Nutritional Benefits Of Dragon Fruit Seeds


Dragon fruit, scientifically known as Hylocereus undatus, is a vibrant and exotic fruit that is popular among health-conscious individuals around the world. T. The range of skin colours from red to pink on the dragon fruit, along with its white flesh dotted with tiny black seeds, makes it an attention-grabber at any market. But the nutritional benefits of pitaya (dragon fruit) are just as great, if not greater, stars of this all-rounded show. 

Dragon fruit seeds, often overshadowed by the fruit's visually striking appearance, are small, black, and crunchy nuggets embedded within the juicy flesh. These tiny seeds may appear inconspicuous, but they are packed with essential nutrients and unique properties, making them a valuable addition to your diet. Rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, dragon fruit seeds offer a nutritious boost to your meals and snacks. They contain a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron, and magnesium, contributing to their potential health benefits. Additionally, dragon fruit seeds are known for their antioxidant properties, which can help combat oxidative stress and promote overall well-being. Let’s take a detailed look into the natural properties and nutritional value of dragon fruit seeds in the following section. 

Nutritional composition of dragon fruit seeds

Dragon fruits have a rich nutritional composition overall, but the seeds possess macronutrients, micronutrients, and antioxidants. Since the seeds are small compared to the rest of the dragon fruit, the nutritional content they provide is relatively low. Dragon fruits are consumed with their flesh mostly, making them a healthy source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 


Macronutrients are the nutrients that your body needs in higher quantities to provide energy. They are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Dragon fruits are a good source of fat and carbohydrates. 

  • Fats: Dragon fruit seeds contain 50% of the essential fatty acids (EFA), linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Both these acids are present mostly in seeds.
    • Linoleic Acidis a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid and by consuming it, it is associated with a reduced risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and cancer1. Higher linoleic acid intake is also associated with a lowered risk of mortality from all the above causes. 
    • Linolenic Acid is an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, also known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and is considered a nutraceutical (a food source that provides health benefits along with basic nutritional value) to protect against brain stroke 2. It also lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and heart attacks. 
  • Carbohydrates: Different types of dragon fruits consists different carbohydrate content. The carbohydrates in dragon fruit seeds are mostly dietary fibres that help your digestive system and regulate your blood sugars.


Micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals, are essential for the body in small quantities, supporting growth and functions. While they are required in small amounts, micronutrients remain a crucial part of your diet. Dragon fruit seeds contain a variety of important vitamins and minerals. 

  • Vitamins: Out of the 13 essential vitamins the vitamins present in dragon fruit seeds are:
    • Vitamin E works as an antioxidant that protects the body against free radicals that damage cells. It also enhances immune functions and promotes healthy skin. 
    • Vitamin B complex is present in dragon fruit seeds in small amounts, including thiamine (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2). Thiamine plays a role in the growth and functioning of different cells in the body. Riboflavin, on the other hand, is involved in the growth of cells, metabolism and production of energy, and the breakdown of fats, steroids, and medication. 
  • Minerals in dragon fruit seeds are a source of phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium, and copper and have many benefits:
    • Phosphorus is essential for bone, teeth health, and for energy metabolism and proper cell function.
    • Iron is present in dragon fruit seeds in small amounts. It is crucial for the formation of red blood cells and the transport of oxygen throughout the body.
    • Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve functions, and bone health.
    • Calcium is present in minor amounts but is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, blood clotting, and muscle function.
    • Copper is necessary for various enzymatic reactions in the body.


Antioxidants t help the body to fight against free radicals, that can cause harm to the cells. The source of antioxidants in dragon fruit seeds is vitamin E. 

Health benefits of dragon fruit seeds 

Dragon fruit seeds are rich in macronutrients, micronutrients, antioxidants and fibres. They are part of the fruit’s flesh, which is also nutritious. Additionally, they provide minerals, glucose, fructose, dietary fibre, and vitamins. It’s rich in vitamin C and antioxidants such as betalains, hydroxycinnamates, and flavonoids.3  Hydroxycinnamates help in preventing cancer,  flavonoids support brain cells and blood vessels to reduce the risk of heart disease. Betalains have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties, reducing cancer and tumour risks. 

