Dragon Fruit

 

Fresh Dragon-Fruit

More commonly known as Dragon Fruit a Pitaya or pitahaya is the fruit of several different cactus species indigenous to the American tropics and sub tropics. The fruit may also be known as a strawberry pear

Pitaya usually refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while pitahaya or dragon fruit refers to fruit of the genus Hylocereus, both in the family Cactaceae. 

The fruit's texture is sometimes likened to that of the kiwifruit because of its black, crunchy seeds. The seed oil contains fatty acids, linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Dragon fruit is used to flavor and color juices and alcoholic beverages, such as "Dragon's Blood Punch" and the "Dragotini". The flowers can be eaten or steeped as tea.

The red and purple colors of Hylocereus fruits are due to betacyanins, a family of pigments that includes betanin, the same substance that gives beets, Swiss chard, and amaranth their red color.

A 100 grams of pitaya contains 268 calories, comprising 82% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 11% of the Daily Value each for vitamin C and calcium. 

 

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