Can Dragon Fruit Regulate Blood Sugar Concentration?

  • Barbara Timkova Bachelor in Biomedical Sciences- BSc (Hons), Queen Mary University of London
  • Zayan Siddiqui BSc in Chemistry with Biomedicine, KCL, MSc in Drug Discovery and Pharma Management, UCL

Regulating your blood sugar is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle and the prevention of diabetes.7 Many fruits have a positive impact not only on your health but also on your blood glucose levels. One of the fruits that has been linked to a reduction in blood sugar levels is an exotic refreshment called Dragon Fruit. But how does this fruit regulate blood sugar? 

Dragon fruit benefits your health in many ways because it is rich in nutrients such as fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins. It also has a low glycemic index, indicating that it is slowly digested and absorbed, causing a slow and gradual increase in blood sugar levels.1,2 

Dragon fruit's nutritional profile

What is a dragon fruit?

Dragon Fruit, also known as Pitaya, may not sound familiar to most people, as it got its exotic name just a few decades ago, in 1993.3 Other names for it are Strawberry Pear and Thang.3 

The seeds have a nutty flavour, while the flesh is pleasantly sweet and kiwi-like. 

The fruit is famous for its cyclamen colour on the outside and seedy-like inside, which makes it exciting to try out and easy to prepare. 

Types of dragon fruit

The well-known pink Dragon Fruit is not the only one we know. There are many other types of this fruit, which can vary in shape and vibrant colour.

 The most popular are: 

                           Species  Colour
Red flesh dragon fruit
H. costaricenes
White flesh dragon fruit
H. undatus
Yellow pitaya
H. megalanthus
'Bloody Mary'
H. polyrhizus
H. polyrhizus x undatus

Key nutrients in dragon fruit

The key nutrients in dragon fruit are the following:3

  1. Fibre
  2. Vitamins
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin B1,B2,B3,B6,B7,B9
    • Vitamin E
  3. Minerals
    • Magnesium
    • Potassium
    • Iron
    • Calcium
  4. Antioxidants

Blood sugar regulation   

What is blood sugar?       

The most common form of sugar in your blood is known as blood glucose or blood sugar. It functions as the main energy source for the body. It comes from the food you consume daily, and the majority of the food is converted by the body into glucose, which is then released into the blood. The pancreas releases insulin when blood glucose levels rise. A hormone called insulin plays a role in the transport of glucose into the cells, where it is converted to energy.5

Factors that increase blood sugar

  • Dehydration
  • Stress can activate hormones, which raise blood sugar
  • Menstrual cycle, which changes the activity of hormones
  • Eating too much food
  • Too little insulin in diabetes medication
  • Not having enough movement6

Factors that decrease blood sugar 

  • Alcohol on an empty stomach
  • Not eating enough food
  • Too much insulin from diabetes medication
  • Physical activity6

Dietary choices and blood sugar

One of the aims of a healthy and balanced diet is to keep blood sugar at healthy levels. Therefore, preventing high blood glucose or low blood glucose levels. 

In order to sustain healthy blood sugar, nutritionists suggest eating fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, grains, beans, olive oil, rice, and herbs daily. Fish and seafood should be eaten at least two times a week. Eggs, cheese, and yoghurt should be included in your diet in moderate portions, daily to weekly. Sweets and meat should be consumed less often.7

Dragon fruit and blood sugar regulation

Glycemic index (GI)

​​All carbohydrates are broken down and released as glucose into the bloodstream. According to how rapidly they are digested and absorbed as glucose, carbohydrates are ranked on the Glycaemic Index.8 Rapidly digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, carbohydrates have a high GI. Blood glucose levels quickly rise as a result of this.8 Low GI carbohydrates are those that are slowly absorbed and digested. Blood glucose levels increase as a result in a more gradual and regulated manner.8

Dragon fruit's GI

Dragon fruit has a relatively low GI index (48-52) and, therefore, has been used in clinical studies to explore its ability to regulate blood sugar.9

It has been found that because of Dragon Fruit's glycemic control, the carbohydrates are absorbed by the body more slowly, allowing a controlled rinse of blood sugar.9

This means that your blood sugar won't increase so steadily but instead will increase gradually over a longer period of time. It helps to maintain a healthy blood sugar level, as opposed to irregular spikes. 

Other benefits of low-GI food

Blood sugar regulation is not the only benefit of low-GI food. 

Other benefits include:8

  • Controlling appetite, making you feel less hungry for a longer time
  • Lowering the incidence of heart diseases 
  • Improving cholesterol levels

Dragon fruit and fibre

What is fibre?

