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Nutritional and medicinal value of Dragon fruit

dragon fruit, fruit, red-2121292.jpg

Dragon fruit or pitaya is an exotic tropical fruit famous for its taste and nutritional value. The excess nutritional value is good for human health. This fruit is also famous for its shape and attractive color. The flesh of the dragon fruit is the edible part, the remaining skin is not an edible part of the fruit. The dragoon fruit is also having different major variants, they are red flesh with pink skin (Hylocereus polyrhizus), white flesh with pink skin (Hylocereus undatus), red-purple or yellow flesh with red skin (Hylocereus costaricensis). The Nutritional values of the edible portion of different species of dragon fruit vary slightly, here we tabulated the average value of all these species which are available in different research papers.

Content Quantity
Carbohydrate 10.7g/100g
Sugar 5.92g/100g
Protein 0.9g/100g
Fat 0.32g/100g
Dietary fiber 265g/100g
Energy 55.66kcal/100g
Iron 0.30mg/100g
Magnesium 20.05mg/100g
Potassium 199mg/100g
Sodium 24.5mg/100g
Zinc 0.40mg/100g
Calcium 6.72mg/100g
Phosphorus 0.003mg/100g
Vitamin A 0.48mg/100g
Vitamin C 3.4mg/100g
Moisture 85g/100g

The concentration of vitamin C oscillated from 3.3 to 6.0 mg 100 g–1, depending on the species and the location. The oil extracted from dragon fruit seeds of red and white are found a high content of essential fatty acids, namely linoleic (~50%) and linolenic (~1%) acid, and other fatty acids such as cis-vaccenic acid (~3.0%), palmitic acid (17.5%), and oleic acid (22.7%). These acids are known to help reduce low-density and very low-density lipoprotein fractions associated with increased serum cholesterol and are also necessary to maintain cell membranes, brain function, and the transmission of nerve impulses under normal conditions.


Antioxidant activities: Dragon fruit has strong antioxidant properties as proven in numerous studies. The high antioxidant contents of phenolics, flavonoids, betalain, and ascorbic acid are responsible for these activities. The dragon fruit exhibits a high potential as a natural agent to drive away aging-associated diseases, mostly related to oxidative stress due to imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals, such as cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and inflammation.

Antidiabetic properties: There is a general observation a greater reduction of blood glucose level with the consumption of dragon fruit everyday.

Antiviral and antimicrobial activity: The presence of betacyanins, phenolics, fatty acids, alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, terpenes and α-terpineol in dragon fruit are responsible for the antimicrobial activity of dragon fruit.

Anticancer activity: The antiproliferative activity of dragon fruit extract against cancer cells was studied. This study revealed that the antiproliferative activity of the peel extract on cancer cells was stronger than that of the pulp extract.

Wound healing activity: The powerful antioxidants present in the dragon fruit extracts include phenolic and flavonoid contents involved, inter alia, in DNA protection and wound healing activities, properties with potential applications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries.

Anti-hyperlipidaemic and anti-obesity activities: Bioactive compounds in dragon fruit extracts, including crude fibre, phenolic, polyphenol, and flavonoid content, contribute to the decrease of serum
lipid profile, since these antioxidants are able to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine, facilitating its excretion through the faeces.

Hepatoprotective activity: The use of dragon fruit as a dietary supplement has further benefits associated with its mixed oligosaccharide content, including the increase of colonic smooth muscle contractions without morphological change, bulk-forming facilitation, and laxative stimulation to increase faecal output and intestinal motility.


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