Dragon Fruit In Pregnancy: Safety, Benefits, And Side Effects

✔ Research-backed

Dragon fruit or pitaya is a colorful tropical fruit native to South and Central America. It contains several nutrients, such as protein and fiber, and tastes refreshing and sweet. You may consume dragon fruit in pregnancy. However, before adding it to your diet, consult your doctor since isolated cases of dragon fruit allergy have been reported.

There are several varieties of dragon fruit, but all of them have scaly and textured outer skin and soft, red, magenta, or white-colored edible flesh with tiny black seeds embedded in it (1). You can pick any variety once your doctor gives you the go-ahead.

Read on as we tell you more about whether it is safe for pregnant women to consume dragon fruit, its nutritional value, possible health benefits, side effects, and ways to include it in your diet.

In This Article

Can Pregnant Women Eat Dragon Fruit?

Consuming dragon fruit in limited amounts is safe

Image: Shutterstock

Dragon fruit contains sugars, carbohydrates, calcium, dietary fiber, and sodium, and is believed to be healthy for pregnant women and beneficial for fetal development. When you have it in limited amounts, dragon fruit is safe.

How Much Dragon Fruit Can You Eat In A Day?

One average-sized dragon fruit could weigh 350 to 400 grams (2). Ideally, pregnant women are recommended to take at least 200 grams of fruits in a day (3). If you are unsure about the intake, talk to your doctor before consuming more than the recommended quantities.

Nutritional Profile Of Dragon Fruit

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), dragon fruit is cholesteroliA waxy substance essential for the production of hormones and digestion of fatty foods and fat-free. A 100 gram serving of dragon fruit might provide you the following nutrients that could help your pregnancy needs.

NutrientRDA (4) (5)Per 100g of dragon fruit (6)
Calories1800 – 2400 calories264kcal
Dietary fiber28g1.8mg
Vitamin C85mg6.4mg

These nutrients in dragon fruit are beneficial for expecting mothers.

Health Benefits Of Dragon Fruit In Pregnancy

Besides tasting unique and sweet, dragon fruit contains considerable amounts of water that can contribute to your overall hydration needs. In addition, it might be beneficial for your health in the following ways:

  1. Prevents the risk of anemiaiA condition where there is a lack of blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues : A meta-analysis by several researchers reported that the incidence of anemia is 36.8% in pregnant women. According to a study, consuming red dragon fruit juice had significant effects on the levels of hemoglobin and erythrocyteiRed blood cells containing hemoglobin and found in the blood and bone marrow levels in pregnant women, due to the presence of iron. However, there are just limited studies about this benefit (7).
  1. Provides relief from constipation: Dragon fruit can be a good source of dietary fiberiAlso known as roughage, a kind of carbohydrate that does not digest but helps in relieving constipation (6), and might help ease constipationi A condition in which a person passes stools less than three times a week and may have difficulty in completely expelling waste from the rectum to some extent. Having dietary fiber can help in flushing the toxins and maintaining overall digestive health.
Having dragon fruit in pregnancy reduces constipation

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Protects from free radicals: A study shows that the antioxidant effects of the red dragon fruit could prevent any damage that cigarette smoke exposure might cause to babies (8). Pregnant women who are exposed to smoke could have a risk of delivering babies with low birth weight.

Dragon fruit also contains significant amounts of dietary fiber, vitamin C, iron, folate, magnesium, and other bioactive compounds, such as lycopene (carotenoid), that can help strengthen your immune system and promote overall health.

If you’ve never eaten the fruit before but want to try it for the first time during pregnancy, it is good to know if it has any side effects.

protip_icon Quick fact
Betacyanin, the natural compound found in red pitaya (dragon fruit) may have an antiviral effect against viral infections such as dengue fever (9).

Are There Any Possible Side Effects Of Dragon Fruit In Pregnancy?

Stop eating dragon fruit if you experience sneezing

Image: Shutterstock

There are no major adverse effects of eating dragon fruit in pregnancy. But in case you experience any allergic reactions such as itching, sneezing, rashes, or a burning sensation in the mouth, then it is best to stop eating it.

Even if not allergic to dragon fruit, you must eat it in moderation, as anything in excess during pregnancy may lead to unfavorable outcomes.

Is Dragon Fruit Good For Gestational Diabetes?

Talk to your OB-GYN before having dragon fruit in pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

According to the Defeat Diabetes Foundation, the seeds of dragon fruit could help in regulating the blood glucose levels and hence might have the potential to prevent and/or manage type 2 diabetes (1).

However, there is no scientific evidence supporting this theory. So we cannot definitively say that dragon fruit is good or harmful for gestational diabetesiA condition marked by high blood sugar during pregnancy . If you are doubtful, talk to your doctor to know if dragon fruit can benefit maternal health.

