The latest health trend to take over the internet has people running to the bathroom. And all this thanks to a fruit.
Yellow dragon fruit has been around for years, but it’s making the rounds online for its poo properties — aka natural laxatives.
The #yellowdragonfruit hashtag has racked up over 110 million views on TikTok, with users saying it works wonders on their internal plumbing.
A user shared her experience trying yellow dragon fruit in a TikTok with over 300,000 views and a caption stating “yellow dragon fruit should come with a warning.”
“The minute you eat them, that’s the point of no return,” she says. “I must have been in the bathroom at least seven times in two hours. And when I tell you I ran to the bathroom and barely made it the second time… yeah, it was intense.
But despite that nasty description, she raves about the results, saying that yellow dragon fruit “empties whatever’s trapped in your small or large intestine.”
What are the experts saying? TODAY.com spoke to two dietitians to see if there’s any truth to this latest TikTok health claim.
What is yellow dragon fruit?
Yellow dragon fruit, or Selenicereus megalanthus, is a tropical fruit from the cactus family native to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, according to the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Its exterior is bright yellow with smooth spines. The inside has translucent white flesh and small edible black seeds. Some TikTok users reported that it tasted like a cross between a kiwi and a pear, with others saying it tasted more like a mix of pear and pineapple.
It’s similar to other varieties of dragon fruit, like the red and white type, but it’s slightly sweeter, Frances Largeman-Roth, dietitian nutritionist and author of “Eating In Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family,” tells TODAY.com.
yellow dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, which help “fight free radical damage,” she says. According to the Mayo Clinic, free radicals are “molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation from the sun, X-rays, or other sources. Free radicals may play a role in heart disease. , cancer and other diseases.
This fruit also contains protein, vitamin A, calcium, iron and magnesium, according to WebMD.
Is yellow dragon fruit a laxative? Benefits for your intestines
Yellow dragon fruit is high in fiber, making it a natural laxative.
It’s specifically high in soluble fiber, Bonnie Taub-Dix, registered dietitian nutritionist, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of “Read It Before You Eat It,” tells TODAY.com.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and other body fluids. As it passes through the body, it takes on a gel-like consistency and feeds the good bacteria in your gut. More healthy bacteria in the gut means reduced inflammation and better digestion. According to the Cleveland Clinic, soluble fiber is also linked to a reduced ability to store fat, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not dissolve in the body. Instead, “it absorbs (fluids) and sticks to other materials to form stool. This process leads to softer, bulkier, and more regular stools,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Both types of fiber help keep your bowels regular and improve colorectal health.
Can yellow dragon fruit give me diarrhea?
For people who already get a lot of fiber in their diet, eating a yellow dragon fruit won’t offer much gut or digestive benefits, Taub-Dix says. But for those on a low-fiber diet, you may experience the effects of yellow dragon fruit, such as diarrhea, more quickly.
“It really depends on where you start from,” adds Taub-Dix.
When increasing your fiber intake, whether by eating yellow dragon fruit or other foods, it’s essential to pair fiber with liquids, she explains: “Fiber (by itself ) can not only cause you gastrointestinal problems, but sometimes they can obstruct your standing, if you don’t have enough liquid to get the fibrous food out of you.
Largeman-Roth echoes that sentiment, “If you’re someone who doesn’t usually get 8 grams of fiber in a single sitting, you might have larger or larger stools than usual” after eating the fruit. of the yellow dragon, she said.
According to the Mayo Clinic, women and men under 50 are recommended to consume 25 and 38 grams of fiber per day, respectively. For women and men over 51, it is suggested to consume 21 grams and 30 grams of fiber daily.
A cup of yellow dragon fruit provides 4 grams of fiber, says Largeman-Roth.
Does Yellow Dragon Fruit Cleanse Your Stomach?
Yellow dragon fruit is not a cleanse or detox. It’s simply a fruit, and its effects on the gut are a sign that it’s “just doing its job as a fiber-filled fruit,” Largeman-Roth points out.
That said, the fruit helps get things going in your digestive tract, especially if you’re drinking liquids, Taub-Dix says. “If there were things in your (internal) pipe and you wanted them to come out, you could flush them with liquid,” she explains.
For more impact, you can try combining other high-fiber foods, like chia seeds, with yellow dragon fruit, says Largeman-Roth.
“It will definitely help clean you up,” she adds.
Does yellow dragon fruit have any side effects?
Yellow dragon fruit shouldn’t cause bloating, cramping or diarrhea, says Largeman-Roth. But Taub-Dix still recommends consuming it in moderation, especially if you don’t get enough fiber most of the time.
If you’ve never tasted yellow dragon fruit before, Taub-Dix says, “Why not give it a try?” She suggests making a fruit salad with a few pieces of yellow dragon fruit to start..
But you don’t have to eat expensive tropical fruits to get fiber in your diet, Largeman-Roth points out.
“You can get just as much fiber from apples, pears, oranges, and berries,” she says. “Eating a variety of fruits (fresh and frozen) is good for overall health. There is no need to join the current trend of TikTok.
To avoid consuming bacteria that might be on the skin of dragon fruit, Largeman-Roth notes that you should always wash fresh fruit under running water before slicing.
“The skin of dragon fruit is not edible – just the fruit inside,” she clarifies.