Fruits are some of the best things to offer babies along with certain vegetables, but not all fruits are suitable for babies, especially if they are for the consumption of a baby lesser than a year old. Dragon fruit is a fruit of several different species of cactus which are cultivated in the tropical and subtropical regions. They are known for their high nutritive content, but are they good for babies? Read more to find out.
Can Babies Eat Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruits are loaded with many essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3 and C, Iron and calcium. They is also rich in fibre which improves bowel movement making them a good option to introduce to your baby. Although it is advisable to wait up to a year, some mothers introduce dragon fruit as early as 6 months to their babies and they handle it well unless they are allergic.
Here is why dragon fruit is good for your baby:
Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants. They protect your baby’s cells and helps avoid damage to the body. This also boosts their immunity and they are less prone to diseases.
Dragon fruit has nutrients that promote heart health in infants and adults. This means your child will grow up healthy and have lesser chances of heart problems at later stages of life.
3. Helps Build Strong Bones
Abundant in calcium and phosphorous, dragon fruit is highly helpful for bone development. Phosphorous combined with phenolic and flavonoid compounds help lay down a good bone density making them strong. It also wards off diseases such as rickets in childhood and arthritis later on.
Dragon fruit has plenty of Vitamin C which is essential for many of the body’s processes. It is needed for growth and development of bones, muscles and skin and aid in the development of the circulatory system. It boosts immunity and prevents deficiency diseases like scurvy.
5. Fibrous Flesh
Fibre is necessary for the healthy movement for your child’s bowel and to maintain the digestive tract. It also stabilizes the sugar content and helps them feel full promoting a healthy weight gain and avoiding obesity.
6. Good for Bowel
Sugary junk foods often cause children to bloat and even lead to constipation. Dragon fruit’s fibre content helps in the smooth movement of their bowel and aids in digestion. The high roughage from fibre content in the fruit also avoids constipation.
7. Vitamin A
An essential nutrient, Vitamin A is needed for healthy eyes and good skin. It also aids in building immunity and sharpens vision.
8. Good Source of Iron
Dragon fruit is wonderful in boosting red blood cell count as it is rich in iron. This prevents anaemia, a deficiency disease which can lead to many developmental disorders in infants. The rich iron content is also essential in promoting healthy growth of hair.
9. Good for Nerves
The Phosphorous, Sodium and Calcium content in dragon fruit ensures proper functioning of the nervous system. This means the baby develops good motor and sensory skills.
10. Healthy Skin
Vitamin C is essential to build and repair skin; therefore, dragon fruit is highly helpful in maintaining the texture and tenderness of your baby’s skin.
11. Good for Kidneys
Dragon fruit’s detoxification effect help rid the body of harmful chemicals. This helps maintain a healthily functioning urinary system.
How to Make Dragon Fruit Puree for Baby?
Purees of dragon fruit for baby constipation is a great way to ease their bowel movement while giving them all the essential nutrients they need. Here’s how to prepare dragon fruit for baby to get them started on it:
What you Need
To make a dragon fruit puree, you need:
- 1 cup chopped dragon fruit
- 1-2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Cold water or ice cubes as needed
How to Make
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. You could filter out the seeds with a sieve if there are any large ones left after blending. Serve immediately.
Like with most fruits, dragon fruits are also quite beneficial for the health of your little one.
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There is no shortage of vitamins and minerals in dragon fruit. In addition to vitamins, it’s also rich in antioxidants, good fatty acids, beta-carotene, and protein. But the best part is that the fruit has zero complex carbs. That means that the fruit helps you break down foods easily. The omega-3 fatty acids are all located in the seeds. Here is the nutritional value of 3.5 ounces of fresh dragon fruit.
- 60 calories
- 1.5g fat
- 0% cholesterol
- 1g of dietary fiber
- 9g of carbs
- 9g of sugar
- 2g of protein
Benefits of dragon fruit
Every fruit is beneficial. Some are more, some are less. But the fact of the matter is that eating fruit is healthy. Now, different fruits target different diseases. Let’s see how this Asian and Central American fruit can improve your health.