Here are some of the health benefits dragon fruit seeds provide: : 

  • Digestive Health
    • Dietary fibres: Dragon fruits contain water-soluble dietary fibers that maintain your bowel health and enable normal bowel movements,promote overall metabolic health, regulate your appetite, and have anti-inflammatory properties.  
    • Gut Health Promotion: The probiotic properties in the seeds help in promoting gut health and healthy digestion by producing lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. These help in balancing good and bad bacteria in your intestines, and kill the disease-causing viruses and bacteria in the gut. 
  • Cardiovascular Health
    • The two EFA, linoleic and linolenic acids  protect the body against cardiovascular diseases (CVD), coronary artery disease (CAD), and heart attacks.
    • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) in dragon fruit seeds helps in the breakdown of fats that enter the body. 
  • Immune System Support
    • Dragon fruits contain ascorbic acid  (vitamin E) that protects the cells in your body from damage, improves your immunity, helps your body fight effectively against dieases. The Vitamin B in dragon fruit aids overall health of your body, improving metabolism, breakdown of substances, and enables the functioning and growth of cells. 
  • Bone Health
    • The calcium and magnesium in the seeds promote strong bone and teeth health. The EFA in dragon fruit seeds nourish brittle nails, and bones.4  Higher content of phosphorus also helps to strengthen the bones, improving bone density. 
  • Weight Management
    • The richness in fibre help your body digest food better. Vitamin B content aids efficient metabolic processes, breaking down sugar and providing more energy. The water content in the dragon fruit also makes it a low calorie food, recommended by dieticians and fitness trainers. 
  • Skin Health
    •  The EFA nourish skin, hair and nails. They help to prevent eczema, psoriasis, and hair loss. EFAs balance the skin’s metabolism, controlling oil flow and nourishing collagen.2
    • Dragon fruit seed oil has anti-aging properties, of smoothing and tightening skin. The higher concentrations of antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids make it a good addition to creams, lotions, and moisturisers.5

Culinary uses of dragon fruit seeds

Dragon fruit seeds, though often overlooked, can be utilised in various culinary applications to add a unique texture and subtle flavour to dishes. Here are some ways in which you can incorporate dragon fruit seeds in your diet. 

  • Crunchy Topping: Dragon fruit seeds can be toasted and used as a crunchy topping for salads, yoghurt, or oatmeal. Simply dry roast them in a pan until they become slightly crispy, and then sprinkle them on your favourite dishes for added texture.
  • Smoothie Bowl Garnish: You can use dragon fruit seeds as a decorative and crunchy garnish for smoothie bowls and yoghurt bowls. Sprinkle them on top of your smoothie bowl along with other toppings like granola, fresh fruit, and nuts.
  • Baking: Incorporate dragon fruit seeds into baked goods such as muffins, bread, or cookies. They add a pleasant crunch and subtle nutty flavour. Simply mix them into the batter before baking.
  • Trail Mix: Dragon fruit seeds can be a unique addition to homemade trail mix. Combine them with dried fruits, nuts, and perhaps a touch of dark chocolate for a tasty and nutritious snack.
  • Garnish for Desserts: Sprinkle dragon fruit seeds on top of desserts such as ice cream, panna cotta, or custard to enhance both the visual appeal and taste of your dish. 

Precautions and allergies

Dragon fruits are becoming increasingly popular as health-boosting and nutrient-packed fruits. Though they are not known to cause allergic reactions in most individuals, dragon fruits do have an allergenic potential and are capable of causing immune reactions in sensitive individuals.5 However, the instances of allergic reactions to dragon fruits are related to their red and white flesh, though further investigation is required to determine the allergens in their seeds. 

Be sure to consume dragon fruits and their seeds in moderation and monitor your body’s response to it. In the case of an allergy, seek medical attention especially if symptoms are severe. 

