If you’re familiar with durian fruit, you probably dislike its pungent smell. However, its creamy, smooth and bittersweet flesh is an excellent source of nutrients to keep your immune strong and your body protected. Let’s take a closer look at how durian fruit can benefit your health

You will also enjoy Jackfruit, Scotch Bonnet Pepper, and Ackee. 

1.   It’s highly nutritious

Durian fruit whole and shelled isolated on a white background

This tropical fruit is considered a nutrient-dense fruit by experts. Read More.

It’s high in fat, fiber, protein, carbohydrates, vitamin c, vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, and manganese.

It also contains protective compounds such as antioxidants, including polyphenols, anthocyanins, bioflavonoids, and carotenoids similar to those found in cocoa, green tea, and berries.

A single serving is equivalent to four small apples without skin or one large pear.

Durian is also sugary and fat-dense and may contribute to your daily calorie intake.

A cup of frozen or raw durian pulp contains:

  • Fiber: 9 grams
  • Fat: 13 grams
  • Calories: 357
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Carbs: 66 grams
  • Vitamin C:80 percent of the requirement
  • Thiamine:61 percent of the daily requirement
  • Manganese:39 percent of the daily requirement
  • Vitamin B6:38 percent of the daily requirement
  • Potassium:30 percent of the daily requirement
  • Riboflavin:29 percent of the daily requirement
  • Copper:25 percent of the daily requirement
  • Folate:22 percent of the daily requirement
  • Magnesium:18 percent of the daily requirement
  • Niacin:13 percent of the daily requirement
  • Phosphorus: 9 percent of the daily requirement
  • Pantothenic acid: 6 percent of the daily requirement
  • Zinc: 5 percent of the daily requirement

2.   It may boost mood and happiness

Durian is full of tryptophan, an amino acid that gets broken down to release serotonin, a neurotransmitter and a feel-good hormone that keeps you relaxed, happy, and in a better mood.

3.   It may help you sleep better

Once tryptophan has been broken down to release serotonin, serotonin can be converted into melatonin, a sleep hormone that signals the body to prepare to sleep.

Research shows that high levels of tryptophan in the blood can increase both serotonin and melatonin levels. This indicates that regular consumption of durian fruit may help you maintain your tryptophan levels high.

4.   Improves heart health

Durian fruit is very high in potassium compared to other fruits. A cup of raw or frozen durian can provide up to 30 percent of your daily potassium requirement. Potassium is a mineral that helps the body get rid of excess sodium, thus relaxing the blood vessels and reducing blood pressure. This lowers the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Potassium is also essential for muscle contraction, muscle signaling, and overall muscle function.

Despite the benefits, the average American gets about 2,650 milligrams each day, compared to the daily recommendation of 4,700 milligrams. Incorporating durian fruit into your diet may help boost your intake.

5.   It’s high in antioxidants

Durian contains high levels of vitamin C and other natural compounds that offer antioxidant protective benefits. This helps fight free radicals that may cause inflammation and oxidative stress.

Vitamin C is also important to the skin as it protects it against free radicals from UV exposure that may lead to premature signs of aging like wrinkles. It also lightens hyperpigmentation, evens out the skin tone, and enhances a natural glow.

 Durian fruit also contains anti-proliferative properties, which prevent the spread and growth of cancer cells.

6.   Promotes digestive health

Durian fruit is high in fiber which aids digestion, promotes bowel movements, and prevents constipation.

The fiber also acts as a prebiotic, which feeds the good bacteria in the gut, promoting their diversity and function, including supporting the immune system.

7.   It may support bone health

Durian is rich in potassium, iron, magnesium, and copper, all of which play an essential role in maintaining strong and healthy bones.

Potassium also increases nutrient uptake by the cells, thus maximizing the different beneficial minerals in the body. This may also lower the risk of having fractures and developing osteoporosis.

8.   Boosts energy

Durian is rich in carbohydrates which can help provide a quick release of energy to keep you going. As little as two seeds may give as much energy as a medium-sized banana. The high potassium levels may also help relieve fatigue and anxiety.

Risks and Side Effects

Durian fruit is generally safe to consume, but its high carbohydrate levels may not be suitable for diabetes.

Durian fruit may also cause side effects when consumed with alcohol. These may include heart palpitations, nausea, and vomiting.

According to research, the high levels of sulfur may inhibit the breaking down of alcohol by enzymes leading to high alcohol levels in the blood, resulting in side effects. Read More.

How to Eat Durian Fruit

First, you need the fruit, either ripe or slightly under-ripped. Most people prefer under-ripped durian since a fully ripe one has a more pungent smell.

You may also want to use gloves to protect your hands as it has a spiky and hard shell.

Cut it with a knife and pry it open with your hands and gently remove the flesh.

You can eat it directly as-is or cook it and pair it with different recipes, especially desserts.

Durian pairs well with other tropical fruits like mango. It also goes well with sticky rice and coconut cream.

Final Thoughts

Durian is a nutrient-dense tropical fruit with a strong smell that may not be favorable for some people.

It’s rich in beneficial nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, and copper.

Consuming durian fruit may increase your energy levels, enhance better sleep, promote digestion, improve heart health, maintain healthy skin, promote heart health, and contribute to strong and healthy bones.

However, the fruit may not be suitable for diabetes or those on a low-calorie diet due to its high calories.

Additionally, the fruit may interact with alcohol causing unpleasant side effects. So avoid eating it with alcohol.

Durian fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and added to different recipes.

Other Exotic Fruits

  1. Tamarind
  2. Burro Banana
  3. Guinep 
  4. Yellow Passion fruit
  5. Yellow Dragon Fruit
durian fruits on white backgound

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