Yellow Dragon Fruit
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Yellow Dragon Fruit is a popular exotic fruit with a sweet and mild taste. Learn about its health benefits, how to buy and how to eat it!
What is Yellow Dragon Fruit?
Yellow dragon fruit (also called yellow pitaya or yellow pitahaya) is an exotic fruit coming from the climbing cactus Hylocereus megalanthus. You can identify yellow pitaya by its bright yellow color, oblong shape and knobby skin.
The yellow dragon fruit plant can grow up to 15 feet tall and bears fruit 3 to 4 times in one season. Most production comes from Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Israel and Australia with some small-scale production in the U.S. as well.
What Does Yellow Dragon Fruit Taste Like?
Yellow dragon fruit has a unique taste that is sweet and mild with floral notes, bearing some resemblance to kiwifruit or cactus pear. The flesh is soft with a light grey in color and edible black pods that look like smallish watermelon seeds.
Yellow dragon fruit is somewhat sweeter than red or white dragon fruit. It makes a delicious snack on its own or an excellent addition to smoothies.
Yellow Dragon Fruit Benefits and Nutrition
Yellow dragon fruit’s rising popularity owes to its myriad health benefits according to WebMD:
- Rich source of soluble dietary fiber with prebiotics for digestive health.
- Beneficial antioxidants including Vitamins C and A, beta-carotene and lycopene.
- Beneficial minerals like iron, potassium, niacin and magnesium.
- Omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties.
With all of these properties, yellow dragon fruit is considered supportive of heart health, skin health, good digestion and immunity.
Yellow Dragon Fruit Calories
There are about 60 calories in a 100-gram serving of dragon fruit (about half a dragon fruit). However, the data available is for white dragonfruit, and the sweeter yellow pitaya may have a slightly higher calorie count.
Owing to its low calories and high fiber, pitaya can help you to feel full for longer, making it suitable for inclusion in a weight loss diet.
Note: yellow dragon fruit is not keto-friendly and unsuitable for low-carb diets due to its higher fructose levels.
Is Yellow Dragon Fruit a Laxative?
Yellow dragon fruit has gone viral on TikTok and other social media platforms for its purported laxative properties with hashtag #yellowdragonfruit getting hundreds of millions of views.
Some people report a laxative effect, especially when consuming larger quantities. This is because of its fiber content especially if your diet is low in fiber.
Therefore, consume in moderation at first to see how your body responds. If all goes well, you can gradually increase consumption up to about one fruit per day.
Yellow Dragon Fruit vs. Other Varieties
All three types of dragon fruit have a mild taste and similar nutrient density and price. The main distinctions of yellow dragon fruit compared to other varieties are:
- Appearance: It has a distinctive yellow color and is slightly smaller with thicker skin. That means you typically get less fruit per piece.
- Flesh: Its flesh is more grayish-white and contains fewer black seeds that are larger in size (as big as ¼-inch long).
- Taste: While quite similar overall, it has sweeter flesh with more floral notes.
Is yellow dragon fruit better than red dragon fruit? There are no real nutritional differences between the two, at least that we know about at this time.
Yellow Dragon Fruit Side Effects
Most side effects from yellow dragonfruit stem from excess consumption, causing symptoms such as cramping, gas, diarrhea etc. While it’s generally considered safe to eat, there are several other situations to consider:
- In rare instances, some people have allergic reactions to the betalain compounds in dragon fruit. The result can be symptoms such as hives or vomiting, usually within minutes or hours of consumption. If you have allergies to other exotic fruits, seek the advice of a medical professional before consuming dragon fruit.
- While generally considered suitable for diabetics due to its low GI score, dragon fruit also contains compounds that affect blood sugar levels and potentially interfere with diabetes medications. Therefore, intake should be limited to 100 grams or 3-4 oz as a daily maximum.
Buying and Storing Yellow Dragon Fruit
When shopping, look for yellow dragon fruit with firm, bright-colored skin. It should give slightly under pressure just like a juicy pear. While a few blemishes are normal, a mushy exterior is a telltale sign of spoilage.
The flesh will have a translucent grayish-white color, and there may be some yellow and brown tinges as well.
You can usually store dragon fruit at room temperature or in the fridge for 1-2 days before use. Note that many people prefer the taste of chilled dragon fruit.
If you can’t use it up, then leftover cut pitaya can be frozen for up to 2 months in a sealed plastic bag. The texture will experience some deterioration, so it’s best used in smoothies where nobody will notice
You can eat yellow dragon fruit on its own for a nutritious snack, or try adding chunks to a smoothie or refresher drink.
You might also add it to a fruit salad or as an attractive garnish on a dessert such as panna cotta.
There is some risk of diarrhea if you consume large quantities of yellow dragon fruit, similar to other tropical fruits. With 6 to 8 grams of soluble fiber in one yellow dragon fruit, eating several at once represents a sudden boost to your fiber intake. While some people will react with cramping or diarrhea, moderate consumption should not cause issues.
Yellow dragon fruit has laxative properties that help to make you poop, as with many fiber-rich foods. While there are benefits for digestive health, it’s best to consume no more than half a yellow pitaya in one sitting to see how your body responds.
As a yellow dragon fruit ripens, the flesh evolves from green to yellow. Therefore, the skin should be completely yellow and slightly soft without being mushy. AddItionally, the fruit should feel heavy for its size. Avoid yellow pitaya with large brown spots, which indicate it is spoiling. Note: dragon fruit does not ripen further after picking, so make sure it’s ripe when purchasing!
Yellow dragon fruit is becoming increasingly available year-round in many supermarkets like Whole Foods and specialty grocers. Look for it alongside other tropical fruits such as papaya and passion fruit.
Yellow dragon fruit is considered a healthy addition to your diet owing to its high fiber content, antioxidants and other benefits. It’s also a tasty snack that can be incorporated into a smoothie, fruit salad or other dessert.
How to Eat Yellow Dragon Fruit
- 1 yellow dragon fruit
- mint sprigs, optional garnish
- Wash the yellow dragon fruit and pat dry. Then place on a clean cutting board.
How to Cut Yellow Dragon Fruit
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dragon fruit in half lengthwise down the middle. You will now have two pieces.
- Slide a spoon in between the skin and the flesh (like you might do for an avocado or kiwi). Scoop out the flesh and repeat for the other half. Optional: reserve the skin for serving.
- Chop the flesh into cubes or slice it widthwise into long chunks as you like.
- Arrange in the reserved skin and garnish with optional mint sprigs. Alternately, use as directed in recipes.
- Many people prefer the taste of chilled dragon fruit, so you may wish to store it in the refrigerator prior to serving.
- Yield: 1 yellow dragon fruit yields approximately 1 1/2 cups of cut fruit.
- Uses: Cut dragon fruit is an excellent addition to smoothies and fruit salads, pairing well with other tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple.
- Storage: Cut dragon fruit can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 day or frozen for up to 3 months. While the texture will deteriorate during freezing and thawing, it will still be suitable for smoothies.
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