According to the online journal PLOS ONE, September 2017, dragon fruit could be an effective way to prevent and possibly control blood sugar levels in people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Scientists at Silpakorn and Mahidol Universities in Thailand reviewed four reports on dragon fruit and blood sugar control and analyzed them as if they were one large study…
- 36 volunteers diagnosed as being prediabetic, and
- 109 people who had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes
were included in the four studies. In the prediabetic participants, there was a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar among those who ate dragon fruit. Among the Type 2 diabetic participants, blood sugar lowering took place only at high doses.
From these results, researchers concluded dragon fruit was linked with preventing Type 2 diabetes.
So, will dragon fruit help to control Type 2 diabetes? One thing we know is it is nutritionally sound in measured quantities. The fruit provides vitamin C and several B vitamins as well as omega-3, omega-6, protein, and fiber. Watch portion sizes though, because the fruit also contains fructose. One hundred grams, or 3.5 ounces, has 60 calories. Isn’t it great a food containing healthy nutrients could also be helpful for preventing and controlling Type 2 diabetes?
The commonly eaten dragon fruit, or pitaya, has dark pink or white flowers and deep pink fruit with a white or pink center. The center is full of tiny black seeds, making the fruit a berry. The plant is thought to come from central America and was brought to Asia by missionaries. It is popular in Vietnam, Mexico, and California.
To eat the fruit…
- cut it lengthwise and scoop out the white center.
- cut into chunks.
The skin is not edible. The flavor of the fruit has been compared to kiwi fruit, but with a crisp texture.
Dragon fruit can be used…
- in fruit salads. It goes well with bananas, nuts, seeds, kiwi fruit, pineapple, strawberries, and oranges.
- another way to eat it is to skewer it along with pineapple to make a kebab.
It is popular for making smoothies, but be careful to use only small portions. Sugar contained in the liquid is absorbed rapidly and can make blood sugar levels rise.
Like a cactus, the plant is easy to grow from cuttings. Plant a cutting about one foot long in a warm, sunny spot using organic fertilizer. Water it frequently but do not let the plant stand in water. Use a sturdy trellis or tree and tie the plant to the support with string to help it to grow upward.