Durian fruit is delicious, soft and sweet from inside but have thorny spikes that cover the exteriors. It belongs to the genus Durio. It is known for its unique taste and also for its nutritional value. In South-East countries it is referred to as “King of Fruits”. It is seasonal fruit that grows from June to August same as Mango and Jackfruit. It is known for its large size and fully matured fruit can reach a size of 30 centimeters easily. Even Durian trees are usually very tall and range between 25-50 meters!
Strong odor of Durian is quite famous as it evokes radically opposite reactions from people. Some consider it sweet and aromatic whereas many people find it intensely revolting and disgusting. Durian fruit has pleasant sweet and buttery taste. Durian fruit contains round seed and are usually discarded, but they can be consumed. These seeds taste like Jackfruit seed after boiling and roasting. In fact Durian and Jackfruit have many similarities but it must be mentioned that they are not related to each other in any way.
Durian is a native of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia but the largest exporter of this fruit is Thailand. It is a tropical fruit and can be grown in any tropical climate. However, it cannot sustain itself in average temperatures below 22 degrees. This write up will introduce the readers to wonderful health benefits and nutrition composition of this much loved and at the same time an absolutely detested fruit!
Nutritional Facts of Durian Fruit
Durian is a high energy fruit with above moderate levels of sugar content. But that should not deter you from consuming it as there is an entire nutrition profile that boasts of healthy character of this fruit. The following chart serves up the nutrient content for every 100 grams of Durian.
|Dietary Fibre||3.8 gms|
|Vitamin A||44 iu|
|Vitamin B1||0.374 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin B3||1.074 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.23 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.316 mg|
|Vitamin C||19.7 mg|
The Water content of Durian is a reasonable and healthy 65% and cholesterol is zero even though it has considerable amount of fats. Apart from dietary fiber, Durian is a rich source of Vitamin B1 and fulfills about 33% of our daily requirement. It also makes up 24% of our daily need of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. Trace metals like manganese, Potassium and magnesium are also profusely abundant ranging between 8% to 15% of our requirement. This high nutrition density translates into important health benefits.
Health Benefits of Durian
We have mentioned a lot of good words for this fruit till now, but now it is time to tell the readers about how and why this sweet and luscious fruit is good for you. With its numerous health benefits enumerated in details, you will have no reason to not include it in your fruit intake hereon.
1. Increases Immunity
Immune system is basically a biological structure and processes that protect the body from infections and diseases. This system is critical for an organism’s health and its survival. The main function of immune system is to distinguish between our own healthy body and its cells and the invading parasites, virus, free radicals and other harmful agents. It identifies and destroys the undesirable pathogens thereby safeguarding our health.
Antioxidants like Vitamin C keep our immune system working in its best shape. Durian fruit contains high amounts of Vitamin C that protect against free radicals that are produced as a result of reaction between certain molecules and oxygen. An optimum level of Vitamin C can clean and purify our systems effectively. They work like servicing engineers of our electrical appliances. Thus Vitamin C provides immunity towards common disease like cold and flu. It is also effective in protecting from infections and viral attacks.
Wrap up: High levels of antioxidants in form of Vitamin C help in optimizing immune system and strengthening it to provide protection from pathogens.
2. Alleviates Anemia
Anemia is a common medical condition which brings down the level of hemoglobin the blood. Hemoglobin transports oxygen to various parts of our body and its deficiency can lead to fatigue, headaches, persistent drowsiness, insomnia and breathlessness. In pregnant women, anemia can lead to abnormality and even fatality in the fetus.
Durian fruits contain high amount of folate or folic acid. Folate is required for the production of hemoglobin . It stimulates production of blood that improves the functionality of the body and effective oxygen distribution. This way this folic acid can prove to be a great deterrent for anemia. The iron content though is low in Durian but it also aids in hemoglobin production alleviating the condition of anemia.
Wrap up: Folic acid and Iron in durian fruit can be used effectively to cure and prevent anemia.
3. Bone Health
Durian contains a number of trace metals including Potassium and calcium. Calcium is present in a low density in Durian but Potassium fulfills about 9% of our body’s daily requirement. Calcium is the most abundant mineral of our bones but its distribution and deposition is regulated by potassium. If there is a lack of potassium in your body then most of the calcium consumed will get excreted out. This may in turn lead to deficiency of Calcium.
Potassium is required for development of healthy bones as it ensures that the calcium is deposited in bones and is not dissolved or released in the blood excessively. Potassium balances sodium and thus reduces the loss of calcium through kidney. So potassium directly increases capacity of the body to absorb calcium and thus improves bone health and prevents osteoporosis and other bone related disorders.
Wrap up: The Potassium content of Durian balances sodium and regulates the distribution and release of calcium in blood thereby making bones stronger and preventing bone related diseases.
4. Improves Sleep & allays Depression
Durian fruit contains amino acids known as Tryptophan- a natural sleep inducing compound. Tryptophan is required to metabolize serotonin and melatonin. Both of these neuro-chemicals are beneficial in improving mood. Therefore many studies have found Tryptophan effective in treating and relieving stress, anxiety appetite and depression. It is also being used in treating insomnia which sometimes is the direct result of aforementioned psychological disturbances.
