Unleash the Dragon
Also known as “pitaya” or “pithaya”, dragon fruit is a fruit harvested from several species of cactus indigenuous to the Americas—primarily Central America and South America. Dragon fruit has distinctive purple pulp with a taste that could be described as a cross between a kiwi, a pear, and a watermelon.
Benefits of Dragon Fruit
High levels of antioxidantsAntioxidants can help protect our bodies against the cell-damaging effects of free radicals, which can be produced by various factors such as stress, pollution, sunlight, or radiation.
Gets its vibrant colors from a variety of beneficial pigmentsBetalain, and other natural pigments, have exhibited anti-inflammatory properties and are thought to fortify the liver from external degradation., including betalainBetalain, and other natural pigments, have exhibited anti-inflammatory properties and are thought to fortify the liver from external degradation.
Contains essential vitamins such as Vitamin AVitamin A may contribute to maintenance of vision, immune functions, cell integrity, and skin moisture., Vitamins B1(thiamin), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin)Vitamins B1(thiamin), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin), may help regulate metabolism, support cell growth and contribute to maintenance of mental function., Vitamin CVitamin C can help support immune function and bone maintenance., and Vitamin EVitamin E is thought to support the body’s immune response and may contribute to maintenance of heart health and healthy skin..
Contains minerals including calciumCalcium can promote the maintenance of bones and muscle function., ironIron carries oxygen to the cells in the body through its role in creating hemoglobin., magnesiumMagnesium can help to release energy and absorb nutrients in our foods and can contribute to immune function and bone maintenance., potassiumPotassium can help regulate blood pressure., seleniumSelenium can contribute to immune system function, and can help regulate the effects of thyroid hormones on fat metabolism., copperCopper can help the body absorb iron so that the body can transport oxygen., manganeseManganese can help the body maintain bone, cartilage, and connective tissues., phosphorus, and zinc.
Good source of immunity-supporting plant sterolsPlant sterols (beta-sitosterols, campesterol and stigmasterol) can help promote cardiovascular and digestive functions.
The History of Dragon fruit
Dragon fruit originated in South America, though it was taken overseas by European settlers during the 16th century and has achieved great popularity across the markets and restaurants of Southeast Asia.
Dragon fruit first appears in Aztec culture, described in its writings and drawings, as early as the 13th century. However, it is widely believed that earlier versions of the tropical fruit were being used hundreds or thousands of years before then.
Known also as “pitaya” or “pithaya”, this group of tropical fruits was first referred to as “dragon fruit” in 1963 due to its “scaly-looking” skin, protruding “spikes,” and deep red and purple coloring.
Today, dragon fruit is prized not only for its flavors and nutrients, but also for its distinctive and rich colors. As it loses its vibrancy slower than most fruits, it is often used in cocktails and prepared bowls to provide a photo-worthy experience.
Harvesting Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit are harvested from climbing cactus trees that thrive in both dry and humid climates and require very little water. The cactus trees need lots of sun exposure to do well, and they will typically blossom during the hottest months of the summer. That being said, if provided enough sunshine, humidity, and warmth, a dragon fruit tree can extend its growing season by several weeks or months.
The blossoms of the dragon fruit tree only bloom one night per year, and it is said the smell they produce during this rare moment is truly unforgettable. Once the blooms have passed, fruit begins to form at the outermost edges of the tree, and an average climbing cactus tree will produce fruit for 20 to 30 years.
Once the exterior of the dragon fruit has achieved a deep red color, and its external wings have started to “wither, then it is ready to harvest. At Amafruits, our dragon fruit is harvested and processed into IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) cubes on site in Brazil, preserving its nutrients and natural sweetness.