Mexican Pitaya: Side Effects, Nutrition, Recipes, Taste & All

Do you like trying out new, exotic fruits? If so, you’ll definitely want to check out Mexican pitaya.

This delicious fruit is packed with nutrients and has some amazing health benefits. Plus, it’s relatively low in calories, making it a good choice if you’re trying to watch your weight.

Read on to learn more about Mexican pitaya and find a delicious recipe for this tasty fruit. You won’t regret giving Mexican pitaya a try!

A wooden basket is full of Mexican pitaya.

What is Mexican pitaya?

Mexican Pitaya
Image credit: Youtube/Business Insider

Mexican pitaya is one kind of dragon fruit, also known as Mexican dragon fruit. It’s native to Mexico and Central America and has bright pink skin with green scales.

The flesh inside is white or red, with small black seeds scattered throughout.

Normally Mexican pitaya looks like dragon fruit but its size is smaller, grows on climber plants and the taste is sweet and not so sour.

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Mexican pitaya vs dragon fruit:

Mexican pitaya vs dragon fruit

Pitaya and dragon fruit are actually the same fruit. The name “pitaya” is more common in Mexico and Central America, while “dragon fruit” is more common in other parts of the world.

There are three main varieties of pitaya: red, white, and yellow. The red variety has a pink or reddish-purple skin and a white flesh with black seeds.

The white variety has a white skin and a white flesh with black seeds. The yellow variety has a yellow skin and a yellow flesh with black seeds.

All three varieties of pitaya have a mild, sweet flavor that is often described as being similar to a pear or a watermelon. They are also a good source of vitamins C and A, as well as fiber.

Here is a table comparing the two fruits:

FeaturePitayaDragon Fruit
Scientific nameHylocereus undatusSelenicereus undatus
OriginMexico and Central AmericaSoutheast Asia
Color of skinRed, white, or yellowRed, white, or yellow
Color of fleshWhite with black seedsWhite with black seeds
FlavorMild, sweetMild, sweet
Nutritional valueGood source of vitamins C and A, as well as fiberGood source of vitamins C and A, as well as fiber
AvailabilityWidely available in tropical and subtropical regionsWidely available in tropical and subtropical regions

Ultimately, the choice of whether to call it pitaya or dragon fruit is a matter of personal preference.

Both fruits are delicious and nutritious, and they can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as eaten fresh, sliced into salads, or blended into smoothies.

Nutrition and Calories in Mexican pitaya

Mexican dragon fruit (Pitaya)
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Medium size of Mexican pitaya (about 150 grams) contains approximately 60 calories,

  • 1 gram of protein,
  • 15 grams of carbohydrates,
  • 2 grams of fiber, and
  • 1 gram of fat.

Mexican pitaya is also a good source of vitamin C, iron, and magnesium.

Health benefits of Mexican pitaya

Mexican pitaya contains many nutrients that can benefit your health. Here are some of the potential health benefits of Mexican pitaya:

May improve heart health.

Mexican pitaya is high in antioxidants, which can help protect against oxidative damage and potentially lower the risk of heart disease.

May aid in weight loss.

The fiber in Mexican pitaya can help keep you feeling full, while its low-calorie content makes it a good choice for weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight.

May boost immune function.

Mexican pitaya is high in vitamin C, which can help support the immune system and potentially prevent illness.

What does Mexican pitaya taste like?

Mexican pitaya has a mild, sweet flavor that is often described as being similar to a pear or a watermelon. It also has a slightly crunchy texture. The flesh is white with black seeds.

Here are some other ways to describe the taste of Mexican pitaya:

  • Watermelon – The flesh of Mexican pitaya is similar in texture to watermelon, and it has a similar, mild sweetness.
  • Pear – The flavor of Mexican pitaya is also similar to a pear, with a slightly floral note.
  • Kiwi – Some people also say that Mexican pitaya has a hint of kiwi flavor, due to the black seeds.
  • Creamy – The flesh of Mexican pitaya is also creamy, similar to a custard.

It is important to note that the taste of Mexican pitaya can vary depending on the variety and ripeness of the fruit.

Ripe Mexican pitaya will have a brighter flavor and a more pronounced sweetness.

