What Is Pitaya? (Dragon Fruit)
Move over spirulina, there’s a new superfood in town and this time it tastes delicious. Pitaya, also known as dragon fruit, is an exotic fruit which has a white fleshy center that is filled with tiny, edible black seeds. Pink pitaya refers to a more rare species, which looks similar on the outside but has a vibrant magenta-coloured interior.
Pink pitaya powder is causing quite a stir in the health food scene because of its taste, appearance and nutritional profile. Its naturally sweet and fruity flavour has helped to earn it the nickname of the ‘strawberry pear’. With delicious hints of melon, berries, kiwi and pear, pink pitaya powder is a versatile ingredient which can be used in all sorts of sweet treats. Pink pitaya’s natural pigmentation will instantly brighten drinks and dishes to turn them into photogenic creations that are full of goodness.
The History of Pitaya
Asian legend has it that pitaya, or pitahaya as they was once called, were created thousands of years ago by fire-breathing dragons. Brave soldiers would collect the fruits and present them to the Emperor as special treasures. While the folk-story may be a little hard to believe, we do know that pitaya was a rare exotic fruit that was once reserved for royalty and the upper classes. Nowadays, pitaya is the most commonly distributed species of the Cactaceae family, and it thrives in semi-arid climates particularly in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico.
Totally Tropical Goodness
This tasty superfood is loaded with vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, iron, calcium, magnesium, carotene, lycopene, monounsaturated fats, phosphorus and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. It also provides an excellent source of dietary fibre, which is essential for good digestive health and can also help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Aside from the many nutritional compounds present in this wonderful fruit, pitaya is also brimming with antioxidants including betalains, hydroxycinnamates and flavonoids. Antioxidants slow down the aging process and may help prevent a range of diseases because of their ability to fight free radical damage. Pitaya powder is vegan-friendly, low-fat, low-calorie and has anti-inflammatory properties to boot.
Pitaya: Health Benefits At A Glance
- Low-Calorie: The average-sized dragon fruit only contains around 60 calories
- A True Superfood: Packed full of vitamins and minerals
- Digestive Health: A natural source of dietary fibre
- Vitamin C: Pound for pound pitaya contains more vitamin C than carrots
- Zero Complex Carbohydrates: Easily digestible by the body
- Anti-Ageing: Antioxidants help to fight free radical damage
- Craving Buster: Its delicious sweet taste can help to naturally satisfy a sweet tooth
- Beautifying: Vitamin E, B3, and antioxidants help to improve the condition of the skin
- Detoxifying: Supports the elimination of toxic heavy metals from the bloodstream
- Asthma: May help to reduce the symptoms of bronchial asthma
- Lowered Cholesterol: Polyunsaturated fats may help to lower cholesterol levels
- Eye-Health: The carotene in pitaya supports healthy eyesight
- Anti-Inflammatory: Omega 3 fats reduce inflammation in the body
What’s So Special About Pink Pitaya?
Of course, part of the appeal of pink pitaya (Hylocereus Undatus) is that the highly pigmented powder will jazz-up up food and drink, however, it does have a few health benefits over the more common white-flesh variety. Pink pitaya gets its deep magenta colouring from the presence of lycopene, a phytochemical which is naturally high in antioxidants. Lycopene has been shown to lower heart disease and blood pressure, plus it has anti-aging properties. The pink pitaya variety also tastes a little sweeter and has more flavour than the white-fleshed species.
How to Use Pink Pitaya Powder
Oh, where do we start? From decorative dips to nutritious pre-workout smoothies, pink pitaya powder’s many uses are only limited by your creativity and imagination. Kitchen wizards add this low-calorie superfood to juices, smoothies, raw desserts, chocolates, protein balls, sauces, dips, jams, sorbets, syrups and even ice cream.
You’ve probably heard of acai bowls, now pink pitaya bowls are gaining popularity too. Just a teaspoon of the powder will add a splash of vibrant colour to your creations, and several more will create a deep magenta hue. Even if you don’t feel like making anything you can still enjoy the powder, as it tastes so good you can eat it by the spoonful!
When it comes to picking the perfect pink pitaya powder, you’ll want to choose a natural and pure powder which has been carefully sourced, prepared and packaged. We offer ready-to-use powder which is made from perfectly ripe dragon fruits that are ethically sourced from sustainable farms in Thailand. The powder is freeze-dried to preserve its freshness and ensure that you receive the highest quality product. The powder also comes packaged in a reusable and recyclable organic miron Violet glass jar, which protects it from UV damage and helps to make it eco-friendly too.
Head over to our shop to learn more about pink pitaya powder, medicinal mushrooms, superfoods and tonics.
Van Aken, Norman: The Exotic Fruit Book
Wolfe, David: Eating for Beauty