If you get the go-ahead, you can include moderate amounts of this fruit in your diet, in different ways.

How To Choose Dragon Fruit?

Although dragon fruits are available throughout the year, their peak season lasts from the summer to the fall. Here are simple tips you can follow to select fresh and ripe dragon fruit:

  • Check the fruit’s skin. It should feel tender and soft but not squashy. If it feels firm, the fruit should be left on the kitchen counter for a few days to ripen.
  • The tip of the fruit should also be green and dry.
  • Hold the fruit in hand. It should feel heavy for its size, which indicates juiciness.
  • Pick a fruit with an even structure and minimum spots, bruises, and blemishes.
  • Avoid dragon fruits with extensive bruising, blemishes, or mold, as they may be signs of decay.

Ways To Include Dragon Fruit In Your Diet

You can make jam with dragon fruit

Image: Shutterstock

Here are a few ways to include the dragon fruit in your maternal diet.

  • Cut the inside part of the fruit either in cubes or slices. You may mix the cubes with other fruits and make a fruit salad too.
  • You may even make jams with the flesh of the dragon fruit and enjoy with bread or pancakes.
protip_icon Quick tip
If the leafy extensions of the fruit are fresh and green, the fruit may be unripe. The fruit is ready to eat if the leafy parts are dry and brownish.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I drink water after eating dragon fruit?

Drinking water after consuming dragon fruit is not known to have any side effects. Thus, you may consume some water after consuming dragon fruit.

2. Can dragon fruit be eaten daily?

You can include moderate amounts of dragon fruit as a part of your well-balanced prenatal diet. Studies suggest that dragon fruit may help combat stress and inflammation disorders, which could benefit expecting mothers (10).

If you have any health conditions and are anxious about eating this fruit, discuss it with your doctor about it before consuming it. And if you’ve tried the fruit and didn’t like it, never mind. You can get vital nutrients from other fruits as well.

Infographic: Possible Health Benefits Of Eating Dragon Fruit When Pregnant

Dragon fruits are tropical fruits with a rich nutrient profile. They are mostly known for their unique appearance and taste. Also, they have several health benefits in store for pregnant women. So, look at the infographic below to learn about some of the health benefits these fruits have on pregnant women.

dragon fruit benefits for pregnant women (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Have you tried dragon fruit during pregnancy? Share your experiences about it in the comments section below.

Key Pointers

  • Dragon fruit can be a healthy choice for pregnant women when consumed in moderation.
  • Dragon fruit is known to aid in the prevention of anemia and alleviate constipation during pregnancy.
  • This fruit is a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, and vitamin C, all of which are essential for a healthy pregnancy.
  • There are many ways to incorporate dragon fruit into a pregnancy diet, such as by adding it to fruit salads, smoothies, or jams.
  • Pregnant women should be cautious and seek medical advice if they experience any allergic reactions after consuming dragon fruit.

Dragon fruit is a delicious and nutritious fruit. Is it safe to eat during pregnancy? Let’s find out in this video about dragon fruit and pregnancy.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

1. Dragon Fruit; Defeat Diabetes Foundation
2. Hylocereusundatus (dragon fruit); Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International
3. Diet in Pregnancy and Lactation; Nutrition Society India
4. Lisa S. Brown; Nutrient Requirements During Pregnancy; Jones and Barlett Publishers
5. Eating right during pregnancy; NIH (2018)
6. Dragon Fruit (Branded); Basic report: United States Department of Agriculture
7. A. Widyaningsih et al.; Effect of consuming red dragon fruit (Hylocereus Costaricensis) juice on the levels of hemoglobin and erythrocyte among pregnant women; Belitung Nursing Journal (2017)
8. A. Widyaningsih and W. Kristiningrum; The Effect of Red Dragon Drinking Fruit (Hylocereus Costaricensis) Against Fetal Growth in Pregnant Cigarette Rats Exposed to Cigarette Smoke (100%, 75% And 50% Dragon Fruit Juice Concentration); JOJ Nursing & Health Care (2018)
9. Ying Jun Chang; Antiviral activity of betacyanins from red pitahaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) and red spinach (Amaranthus dubius) against dengue virus type 2 (GenBank accession no. MH488959); NCBI (2019)
10. Paweł Paśko et al; Dragon Fruits as a Reservoir of Natural Polyphenolics with Chemopreventive Properties; NCBI (2021)

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Celebrity nutrition advisor Dr. Shikha Sharma has founded Dr. Shikha’s Nutrihealth in 1998. Dr. Shikha has done her MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College and holds 21 years of experience in the field of health and nutrition. Her organization, Dr. Shikha's NutriHealth, has over 50 Ayurveda experts and nutritionists who provide consultation services to the clients. The Nutrihealth expert team...read full bio