Dragon fruit contains other vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and magnesium. In addition, the Cleveland Clinic says, this fruit also contains lycopene, a compound from the carotenoid group that gives the fruit its red color.
Lycopene has antioxidant properties that can ward off free radicals that cause various diseases. In addition to lycopene, dragon fruit also contains other antioxidant compounds that are important for the body, namely betalains and hydroxycinnamates.
Various benefits of dragon fruit for health
Based on the ingredients above, here are the benefits and efficacy of dragon fruit, including red dragon fruit, for your health:
1. Keeps skin firm and elastic
Dragon fruit is a good source of antioxidants because of its high vitamin C content and various bioactive compounds in it. While antioxidants are very important to keep the skin firm and elastic, so it can help reduce the signs of skin aging.
2. Reduce the risk of cancer
The antioxidant compounds in dragon fruit, both from lycopene and hydroxycinnamate, also have properties to help prevent cancer. Reporting from Food Insight, several studies have found that eating foods containing lycopene can reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer.
3. Improves heart health
Dragon fruit can also help improve heart health, because it can lower bad cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol. This can happen because of the content of lycopene, betalain, and fiber in dragon fruit. Not only that, the seeds in dragon fruit flesh are also rich in omega-3 and omega-9 fats which are good for heart health, so they can help prevent heart disease.
4. Control blood sugar levels
Not only that, research published in the journal Plos One in 2016 also found that dragon fruit can fight insulin resistance in mice, which is one of the causes of diabetes.
5. Boost the immune system
Consuming dragon fruit can also help boost your immune system. These benefits can be obtained because of vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds contained in dragon fruit, both red and white dragon fruit. Antioxidants help your body prevent cell damage, which is the cause of various diseases.