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Dragon fruit, Kenya's new profitable fruit

Demand for this distinctive-looking fruit with great benefits is on the rise

31-10-2021 di redazione

The Dragon Fruit or Pitaya is a tropical fruit belonging to the Cactacaceae family, like the prickly pear. Although it is native to Central and South America, it is now particularly common in Asia and tropical countries where the climate is suitable for its growth, including Kenya. The fruit is immediately striking in appearance: it has a fuchsia-coloured skin, very thick and with large scales with green tips. The flesh has a creamy consistency and is characterised by a myriad of tiny black seeds, rather like the kiwi, and the flavour is very pleasant, sweet and refreshing. There are four varieties of this fruit: three are pink with a different coloured flesh inside which can be white, purple or red. The fourth is a smaller, sweeter hybrid variety with a yellow skin and white flesh, but the latter is more popular in the Philippines.
In Kenya, where there is growing interest in healthy eating, demand is also increasing but production is still rather limited, retailing at between Ksh1,000 and Ksh2,000 per kilo.
It can weigh between 200 and 600 grams and can be found in the fruit and vegetable departments of shops and supermarkets, even on the coast.
This unusual-looking fruit is a concentrate of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
It is a fruit with strong antioxidant and anti-ageing properties. In addition to vitamin C, it is rich in betalaines, natural pigments that give colour to the flowers and fruit, which have considerable antioxidant power and a high capacity for removing free radicals.
Dragon fruit is also good for the liver thanks to its phytoalbumins, which help in the purification and detoxification of the blood and liver by increasing the excretion of toxins and heavy metals from the body; it is also rich in minerals, particularly calcium and sodium and, to a lesser extent, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
Although it is a very sugary fruit, it can also be eaten by people suffering from diabetes, obviously without exaggerating the quantities and avoiding eating it alone, perhaps combining it with a little yoghurt or dried fruit, or making excellent and tasty juices and smoothies.
The other parts of the plant can also be used, for example the roots and flowers make wonderful herbal teas, while the stem is used to make bath soap.
The dragon fruit season in Kenya runs from November to May, with January, February and March being the peak months.
All we have to do is wait a few months to taste it.aaa repliky hodinek

 

TAGS: dragon fruit kenyapitaya kenyafrutta kenya

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