Dragon fruit, also called pitaya, is a vibrant tropical fruit with green scales that may are available in quite a lot of shapes and colours. Although normally pink on the surface, the within can range from white to red, pink, or purple.
The yellow dragon fruit is the sweetest and hardest to search out of those varieties. The crunchy texture and sweet flavor of dragon fruit make it an awesome addition to smoothies or acai bowls.
Dragon fruit is a nutritious snack for individuals with diabetes. The natural sugars are kept from causing any damage by the fiber in dragon fruit, which slows down their absorption into the bloodstream.
But is dragon fruit really protected for individuals with diabetes? Let’s discover.
Dragon fruit dietary profile
Most fruits have advantages in a method or one other, as does dragon fruit. The better part about this tropical fruit is that it offers essential nutrients while being low in calories.
AND test shows that the pulp (flesh) of dragon fruit is wealthy in phenolic compounds with high antioxidant capability. It can also be a wealthy source of bioactive phytochemicals that may provide good health effects.
According USDA100 grams of dragon fruit incorporates the next nutrients:
- Calories: 57 calories
- Protein: 0.36g
- Carbohydrates: 15.2g
- Fat: 0.14 g
- Fiber: 3.1g
- Total sugars: 9.75 g
- Calcium: 9mg
- Potassium: 116mg
- Choline: 5.1mg
- Beta-carotene: 14 mcg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin: 44 mcg
- Folic acid: 7 mcg
Branded and packaged dragon fruit
Dragon fruit, which is available in quite a lot of branded varieties, might be present in frozen chunks, fruit chips, sorbets, fruit mixes, and flavored energy drinks.
However, they’ve different sugar levels and calories, so individuals with diabetes needs to be careful and select fresh, whole fruit. In addition, processing and preservation also can alter the glycemic index of dragon fruit.
According USDA100 grams of a branded dragon fruit snack with sulfur dioxide as a preservative incorporates only the next nutrients.
- Calories: 264 kcal
- Protein: 3.57g
- Carbohydrates: 82.1g
- Fiber: 1.8g
- Total sugars: 82.1 g
- Calcium: 107mg
- Sodium: 39mg
- Vitamin C: 6.4mg
You can compare this date with the entire fruit dietary profile to higher understand the difference.
Dragon fruit glycemic index
The glycemic index (GI) measures how a serving of a carbohydrate-containing food affects blood sugar levels after consumption. Foods with a low or moderate GI take longer to be absorbed and digested.
Therefore, it takes longer to convert carbohydrates into glucose. As a result, it helps to cut back or prevent the dramatic impact on blood sugar levels.
GI scores are scored as follows:
- Low GI: 55 or lower
- Medium: 56 – 69
- High: 70 and above
Dragon fruit has not yet been assigned an actual GI, nevertheless it typically ranges from 48-52, making it a low GI fruit. Thus, consuming dragon fruit carefully won’t cause immediate or unhealthy spikes. Instead, your blood sugar will rise slowly. This is a major profit for many individuals fighting diabetes.
Is dragon fruit good for diabetics?
Glucose lowering effect
AND test says that the betacyanin and antioxidant activity of dragon fruit have glucose-lowering effects. In addition, there was a more significant reduction in blood glucose with the upper dose of dragon fruit extract.
However, these effects were simpler in prediabetes. Therefore, there may be a necessity for further study to know how helpful dragon fruit is in type 2 diabetes.
Tests also shows that extracts from stems, flowers, peels and dragon fruit pulp have quite a lot of strong natural antioxidants and prebiotic potential. It will help treat diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia and cancer.
The fiber in dragon fruit makes it a superb mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack for diabetics.
Studies show that a meal plan with adequate fiber will help lower the danger of type 2 diabetes. This is because fiber slows down the absorption of sugar or carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar levels regular.
One serving of dragon fruit provides about 8-9 grams of sugar. That’s lower than many other tropical fruits. Besides, the low GI of 48-52 is right for a diabetes control weight-reduction plan.
The above advantages make dragon fruit a low calorie and nutrient wealthy fruit for diabetics. However, in most countries, only dragon fruit juices are available.
Sometimes these drinks may not even contain the actual dragon fruit extract. Instead, they added sugar and flavorings. Therefore, it just isn’t suitable for diabetics and could cause blood sugar spikes.
Dragon fruit advantages for diabetic patients
One of the potential advantages of dragon fruit for diabetes is its high vitamin C content. It is crucial for a powerful immune system. Since individuals with diabetes often take care of a compromised immune system, eating fruits wealthy in vitamin C is a very good alternative. In addition, the antioxidants beta-carotene and lycopene support eye health and fight inflammation.
