Pitayas

What is Pitaya?

https://dragonpitaya.com/
             Dragon fruit

 

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Tracheophyta
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Genus: Selenicereus
Species: S. undatus

Binomial name: Selenicereus undatus
and
Also Synonyms –
Cactus triangularis aphyllus Jacquin
Cereus triangularis major de Candolle
Cereus undatus Haworth
Cereus tricostatus Gosselin
Hylocereus tricostatus
Hylocereus undatus

 

Overview:

The fruit is a kind of cactus species of fruit. The fruit is known by different names in different places, such as The English name – ‘Pitaya’ and Hindi also,  ‘La pitahaya’ in Mexican Spanish ‘Fire Dragon Fruit’ in China, ‘Sweet Dragon’ in Vietnam, ‘Dragon Fruit’ in Indonesia and Malaysia, ‘Dragon Crystal’ in Thailand, and in Other countries, it is called names  ‘Strawberry Pear’ or Nanettikaphal ‘ and ‘ Dragon Pearl ‘ Fruit.

The fruit to planting needs requires sunny weather. The Dragon fruit season begins in April and continues until November. It can be picked 30 to 35 days after flowering.

The fruit has become increasingly popular in recent years. The fruit originates in America and South Asia. In Vietnam, this fruit is mostly cultivated commercially. Now, tree cultivation is growing all over the world commercially.

Dragon Flowers bloom in The Queen Dragon tree at night.  It looks like a night queen flower, tall, white and yellow. The dragon flower is called the ‘queen of the night’.

Yellow Pitaya or Yellow Dragon Fruit to better distinguish it from the American yellow cousin Selenicerius magalanthas, the fruit was named the Golden Pitaya, also known as the Golden Dragon. It is also referred to as the yellow undatus, using its species name as another way to distinguish it from the “real” yellow dragon fruit.

The dragonfruit plant is creeping with no leaves. The plants are 1.5 to 2.5 meters tall. This green tree has beautiful white and greenish-white flowers. The dragon fruit flowers look a lot like ‘Night Queen’. The dragon flower is called ‘Moon Flower’ or ‘Queen of the Night’.  The flowers are fragrant and self-pollinated. The flowers are quite large.

The flower forms an oval fruit. The peel of the fruit is soft. The weight of a fruit is 150 to 600 grams. Sometimes the weight of the fruit is up to one kg. The flesh of the ripe fruit is quite soft, tiny black seeds with numerous seeds, lightly sweet, very low calories.

 

Pitaya fruit in India:

The dragon fruit in hindi name pitaya or pitahaya. In India, the fruit is also called Kamalam. The dragon fruit in tamil is called as Agippazham, In Malayalam it is called as Pithaya, dragon fruit in telugu is called as piaya, In Kannada it is called as pitaya.

The pitaya is the fruit of a variety of Native American cactus species.

To increase the export of foreign fruits, ‘Dragon Fruit is rich in fiber and minerals from farmers in Gujarat and West Bengal.

The pitaya fruit production began in India in the early 1990s and it grew as a home garden. Due to the high export value, the foreign ‘dragon fruit’ has become increasingly popular in India in recent years and has been taken up for cultivation by farmers in different states.
At present Dragon Fruit grows mostly in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands in India. West Bengal is new to cultivating this exotic fruit.

 

Varieties Types of dragon fruit

Types of dragon fruit
Types of dragon fruit

 

The fruit is mostly red or dark purple and yellow dragonfruit. The fruit is large in size, the peel of which becomes red when ripe dragon fruit, the pulp is dark pink, red and white in color juicy nature.

There are also three species of sweet-tasting fruit.

 

 

1) Red Dragon Fruit or Red Pitaya Blanca (Hylocereus undatus) – Its peel color is red and white fruit with black seeds. The fruits of this species are more common.

2) Costarica Dragon Fruit or Pitaya Roja (Hylocereus costaricensis) – The peel and the pulp are both red in color.

3) Yellow dragon fruit or Yellow pitaya Amarilla (Hylocereus megalanthus)- These the fruit peel is yellow and the pulp is white.

The flesh of this fruit can vary from white (with pink or yellow skin) to warm pink or deep red with small black seeds. The smell is associated with the color of the flesh. White dragon fruit often has a mild flavor while dark, reddish flesh can be sweet and juicy.

