Dragon fruit: A review of health benefits and nutrients and its sustainable development under climate changes in Vietnam

https://doi.org/10.17221/139/2020-CJFSCitation:

Luu T.T.H., Le T.L., Huynh N., Quintela-Alonso P. (2021): Dragon fruit: A review of health benefits and nutrients and its sustainable development under climate changes in Vietnam. Czech J. Food Sci., 39: 71–94.

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Dragon fruit or pitaya is an exotic tropical plant that brings multiple benefits to human health thanks to its high nutritional value and bioactive compounds, including powerful natural antioxidants. Extracts from stems, flowers, peels, pulps of dragon fruit own a range of beneficial biological activities against pathogenic microbes including bacteria, fungi and viruses, and diseases like diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidaemia, and cancer. Moreover, dragon fruit extracts have cardiovascular and hepatoprotective properties, as well as prebiotic potential. Vietnam is a tropical country with favourable climate conditions for the development of pitaya plantations, which have great adaptability and tolerance to a wide range of environmental conditions (e.g. salinity adaptation, favour light intensity, drought resistance, etc.). The dragon fruit, thanks to its nutritional properties, biological activities, and commercial value has become a cost-effective product for the Vietnamese economy, particularly in the poorest areas of the Mekong Delta region, and a driving force in the sustainable development of Vietnam under the challenges posed by the global climate change such as saline intrusion and drought.

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