Eating too many dragon fruits can also be bad for your health, despite their many nutritional benefits and health-boosting factors. Here are some side-effects that eating too many can cause: 

  1. Hypotension

Since dragon fruits have a higher potassium content, they help relieve high blood pressure and hypertension. But eating too much can lead to hypotension due to a sudden increase of potassium content in your body. Hypotension refers to the fall of blood pressure below normal levels in your body. It has different symptoms including:

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • A feeling of weakness or tiredness
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Fainting 
  • Feeling sick 
  1. Impairments in digestive functioning

The dietary fibres in dragon fruits and dragon fruit seeds help to improve your bowel movements, aid digestion, and breaking down of foods. However, consuming too much of these dietary fibres can come in the way of your body’s ability to absorb other nutrients. It can also cause different stomach gastrointestinal issues such as: 

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation 
  1. Antioxidant Imbalances

Dragon fruits and their seeds are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids. However, the excessive consumption of antioxidants can have adverse consequences for your body. It can disrupt the delicate balance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, even resulting in damage to the cells and development of chronic diseases by acting as pro-oxidants. Excessive antioxidant content can also come in the way of how your body naturally fights infections and illnesses in the body, and hinder the absorption of other nutrients.

You might want to look into your dragon fruit consumption if you are:

  • On diabetes medication:

Dragon fruits contain natural compounds that can affect blood sugar levels, especially since they are known to reduce blood sugar levels in the body. When interacting with diabetes medication, this benefit of dragon fruits might cause dangerous fluctuations in blood sugar. It might also decrease the effectiveness of medication used to control diabetes, such as metformin and gliclazide. 

  • Pregnant: 

Dragon fruits improve haemoglobin levels in the body and can remedy light anemia symptoms in people who are pregnant. But if you have or may have an allergy to it, be careful eating dragon fruits since they can cause adverse reactions. In extreme cases, it can cause anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening allergic reaction that has severe symptoms. The allergic reactions can impact both the mother and unborn child. 


Dragon fruits or pitaya are becoming popular owing to their immunity-boosting and nutrient-rich composition. Dragon fruit seeds, though making up a tiny percentage of the entire fruit, offer a variety of health benefits and contain varied micro and macro nutrients, antioxidants, and fibres. Incorporating the seeds into your diet can improve digestion, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other disorders. They can also help you manage your weight, lower blood sugar levels, and help you achieve healthy skin and bones. Moreover, it is a rich source of vitamins and minerals that can make you and your body happy.


  • Li J, Guasch-Ferré M, Li Y, Hu FB. Dietary intake and biomarkers of linoleic acid and mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2020;112:150–67.
  • Blondeau N, Lipsky RH, Bourourou M, Duncan MW, Gorelick PB, Marini AM. Alpha-Linolenic Acid: An Omega-3 Fatty Acid with Neuroprotective Properties—Ready for Use in the Stroke Clinic? Biomed Res Int 2015;2015:519830. FM, Numan SMN, Akhtar S. Cultivation, nutritional value, and health benefits of dragon fruit (Hylocereus spp.): a review. International Journal of Horticultural Science and Technology [Internet]. 2021 Sep 1 [cited 2023 Oct 9];8(3):259–69. Available from: AA, Bakar J, Tan CP, Rahman RA, Karim R, Loi CC. Essential fatty acids of pitaya (Dragon fruit) seed oil. Food Chemistry [Internet]. 2009 May 15 [cited 2023 Oct 9];114(2):561–4. Available from: 
  • Boyapati T, Rana SS, Ghosh P. Microwave-assisted extraction of dragon fruit seed oil: Fatty acid profile and functional properties. Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences [Internet]. 2023 Apr 1 [cited 2023 Oct 9];22(3):149–57. 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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Anandita Balsavar

Bachelor of Arts, St. Joseph’s University, India

Anandita is a final-year student of Psychology and English with an interest in writing. With experience in content writing and more creative ventures, such as podcasting, she is building her skills in different forms of writing. She wants to develop research-oriented skills in psychology. Presently, Anandita is working at Klarity, focusing on writing about psychological conditions.

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