- For starters, dragon fruit helps you maintain a healthy weight. Since it contains zero cholesterol, the fruit satisfies your sweet tooth, all while keeping your cholesterol level at bay. In addition, the fruit helps the body break down other foods.
- Dragon fruit keeps your heart healthy thanks to the addition of monounsaturated fats (good fats). They help the heart stay in good condition. No cholesterol also means that consuming the fruit will lower your bad cholesterol levels, all while replenishing the good cholesterol levels.
- I mentioned that the fruit is extremely rich in active antioxidants. We all know we need them to fight off free radicals. Antioxidants help in a number of ways, but most importantly, they prevent cancer producing cells.
- By providing your body with a good amount of dietary fiber, the fruit improves and cleans up your digestive system. If you have poor digestion, consuming the fruit on a regular basis will help. Any fruit that contains fiber is good, to be honest. But remember to eat the flesh and the seeds. That way, you also get healthy acids and protein.
- High fiber, and low sugar. Does that sound familiar? Those are the things you look for when you want to prevent diabetes. Dragon fruit helps you regulate diabetes and stabilize your blood sugar levels. I mentioned at the beginning that consuming the fruit will satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Prevent skin problems by getting a high amount of vitamin C. I will talk later about how you can use the fruit for treating acne.
- Last, but not least, dragon fruit improves our mobility by affecting the joints. Joint pain, arthritis, and similar ailments can easily be prevented by consuming fruit like this one.
In a nutshell, the fruit provides skin benefits (fights signs of aging, acne, sunburned skin, promotes skin health, provides moisture for dry skin), hair benefits (treats colored hair, promotes healthy hair), and general health benefits (lowers cholesterol, helps with stomach ailments, lowers blood sugar, improves cardiovascular health, cuts low hemoglobin risk, prevents cancer, prevents congenital glaucoma, boosts immunity, improves health of teeth and bones, repairs body cells, improves vision, boosts brain function).
I promised you several recipes in which you can add the exotic delight:
- 1 cup fresh papaya, cubed
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 cup mango, cubed
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup dragon fruit
Just toss all the ingredients in a large fruit bowl and enjoy. You can serve cocktails with the fruit bowl.
- 1 cup strawberries
- 2 tablespoons stevia
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 cup dragon fruit
Stir the ingredients in a cup until the stevia fully dissolves. Pour over any salad to which you want to add a sweet flavor.
- 1 cup yogurt or nut milk
- ½ dragon fruit
- 1 banana
- Pint of blueberries
Cut the dragon fruit in half and scoop out just one half of it. Peel the banana and slice it. Add the ingredients to a blender; blend until smooth. If you like, add extras like apple or grape juice, or peanut or almond butter.
How to use dragon fruit topically
I promised you recipes for treating acne and other skin and hair problems with dragon fruit:
- ½ dragon fruit
- 1 tablespoon yogurt
Scoop the pulp and make a paste with the yogurt. Apply the paste on your face and neck. Let it dry on its own for 20 minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water. Repeat once per week for two months.
- 1 dragon fruit
- A few cotton balls
Scoop out half of the dragon fruit and, using a fork, mash it into a paste. Take a cotton ball, dab it into the paste, and then apply on the affected area. Once you’ve applied the paste, let it dry for 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. You can repeat the process two times per week.
Treat colored hair
Last, but not least, you can use the exotic fruit for treating colored hair. We all know that dying our hair damages it. Luckily, all you need is one dragon fruit to feed your hair with healthy nutrients.
Scoop out the flesh and process it in a blender. Apply the paste on your hair and scalp, and cover with a towel or a plastic cap. After 20 minutes, wash your hair with a mild shampoo. You can repeat the process just once per week.