis

2. Hylocereus polyrhizus

3 . Hylocereus undatus

4. Pitaya megalanthus

There are many types of dragon fruits that exist in every part of the world here are some of them:

·         Common Types Of Dragon Fruit.

  • Alice dragon fruit
  • Bloody Mary fruit fruit
  • Cosmic charlie dragon fruit(a hybrid from Hylocereus megalanthus)
  • Dark star dragon fruit
  • David Bowie dragon fruit
  • Delight dragon fruit
  • Guyute dragon fruit
  • Halley’s dragon fruit
  • Harpua dragon fruit
  • Costa Rican sunset dragon fruit
  • Natural Mystic dragon fruit
  • Purple haze dragon fruit
  • Seoul kitchen dragon fruit

like Cosmic Charlie, dark star is also a hybrid from Hylocereus megalanthus while the white dragon fruit variety is a hybrid froms Hylocereus stenopterus and Hylocereus undatu  while red Jaina dragon fruit comes from the  same genus. There are several types of dragon fruits, but a few of them are selected because of their nutritional value.

 Red dragon fruit may contain above 80% of moisture, 0.4 to 2.3 g of protein, 8.0 to 13.0 g of carbohydrates, and 6.0 g of total sugar, mainly depending on the dragon fruit origin or specie.

A study done in 2014 by Ramli and Rahamat shows that the concentration of vitamin C in dragon fruit was less than one, this was attributed by authors to different factors like ascorbic acid being susceptible to air and light and undergoing oxidative degradation of vitamins, and other minerals.

Red dragon fruit registered a high concentration of vitamin C as compared with other types of dragon fruit like white dragon fruit.Dragon fruit can also be affected by the method of transportation and storage balancing temperatures at 8 °C is the best to ensure the best quality of dragon fruit, young stem of the dragon plant contain high nutritional values such as raw protein and fiber, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, and Zn. Both seeds and flesh have a high content of fatty acids.

A study done by Ariffin in 2009 shows that oil from the red and white dragon plant has a high content of linoleic and linolenic fatty acids. mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids are known for reducing low-density and very low-density lipoprotein fractions associated with increased serum cholesterol.

Yellow dragon fruit has linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acids are known to support cell membranes, brain cells, and the transmission of nerve impulses. Red and yellow dragon fruit are well known to boost immunity, they also have a lot of fiber that helps in digestion.

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF DRAGON FRUIT

1 it is an antioxidant

Advanced research on the natural antioxidant substrate in medicinal plants on preventive influence on cellular damage caused by free radicals, which has caused many diseases like cancer has been improved.

Many plants have gained popularity in recent years in disease prevention due to the antioxidant properties of their constituent stilbenesalkaloids, and phenolic acids.

Some species of dragon fruits have higher phenolic acids than others hence high antiradical power, whereas pulp and peel areas of the plant are known for high antioxidant capacity.

2. Antidiabetic properties.

Diabetes mellitus is the most common systemic disease right now in the whole world, as a result of the failure of the pancreas to produce insulin or inadequate sensitivity of the cell to the action of insulin.

Doses of red Jaina pitaya have shown greater strength in the reduction of blood glucose and fighting cancer.

3. Antiviral and antimicrobial activity

The antimicrobial activity of the dragon fruit and its bioactive activities involve different mechanisms including the prevention of biofilm formation of bacteria, promote microbial cell wall disruption, inhibit cell wall construction, and several other enzymes related to the replication of microbial DNA.

4. Wound healing activity.

The wound healing process is not simple it is a complex process of restoring the integrity of damaged tissues and consists of several stages because it involves different cell populations and multicellular matrices.

The aqueous ethanol found in the stem and flowers of dragon fruits are shown to promote the migration of fibroblasts which are crucial in the wound-healing process

5. Anti-hyperlipidaemic and anti-obesity activities.

According to Hemwati’s 2018 study on mice, supplementation of dragon skin powder in food helps to significantly prevent hyperlipidemia due to the health benefits associated with dragon fruits.

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