One of my favorite fruits to buy in Thailand is pitaya fruit. Usually known as ‘dragon fruit’, it is a fruit that is crimson red, leathery and leafy on the outside and white, fleshy and sweet on the inside.
Dragon fruits have teeny tiny black, crunchy seeds among the white flesh but, unlike some fruits where seeds are annoying, in the dragon fruit they only add to the flavor and texture.
In Thailand, dragon fruit is cheap. Unlike in Europe and North America, where you can pay two euros or two dollars for one solitary fruit, in Thailand when dragon fruit is in season, you can buy it as cheap as 40 baht ($1.30) for a kilo – which gives you three or four large sized fruits.
To eat dragon fruit, just slice the fruit in half and scoop out the white flesh direct from the skin. Delicious!
For health reasons, dragon fruit should be eaten as often as possible. It lowers blood pressure, helps the excretion of metal toxins, boosts immunity and is also a cancer preventative. It also has almost zero cholesterol.
Dragon fruit is also high in Vitamin C and iron, with an average dragon fruit giving you around 60 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, and around 20 percent of the RDI for iron.
As for calories, a medium dragon fruit is around 100 calories, or 52 calories per 100 grams.
If eaten regularly, some Thais say it is even good for respiratory problems – something common in Bangkok due to the excessive pollution.