Dragon fruit can also be a very good source of prebiotic fiber. In addition, it supports the event of excellent intestinal bacteria and prevents digestive problems. A healthy gut microbiome will help control blood sugar levels.
According American Diabetes Associationhaving a small piece of an entire fruit like dragon fruit is an awesome complement to a meal.
The each day serving suggestion for dragon fruit is about one cup. However, everyone has a singular response to blood glucose levels. That’s why you’ll be able to check with a HealthifyMe nutritionist to learn the way much dragon fruit is fit for human consumption.
Your food will affect your blood sugar similar to dragon fruit. However, dragon fruit won’t cause a sugar spike as a consequence of its low GI and high fiber content. Dragon fruit fiber keeps blood sugar levels regular. In addition, it is of course a low-calorie fruit.
Easily available and packaged dragon fruit is widely available. Their availability is greater than just fruit. However, fresh fruit is healthier at controlling blood sugar than packaged ones.
While dragon fruit is a handy option for diabetics, you need to still eat it carefully. Talk to a dietitian at HealthifyMe to search out out what a healthy serving size is for you.,
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Does dragon fruit raise blood sugar?
A. Eating one medium-sized dragon fruit or a cup of dragon fruit won’t raise your blood sugar. This fruit also has a low GI rating. In addition, it’s best to eat dragon fruit as a snack. Despite this, individuals with diabetes cannot overeat it. Talk to your doctor to search out the fitting serving size on your needs and condition.
Q. Can dragon fruit be eaten each day?
A. Dragon fruit is low in calories and low in GI, making it the proper on a regular basis snack. However, eat once a day and no more. Either eat dragon fruit in the course of the morning or as a night snack. That said, it is usually higher to decide on quite a lot of diabetic-friendly fruits than to follow only one option day-after-day.
Q. Does dragon fruit contain sugar?
A. Each fruit incorporates a certain quantity of natural sugar. According to the USDA, 100 grams of dragon fruit incorporates 9.75 grams of total sugar. One whole dragon fruit incorporates 7.31 g of sugar, with one cup having essentially the most, around 17.6 g. Nevertheless, dragon fruit has a low GI. Therefore, its sugar doesn’t significantly affect your blood sugar levels whenever you eat dragon fruit carefully.
Q. Does dragon fruit contain quite a lot of uric acid?
A. No, dragon fruit doesn’t contain much uric acid. Instead, dragon fruit may help reduce blood uric acid levels. In addition, it’s an anti-inflammatory fruit that stops the unintended effects of an excessive amount of uric acid. Therefore, individuals with gout and arthritis eat dragon fruit to cut back symptoms akin to joint irritation and inflammation.
Q. What diseases might be cured with dragon fruit?
A. No single food can cure disease. However, some fruits may help prevent, manage and reduce the danger of disease. For example, antioxidants and vitamin C can treat sunburn, dry skin, and pimples. It also can help lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Dragon fruit also increases immunity and bone health. In addition, it helps prevent eye problems akin to cataracts and macular degeneration.
Q. Is dragon fruit good for the liver?
A. Some animal studies suggest that dragon fruit may improve liver health. However, there are not any specific human clinical trials to prove this. Still, you’ll be able to drink unsweetened dragon fruit extract if you happen to suffer from fatty liver.
Q. Who should avoid eating dragon fruit?
A. People who’re allergic to dragon fruit should avoid it. You also needs to watch out about combining dragon fruit with antidiabetic drugs that lower blood sugar.
1. Attar ŞH, Gündeşli MA, Urün I, et al. Nutritional evaluation of red-purple and white pitayas (hilocereus) Type. Particles. 2022;27(3):808. Published January 26, 2022. doi:10.3390/molecules27030808
2. US Department of Agriculture data. Data Type: Survey (FNDDS) | Food category: Other fruit and fruit salads | FDC ID: 2344729 | Food code: 63116010
3. US Department of Agriculture data. Data type: branded | Food Category: Healthy Snacks| FDC ID: 1871770
4. Poolsup, Nalinee et al. “Effect of dragon fruit on glycemic control in prediabetes and sort 2 diabetes: a scientific review and meta-analysis”. PloS one volume. 12.9 e0184577. September 8, 2017, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0184577
5. Luu, Hai and Le, Truc-Linh and Huynh, Nga and Quintel-Alonso, Pablo. (2021). Dragon Fruit: An Overview of Health and Nutrient Benefits and Their Sustainability Under Climate Change in Vietnam. Czech Journal of Food Science. 39. 10.17221/139/2020-CJFS.
6. Martin O Weickert, Andreas FH Pfeiffer, Impact of dietary fiber intake on insulin resistance and prevention of type 2 diabetes, Nutrition Diaryvolume 148, issue 1, January 2018, pages 7–12
7. American Diabetes Association: Fruit Serving Recommendations