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Durian Fruit - Nutrients, Health Benefits, Uses And More

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

Durian Fruit

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 Fruit

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

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

 Durian fruit (Durio zibethinus), 

Parameters

Nutrient Value/100 gms

Percentage of RDA

Calories

147 Kcal

7%

Carbohydrates

27.09 g

21%

Protein

1.47 g

2.50%

Total Fat

5.33 g

20%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

3.8 g

10%

Vitamins

 

 

Folates

36 mcg

9%

Niacin

1.074 mg

7%

Pantothenic acid

0.230 mg

4.50%

Pyridoxine

0.316 mg

24%

Riboflavin

0.200 mg

15%

Thiamin

0.374 mg

31%

Vitamin A

44 IU

1.5

Vitamin C

19.7 mg

33%

Electrolytes

 

 

Sodium

2 mg

0%

Potassium

436 mg

9.50%

Minerals

 

 

Calcium

6 mg

0.60%

Copper

0.207 mg

23%

Iron

0.43 mg

5%

Magnesium

30 mg

7.50%

Manganese

0.325 mg

14%

Phosphorus

39 mg

6%

Zinc

0.28 mg

2.50%

Phyto-nutrients

 

 

Alpha-Carotene

6 mcg

--

Beta-Carotene

23 mcg

--

 

 

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.

Disclaimer

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

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 16, 2014:

@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.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 12, 2014:

Nicely done, informative hub about Durian fruit!

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

Thanks for sharing!

georgescifo from India on March 12, 2014:

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.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on March 12, 2014:

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

mecheshier on March 11, 2014:

You are most welcome. :-)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 11, 2014:

@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 Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 11, 2014:

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

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 10, 2014:

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 on March 07, 2014:

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 from India on March 07, 2014:

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

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 07, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 07, 2014:

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

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 07, 2014:

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.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 07, 2014:

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.