Hylocereus


The only RED Dragon Fruit (aka pitaya or pitahaya or strawberry pear) that I am used to were those with RED SKIN and WHITE FLESH (Hylocereus undatus). It tasted a bit bitter to me and I didn’t like the after-taste. Other reports said it tastes like a mix of kiwi fruit and watermelon.

I didn’t take notice of it other than eating what was being served to me until a friend shared about its benefits and salad recipe. As it is beneficial to health, I posted it here under “Why Dragon Fruit?“. Only then did I notice that there is a RED SKIN Dragon Fruit with RED FLESH (Hylocereus polyrhizus) variation.

Now I also found out that there is YELLOW SKIN variety (Selenicereus megalanthus) and with only white flesh.

3 types of Dragon Fruits

The taste of the red flesh variety is sweeter and the after taste is great to me. Other reports said it tastes like raspberries. I will usually eat 1 whole fruit (about 300-500gm) willingly which I normally won’t with other fruits. However, it is not that common as they are in Malaysia.

Yesterday, at a neighborhood market, I saw red Dragon fruit selling at a stall and as usual, only white flesh variety was on sale at S$1.50 (approx. US$1) per fruit. When asked, the seller said that white flesh variety is preferred by most consumers because those who consumed are paranoid about the reddish variation of urine or stools that they will pass out after consumption. They are apparently worried that the red flesh is a result of genetic modification, adding of artificial coloring or preservatives, etc.

This red “symptom” happened only if one eats quite a bit, a fruit or so as I have experienced myself.

Exporters in Malaysia for pitaya explained that the color is 100% natural and that it is not genetically modified or dyed red. The color comes from natural pigments known as hylocerenin and isohylocerenin and is also known to have natural florescent property. That makes the red flesh variety prettier when served.

If one were to eat a lot of blackberries or those fruits with such pigmentation, the output into the toilet bowl will be similar. However, how many people eat 0.5kg or more of such berries?

Yet, red flesh variety is more expensive and they are sold here in kilogram (S$4-S$5 per kg) instead of by quantity. I recently bought 2 red flesh fruits for close to S$4.00 (approx US$2.80).

Malaysian exporters justified the higher cost to its benefits. One reported that “Eating red-fleshed pitaya fruit was reported to increase bone density, prevent colon cancer and ease constipation. This can explained why red pitaya cost more expensive as compared to white pitaya“.

It was also reported that the red flesh variety is believed to be rich in antioxidants and has an exceptionally high content of soluble fiber. It is considered a good source of vitamin C and its vitamin C is more easily absorbed than vitamin C from a pill supplement. Some bloggers swear that it helps to lower blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.

Well, anyone out there got a health benefit comparison report between the red and white flesh? Ahh, don’t forget the yellow skin.

Meanwhile, I will still go for the Red Flesh Red Dragon Fruit whenever possible.

 

Dragon fruit
Also known as the Dragon Fruit, the Pitaya is a stunningly beautiful fruit with an intense colour and shape, magnificent flowers and a delicious taste. The fruit, apart from being refreshing and tasty, contains a lot of water and minerals with many different nutrition ingredients. It tastes light sweet and it’s good for liver, laxative, supplementing fiber and very suitable for diet.

Besides, dragon fruit is also good for person who has a high blood pressure. According to popular experience, obese person who has eaten dragon fruit regularly can reduce his/her weight naturally and have a beautiful balanced body but it does not influence on his/her health. Moreover, eating this fruit can stop and reduce diabetes. Hence, dragon fruit is a favorite fruit of many people especially Asian customers.

Benefits of eating the Dragon Fruit

1. Enhance the body metabolism (Protein)
2. Improve digestion (Fiber)

3. Reduce Fat (Fiber)

4. Improve memory (Carotene)

5. Maintain the health of the eyes (Carotene)

6. Strengthen bones and teeth development (Calcium)
7. Tissue development (Phosphorus)

8. Help to metabolise carbohydrates and produce energy (Vitamin B1)

9. Improve appetite (Vitamin B2)

10. Moisturise and smoothen skin and decrease bad cholesterol level (Vitamin B3)

11. Improves the immune system and promotes healing of cuts and bruises (Vitamin C)

USEFUL TIPS:

How to Select and Store
They should be full-colored and free of moldy spots. Dragon Fruit should be refrigerated, unwashed, for up to 5 days. Serve chilled.

Dragon Fruit Salad recipe
Dragon fruit salad
Ingredients needed :

1 package of ready to use pre-made sugar cookie dough
8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 dragon fruit, peeled and sliced

3 kiwi, peeled and sliced

1 cup strawberries, hulled and cut in half

1/4 cup apricot glaze

Directions
Rolled out cookie dough into a 12 inch round.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare fruit by washing and slicing it into 1/4 inch slices.

Cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon juice.

When the crust is cool, top with the cream cheese mixture.

Lay fruit in a circle on top of the cream cheese mixture.

Spread apricot glaze over fruit.

Chill until ready to serve.