 

How do you eat dragon fruit?  or

How to prepare dragon fruit?

 

The pitaya fruit can be eaten ripe or unripe. It can keep refrigerated and eaten frozen dragonfruit. ​The fruit is mainly used as a fruit salad, in making milkshakes recipes, dragon fruit smoothies and also in making juices.

You can mix the fruit with other fruits in a smoothie. A simple recipe is the Fruit Smoothie. You can even add fruit to yogurt or ice cream.

Pitaya can be eaten as a juice along with many other fruits including watermelon, pineapple, strawberry and mango.

Sprinkle some lemon juice on top of the dragon fruit juice for an acidic kick. 

 

What does the Pitaya fruit taste like?

 

Pitaya fruit is usually sour in taste and light sweet in taste. The fruit tastes sour, these are known as sour dragon fruit or ‘Sour Pitaya’. The inner part of the fruit contains small soft seeds.

The pitaya fruit is best used raw and slightly chilled, but can also be cooked, such as grilled with chili powder to balance its sweet taste.

 The fruit is usually mixed into smoothies or juices for drinks and cocktails. It can be used to make jams or flavored ice creams, sherbets and other desserts.

Pitaya bowl can be made with any frozen fruit of your choice. It is made from a combination of frozen Pitaya fruits and usually other fruits like frozen mango, pineapple or banana.

The soft but dense texture will retain its shape nicely when cut, so it can be cut into fruit salads with papaya, coconut, mango, guava or kiwi. It can also be used in delicious salads.

 Ripe pitaya fruit can be kept at room temperature for a few days, or refrigerated in sealed containers for prolonged use. Fresh, cut parts will be kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container for one or two days. Dragon fruit can be sliced ​​or cubed, then mixed or pureed and frozen for future use.

 

How to tell if a dragon fruit is ripe?

 

Check for the bright pink skin of the fruit. Bright pink pitaya fruit skin is the most noticeable sign of fruit ready to eat. They will be green at the ends of the fruit.

Some varieties dragon fruit have bright yellow skin instead of pink.

Green-skinned the fruit isn’t ripe, so don’t cut it yet. A dragon fruit that feels hard or tough to the touch has not yet ripened.

 

How to cut dragon fruit ?   or

 How to peel dragon fruit?

Keep the fruit on your cutting board and can cut vertically into 2/4 pieces with a sharp knife. You can dragon fruit cutting widthwise or lengthwise. Find the peel of the fruit, Chopped the fruit gently push to the Peel then the Peel open from fruit.

The edible part pulp comes off the peel very easily, so it doesn’t require a lot of effort to do. Take the whole pulp part of the fruit. It can be cut into small pieces after peeling and eaten with a spoon. Don’t worry about removing small black seeds, they are edible. It is better to cut them into small cubes. The pieces don’t have to be equal but look beautiful.

 

Nutrition value of Pitaya (Dragon Fruit)

 

Out of 100 grams of dragon fruit, 55 grams are edible. Every 100 grams of dragon fruit contains 80 to 90 grams of water, 9 to 14 grams of carbohydrates, 0.15 to 0.5 grams of protein, 0.1 to 0.8 grams of fat, 0.3 to 0.9 grams of fiber, and ash. 0.4 to 0.8 grams and calories 35 to 50.

Also notable among minerals and vitamins are holocalcium 8-10 mg, iron 0.3-0.6 mg, phosphorus 18-36 mg, niacin 0.2-0.45 mg, vitamin C 4-25 mg,

Carotene and riboflavin are very low. Red shell the fruit is high in vitamin C. This fruit is better than rice for diabetic patients. Doctors in Taiwan recommend diabetic patients to eat this fruit instead of rice. Even this fruit lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood and keeps the blood pressure under control. As the shell of this fruit is slippery, it also removes constipation.

 

  1. Calories – Provides energy to our body.
  2. Fiber – Fiber can improve blood sugar levels and cholesterol. It is an essential ingredient for fiber digestive health and regular bowel movements.
  3. Protein – The body needs protein to develop skin, hair, nails, bones. Protects the body from viruses and bacteria.
  4. Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates enter our body as fast as glucose into the bloodstream.
  5. Vitamin C – Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It helps the body fight disease.
  6. Magnesium – Magnesium is essential for bone formation.
  7. Iron – Increases immunity.

