Dragon fruit, a.k.a. pitaya, is a cactus fruit indigenous to South America and Asia. Dotted with black seeds, its soft white fruit is hidden with a bright green and hot pink outer skin. For its exotic appearance, it has been largely undervalued. But now, as a healthy snack for older adults, its unique attributes are finally being realized.
Here, we’ll explore some of the benefits of dragon fruit and why your aging loved one – or you, yourself – should make it part of a healthy diet.
Helping to protect the body from oxidative damage, chemicals referred to as antioxidants are found in dragon fruit. Oxidative damage is linked to many health conditions related to aging including cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, the antioxidants found within this fruit include polyphenols, betalains, vitamin C, and other chemical compounds. Free radicals that contribute to aging and cell deterioration are interfered with by the chemical compounds found in dragon fruit.
Additionally, the growth of malignant cells is said to be impeded by Phyto albumin, another antioxidant found in dragon fruit.
A great source of unsaturated fats, this colorful fruit contains very little bad cholesterol. So, it can help maintain cholesterol at ideal levels in retirement-age adults. Also high in fiber are the edible seeds which further reduce cardiovascular disease risks.
To prevent malnutrition, the minerals and vitamins found within dragon fruit are essential. Older adults who don’t particularly like taking supplements and/or vitamins can get phosphorus, iron, calcium, several B vitamins, vitamin D, and vitamin C from pitaya. For example, one serving of carrots would provide as much vitamin C as a serving of dragon fruit.
Also found in dragon fruit is a portion of the daily requirement for magnesium, which is needed to create cell energy in the body.
Dragon fruit is mostly water, much like watermelon. To help with daily hydration intake, this is a great way for older adults to get appropriately and deliciously hydrated. This is particularly applicable to those who just can’t seem to drink enough water throughout their day.
As a natural constipation treatment, dragon fruit has long been utilized. Approximately 12% of the fiber needed by older adults can be found in roughly 3 1/2 ounces of dragon fruit. Because a mild laxative effect is provided by the fatty acids in dragon fruit, it aids in digestion. To ease gastrointestinal upset, one nutritious and delicious method is through eating dragon fruit.
Join Rittenhouse Village At Michigan City for a Nutritious Diet
Courtesy of our Sensations Dining program, a vast array of menu choices are enjoyed by residents. Additionally, residents are treated to delicious gourmet meals prepared by chefs in a restaurant-style five-star dining setting.
To create these delicious meals, only the highest quality ingredients are used and, whenever possible, the freshest, as well. Residents enjoy international cuisines, homemade favorites, and more – during both special events and daily meals – here at Rittenhouse Village at Michigan City.