Eeshwar Sahu, Sevan Das Khunte and Khiromani Nag
Department of Fruit science, RVSKVV Gwalior (M. P.)
Department of Fruit science, IGKV Raipur (C.G.)

Dragon fruit (Hylocereus spp.) is a perennial fruit crop belongs to Cactaceae family. It is also known as pitaya & pitahaya, night blooming cereus, strawberry pear, cinderella plant, belle of the night etc. The origin of dragon fruit is in the tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America. The plant’s name comes from the Greek word "hyle," which means "woody," and the Latin word "cereus," which means "waxen." Dragon fruit is juicy with a slightly sweet taste that some describe as a cross between a kiwi, a pear, and a watermelon. It has juicy pulp containing numerous small black seeds. The fruit seeds are eaten together with the flesh, have a nutty taste and are rich in lipids. Dragon fruit emerging a super crop, even for degraded land owing to its ease of cultivation and several health and medicinal benefits. In addition addition to being a tasty and refreshing, this beautiful fruit contain lot of water and other vital minerals with varied nutritional ingredients.
    There are four species of dragon fruit which include Hylocereus megalathus (white flesh with yellow peel dragon fruit), Hylocereus undatus (white-flesh with red peel dragon fruit) Hylocereus polyrhizus (red flesh with red peel dragon fruit) and Hylocereus costaricensis (red flesh with purple peel dragon fruit). It is a non-climacteric fruit. This fruit is a seasonal fruit that is available mainly from July to November.
    In india these fruits are mainly available in metro- politician cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi etc. Now a day’s farmers of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Orissa, Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Pune, Aurangabad, Sholapur and Maharashtra framers have already taken up its cultivation. Economic value of dragon fruit is high and is useful for treating various types of diseases.

Nutrient values of dragon fruit


Per 100g dragon fruit


87 g


1.1 g


0.4 g


3 g


11 g


0.04 mg

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

0.05 mg

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

0.16 mg

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

20.5 mg

Vitamin C ( Ascorbic acid)

8.5 mg

Calcium (Ca)

1.9 mg

Iron (Fe)

1.9 mg

Phosphorus (P)

22.5 mg


8.90 mg

Magnasium (Mg)

68 mg


0.35 mg


5.70 mg


3.20 mg


0.33 mg

















These is a low acid foods with pH values ranging from 4.4 to 5.1. As per biochemical analysis fruit had a titratable acidity of 0.20 to 0.30 mg lactic acid equivalents, and a TSS of 8-12°Brix. In addition, red pitaya is a strong source of proline (1.1-1.6 g / L) and also contains large amounts of essential fatty acid in red pitaya seeds (linoleic acid, 51%).

Health benefits of dragon fruit

1. Reduces Risk of Diabetes
This fruit contains high amounts of fibre that maintains blood sugar levels and avoids spikes among people suffering from diabetes. Regular consumption of this fruit can help balance blood sugar levels and preventing further medical consequences among diabetics. Researchers say this might be partly because it replaces damaged cells in your pancreas that make insulin, the hormone that helps your body break down sugar.

2. Reduces Risks of Cancer
This fruit contains anti-cancer properties that can reduce the risks of colon cancer. Its high source of vitamin C plays an important role in boosting the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that prevents you from contracting chronic diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s, cancer, etc. This antioxidant has been shown to help reduce cancerous cells in the body. According to some reports, red dragon fruit extract may play a part in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer, but researchers need to conduct more studies to determine its role in the chemoprevention of breast cancer.

3. Good for Digestion
This fruit has a rich source of oligosaccharides (a carbohydrate) that helps in the growth of good bacteria like flora, which aids in smooth digestion. It is packed with high fibre that also aids in digestive health, helps reduces the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

4. Helps boost Immunity
This fruit contains high levels of vitamin C that boosts immunity and helps you stay healthy. More Vitamin C means that your body is capable of fighting deadly infections that you might be prone to. As potent antioxidants, vitamin C and carotenoids can neutralize free radicals and defend your white blood cells against harm. All you need to do is to consume 1 cup (200 grams) of this fruit every day and stay healthy.

5. Healthy Bones
Good bone health can contribute to many factors such as avoiding injuries, joint pain and so forth. This superfruit contains 18% magnesium that aid in stronger bones and good bone health. All you need to do is drink one glass of dragon fruit smoothie every day.

6. Good During Pregnancy
This fruit contains vitamin B, folate and iron that makes it an ideal fruit for pregnant mothers. B vitamins and folate prevents birth defects and boosts energy during pregnancy. Its calcium content is responsible for the bone development of the fetus. Its content of magnesium helps fight postmenopausal complications in women.

7. Lose Weight
It’s naturally fat-free and high in fiber. It makes for a good snack because it can help keep you full for longer between meals. There’s no magic food to quickly melt fat off your body for a slimmer appearance. But with the right food choices, you can see an amazing transformation in your body. Because dragon fruit is low in calories, you can eat it as a snack in between meals without feeling guilty.

8. Good For Heart
Dragon fruit with red coloured pulp contains betalains (creates red colour inside the fruit) that reduces bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol). The tiny dark black seeds inside the fruit are rich in omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids that are good for the heart and reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

9. Suppresses Arthritis
Arthritis directly affects the joints and causes severe irritation and immobility. Adding dragon fruit to your diet can help you fight these ailments. Dragon fruit’s benefits for people suffering from arthritis are so great that it’s commonly referred to as the “anti-inflammatory fruit.”

10. Avoiding Acne
This treatment is not just for teenagers. Rich in vitamin C, this fruit becomes a great topical ointment. Turn a slice of dragon fruit into a paste and apply it to your reddened areas on your face or skin, then rinse with water. For best results, use twice daily.

11. Good For Eyes
This fruit contains beta-carotene (the pigment that gives the fruit its colour) prevents eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. One cup (220 grams) of dragon fruit every day would do you good.

12. Fights Ageing Skin
Faster ageing can be caused due to stress, pollution and other factors such as poor diet etc. However, it’s a rich source of antioxidants that can treat sunburn, dry skin and acne. Its content of vitamin C can aid in brighter skin. You can prepare dragon fruit juice and drink it once a day for radiant skin.

13. Good for Hair
Need thick, black and shiny hair? Try dragon fruit powder mixed with a glass of milk (250ml) once every day and this will do you good. The high source of nutrients found in this fruit extract powder reduces hair damage caused by artificial hair colouring and improves hair texture, thus, leaving it soft and shiny. All you need to do so is to consume this once a day and you will witness changes.

14. Boost iron level
It can boost your iron levels. Iron is important for moving oxygen through your body and giving you energy, and dragon fruit has iron. And the vitamin C in dragon fruit helps your body take in and use the iron.

15. Soothe Sunburned Skin
By combining dragon fruit with cucumber juice and honey, you can create a compound much like aloe that can soothe burned skin. Abundant in vitamin B3, dragon fruit can moisturize sunburned skin and release heat from the affected area.

16. Reduces Inflammation
If you deal with chronic pain from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, eating dragon fruit might provide relief from inflammation and tenderness. The fruit has anti-inflammatory properties that can function as a natural painkiller for these symptoms.

19. Good Source of Magnesium
Dragon fruit offers more magnesium than most fruits, with 18% of your RDI in just one cup. Despite this seemingly small amount, the mineral is present in every one of cells and takes part in over 600 important chemical reactions within body. More studies are needed, but some indicate that higher intakes of magnesium may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.