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My local smoothie shop recently started offering pitaya bowl smoothies. I actually had to look up what a pitaya was because I had only heard of it by its other name- dragon fruit.
While it makes for a beautiful smoothie bowl, what does pitaya taste like and should you add it to your day?
What is Pitaya?
Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit native to Mexico and Central America. Pitaya is distinct in that it is bright pink on the outside but is white with black seeds on the inside. Its pink rind, in contrast with the white inside, makes it really pretty, especially for photos on social media.
While pitaya is beautiful, it doesn’t taste that great. Some describe it as a mix between a pear and a kiwi, but in my experience, it is just sort of tasteless. It isn’t very sweet, is a bit mushy, and would definitely not be my first choice as a fruit taste-wise. I will admit that maybe I don’t know how to select a ripe one, but for something so beautiful, the taste is quite disappointing.
Health Benefits of Pitaya
Even though it doesn’t taste that great, pitaya has numerous health benefits, which is likely why it remains popular as a smoothie ingredient.
High in Antioxidants
One of the most notable benefits of pitaya is its high antioxidant content. Antioxidants are compounds that protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. These unstable molecules harm our cells and increase our risk of chronic disease.
Dragon fruit is a rich source of antioxidants such as betalains, flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamin C. Eating foods high in antioxidants can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
High in Fiber
In addition to its antioxidant properties, pitaya is also high in fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient that is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system and reducing the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer.
A 100-gram serving of pitaya contains approximately 3 grams of fiber, which can help regulate bowel movements, promote feelings of fullness, and improve overall digestive health. Most people don’t get the recommended 25-38 grams of fiber daily, so adding more fiber to your diet is never a bad thing.
Good Source of Vitamin C
Dragon fruit is also a good source of vitamin C, an important nutrient for the immune system, and healthy skin. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant. A 100-gram serving of pitaya contains approximately 20% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which can help boost our immune system and protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Low in Fat, Calories, and Sugar
Like many fruits, dragon fruit is low in fat and calories. A 100-gram serving of pitaya contains approximately 60 calories and less than 1 gram of fat, making it a great option for those who are trying to maintain a healthy weight or reduce their calorie intake.
When compared to other tropical fruits, pitaya is low in sugar, making it a good choice for those watching their sugar intake. But this probably also explains why it is lacking in the taste department.
Good Source of Iron
Iron is an essential mineral that is important for maintaining healthy blood cells and preventing anemia. Children and some women of childbearing age are at risk of iron deficiency. Animal protein is typically recommended as the best source of iron, but some fruits, like pitaya, can also help meet some of your daily needs.
A 100-gram serving of pitaya contains approximately 10% of the recommended daily intake of iron, making it a great option for vegetarians and vegans who may be at risk of iron deficiency.
Rich in Nutrients
Pitaya contains a variety of other vitamins and minerals that are important for maintaining good health, such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Magnesium is important for maintaining healthy bones and muscles. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease. Calcium is important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
The benefits of dragon fruit are definitely in the nutrients it can provide to your daily diet, making it a healthy addition to your day.
How to Make a Pitaya Bowl
Pitaya is versatile when it comes to recipes, which means it can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. It can be eaten on its own, or added to smoothies, salads, or yogurt bowls. Its vibrant color and unique appearance make it a popular ingredient in many dishes it can even be used as a natural food coloring in baked goods or other recipes.
A pitaya bowl is a healthy and colorful dish made from the flesh of a pitaya. To make a pitaya bowl, the flesh of the fruit is blended with other ingredients such as frozen fruit, yogurt, and milk to create a thick and creamy smoothie-like consistency. The mixture is then poured into a bowl and topped with an assortment of fresh fruits, granola, nuts, and seeds.
Here is a roundup of 5 pitaya bowl recipes you can try. I would consider using frozen pitaya for the right consistency. It can be found in the frozen food section of most health food stores.
Should You Try a Pitaya Bowl?
Pitaya, or dragon fruit, is a nutritious and delicious fruit that is packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It has numerous health benefits and is low in calories and fat.
If you enjoy the taste or just want to add something different to your routine you can give it a try. If you are looking to up your influencer game with a beautiful-looking smoothie bowl, then this tropical fruit is definitely for you!
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