Dragon Fruit Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/03/22 •  11 min read
dragon fruit benefits and side effects

What are dragon fruit benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are dragon fruit pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on dragon fruit benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about dragon fruit benefits and side effects. This will include dragon fruit benefits for your health and potential risks, dragon fruit water footprint and dragon fruit carbon footprint, dragon fruit sustainability, if dragon fruit is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if dragon fruit is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about dragon fruit benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Dragon Fruit Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Dragon fruit health benefits may include:

Dragon fruit is…

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Environment

Water footprint: low, it takes 967 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of fruit / 116 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of fruit

Carbon footprint: low, 0.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fruits, a car driving equivalent of 2 miles or 3.25 kilometers

Destruction: low, dragon fruit production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Dragon fruit is…

Animals

Kills: none, dragon fruit production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, dragon fruit production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from dragon fruit production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Dragon fruit is…

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Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Dragon fruit…

Vietnam is the leading producer of dragonfruit.

Other producers include Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Australia, Israel, Mexico, Ecuador, Columbia, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

The world’s top dragon fruit exporting country is Canada, followed by USA, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Poland, Costa Rica, Lithuania, Germany and Greece.

Yes! Dragon fruit is high in vitamin C and other antioxidants and iron.

Dragon fruit is in season during the summer months (June through September).

Other names for dragon fruit are pitaya, pitahaya and strawberry pear.

dragon fruit is likely alkaline.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is dragon fruit alkaline or acidic?

Dragon fruit is likely alkaline when fresh and raw and acidic if canned, processed or dried.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

dragon fruit is gluten free.

dragon fruit benefit include being gluten free

Is dragon fruit gluten free?

Yes, dragon fruit is gluten free. Dragon fruit does not contain gluten. Dragon fruit is a type of fruit, therefore making it a gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

dragon fruit is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is dragon fruit a common food allergen?

No, dragon fruit is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to dragon fruit but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

dragon fruit has a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does dragon fruit have a high or low water footprint?

Dragon fruit has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of dragon fruit?

It takes 967 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of fruit / 116 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of fruit.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

dragon fruit has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does dragon fruit have a high or low carbon footprint?

Dragon fruit has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of dragon fruit?

It takes around 0.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fruit, a car driving equivalent of 2 miles or 3.25 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

dragon fruit is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is dragon fruit eco friendly? Is dragon fruit sustainable?

Dragon fruit production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

dragon fruit is vegan.

dragon fruit benefit include being vegan

Is dragon fruit vegan?

Yes, dragon fruit is vegan. Dragon fruit is a fruit and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

dragon fruit is a product that may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is dragon fruit a product with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns with dragon fruit production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can face harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Conclusion

Dragon fruit pros include:

Dragon fruit cons include:

This post was all about dragon fruit benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Healthline nutrition: dragonfruit

dragon fruit – FoodData Central – USDA

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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