A fruit with an awful smell but a great flavor, durian offers several health benefits as it is loaded with nutrients. This NutriNeat write-up lists out 10 wonderful health benefits of this fruit.
Did You Know?
Orangutans are lured by the smell of durian fruit from over half a mile away.
Durian is a seasonal fruit that belongs to the Durio genus and Bombacaceae family. It is native to Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Durian is also grown in Thailand, which is the largest exporter of this fruit. Durian farms are also located in New Guinea, Vietnam, Southern Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, West Indies, Florida, Hawaii, Madagascar, southern China, northern Australia, and the Polynesian Islands. Out of 30 recognized species, fruits borne by only one species are sold in the international market. This species is called Durio zibethinus. Other species are sold in the local markets. Species that are known to produce edible fruit include D. grandiflorus, D. testudinarum, D. graveolens, D. kutejensis, and D. oxleyanus.
The fruit bears a striking resemblance to jackfruit due to its greenish color and thorny exterior. Durian is an acquired taste, and not every person might relish the fruit, especially when one is eating it for the first time. To add to that, it is a fruit that is infamous for its offensive odor. Its smell has been compared to rotten eggs, sewage, unwashed socks, etc. Some say that it is a fruit that ‘tastes like heaven and smells like hell’. On account of its foul smell, it is banned in some airports, hotels, subways, and public transport in a few regions of Southeast Asia. However, this fruit does offer several wonderful health benefits, due to which one can try to develop a taste for it.
Nutritional Information about the Durian Fruit
It is believed that the odor of this fruit might be due to the presence of bacteriostatic, indole compounds. Durian fruit is packed with several vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients. It has an excellent nutritional profile.
The following table presents the nutrition value per 100 g. The following figures have been provided by the USDA.
|Nutrients (Value per 100 g)|
|Total fat||5.33 g|
|Dietary fiber||3.8 g|
|Pantothenic acid||0.230 mg|
|Vitamin C||19.7 mg|
Health Benefits of Durian Fruit
The nutritional information reveals that durian has a high nutritional value. This fruit is an excellent source of proteins and dietary fiber.
Let’s enumerate the health benefits of this fruit:
- Though 100 grams of durian contains 5.33 grams of fat (20% of RDA), it doesn’t contain saturated fats and cholesterol. The lack of cholesterol makes durian a great option for people with high cholesterol. To add to that, it is packed with assorted nutrients.
- The consumption of this fruit will prove to be beneficial for those who have low energy levels. Just a hundred grams of this fruit provides 27.09 grams of carbohydrates, which is 21% of the RDA for carbohydrate. 100 grams also provides about 147 kilocalories (7% of RDA).
- Studies suggest that the consumption of this fruit can improve serotonin levels, which is a neurotransmitter that is involved in regulating our sleep and emotions. Durian is a good source of vitamin B6, which is required for producing serotonin. Since low serotonin levels have been linked to depression, having this fruit can certainly help.
- Since durian is a good source of potassium, vitamin B, and calcium, it might help in promoting the health of teeth and bones.
- It’s a well-known fact that vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps fight free radicals. Durian is an excellent source of vitamin C, as a serving of a hundred grams provides 33% of RDA of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in preventing free radical damage. This can help in slowing down the aging process to some extent. Vitamin C is essential for strengthening the immune system, which helps fight infections.
- Consuming food rich in dietary fiber is extremely essential for proper bowel movement. A serving of hundred grams of durian provides 10% of the recommended daily intake. Being rich in dietary fiber, durian can help prevent constipation, flatulence, and other digestion-related problems.
- People affected by reduced appetite can also consume this fruit. It contains members of the vitamin B family such as thiamin and niacin, which not only help improve digestion but also improve one’s appetite.
- Durian fruit is also a good source of potassium, which helps in maintaining sodium levels in the body, which in turn helps maintain electrolyte balance. Thus, it can help in maintaining blood pressure, thereby lowering the risk of conditions caused by elevated blood pressure.
- A hundred gram serving of this fruit provides 9% of the RDA for folate and 5% of the RDA for iron. Folate is essential for producing new red blood cells. Thus, consumption of this fruit can certainly prove to be beneficial for individuals affected by anemia.
- It is believed that the consumption of this fruit can help promote good sleep, as it contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps in metabolizing serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin, as well as melatonin help regulate mood and sleep. Thus, consuming this fruit will help improve one’s physical, as well as emotional health.
The health benefits of the durian fruit certainly outweigh the issue of its foul odor. If you cannot get yourself to eat the fresh fruit, you can buy frozen durian, in which the odor becomes somewhat subdued.