Surprising Ways To Use Dragon Fruit For Better Skin

You're bound to entice a reaction anytime you stroll through a grocery store with a few pieces of dragon fruit in your cart. So what if you prominently place them up front, so that everyone can take full measure of them? One person's version of showing off is another's way of keeping the fruit unharmed until they're brought home to safety.

In the meantime, dragon fruit never fails to draw more attention than your average apple or orange or grape cluster. They flaunt many green, protruding scales, and their near-fuchsia color make the 3-inch ovals look like radioactive cacti from another planet. Reading the expressions of your fellow shoppers isn't difficult — not by a long shot: "What are those things? What do they taste like? And what do you do with them?"

Little wonder that dragon fruit lovers also love that the fruit imparts an instant measure of mystery, sophistication and worldliness, for dragon fruit is full of surprises — literally. Once cut open, the fruit exposes a soft, white or red flesh punctuated by dozens of tiny, crunchy, black seeds (via Food Network). The surprises, as it turns out, are just beginning.

This sweet treat delivers the goods

As a fruit that is native to Central and South America as well as Mexico, dragon fruit is in season from about June to September, says Iowa State University's Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. Also known as a strawberry pear or pitaya, dragon fruit has a texture that is similar to a mango or watermelon while its flavor is often described as a cross between kiwis and pears (via Produce Market Guide). Given these characteristics, you can see why dragon fruit is an ideal inclusion in smoothies as well as a garnish for cocktails, Taste of Home says.

But plenty of people eat dragon fruit "straight up" — slicing it open and then carefully munching around the rind or scooping out the flesh with a spoon, per the Food Network. While dragon fruit can satisfy a sweet tooth, you don't have to feel guilty consuming it. Each 3.5-ounce piece of fruit contains about 60 calories, no fat, and 13 grams of carbohydrates. Plus, dragon fruit is a good source of vitamins A and C and magnesium — a mineral that supplies the body with many powerhouse functions, Women's Health says.

As hard as it may be to tear yourself away from a juicy slice of dragon fruit, you can return to it knowing that while it's good for your overall health, it can be particularly beneficial for the health of your skin.

Dragon fruit shows up on the skin

If you want to cultivate clear, glowing skin, dragon fruit could turn out to be one of your most trusted allies. The Good Stuff Botanicals draws a clear parallel between eating dragon fruit and how it eventually "shows up" on your face. But prepare yourself for a few surprises: if you didn't know any better, you might think you're reading the packaging of an "anti-aging" product.

You already know that dragon fruit contains vitamin C — a mainstay ingredient in many anti-aging eye creams. This antioxidant can improve the production of collagen, which keeps the skin (and especially the sensitive undereye area) better hydrated. This sets off a domino effect in that better hydrated skin is usually plumper, and plump skin is often more resistant to forming fine lines and wrinkles.

Good Stuff goes so far as to put the "vitamin C-rich superfood" on par with sunscreen — so good is dragon fruit at blunting UV damage to the skin. But if sun damage does occur, Be Beautiful says that dragon fruit can treat sunburn and moisturize the skin, too. Meanwhile, the vitamin A in dragon fruit plays a supporting role in all this activity because it rejuvenates skin cells. No wonder you may take issue with its assertion that "drinking one glass of dragon fruit juice is an excellent way to start your day." Instead, you may want at least two.