Dragon Fruit, also known as Honolulu Queen, belongs to the cactus species. Grown on the Hylocereus cactus, the flowers of a Dragon Fruit bloom only at night. Dragon Fruit is known to reduce blood sugar levels in a person with diabetes, and is particularly beneficial in cases of borderline diabetes. Studies proved that the markers were more accurate on pre-diabetes cases than on people with Type-2 diabetes, who didn’t show any significant changes in their blood sugar levels.
Dragon Fruit is abundantly found in the areas of Central America and Mexico. However, these days, it is grown in many parts of the world and is available in markets across Asia and Europe, besides the native continents. Dragon Fruit also goes by the name of Strawberry Pear, Pitahaya, or Pitaya. It comes in skin tones of red to yellow, with hot pink being the most familiar sighting in the tropical regions where it abounds.
When it comes to consuming fruits, a person with diabetes is always in doubt. Fruits, in general, contain large amounts of natural sugars that can spike blood sugar levels. Appreciated for its unique taste and texture, Dragon Fruit is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Consuming Dragon Fruit in moderate amounts can, in reality, lower blood sugar levels. Hence, it is beneficial for a person with diabetes.
Dragon Fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals alike. It is a good source of magnesium and iron. Vitamin C and vitamin E are also found in decent amounts in the fruit. Dragon Fruit has a lot of fibre as well. Therefore, it aids in a healthy heart and helps lower cholesterol levels. The seeds of Dragon Fruit are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids that promote overall development and healthy living.
Dragon Fruit is believed to possess anticancer and anti-diabetic properties. It lowers the cholesterol levels in the blood significantly.
The obvious question is, “Can people with diabetes eat dragon fruit?” According to different studies, Dragon Fruit can effectively regulate blood sugar levels. This fruit has the ability to bring down glucose levels in the blood. Consuming Dragon Fruit can be more beneficial for cases diagnosed with borderline diabetes. In the test groups, researchers found that there was a significant decrease in Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) after the subjects with prediabetes consumed Dragon Fruit.
Pre-diabetes is known as a condition when a person is on the threshold of developing diabetes. This condition can lead to Type-2 diabetes if the current food habits continue. However, people with Type-2 diabetes didn’t showcase any significant reduction in blood sugar levels after the consumption of Dragon Fruit. As of now, there is not much evidence to support the benefits of Dragon Fruit in people with diabetes as conclusive.
The Glycemic Index of the Dragon Fruit ranges between 49 and 53, making it beneficial in moderate amounts for people with borderline diabetes. Dragon Fruits are among the few fruits with a low Glycemic Index. Bananas also fall in the same category. Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure used to calculate the spike in the amount of glucose present upon consumption of food. Food items, reporting up to 55 on a scale of 100, fall within the agreeable or lower GI range. Those with higher GI fall outside the ambit of 70. Because of its low GI index, Dragon Fruit for diabetes is recommended by health professionals. Consumption of Dragon Fruit aids in building immunity of a person and helps prevent viral and bacterial infections.
You can check the ripeness of a Dragon Fruit by pressing its outer layer. The outer cover, which is mostly bright pink, should be left out. You can readily consume the inner flesh along with its seeds. It is close to a kiwi in taste but less tangy. The taste of the outer cover is bitter, but it is quite beneficial for health as it is rich in antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Let’s now look at the ways you can consume Dragon Fruit:
Read more about is kiwi good for diabetes.
You can have a serving of Dragon Fruit every day. It is rich in fibre and low in calories. A 100-gram serving of the fruit provides 60 calories of energy. It has zero fats, which is a huge plus. It packs carbs, fibre, proteins, and an assortment of minerals in a good measure. Not only that, it is rich in nutrients and is loaded with antioxidants. Dragon Fruit is, therefore, considered a nutrient-rich healthy food and can be included in a person’s daily diet.
If a Dragon Fruit is consumed more than its acceptable amount, it may lead to constipation. So consuming it in large servings is best avoided. If a person shows any side effects even after consuming Dragon Fruit in moderation, he should stop its intake and consult a doctor.
Some people might be allergic to the Dragon Fruit. Ideally, it should be consumed with caution in small servings. Those allergic to Dragon Fruit should refrain from consuming it. A person with diabetes, who is allergic to Dragon Fruit, should not consume it, especially the expecting mothers. If you are prone to fluctuation in blood sugar levels, it is best to consult your physician.
Besides moderating the blood sugar levels, Dragon Fruit is a fibrous fruit and aids in good digestion. It cleans the gut and lowers the cholesterol levels of a person. It comes loaded with immunity boosters. Consuming a Dragon Fruit in moderation on a daily basis is likely to keep a person away from viral infections. It contains probiotics and improves a person’s gut health.
Dragon Fruit is found in multiple colours. Even if the outer layer is the same, its flesh can be yellow, red, purple, or white. The Dragon Fruit with red flesh is high in antioxidants and low on the Glycemic Index (GI). The GI rate of a Dragon Fruit is between 49 and 53. Often crunchy in texture and sweet in taste, Dragon Fruit is highly recommended by health practitioners for people with diabetes. However, different studies show that it is beneficial for those who are at the threshold of diabetes. No significant reduction in blood sugar levels of persons with Type-2 diabetes has been found. Also Read about can diabetics eat Mango.