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Dragon fruit helps fight chronic diseases

Published : 17 Sep 2019 09:23 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 07:29 AM

Dragon fruit, which is known as pitahaya fruit, is a tropical fruit that has become increasingly popular in recent years in Bangladesh. The fruits are gradually becoming popular among chronic disease patients in Bangladesh. In the local markets, demand for dragon fruit is high, according to fruit sellers.

It is a tropical fruit known for glowing red skin, sweet, and seed-speckled pulp. Experts says the dragon fruit helps to fight chronic diseases. The Dragon fruit is among the most nutritious and wonderful exotic fruits. In addition to being tasty and refreshing this beautiful fruit boasts of a lot of water and other vital varied nutritional ingredients.

Due to market demand and profit margin, farmers are cultivating this fruit to make their fortune. Dragon fruit is native to southern Mexico and Central America. Today the fruit is grown all over the globe. The fruit is being cultivated in Southeast Asian nations like Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines in large number.

According to Healthline Journal, beta-carotene and lycopene are the plant pigments that give the dragon fruit vibrant color. Diets rich in carotenoids have been linked to the dragon fruit. Several studies marked that it can reduce the risks of cancer and heart disease. Physician and Professor A M Shaiful talking to The Bangladesh Post said, “This fruit promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in human gut, which is associated with a healthy gastrointestinal tract. I often suggest my patients to practice fruit diet and recommended them to include pitahaya (dragon fruit)”.

Mentioning the benefits of consuming the dragon fruit in long term, Professor Shaiful emphasized that, the dragon fruit can protect human body against colon cancer. Nutrition scientist Salma Akhter said, “In our country people are not aware of benefits of the dragon fruit. This natural fruit fights infection and improves immune system.”

Antioxidants, vitamin C and carotenoids can defend human blood cells against harm, she added. Researches have shown that eating this fruit regularly reduces weight and makes skin better. Many people are passionately growing the dragon fruit in the country. It’s available in Dhaka city within Tk 250-400 per kg.

Professor of Department of Germ Plasm at the Bangladesh Agricultural University, MA Rahim said, “You will be able to cultivate dragon fruits at a low production cost. Farmers can take advantage of this initiative by planning it with the help of local agriculture office because most of our farmers don’t know about cultivation of dragon fruits.” It boosts low iron level and is a good source of magnesium, he added.