 

Health Benefits of Pitaya (Dragon Fruit)

Pitaya Fruit Cactus is a favorite of Central Americans for its edible stalks, flowers and fruits. It is rich in vitamins A and C. People enjoy dragon fruit for its taste, but it can also provide health benefits. Dragon fruit is low in calories but rich in essential vitamins and minerals. So, it is very good for your health benefits. Lovely shape and in lots of nutrients this superfood has become quite popular in the daily diet of health-conscious people.

 

WEIGHT LOSS

Dragon fruit contains a lot of protein so does not increase body weight. And this fruit is a good source of dietary fiber. It is very effective in lowering blood pressure and weight loss. Dragon fruit fiber acts as a remedy for constipation. Eating this fruit reduces body fat. So if you want to stay healthy, don’t forget to eat dragon fruit.

 

BENEFITS IN ASTHMA

Dragon fruit contains high vitamin C which acts as an anti-oxidant that is beneficial in strengthening the body’s immune system and curing asthma. With a strong body, it helps to fight respiratory ailments including colds, coughs, neurological diseases and asthma. Eat dragon fruit regularly and you can keep the body strong and prevent asthma attacks.

 

CANCER PREVENTION

Anti-cancer properties are present in dragon fruit. This result is rich in fiber, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin B2, as well as ingredients that help the body remove toxins. This results in a lot of phytonutrients, which can provide the body with the necessary antioxidants. It is very effective in fighting against harmful free radicals in the body.

Moreover, this fruit is rich in vitamin C, so it also helps to strengthen the body’s immune system. It helps reduce the risk of various chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It is extremely helpful in reducing the risk of colon cancer. So you can eat dragon fruit to prevent cancer or skin damage.

 

BENEFITS OF HAIR LOSS

Dragon fruit reduces hair loss. It contains many nutrients that enhance the beauty of our hair as well as help strengthen our hair ends. So this fruit is very beneficial for hair. It keeps the hair clean and extracting the juice from this fruit and applying it on the hair makes the hair healthy.

 

RELIEVES CONSTIPATION

Dragon fruit contains a lot of water so this fruit helps in relieving constipation. It also helps to increase the body’s metabolic process and digestive energy. This fruit helps to grow good bacteria in the body, which in turn improves digestion. Moreover, as it is rich in fiber, it helps in maintaining good digestive health.

 

INCREASE SKIN BEAUTY

Dragon is great for skin care and skin brightening. Dragon is a fruit that contains high levels of vitamins, which help to get rid of acne and brighten the skin. The problem of premature aging has become very common today due to stress, pollution and bad eating habits. Dragon fruit is rich in Vitamin C, which helps in rejuvenating the skin. So to keep the skin radiant, you can eat its juice once a day. Using it will not leave the impression of age on your skin.

 

DIABETES

Sugar or diabetes is a fatal disease.  The lower the blood sugar level in this disease, the better for the patient. Dragon fruit contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that help control blood sugar levels and help the body make insulin. As it is rich in fiber, it helps in controlling the blood sugar level. Regular consumption of this fruit helps in maintaining blood sugar balance.

 

BENEFICIAL HEART

Tiny black seeds of dragon fruit are rich in omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids. These are very good for the heart and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the consumption of dragon fruit is extremely beneficial for heart health. It helps to keep the heart healthy as well as control blood pressure.

 

BONE HEALTH

Dragon fruit converts food into energy. Moreover, it is needed for muscle contraction, bone formation and even DNA formation. Some studies indicate that dragon fruit contains about 16 percent magnesium, which strengthens bones and helps maintain good bone health. This can reduce the risk of joint pain, fractures or fractures. And adequate magnesium-rich foods play a key role in bone formation.

 

EYE HEALTH

Dragon fruit contains beta-carotene. Therefore, this fruit helps to prevent various eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

 

BENEFITS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

Dragon fruit contains a lot of fiber which is suitable for pregnant women to eat. The carbohydrate sources of this fruit are an important source of natural energy to support maternal health and child growth. It contains vitamin B, folate and iron, so it is an ideal fruit for pregnant women. Vitamin B and folate help prevent birth defects and provide energy during pregnancy. Moreover, the calcium in it is extremely beneficial for the development of fetal bones.

 

Good source of antioxidants

Dragon fruit has many health benefits, the main ones being antioxidants that are rich in flavonoids, Polyphenolic acid and betacyanin.

