Pink dragon fruit may be quirky-looking on the outside, but it’s the inside that counts.
It’s sweet and oh-so-good for you.
Full of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C, this tropical fruit is more of a power fruit. The strange-looking fruit — which has the scaly appearance of a dragon — is a fruit that’s less commonly known as a strawberry pear.
Now until early fall, you can find the ostentatious pink dragon fruit at your favorite local grocer.
Not sure how to eat it?
Below, we share the nutritional facts of this tasty produce standout and the best ways to enjoy this unique, seasonal fruit.
What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is known by a few different names, including pitaya and pitahaya. That’s because different varieties come from two different cactus species. Each has its own unique taste.
Here's how to tell the different types apart:
- White-fleshed pitaya is often labeled “dragon fruit”
- Yellow pitaya has bright yellow, thick skin
- Pink dragon fruit has a deep magenta-colored pulp with tiny black seeds
The fruit originally hails from Central and South America, but it’s also grown and exported from Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam. While there are several varieties, the most common types have pink skin with green scales, similar to that of the mythical dragon.
The inside pulp varies in color from red or magenta to white. In stores, you’re most likely to find the white pulp dotted with small black seeds. If you’re at a farmers market, ask the vendor which type they sell. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between the types because the outer skin looks similar.
If you’re looking to get super adventurous with trying dragon fruit, some varieties you may only be able to find in your local plant nurseries.
Pink vs White Dragon Fruit: What’s The Difference?
Sometimes, it comes down to taste preferences when selecting the same type of fruit. The pink dragon fruit tastes delicious and is much sweeter than its white-fleshed counterpart.
Red-fleshed (AKA “pink”) varieties contain lycopene, an antioxidant known for improving heart health and lowering the risk of certain cancers. That’s the kind we use in our RESTORE wellness shot.
Pink Dragon Fruit Benefits
Not only is pink dragon fruit sweet, it’s low in calories and rich in antioxidants. Perhaps one of the best health benefits of dragon fruit is its ability to prevent inflammatory diseases like arthritis and gout, according to an abstract published in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Not only is it full of anti-inflammatory properties, but fresh dragon fruit also has essential vitamins and minerals the body needs daily.
Dragon fruit contains high amounts of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B12
Here are three more reasons to love pink dragon fruit:
It Offers Cell-Protecting Antioxidants
Dragon fruit contains flavonoids. These antioxidants linked to heart disease reduction and better brain health. Flavonoids in particular may help the body reduce inflammation.
It’s Full of Fiber
Fiber is what keeps you feeling full longer, which means you’re less likely to overeat. In a single cup of dragon fruit, you’ll get 7 grams of your daily fiber intake. Most adults need at least 25 grams daily.
It’s Good for Your Gut
As you may know, gut health is critical to overall health. What you put in your gut has influence over your well-being. Some research published in the June 2019 Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy journal shows dragon fruit potentially promotes healthy gut bacteria, positively impacting the gut microbiome.
The Best Ways to Enjoy Pink Dragon Fruit
You’ve likely passed this tropical fruit in the store and maybe even gave it a second glance.
You may have wondered, “What is that and how on earth do you eat it?”
We’re here to share that there are actually plenty of ways to eat this nutrient-rich tropical fruit.You can easily cut it in half and grab a spoon to scoop it out. But, how you experience it at mealtime doesn’t have to end there.
It’s usually available summer through early fall, giving you plenty of time to include it in your weekly meal planning. With its diversity, it can be eaten in everything from smoothies to fruit salads!
Here are just a few ways to enjoy it while it’s in season:
Pro Tip: Vietnamese dragon fruit lasts in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. You can also ripen it on the counter for a few days. You’ll notice over-ripe fruit will have dry or brown spots.
While pink dragon fruit may have a slightly intimidating look, once you know how to eat it, you’ll wonder how you ever got through summer without it! How do you like to eat dragon fruit? Let us know in the comments below!
Ready to enjoy the benefits of dragon fruit? Try RESTORE, our shot that contains the antioxidant powers of dragon fruit.