Managing Blood Sugar Levels With Snake Fruit

  • Sehar Sana BS, Biotechnology, Karachi University

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Managing blood sugar levels is crucial for overall health. High levels, called hyperglycemia, can lead to diabetes, heart problems, nerve damage, and kidney issues. Low levels, known as hypoglycemia, can cause weakness, dizziness, confusion, and, in severe cases, unconsciousness. 

People with diabetes need to manage their blood sugar carefully through diet, exercise, medication, and regular monitoring. Research on natural remedies like snake fruit-based Kombucha shows promise in controlling blood sugar levels. These remedies may offer new options for diabetes management, but more research is needed to understand how they work and how best to use them.1 

Understanding snake fruit

Snake fruit, scientifically termed ‘Salacca zalacca’, hails from Southeast Asia and is recognised for its snake scale-like appearance.Its reddish-brown or orange skin is covered in scales, revealing a segmented, garlic-like interior.

Snake fruit offers a rich nutritional profile, boasting vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. Essential nutrients such as vitamin C enhance immune function, while potassium supports cardiovascular health and electrolyte balance. The fruit's fibre aids in digestion and assists in regulating blood sugar levels. Recent studies highlight the presence of bioactive compounds like polyphenols and flavonoids in snake fruit, which possess antioxidant properties and may enhance insulin sensitivity. These compounds facilitate glucose uptake by cells and promote stable blood sugar levels.2

How snake fruit affects blood sugar levels

Despite containing natural sugars like glucose and fructose, snake fruit has a moderate glycemic index, resulting in a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream.2 This slow absorption helps prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, making snake fruit suitable for glycemic control.

Benefits of snake fruit for blood sugar management

Research on snake fruit's impact on blood sugar levels

Research findings indicate that Salacca zalacca fruit extract can significantly improve metabolic abnormalities linked to weight gain and diabetes in rats. Using 1H NMR-based metabolomics analysis, researchers observed noteworthy enhancements in various metabolic parameters, including blood glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, and oxidative stress markers. These findings suggest that snake fruit extract may offer beneficial effects on blood sugar regulation and overall metabolic health in diabetic conditions.3

Mechanisms of action 

The effects of snake fruit extract on blood sugar levels involve various factors. Bioactive compounds like polyphenols, flavonoids, and dietary fiber found in Salacca zalacca fruits possess antioxidant properties and improve insulin sensitivity, aiding in blood sugar regulation.3 

Compared to high-sugar fruits such as grapes, mangos and sweet cherries, snake fruit extract releases sugars more slowly, reducing the risk of hyperglycemia. Additionally, its fiber content slows sugar absorption, enhancing better glycemic control over high-glycemic-index foods.1

Incorporating snake fruit into diet

Nutritional profile

We can find lots of different vitamins and minerals within snake fruits. As an example, let’s take 100g of the fruit, it contains:

  • Calories: 72
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Vitamin C: 26% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)4
  • Potassium: 6% of the RDAAdditionally, snake fruit contains small amounts of calcium, vitamin A, and iron

While the exact nutritional composition may vary slightly among different varieties of snake fruit, they generally provide similar levels of energy and essential nutrients.8

Simple ways to include snake fruit in meals and snacks

Including snake fruit in your diet can be simple yet delicious. 

  • Enjoy it fresh as a snack or add slices to fruit salads for a tropical flavor boost. 
  • Mixing diced snake fruit into yogurt or oatmeal adds nutrition and flavor to your breakfast. 
  • For serving, pair snake fruit with protein-rich foods like nuts or cheese to balance blood sugar levels. 
  • Aim for a portion size of about one medium-sized fruit, approximately 100 grams, for optimal nutritional benefits.5

For recipes promoting blood sugar management, unleash your culinary creativity. 

  • Mix snake fruit into smoothies with greens and protein like tofu or Greek yogurt for a nutritious drink. 
  • Alternatively, add diced snake fruit to salads or stir-fries to enhance flavor and texture while maintaining meal balance and nutrition.

