How to make dragon fruit a healthful alternative to apples and pears
Posted On June 17, 2021
In a world of fast food, frozen meals and packaged fruit salads, one of the more appealing health benefits of eating a dragon fruit is its high amount of vitamin C. However, that same vitamin C also has a side effect: it can cause a host of side effects, including heart disease, cancer, and birth defects.
Now, researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia and the University at Albany in New York are using a different, less expensive source of vitamin A, a common ingredient found in fruit, to test whether consuming a dragon-fruit diet can help reduce the risk of these conditions.
The team conducted two studies, one in the United States and one in Australia, that tested the hypothesis that consuming a Dragon Fruit Diet could reduce the number of side-effects associated with consuming it.
The research was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the U:A.D. Foundation, the National Institutes on Aging, the John Templeton Foundation, and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
The researchers studied people who had had a diagnosis of a form of the heart disease calcification disorder known as cardiomyopathy.
They found that the consumption of a Dragon Food Diet had no effect on the amount of heart disease that was found in the participants’ blood.
They also found that people on a Dragonfruit Diet had significantly lower levels of calcification, an effect they termed the “preventative effect.”
Calcification is a condition that occurs when a blood vessel begins to calcify and become narrowed, a condition known as atherosclerosis.
As a result, blood vessels that normally close to the body can become blocked, leading to the buildup of plaque, or plaque particles.
A calcification buildup can cause plaque to form on the walls of the arteries, increasing the risk for heart disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are about 1.5 million cases of calcified arteries worldwide every year.
These calcifications can lead to a narrowing of the coronary arteries and, if left untreated, can lead the heart to become damaged, leading the patient to die.
The research team analyzed data from the participants in the two studies to determine if a Dragon fruit diet could reduce this risk.
The participants in both studies were between 18 and 49 years old, and were all male.
The study subjects were also all free of heart or blood vessel disease.
In both studies, they consumed a total of three servings of Dragon Fruit and consumed the equivalent of 1.6 grams of vitamin-A per day, or about two cups of fruit juice.
The researchers found that a Dragonfood diet that was a “low-calorie” source of calcium also lowered the risk associated with heart disease by 20 percent.
The diet contained more than 8 grams of calcium per day of vitamin E, which is found in a lot of foods like broccoli, broccoli florets, and kale.
The amount of calcium found in Dragonfruit was about 1,000 times lower than that found in other types of fruits.
“We saw an inverse relationship between the amount and the quality of vitamin a fruit source provided and the risk,” said lead researcher, Dr. Jia-Ching Yang.
“We were surprised that we found that vitamin A was actually associated with less calcification.
This suggests that the Dragonfruit diet may have more beneficial effects on calcification in the heart.”
The team was able to show that the effect of a low-calcium diet was greatest in those participants who had high levels of calcium in their blood.
When compared to the low-amount calcium content of other fruits, the consumption level of Dragonfruit significantly reduced the amount that was in the bloodstream.
“This was a good finding, because low-quality foods are usually associated with increased blood calcification,” said Yang.
The Dragon Fruit diet did not affect the risk in those with high levels in the blood, and there were no differences in the level of calcifications among people who were consuming more or less than one serving of Dragon fruit per day.
The group consuming more than one Dragonfruit per day also showed a lower risk of heart attack and stroke.
However, the study was unable to determine the optimal amount of fruit to consume to achieve the optimal benefit of the diet.
The team did find that the highest intake of fruit was associated with an increase in levels of the pro-inflammatory enzyme tumor necrosis factor-α.
That increased risk was significantly lower in the group consuming a higher amount of Dragon fruits per day compared to people who consumed less.
This study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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Original article on Live Science.