Durian Fruit - Nutrients, Health Benefits, Uses And More
Durian TreeClick thumbnail to view full-size
About The Durian Tree
Durian fruit is produced by 9 species of trees belonging to the genus Durio. Only the fruit produced by Durio zibenthinus is available internationally; those produced by the other species are consumed locally. About 30 species of the Durio genus in all, are recognized.
Durian trees grow to a height of 80 to 160 feet. They are fairly large trees and are ready for fruit-bearing in 4 to 5 years.
The durian trees are native to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Durian is called the "King of fruits" in Southeast Asia and is produced in a variety of sizes and colours.
Externally the durian fruit resembles the Jackfruit because of its thorn-covered husk. A normal durian fruit weighs from 1-3 kilos, is oblong to round in shape with green to brown husk and a light yellow to red flesh. Some fruits grow to as long as 12 inches, and 6 inches in diameter.
The mature fruit has an overpowering smell considered by most as revolting and disgusting; almost garbage like. The taste is a mixture of avocado, cherimoya/custard apple, vanilla powder, garlic, heaps of onion powder, and banana, all rolled into one.
It can best be described as “tastes like heaven, smells like hell.”
Durian can be consumed in various stages of ripeness. The seeds are edible too by boiling, frying or roasting, though they are bland in taste.
The flesh of the durian fruit is used to flavour Southeast Asian dishes both salty and sweet.
Thailand is the biggest exporter of durian and has been known to the Western world for about 600 years.
How to Cut and Prepare Durian Fruit
Nutrients In Durian Fruits
The flesh of the durian fruit is high in sugar content mainly as sucrose and fructose. It also contains excellent amounts of vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine and the essential amino acid tryptophan.
Durian is rich in fibre and contains good amounts of the minerals manganese, magnesium, copper and iron.
Durian fruit also contains good amounts of beneficial fats but is free of cholesterol and saturated fats. It is also high in energy.
Detailed nutrient contents can be viewed in the table below.
Nutrients In Durian Fruit
Durian fruit (Durio zibethinus),
Nutrient Value/100 gms
Percentage of RDA
Uses Of Durian Fruit
Durian is used to flavouring many sweet dishes, make desserts, ice cream, cakes, candies etc.
Unripe durian is cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The shoots and young leaves are also cooked as greens. Sauces and preserves are also made from durian fruit.
Lower quality durian fruits are fermented to produce Tempoyak, that is used for making curries.
Recently wine has been produced from durian fruit.
The dried rinds are used as fuel. The ash is used for bleaching silk.
The wood is used for making boat masts and constructing huts.
Health Benefits Of Durian Fruit
Traditionally durian has been used to expel intestinal worms, reduce fever (by drinking tea made of leaves and roots or applying the juice of leaves to the head), relieve jaundice, swelling and skin diseases (by applying a tea made of durian leaves and fruits).
Durian is also believed to have aphrodisiac properties.
The fruit boosts serotonin levels and relieves depression.
Being rich in carbohydrates it is a good source of energy.
The fibre helps to keep the digestive system healthy and prevents constipation.
Potassium helps to keep the blood pressure low and reduces the risk of developing hypertension.
Durian helps to prevent anaemia and is also beneficial for anaemic persons as it contains good levels of folate and iron.
The ripe fruits had higher levels of polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins and therefore higher antioxidant activity than overripe fruits.
Durian fruit also has high microbial activity.
The heart-healthy monounsaturated fats lower cholesterol.
Durian protects the liver and heart.
All You Need to Know about Durian: with Dr. Robert Lockhart, a fruitarian for 30 years.
How To Select A Good Durian Fruit
Whether you prefer slightly ripe or overripe fruit, or anything in between, choose one with a firm and solid stalk to ensure its fresh as durian is an expensive fruit when sold away from its native habitat.
The seeds in a good durian move when the fruit is shaken. Also, the middle of the fruit smells strong but it should not be sour smelling.
Best is when a knife inserted in the fruit comes out sticky.
Some Points To Consider
- Durian is considered to have a warming action on the body and promotes sweating. Counter this inherent quality of durian by pouring water in the empty shell and consuming it, once the pulp is consumed.
- Alternately, mangosteen fruit which has cooling properties is consumed with durian.
- Those with high blood pressure and pregnant women are not advised to consume durian.
- Durian, as is traditionally believed, should not be consumed with coffee or alcoholic beverages as the body's ability to detoxify the body suffers.
- As it is high in sugar content those with diabetes or high blood sugar should go easy on durian consumption.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.
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Coconut-Durian fudge recipe
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly