Red dragon fruit (Hylocereus.undatus (Haw)) is a climbing vine cactus species which has received worldwide recognition as an ornamental plant and then as a fruit crop.
Dragon Fruit is known by a variety of common names that vary from country to country.
(huǒ lóng guǒ)) or 龍珠果/龙珠果 ((lóng zhū guǒ))
Spanish - pitaya or pitahaya
Vietnamese - thanh long (blue dragon)
Indonesian/Malay - Buah Naga
Vernacular name - Strawberry pear
Red Dragon Fruit is native to Mexico, Central America and South America. Currently they are cultivated in Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Bangladesh. They can be found in southern China, Taiwan, Australia, Israel, Hawaii and Okinawa.
The red dragon fruit is a spectacular nigh flowering cactus. The flower will wilt by the morning. If red dragon fruit flowers are not pollinated during the night, they will remain open until the next morning. The flower of this cacti plant is referred to moonflower or Queen of the Night. They rely on nocturnal creatures such as bats or moths for pollination. Self-pollination will not produce fruit. In some countries, bees can effectively pollinate the dragon fruit during the early hours of morning.
The flesh of red dragon fruit is sweet, juicy and crisp. It is remarkably refreshing and its flavor has hints of pear, kiwi and melon. The fruit is round with a vivid skin color ranging from hot-pink to red. The flesh is purple-red and contains small, edible black seeds like the kiwi.
Fresh Red Dragon Fruit can be
chilled and sliced or scooped with a spoon. It is widely used in fruit salads
at restaurants. Red Dragon Fruit pulp can be processed into a range of industrial
products such as juice, ice-cream, jam, syrup, wine, yogurt, jelly, preserve,
candy and pastries. Processed products can be produced from fresh fruit
pulp or frozen pulp.
It is rich in Vitamin B1 which plays an important role in the production of energy as well as metabolizing carbohydrates.
It will help to lower blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.
It is said to help excrete heavy metal toxins from the body due to the high water soluble fiber content.
The high fiber content will help to lower the cholesterol and blood pressure.
It is also known to be a natural laxative to ease constipation due to the high amount of seeds and water soluble fiber.