A pitaya is the fruit of several cactus species, most importantly of the genus Hylocereus (sweet pitayas). These fruit are also known as pitahaya, dragon fruit, huǒ lóng guǒ (火龍果/火龙果, “fire dragon fruit”), lóng zhū guǒ (龙珠果 “dragon pearl fruit”), strawberry pear, nanettikafruit, or thanh long. Native to Mexico and Central and South America, the vine-like epiphytic Hylocereus cacti are also cultivated in Southeast Asian countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. They are also found in Okinawa, Israel, and southern China. Hylocereus blooms only at night; they have large white fragrant flowers of the typical cactusflower shape, that are often called Moonflower or Queen of the Night. Sweet pitayas have a creamy pulp and a delicate aroma.
-Red-skinned pitayas are rich in vitamins, especially Vitamin C.
-Pitayas are rich in fiber and minerals, notably phosphorus and calcium. Red pitayas are richer in the former, yellow ones in the latter. In Taiwan, diabetics use the fruit as a food substitute for rice and as a source of dietary fiber.
Pitayas are also rich in phytoalbumins which are highly valued for their antioxidant properties.
-Costa Rica Pitayas are rich in antioxidants which prevent the formation of cancer-causing free radicals.