Medically reviewed by Allison Herries, RDN
Yellow dragon fruit is a species of dragon fruit, which is a vining cactus plant of the Hylocereus or Selenicereus genus. It is also known as pitahaya amarillo.
Yellow dragon fruit is unique for its yellow skin and white flesh. Its black seeds are slightly larger than most other species. Though less well-known, yellow dragon fruit has gained in popularity due to claims that it can encourage a bowel movement (make you poop).
This article explains how yellow dragon fruit affects your bowel movements. It also describes the benefits, nutritional breakdown, and uses of yellow dragon fruit.
Yellow Dragon Fruit's Effect on Your Bowel Movements
Yellow dragon fruit is gaining notoriety for its effect on bowel movements. This is not surprising since all varieties of dragon fruit provide an ideal source of dietary fiber. This can act as a natural laxative in preventing and relieving constipation.
The recommended dietary fiber intake for adults on a 2,000-calorie daily diet is 28 grams (g). According to the nutritional profile of dragon fruit, a 6-ounce serving contains almost 5 g of dietary fiber—or about 20% of your daily fiber needs.
Most of the fiber in dragon fruit is soluble fiber. Soluble fiber creates a gel that binds to water. This helps to soften and bulk your stools, making them easier to pass.
When combined with other high-fiber foods, along with drinking adequate water and getting regular exercise, eating yellow dragon fruit can contribute to regular bowel movements.
Benefits of Eating Yellow Dragon Fruit
Eating yellow dragon fruit offers many benefits in addition to helping you poop. This low-calorie and naturally fat-free food is packed with micronutrients. Consuming yellow dragon fruit can have the following positive effects when consumed in moderation:
Supports immune health: The levels of vitamin C, flavonoids, and antioxidants found in yellow dragon fruit are key to a healthy immune system. Together with vitamin B and minerals like calcium and phosphorus found in yellow dragon fruit, these nutrients promote the growth of white blood cells which fight bacteria and viruses.
Aids in digestion: In addition to helping you poop, the dietary fiber in yellow dragon fruit includes oligosaccharides. These nutrients act like prebiotics. They support the growth of healthy bacteria like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria that aid in your digestive process.
Reduces blood sugar in type 2 diabetes: If you have type 2 diabetes, eating yellow dragon fruit may also help you feel fuller longer, normalize blood sugar levels, and lose weight. The impact can be notable for non-insulin-dependent people with type 2 diabetes who consume dragon fruit daily.
Supports cardiovascular health: The black seeds found in all varieties of dragon fruit are packed with omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids. These nutrients can play a key role in reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke. They may also help in normalizing elevated total cholesterol levels.
Improves skin health: Besides supporting your immune system, the high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants found in dragon fruit may help improve your skin. These ingredients can help correct skin problems like acne and signs of aging. Consuming dragon fruit may help you feel healthy on the outside and inside.
Yellow Dragon Fruit Nutritional Breakdown
In addition to being a plentiful source of dietary fiber, all varieties of dragon fruit are low-calorie fruits rich in vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides the following nutritional breakdown for a 6-ounce serving of dragon fruit:
Protein: 2.01 g
Total lipid (fat): 0 g
Carbohydrates: 21.9 g
Total dietary fiber: 4.93 g
Sugars: 13 g
Calcium: 30.6 milligrams (mg)
Iron: 1.26 mg
Magnesium: 68 mg
Vitamin C: 4.26 mg
Thiamin (B1): 0
Riboflavin (B2): 0.17 mg
Niacin (B3): 0.6 mg
Vitamin A: 100 international units (IU)
Total saturated fatty acids: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
What Does Dragon Fruit Taste Like?
Yellow dragon fruit is regarded as the sweetest of the dragon fruit varieties. It is described as having a mild, sweet, and floral taste. The flesh of yellow dragon fruit is juicy with a texture that is a cross between a pear and a kiwi.
Slicing, Storing, and Preparing
Like other varieties of dragon fruit, yellow dragon fruit is versatile. It does not require special care when slicing, storing, or preparing. The flesh and seeds are commonly consumed raw, but they can also be used as ingredients in recipes.
Dragon fruit can be stored on the counter until it is cut up. Most yellow dragon fruit can last four or five days at room temperature.
To serve dragon fruit, cut it in half and then slice each section. If you are eating it raw, it is convenient to leave the thick, rubbery skin in place and enjoy it as you would eat a slice of watermelon. You can also remove the rind and scoop out the flesh with a spoon if you want to use it in bite-size pieces.
After cutting, any unused portions should be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated. When a dragon fruit becomes mushy, it is no longer worth saving.
In addition to eating it off the rind, you can enjoy raw yellow dragon fruit added to a fruit salad or as an ingredient in a smoothie. Produce experts advise chilling raw yellow dragon fruit for an enhanced taste.
Yellow dragon fruit can also be used as an ingredient in recipes for the following foods:
Simmered compotes and jams
Where to Buy Yellow Dragon Fruit
Yellow dragon fruit is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern regions of South America, especially Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. It is produced commercially in these and other neighboring countries, such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica.
Other countries with notable production of yellow dragon fruit include China, Thailand, and Vietnam in Southeast Asia. In the United States, it is grown in Florida, California, and Hawaii.
Due to varying peak seasons in growing regions worldwide, yellow dragon fruit is usually available year-round. U.S. consumers can find fresh yellow dragon fruit in the fresh tropical produce section of many grocery stores. It may also be packaged cut up and found in the freezer section. You can also purchase fresh yellow dragon fruit from many online retailers.
When selecting dragon fruit in the grocery store, look for skin that is not too hard or too soft. It should give with a little pressure like a ripe avocado. If you pick it up, it should feel heavy for its size due to its high juice content.
If you purchase yellow dragon fruit that is too hard, leave it on your countertop at room temperature for a few days to ripen.
Allergy Symptoms and Side Effects
While there have been rare reports of allergic reactions to consuming white- and red-fleshed dragon fruit, no variety of dragon food is considered a common trigger of allergy symptoms.
When allergy symptoms do occur, they would resemble those of other food allergies. Do not ignore them. A food allergy can quickly escalate to anaphylaxis (a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction that can send your body into shock. Symptoms of a food allergy can involve the following:
Trouble swallowing or throat tightening
Vomiting and/or stomach cramps
Repetitive, unproductive cough
Shock or circulatory collapse
Dizziness or feeling faint
Pale or blue skin color
While yellow dragon fruit can be a natural way to help you poop, it may not be appropriate if you are on a fiber-restricted diet or have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract. Your healthcare provider may advise that you restrict dietary fiber and avoid foods like yellow dragon fruit if you have a flare-up of one of the following digestive illnesses:
Overconsumption of yellow dragon fruit can contribute to too much dietary fiber and the following symptoms
Weight gain if consumed in place of a healthy diet
Overeating dragon fruit may also interfere with blood sugar levels and the function of the diabetes drug Glucophage (metformin). This may be more pronounced in yellow dragon fruit, which is sweeter than other varieties.
Learn More: The 9 Most Common Food Allergies
Like other types of dragon fruit, yellow dragon fruit can provide recommended amounts of dietary fiber. Yellow dragon fruit has the same traits as other foods that encourage healthy bowel movements.
In addition, yellow dragon fruit also supplies key nutrients. These nutrients support the health of your health, immune system, digestion, and skin.
Allergies to yellow dragon fruit are rare. However, overeating yellow dragon fruit may cause stomach problems and other adverse effects that could become severe.
Read the original article on Verywell Health.