Precautions and considerations

When consuming snake fruit-based probiotic drinks, it's essential to be mindful of potential side effects or allergic reactions. While snake fruit is generally safe for most people, some individuals may experience adverse effects such as digestive discomfort, allergic reactions, or skin irritation. It's advisable to monitor your body's response and discontinue consumption if any negative symptoms arise.6

It's important to remember that the skin and seeds of snake fruit can be harmful, so it's best to avoid eating them. Always peel the fruit before eating and only enjoy the white flesh inside. Sometimes, the toxins in the seeds are removed during processing and used to make other products like kombucha tea and salacca coffee,7 which offer similar health benefits to eating the fruit .


Managing blood sugar levels is vital for overall health, with hyperglycemia leading to diabetes and other complications. Snake fruit, rich in nutrients like vitamin C and potassium, shows promise in controlling blood sugar levels due to its moderate glycemic index and beneficial compounds like polyphenols. 

Research highlights its potential to improve metabolic abnormalities. Incorporating snake fruit into meals or snacks offers a tasty and nutritious option, while precautions should be taken with probiotic drinks. Avoiding the toxic skin and seeds, consuming only the flesh, is crucial, with processed products offering similar health benefits.

  • Managing blood sugar levels is vital for overall health, with hyperglycemia leading to diabetes and other complications 
  • Snake fruit shows promise in controlling blood sugar levels for it’s moderate glycemic index and beneficial compounds
  • Research highlight its potential to improve metabolic abnormalities 
  • Incorporating snake fruit into meals or snacks offers a tasty and nutritious option
  • Precautions should be taken with probiotic drinks
  • Avoid the toxic skin and seeds, and consume only the flesh
  • Snake fruit processed products also offer similar health benefits


  1. Zubaidah E, Ifadah RA, Kalsum U, Lyrawati D, Putri WDR, Srianta I, et al. Anti-diabetes activity of Kombucha prepared from different snake fruit cultivars. Nutrition & Food Science. 2019 Mar 11. [cited 1 March 2024]; 49(2):333–43. Available from:
  2. Hlásná Čepková P, Jágr M, Janovská D, Dvořáček V, Kotrbová Kozak A, Viehmannová I. Comprehensive Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Snake Fruit: Salak (Salacca zalacca). Journal of Food Quality. [Internet]. 2021. 2021: [cited 1 March 2024];:e6621811. Available from:
  3. Saleh MSM, Siddiqui MJ, Mediani A, Ahmed QU, Mat So’ad SZ, Saidi-Besbes S, et al. Modulation of metabolic alterations of obese diabetic rats upon treatment with Salacca zalacca fruits extract using 1H NMR-based metabolomics. Food Research International. 2020 Nov. [cited 1 March 2024]; 137:109547. Available from:
  4. The Free Dictionary. "RDA". [Internet]. Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary, Farlex [upcated date 2012; cited 1 March 2024]. Available from:
  5. Anoraga SB, Bintoro N. The effect of packaging and storage method on Snake fruit (Salacca edulis Rainw.) quality. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science. 2020 Apr 1. [cited 1 March 2024]; 475(1):012022. Available from:
  6. Nur A, Endang Sutriswati Rahayu, Tyas Utami, Rini Yanti, Dian Anggraini Suroto. Formulation of Fruit-Based Probiotic Drink From Snake Fruit (Salacca Zalacca) and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum Dad-13. Current research in nutrition and food science. 2023 Apr 25. [cited 1 March 2024]; 11(1):351–9. Available from:
  7. Yashin A, Yashin Y, Wang J, Nemzer B. Antioxidant and Antiradical Activity of Coffee. Antioxidants. 2013 Oct 15. [cited 1 March 2024]; 2(4):230–45. Available from:
  8. Maskell K. Discover the Surprising Health Benefits of Snake Fruit! [Internet]. Klarity Health [ updated date 2023; cited March 1 2024]. Available from:

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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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Sehar sana

Bs, Biotechnology, Karachi University

Sehar Sana is a biotechnology student with a passion for unraveling the mysteries of life sciences. With a keen interest in genetic engineering and bioinformatics, Sehar is dedicated to exploring the fascinating intersections between biology and technology. Outside of her studies, she enjoys sharing her discoveries through writing, aiming to make complex topics accessible to all readers.

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