If you are looking for a new and exotic fruit to try, Mexican pitaya is a great option.

It is a healthy and delicious fruit that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as eaten fresh, sliced into salads, or blended into smoothies.

Possible side effects

Mexican pitaya is generally safe to eat, but it is possible to experience some side effects, such as:

  • Allergic reaction – In rare cases, people may experience an allergic reaction to Mexican pitaya. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the tongue or lips, difficulty breathing, and nausea. If you experience any of these symptoms after eating Mexican pitaya, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Diarrhea – Eating large amounts of Mexican pitaya can cause diarrhea. This is because Mexican pitaya is a high-fiber food, and too much fiber can upset the stomach. If you experience diarrhea after eating Mexican pitaya, it is best to reduce your intake and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Skin irritation – The sap of Mexican pitaya can cause skin irritation in some people. If you come into contact with the sap, wash the area with soap and water immediately. If the irritation persists, see a doctor.

It is important to note that these are just some of the possible side effects of Mexican pitaya.

If you have any concerns, it is best to talk to your doctor before eating this fruit.

How to eat Mexican pitaya

Mexican Pitaya (Mexican dragon fruit)
Image credit: Youtube/Business Insider

Mexican pitaya can be eaten raw, sliced, or cubed in salads or as a snack. It can also be blended into smoothies or made into juice.

This fruit pairs well with other fruits, and yogurt, and is even added to savory dishes like salsa.

Mexican pitaya is delicious and eaten as is, but there are also many ways to incorporate it into your meals.

Here are some tasty ideas:

  1. Add diced Mexican pitaya to your breakfast yogurt or oatmeal
  2. Toss cubes of Mexican pitaya into a salad
  3. Blend Mexican pitaya into a smoothie
  4. Top slices of grilled chicken or fish with diced Mexican pitaya
  5. Mix diced Mexican pitaya into salsa for a tasty topping on tacos or nachos

Mexican pitaya recipes:

Mexican Pitaya Smoothie bowl recipe

  • 1 cup frozen Mexican pitaya chunks
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Blend all ingredients until smooth and pour into a bowl. Top with your choice of toppings, such as sliced bananas, shredded coconut, and nuts. Enjoy!

Mexican Pitaya Salsa recipe

  • 1 cup diced Mexican pitaya
  • ½ cup diced mango
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with chips or as a topping for fish or chicken. Enjoy!

Mexican Pitaya and Arugula Salad recipe

  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ cup diced Mexican pitaya
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, Mexican pitaya, almonds, and avocado. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and enjoy!

How to choose Mexican pitaya

Mexican Pitaya
Image credit: Youtube/Business Insider

When purchasing Mexican pitaya, look for ones that are bright in color and free from bruises or blemishes. They should also feel slightly firm to the touch.

Avoid any that are overly soft or mushy as they may be overripe.

How to store

Store Mexican pitaya at room temperature until it’s ripe, then transfer it to the refrigerator where it will keep for 2-3 days. Mexican pitaya can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Where to buy Mexican pitaya

Mexican pitaya can usually be found at local farmer’s markets or specialty grocery stores. It may also be available at some conventional grocery stores or through online retailers.

Look for firm, brightly colored Mexican pitaya with no bruises or soft spots.

Some FAQs:

Can Mexican pitaya be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze Mexican pitaya. It’s best to slice or dice it before freezing for easier use in recipes.

How do I select a ripe Mexican pitaya at the store?

Choose a Mexican pitaya that is brightly colored and has slightly soft skin. Avoid any with bruises or discoloration.

Can Mexican pitaya be used in cooking?

Yes, Mexican pitaya can be added to various dishes for a pop of sweetness and nutrition. Try adding it to salsa, salads, or even grilled meat dishes.


In summary, Mexican pitaya is a tasty and nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed on its own or incorporated into various meals and dishes.

It offers potential health benefits such as improving heart health and aiding in weight loss, with no known side effects when eaten in moderation.

When choosing Mexican pitaya at the store, look for bright and firm fruits. Store at room temperature until ripe, then transfer to the refrigerator or freeze for longer storage.

Enjoy incorporating Mexican pitaya into your meals and enjoy its health benefits!

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