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Durian: The Exotic Fruit With Many Health Benefits

Many aren't aware of the durian fruit [1] , also known as the 'king of the tropical fruits', which resembles a jackfruit. The outer skin of the fruit has spikes and it's dark-green in colour. The flesh is juicy, sweet and has a very strong fragrance. The fruit is native to Southeast Asia.

Durian fruit is packed with an array of health benefits. It has a plethora of nutrients which will provide your body with adequate amount of vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional Value Of Durian Fruit

100 g of durian fruit contain 64.99 g water, 147 kcal (energy) and the following nutrients.

  • 1.47 g protein
  • 5.33 g total lipid (fat)
  • 27.09 g carbohydrate
  • 3.8 g fibre
  • 6 mg calcium
  • 0.43 mg iron
  • 30 mg magnesium
  • 39 mg phosphorus
  • 436 mg potassium
  • 2 mg sodium
  • 0.28 mg zinc
  • 0.207 mg copper
  • 0.325 mg manganese
  • 19.7 mg vitamin C
  • 0.374 mg thiamine
  • 0.200 mg riboflavin
  • 1.074 mg niacin
  • 0.316 mg vitamin B6
  • 44 IU vitamin A
  • 36 mcg folate

Types Of Durian Fruit

  • Musang king
  • D24 durians
  • Black thorn
  • Red Prawn or Udang Merah
  • D88 Durians
  • Tracka or Bamboo Durian
  • Tawa or D162 Durians
  • Hor Lor Durians
  • Golden Phoenix or Jin Feng

Health Benefits Of Durian Fruit

1. Maintains blood pressure

Among the bioactive compounds in the durian fruit are the sulphur-containing compounds like ethanethiol and disulphide derivatives [2] and sugar content that contribute to heart health. Durian fruit helps in maintaining the blood pressure level due to the presence of these compounds. A study showed that healthy individuals who consumed the durian fruit had a stable blood pressure level [3] .

2. Stabilizes blood sugar

The potential effects of durian were studied on human and rat models[4] . The antidiabetic activity of durian is credited to the presence of bioactive compounds in the fruit. In a small study, durian fruit has been shown to improve glucose homeostasis by altering insulin secretion and its action in 10 diabetic patients. They consumed the fruit and had a significant improvement in their insulin levels [5] .

3. Boosts energy

As the durian fruit is high in carbohydrates, consuming it will help replenish the lost energy levels. Complex carbohydrates take time to digest, fuelling muscle contractions which provide your body with long-lasting energy. So, eating a durian fruit will give you energy and reduce tiredness and fatigue [6] .

4. Helps in digestion

The fruit is a good source of fibre which plays an important role in digestive health. The colon cells use fibre as a fuel which helps to keep them healthy. Fibre also maintains your digestive tract by adding bulk to your stool and keeping your bowel movements regular [7] .

5. Reduces pain

The extract of durian shells is known to contain painkilling and antibiotic properties. According to a study published in the Journal of Southern Medical University, durian shell extracts could help bring relief from coughing due to the painkilling and antibiotic properties [8] .

6. Promotes growth of RBC

Durian fruit is a good source of folic acid and iron [9] . These minerals aid in haemoglobin production. Folate or folic acid is needed for the formation and growth of red blood cells, and iron is required for the production of haemoglobin, a protein that is responsible for carrying oxygen to the cells and other organs.

7. Induces sleep and lowers depression

According to the World Journal Of Pharmaceutical Research, durian fruit contains tryptophan, an amino acid. It is a natural sleep-inducing compound which metabolises the hormones melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is involved in the sleep-wake cycle and serotonin is involved in promoting sleep, mood and cognition. This lowers the risk of depression and stress [10] .

8. Promotes healthy bones

As durian fruit is a good source of calcium and phosphorus, it works collaboratively to build bones. For bone health, the right amount of these minerals are required. According to the American Bone Health, 85 per cent of the body's phosphorus is present in the bones as calcium phosphate.

