The most stunning exotic fruit – pitaya delights not only because of its appearance but also with its delicious pulp. It is indigenous and is found in South as well as Central America. The first time an explanation of the fruit appears in the book of Pedro de Cies De Leon in 1553. Chronicle of Peru. He noted that the fruit is delicious, and being purple and growing on trees.
The pitaya plant is a climbing cactus up to 10 meters high, with long thorny branches on which flowers form, then small cones from which fruits develop. Pitaya flowers are very beautiful, large, and white. The peculiarity of the flowering plant is that the flowers bloom only at night and exude a very pleasant aroma.
Pitayas are oval-shaped and outwardly stunning and unique. The rind can be found in colors yellow, red, and pink according to the kind of fruit. Skins are covered by process scales that are bright green and the inside of the pulp has numerous seeds.
The texture of pitaya resembles a very thick sour cream. One bite into one of these amazing fruits will make you feel like you’re eating fruit for dessert! Some people say it tastes like kiwi and banana at the same time, while others describe the taste as a mix of strawberry and watermelon.
“Pitaya or Dragon Fruit, is a cactus, closely related to the Caribbean night-blooming cereus, with a large succulent fruit.”
Pitahaya or Dragon Fruit
This mysterious bright pink fruit has many unusual names:
- dragon heart;
- dragon eye;
- The Dragon;
- prickly pear;
- Strawberry pear,
- night-blooming cereus,
- Spanish: pitahaya, tuna, nopal, pitajaya.
There are legends about its origin, and it blooms exclusively at night, as it should be for a plant from ancient fairy tales.
The Nutritional Value
One fruit contains:
|Saturated fat||0.05 g|
|Polyunsaturated fats||0.164 g|
|Monounsaturated fats||0.065 g|
Fruits are formed from flowers in 1-1.5 months. Ripe fruit weighs about 600 g, and sometimes reaches a mass of 1 kg. Farms where pitaya is grown harvest 5-6 times a year. From 1 hectare you can collect up to 30 tons of fruits.
- Fruits are rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C, proteins, iron, fruit acids, antioxidants, fiber, dietary fiber, and minerals. The seeds are rich in tannin, which is good for vision. When you eat them you will feel full and energetic. When you eat fruits or seeds every day it can be a healthy choice because the fruits and seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Pitaya is a treasure trove of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It also contains a lot of antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals that contribute to aging and various diseases. Pitaya helps to eliminate toxins and toxins, improves bowel function, helps with bloating, neutralizes free radicals that are harmful to the body, improves well-being in chronic diseases and arthritis, and regulates blood sugar levels, which is especially necessary for people suffering from diabetes.
- Fruits help strengthen the immune system, with regular use they are a good prevention of respiratory diseases and asthma. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and B as well as minerals and fiber.
- It is recommended to eat fruits for diseases of the cardiovascular system.
- They are very nutritious and sweet, and perfectly quench your thirst, since they are 85% water.
- The use of face masks has become a part of our lives. This is due to the fact that not only do they help us look more attractive, but they also have health benefits. Face masks should be used at least twice a week if possible daily (depending on their type). The pulp of pitaya helps fight the signs of skin aging. It makes the skin supple and tone.
- The stems of the plant are used to make drugs against parasites. The seeds are used to make preparations for the treatment of throat diseases and against diarrhea, to alleviate the condition of heavy metal poisoning.
There are 3 varieties of pitaya, which differ from each other in the color of the peel and pulp, the number of scales, and taste:
- Costa Rican pitaya is red, Costa Rican pitaya is red with reddish-reddish skin, and has bright colored flesh. with a purple-reddish shade, and tiny seeds. The pitayas are extremely sweet, round, and slightly oval..
- Yellow pitahaya, it’s sometimes referred to as yellow pear, long-yang or prickly. Peels are yellow and the scales look more like pimples. Its flesh appears white, with black seeds. The fruit is oval, long, sweet and aromatic, and superior to the two other varieties..
- White pitaya, White pitaya is the most well-known variety, is an oval fruit with a rich flavor. White flesh, with black seeds. The fruit’s peel is pink with small green scales.
5 Interesting Dragon Fruit Facts
- Not only fruits but also pitahaya flowers are valued. They are used to make tea and other drinks.
- In the workplace, dragon fruit is actively used for various purposes: as an additive to masks, creams, and shampoos.
- The Aztec tribes were the first ones to use the dragon’s heart for food.
- Some varieties of pitahaya are salty rather than sweet. Dragon fruit is 90% water.
- Plants were set in a replicated trial at either 2 ft or 4 ft intervals.
“Origin: Tropical America; southern Mexico, Pacific side of Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador; Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Curacao, Panama, Brazil, and Uruguay.”…askifas
Why Is Pitahaya Called Dragon Fruit?
The pitahaya is a gorgeous, exotic fruit that’s popping up in more and more grocery stores. But one question remains: why is it called dragon fruit? The answer lies in its appearance. The outside of the fruit resembles the skin of a dragon, while the inside is a bright pink reminiscent of the flower at the end of a dragon’s tail.
Because it flowers primarily at night, with petals that wilt by morning, some cultures refer to it as moonflower