What to Read Next

Meet the pitaya, this cactus fruit packs a powerful health punch

Nadine Kalinauskas
Shine On
January 17, 2013

Move over, goji berries and baobab, the pitaya is the newest, trendiest fruit for antioxidant-obsessed grocery shoppers.

Otherwise known as Dragon Fruit, the pitaya is the fruit of a species of South American cactus that's rich in fibre, calcium and vitamin C and can be eaten fresh or dried.

The bright pink fruit, packed with edible black seeds that are reportedly a source of healthy Omega-3 fat, has a taste similar to that of a kiwi crossed with a pear, the Daily Mail reports. Businessweek compares the taste to a cross between strawberries and wheatgrass.

The biggest health claims include its ability to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels.

Because of these claims, in some countries, diabetics are encouraged to consume the fruit, the Australian reports.

The only problem with these claims? They haven't been proven by western medicine.

"Although the Taiwanese medical profession is convinced, as yet, the health benefits of pitaya haven't been confirmed by any European studies," the Daily Mail reports.

This doesn't mean that the fruit isn't good for us.

A 2010 study published in Pharmacognosy Research found that the dragon ffruit extract given to diabetic rats helped decrease aortic stiffness and blood pressure and increased antioxidants in the rats' blood.

Another study suggests it's "packed with antioxidants" claims might have merit.

Businessweek reports on the food industry's ongoing race for new "superfruits" and cautions against falling for any and every promoted fruit.

"At the heart of this industry is the heated race for new and ever more health-promoting ingredients. On one end of this spectrum are vegetables that few would associate with refreshing juices—such as kale or celery. On the other are 'superfruits,' an astonishingly flexible marketing term that seems to generally refer to fruits heavy in antioxidants, but for which 'there is no scientific or regulatory definition,'" says Jeffrey Blumberg, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s antioxidants research laboratory,

Blumberg doesn't dismiss the pitaya. Rather, he considers it one of many healthy fruits for us to consume.

"As most natural fruits contain one or more positive nutrient attributes," says Blumberg, "any one might be considered by someone 'super' in its own way."

"Superfruits are the product of a strategy, not something you find growing on a tree," Blumberg cautions buyers.

Do you seek out superfoods? Or are you careful to include a variety or fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet?

This home security system is bizarre—but it works.

Built by the leading engineers in the country with revolutionary wireless technology… Engineered to make your home feel like a fortress...

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Get vitamins here. Change lives everywhere.

For kids like Rosemary, proper nutrition makes a big difference. See how you can help kids everywhere just by buying your vitamins at Walgreens.

How to Choose the Best Student Loans

The fun of summer vacation is often dampened by thoughts of student loan debts. See which loan is the best for you.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Get your taxes done from your favorite device

Grab your W-2 and your phone or tablet, and file taxes for Absolute Zero : $0 Fed, $0 State, $0 to File. TurboTax Federal Free Edition.

Personal Loan Rates as low as 5.99% APR

$25,000 for $742/mo. 3 yr repayment, $0 down payment. No obligation quotes. Get up to 5 offers in minutes. Quotes are free! Start loan request now.

How to Create a Social Support Strategy

Meet your customers where they are. Read this e-book from Desk.com to learn six things to consider as you plan your social support strategy.