9. Treats infertility in PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that interferes with the reproductive system, causing infertility. The imbalance in female sex hormones prevents the development and release of mature eggs. This affects ovulation and pregnancy. A study has shown the potential use of the durian fruit in treating infertility in PCOS, though more scientific studies are needed to prove its ability [11] .

How To Eat A Durian Fruit

  • The fruit can be eaten raw, fried and even served with rice and coconut milk.
  • Add it to your fruit salad for a healthy and tasty snack.
  • The pieces of the fruit can be added to desserts.

Durian Thai Salad Recipe [12]

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw durian shredded into small pieces
  • 3 sliced tomatoes
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup roughly cut green beans
  • 1 medium-sized garlic
  • 2 cups grated cucumber, green papaya or green mango
  • 2 limes
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoon honey

Method:

  • In a bowl, make a paste of garlic, add honey and the juice of limes to it.
  • Add the green beans, durian fruit and crush it lightly.
  • Add the other vegetables and crush it lightly so that the juice is absorbed.
  • Mix it well and serve.
View Article References
  1. [1] Teh, B. T., Lim, K., Yong, C. H., Ng, C. C. Y., Rao, S. R., Rajasegaran, V., ... & Soh, P. S. (2017). The draft genome of tropical fruit durian (Durio zibethinus).Nature genetics,49(11), 1633.
  2. [2] Voon, Y. Y., Abdul Hamid, N. S., Rusul, G., Osman, A., & Quek, S. Y. (2007).Characterisation of Malaysian durian (Durio zibethinus Murr.) cultivars: Relationship of physicochemical and flavour properties with sensory properties. Food Chemistry, 103(4), 1217–1227.
  3. [3] Kumolosasi, E., Siew Gyn, T., Mansor, A. H., Makmor Bakry, M., Azmi, N., & Jasamai, M. (2015).Effects of Durian Intake on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate in Healthy Individuals. International Journal of Food Properties, 19(7), 1483–1488.
  4. [4] Devalaraja, S., Jain, S., & Yadav, H. (2011). Exotic Fruits as Therapeutic Complements for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome.Food research international (Ottawa, Ont.),44(7), 1856-1865.
  5. [5] Roongpisuthipong, C., Banphotkasem, S., Komindr, S., & Tanphaichitr, V. (1991). Postprandial glucose and insulin responses to various tropical fruits of equivalent carbohydrate content in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.Diabetes research and clinical practice,14(2), 123-131.
  6. [6] Jequier, E. (1994). Carbohydrates as a source of energy.The American journal of clinical nutrition,59(3), 682S-685S.
  7. [7] Lattimer, J. M., & Haub, M. D. (2010). Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health.Nutrients,2(12), 1266-89.
  8. [8] Wu, M. Z., Xie, G., Li, Y. X., Liao, Y. F., Zhu, R., Lin, R. A., ... & Rao, J. J. (2010). Cough-relieving, analgesic and antibiotic effects of durian shell extracts: a study in mice.Nan fang yi ke da xue xue bao= Journal of Southern Medical University,30(4), 793-797.
  9. [9] Striegel, L., Chebib, S., Dumler, C., Lu, Y., Huang, D., & Rychlik, M. (2018). Durian Fruits Discovered as Superior Folate Sources.Frontiers in nutrition,5.
  10. [10] Husin, N. A., Rahman, S., Karunakaran, R., & Bhore, S. J. (2018). A review on the nutritional, medicinal, molecular and genome attributes of Durian (Durio zibethinus L.), the King of fruits in Malaysia.Bioinformation,14(6), 265-270.
  11. [11] Ansari, R. M. (2016).Potential use of durian fruit (Durio zibenthinus Linn) as an adjunct to treat infertility in polycystic ovarian syndrome. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 14(1), 22–28.
  12. [12] What Is Durian Good For? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://foodfacts.mercola.com/durian.html

Read more about: durian fruit health benefits
Story first published: Monday, February 18, 2019, 15:12 [IST]
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