These natural substances protect the cells of the human body from free radical damage – which can lead to diseases such as cancer and premature aging. Free radicals are body compounds that can damage cells. Even improved brain health, associated with reduced risk of heart disease and May be helpful in preventing inflammatory conditions in the body.

 

 

Dragon fruit side effects

 

Dragon fruit has health benefits as well as some side effects. Eating too much can cause side effects or health risks. If you eat dragon fruit that shows signs of an allergic reaction or health reaction, stop eating the fruit immediately.

 

ALLERGIES

Dragon fruit can cause allergies to too much eating. If you have an allergy to dragon fruit, it is best not to eat dragon fruit because eating it can an irritate and allergic reaction in the lips, tongue and throat.

 

DIARRHEA

An excessive amount of dragon fruit can cause diarrhea. A small amount of dragon fruit to eat regularly is extremely beneficial for our stomach and keeps our stomach healthy. Dragon fruit contains fiber which keeps our digestive system healthy and relieves stomach pain and intestinal problems. But excess fiber is again harmful to our health. If we eat an excess of this fruit without drinking enough water then can occur diarrhea.

 

HYPOTENSION (LOW BLOOD PRESSURE)

It is possible to control our high blood pressure by eating a small amount of dragon fruit regularly. Dragon fruit has a presence of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation and helps control our blood pressure. Although dragon fruit helps control our blood pressure, but we should not overeat. This is because excess potassium can enter our body and lower our blood pressure which is called hypotension.

 

How to store dragon fruit?

 

Choosing the best storage strategy for the fruit and how to identify expired fruits can help be suitable for eating more time on the fruit. The pitaya dragon fruit is a tropical cactus. Like all fruits, it also has limited storage time. This pitaya fruit can be preserved as much as possible using proper storage techniques.

 

Store The fruit 2-3 Days:

If you are going to eat dragon fruit in the next 2-3 days, leave it at the counter. Just leave the fruit anywhere outside for a few days. Note, however, that your dragon fruit should not be cut or peeled.

 

Store The fruit 5-15 Days:

Place the dragon fruit in a plastic bag. You can store the bag in the refrigerator for up to 5-15 days. Do not peel or cut before storage. Store dragon fruit in the drawer of your refrigerator. By labeling the bag with the date, you can find out how long the fruit has been stored. The fruit stores best at temperatures between 45 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The refrigerator slows down the ripening process.

 

Store The fruit 2-3 months:

Store frozen dragon fruit for up to 2-3 months. Once the fruit is cut, remove the skin from the pulp and cut it into small cubes.  Place the dragon fruit cube pieces on a baking sheet or plate. Refrigerate the fruit quickly so that all the cubes are completely frozen. Cut The fruit need to be stored in frozen condition as their quality deteriorates rapidly.

Keep the fruit pulp in the fridge for up to three months. Use garnish in ice cream, smoothies and jellies.

 

Expired The fruit

 

  • If the fruit is kept in the fridge for a long time, it may turn a dull color or its color may fade. Check to see if there is any dull color in the fruit. Then cut the fruit to make sure it is still edible. If there is any crack or split in the skin of the fruit, it is no longer fresh and is not suitable for eating.
  • If the pulp of the fruit turns brown, it is time to rotten and discard it.

 

How to grow The fruit?

 

The pitaya fruit is a member of the cactus family, a subtropical cactus native to Central America and South America.

In order to grow this pitaya cactus successfully, it is necessary to ensure that the plant is confined to a temperature of only 32 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for growth. If the climate is too cold or too hot outside for this fruit, you can successfully grow a dragon fruit plant inside a pot.

 

Through dragon fruit seeds:

Separate the black seeds from the fruit. Wash these and then place them on paper to dry for at least 12 hours. Sprinkle small pitaya seeds over your seedbed mixture in a pot. Then place a layer of soil on top of the seeds. Keep the soil always moist. Wait to start growing dragon fruit plant. 

Dragon fruit Organ method:

The fruit is growing by cuttings. The success rate of cutting is almost one hundred percent and bears fruit quickly. Seedlings can be easily produced in light-shaded soils with cuttings.  After 20 to 30 days the roots will come out from the base of the cutting. Then it will be suitable for planting in the field.

 


Reference:

https://specialtyproduce.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/