Dietary fibre is a form of carbohydrate that can be found in meals made from plants. Despite not being absorbed or digested by the body, it is essential in preserving health.10

Fiber's effect on blood sugar

Dietary fibre is associated with a lower rate of mortality in people with diabetes and regulation of blood sugar.7 Therefore, it should be included in our everyday diet in considerable portions. 

Dragon fruit's fibre content

Dragon fruit is an excellent source of fibre, with 3.1g of fibre per 100g of this fruit.1

This makes the fruit important and effective in terms of blood sugar regulation and a healthy diet. 

Dragon fruit in our diet

Nutrition content

Although Dragon fruit is rich in fibre, antioxidants and vitamins, it does not contain any protein or fats.2

It is important to include other sources of nutrients in our daily diet to regulate blood sugar and not solely rely on fruits. 

Dragon fruit preparation

There are many interesting and playful ways to prepare your Dragon Fruit.

Dragon fruit smoothie

For those who prefer a liquid form of fruit or would like to mix it with other fruits, a smoothie is an easy and quick option.

Dragon fruit popsicles

This is a fun and easy option for children to explore the taste of this tropical fruit.

Dragon fruit chia pudding

A great form of breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Dragon fruit mojito

Simply add your slice of Dragon Fruit to your favourite drink to get some extra nutrients.


Dragon fruit is an attractive-looking tropical fruit famous for its cyclamen colour and kiwi-like taste. It is rich in vitamins and antioxidants and is an excellent source of fibre. Its low glycemic index allows the carbohydrates to be absorbed slowly; therefore, the rise in blood sugar is steady and controlled. This was found to be effective in preventing diabetes. However, healthy blood sugar concentration can only be achieved by following a well-balanced diet and having enough movement (except for diabetes patients treated with medications).


Why is dragon fruit considered healthy?

Dragon fruit is considered healthy because it is rich in fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins, and it's low in sugar compared to other fruits.1

Can all types of dragon fruit regulate blood sugar?

Clinical studies have been performed on two types only: Hylocereus polyrhizus and Hylocereus costaricensis.7

Does dragon fruit prevent diabetes?

Yes, it has been found that Dragon Fruit can be effective in preventing diabetes.7 However, there are genetic risk factors which may still increase your chances of being diagnosed with diabetes.

Is dragon fruit high in sugar?

Dragon Fruit contains 9/10g of sugar per 100g of fruit, which is less than in many other fruits.1 

Can I eat dragon fruit every day? 

Yes, you can eat up to 200g of Dragon Fruit every day as long as you keep hydrated and follow a balanced diet.11


  1. Fooddata central [Internet]. [cited 2023 Sep 30]. Available from:
  2. [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2023 Sep 30]. What is the glycaemic index (Gi)? Available from:
  3. Dragon fruit, pitaya - check your food [Internet]. [cited 2023 Sep 30]. Available from:
  4. Pitaya species and named varieties [Internet]. [cited 2023 Sep 30]. Available from:
  5. Blood glucose [Internet]. [cited 2023 Sep 30]. Available from:
  6. Good to know: factors affecting blood glucose. Clin Diabetes [Internet]. 2018 Apr [cited 2023 Sep 30];36(2):202. Available from:
  7. Gray A, Threlkeld RJ. Nutritional recommendations for individuals with diabetes. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Blackman MR, Boyce A, Chrousos G, Corpas E, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA):, Inc.; 2000 [cited 2023 Sep 30]. Available from:
  8. University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2023 Oct 1]. Food fact: the glycaemic index. Available from:
  9. Poolsup N, Suksomboon N, Paw NJ. Effect of dragon fruit on glycemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One [Internet]. 2017 Sep 8 [cited 2023 Oct 1];12(9):e0184577. Available from:
  10. Diabetes UK [Internet]. [cited 2023 Oct 1]. Fibre and diabetes. Available from:
  11. Mewada P. 10 health benefits and recipes of dragon fruit(Pitaya) [Internet]. PharmEasy Blog. 2022 [cited 2023 Oct 1]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Barbara Timkova

Bachelor in Biomedical Sciences- BSc (Hons), Queen Mary University of London

I am a biomedical student interested in medical genetics, specifically in genetics behind cancer. I have a strong background of volunteering in hospitals, vaccination centres and in organizing fundraising events for cancer research.

I also help in recruiting blood and bone marrow donors for leukaemia patients. The favourite part of my degree is working in labs because I can apply my knowledge and observe the cells with my own eyes. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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