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Dragon fruit, an all-cure natural healer?

Ever heard of a fruit that enhances metabolism, improves memory, digestion and immune system?

Although not popularly known to Filipinos before its introduction in the 90s, dragon fruit, commonly known as “saniata” or “pitahaya” from Central and South America has several uses, according to original Dragon Lady propagator Editha Dacuycuy’s daughter, Nini.

Dacuycuy, an outstanding rural woman and an awardee for high value crops, said during the recent “National Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development Summit”, organized by the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Interior and Local Government spoke of dragon fruit’s several benefits.

She said researchers have discovered that dragon fruit also helps maintain clear vision, reduces fat, bad cholesterol, normalizes hypertension and blood glucose, strengthens bones and teeth development, promotes tissue development, improves appetite, moisturizes, prevents constipation and good for urinary tract infection, and smoothens skin.

Dacuycuy also mentioned that the fruit also has a relaxing effect on cerebral palsy as experienced by one of her relatives.

Her mother, Editha, recommended dragon fruit to a relative based in Macau to reduce her daughter’s frequent constipation which is common among cerebral palsy patients with much success.

She said dragon fruit can be processed as meat replacement in lumpia, burger patties, longganisa and bola-bola. In addition, the flowers of the fruit can be turned into a potent flower tea.

The fruit, which is covered by green-tipped overlapping scales in pink or red, is said to be also helpful in bringing down blood sugar levels in type II diabetes.

Its taste is similar to pear, watermelon and kiwi that is sweet and juicy.

Named as Queen of the Night or Moonflower, dragon fruit is oblong in shape and contains tiny black seeds which can bloom at evening just before daybreak.

It commands a rainfall between 600 to 1,300 millimeters with 38 to 40 degrees Celsius temperature.

The fruit has three variants: Hylocereus Undatus with red-colored skin and white-colored flesh, Hylocereus Polyrhizus with both red colored skin and flesh, and Selenicerus Megalanthus with yellow-colored skin and white-flesh.

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