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Durian Fruit - Nutrients, Health Benefits, Uses And More

Updated on January 3, 2016
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Durian Fruit

A ripe durian fruit
A ripe durian fruit | Source

Durian Tree

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Durian treeDurian fruits on the tree.
Durian tree
Durian tree | Source
Durian fruits on the tree.
Durian fruits on the tree. | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The thorny durian huskA split durian fruitDurian pulp packed for sale
The thorny durian husk
The thorny durian husk | Source
A split durian fruit
A split durian fruit | Source
Durian pulp packed for sale
Durian pulp packed for sale | Source

Durian Fruit

Durian is called the "King of fruits" in Southeast Asia and is produced in a variety of sizes and colors.

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 flavor 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

Uses Of Durian Fruit

Durian is used to flavor 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.

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 fiber 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

(click column header to sort results)
Durian fruit (Durio zibethinus),  
Nutrient Value/100 gms
Percentage of RDA
147 Kcal
27.09 g
1.47 g
Total Fat
5.33 g
0 mg
Dietary Fiber
3.8 g
36 mcg
1.074 mg
Pantothenic acid
0.230 mg
0.316 mg
0.200 mg
0.374 mg
Vitamin A
44 IU
Vitamin C
19.7 mg
2 mg
436 mg
6 mg
0.207 mg
0.43 mg
30 mg
0.325 mg
39 mg
0.28 mg
6 mcg
23 mcg
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

All You Need to Know about Durian: with Dr. Robert Lockhart, a fruitarian for 30 years.

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 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 fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy and prevents constipation.

Potassium helps to keep the blood pressure low and reduces risk of developing hypertension.

Durian helps to prevent anemia and is also beneficial for anemic 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 mono unsaturated fats lower cholesterol.

Durian protects the liver and heart.

Coconut-Durian fudge recipe

How To Select A Good Durian Fruit

Whether you prefer a slightly ripe or over ripe 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.

© 2014 Rajan Singh Jolly


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    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      @vocalcoach - Thanks. It's always good to see you visit.

      @georgecifo - yes, that is true and studies in vitro have confirmed this.

      @ChitragandhaSharan-Thanks for reading and leaving your appreciative comments.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Nicely done, informative hub about Durian fruit!

      I have seen this but never knew so much about it.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 3 years ago from India

      Durian fruit is an amazing fruit with high medicinal values and have heard that this fruit is very effective in tackling diseases such as Cancer.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      You've done it again. Introduced me to another fruit filled with nutrients. Thanks raj an!

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      You are most welcome. :-)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      @billybuc -thanks Bill, for regularly following up my hubs.

      @Susan Recipes - thanks and glad you like the info.

      @mecheshier - thank you.

      @DDE - appreciate your stopping by, Devika.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      FlourishAnyway, I hope you get to, though it does take a bit of guts to like the smell.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Durian fruit is a unique fruit an informative and interesting hub showing us the useful facts and which I had no idea of.Another new introduction from you thank you.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      I always wondered about this little guy. I have seen Durian fruit in the stores but have never tried it. Thanks for the fabulous info as well as cooking ideas. Voted up

    • Susan Recipes profile image

      Susan 3 years ago from India

      I have never seen this fruit before. Thanks rajan for sharing this. I have learnt something new today. Voted up and Interesting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And yet another I have never heard of. My education by Rajan continues.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      How intriguing about the smell/taste difference. I'd love to try it.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      MsDora, glad you like the info. Since you are interested to try it out I hope you are able to locate it where you reside.

      Appreciate your visiting and commenting.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      The Durian fruit is a new one for me. At first I thought it might be the stinking toe, but I checked and it is not. If I could get past the smell, I certainly would like to taste it.