Tryptophan slows down the transmissions to brain thereby calming it and relieving from incessant thoughts. When the brain is not busy with interpretations of transmissions, it relaxes and this is what helps in sleeping. A meal rich in Carbohydrates is encouraged with diet that has Tryptophan because it releases insulin which clears the amino acids that compete with Tryptophan, thereby making it more effective.
Wrap up: Tryptophan in Durian makes it highly effective for sleep related disorders and calming the brain activity.
5. Maintains Blood Pressure
Durian fruit contains high amounts of potassium and moderate quantity of Sodium. Both of these factors make Durian a blood pressure optimizing fruit. Potassium is responsible for all muscle functions in the body including the heart. It regulates heart beat and ensures a smooth blood pumping operation in the body.
Potassium is also required to maintain sodium level. Sodium is harmful and can create spike in blood pressure readings.Durian itself has a very low amount of sodium making it for a safe consumption by patients of hypertension. A well balanced blood pressure in turn does not stress out heart and blood vessels resulting in a healthier Cardiovascular system.
Wrap up: High amount of Potassium and low sodium content in Durian controls and regulates ideal blood pressure.
6. Fights Cancer
Durian fruit contains good amount of antioxidants in form of Vitamin B-complex, C and E. These antioxidants are important nutrients that make durian fruit healthy. Antioxidants are required to protect the body from oxidative stress caused by active oxygen in the body. Free radical destroys healthy cells DNA and change the function of cells turning them cancerous. But antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and act as a shield to protect cells from damage.
Wrap up: The Antioxidant composition of Durian protects from cancer by scavenging on free radicals produced in the body.
7. Improves Digestion
Durian fruit contains fiber which provides roughage which is critical in absorbing fats and making your stools easy to pass. The insoluble fiber in dietary items is specifically helpful in preventing constipation by adding bulk to stools and also softening them simultaneously. People who suffer from chronic constipation or experience the painful problem of piles frequently can get a lot of relief by adding fibrous fruits like Durian in their diet.
Apart from fiber, the high amount of Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B3 improves appetite and regulates healthy digestion. Durian also improves metabolism which in turn leads to better absorption of nutrients in the body.
Wrap up: Fiber in Durian prevents constipation and improves bowel movement. Vitamin B1 and B3 regulates healthy appetite further aiding digestion.
8. Weight Woes
Unhealthy weight is the top reason for other health problems like blood pressure, Cardiovascular disorders, lethargy etc. Unfortunately it is also a common challenge being faced by almost every second person. Though active lifestyle can make a lot of difference but the right diet is also equally important. Fruits like Durian can make your weight shedding sessions sweet and healthy.
High amount of fiber, Nil cholesterol, complete composition of minerals and heavy water content makes Durian a snack for weight loss. It does have fats but they are the healthy fats and contribute to fats deposit only marginally. Durian is also a high energy fruit which keeps you full and energetic for workout sessions and active through the day. However, the consumption of Durian must be kept strictly moderate or it will have the exact reverse effect.
Wrap up: Durian is a high energy and nil cholesterol fruit which has fiber and electrolyte balancing minerals making it a perfect workout companion and helping you in losing weight.
9. Ageing of the Skin
Ageing is natural and inevitable but with right diet you can slow it down, at least the symptoms of it. Also, nowadays most of the people are experiencing an early onset of ageing in form of premature graying of hair, wrinkling skin and hair loss. This is mainly the result of increase in pollution, hectic lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits. To combat this problem, include antioxidant rich food items like Durian in your diet.
Antioxidants purify and clean your body’s system by throwing out free radicals and other harmful agents from the body. The high water content of Durian is an added advantage along with its antioxidant content. Water keeps the skin hydrated, reduces dryness and alleviates the appearance of fine lines. It also nourishes skin for clear and smooth skin.
Wrap up: Antioxidants and high water content in Durian nourishes and cleans your skin resulting in disappearance of fine lines and lending a youthful glow.
10. Increases and encourages fertility
Estrogen is a hormone which helps in conceiving. Most of the women who suffer from fertility usually have a low estrogen level in their body which is increased with pills, injections and supplements. Studies have shown that Durian contains a high level of this hormone and can act as a herbal medicine.
Apart from this important property, Durian has no cholesterol and can be very effective in weight loss programs. Unhealthy weight and obesity increase the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy. You may eat durian in controlled and recommended quantity after talking to your physician especially in case of infertility.
Wrap up: Due to high amount of estrogen in it, Durian alleviates infertility and helps in conceiving naturally. It also reduces the risks associated with high and unhealthy weight during pregnancy.
Side Effects of Durian
Durian has a high sugar content so diabetics better avoid it or eat only in moderation. Though it improves fertility and supports pregnancy with estrogen but high sugar is considered harmful during pregnancy. So it is recommended that they consume this fruit only after talking to their doctor.
Durian is considered to be a fruit which increases body heat. If eaten in excess it can lead to stomach spasms, nausea, stomachache and flatulence.
Though Durian does not have cholesterol but it sure is a fatty fruit with 5 grams of fats per 100 grams serving. So though the fat content is not as harmful as animal fat but it sure can increase the level of cholesterol indirectly if consumed in excess.