While some people avoid Durian because of its strong smell, my friends and I have been known to smuggle in a couple of Durians into our office premises by diverting the security. We love this fruit because of its unique and alluring flavor, combined with the rich nutrition profile. In this article, we discuss about the nutrition information and health benefits of Durian.
Durian (Durio zibethinus) is also known as the “king of fruits” because of its numerous health benefits and medicinal properties. It is a tropical fruit having smelly, custard-like flesh with large seeds. Durian has a very strong and unique smell, and its flavor is described as tasting like cheese, almonds, garlic, and caramel all at the same time. The fruit’s flesh can range in color. It’s most commonly yellow or white, but can also be red or green.
The Nutrition Profile of Durian
Durian is very rich in nutrients compared to most other fruits.
One cup of Durian flesh contains :
- Calories: 357
- Fat: 13 grams
- Carbs: 66 grams
- Fiber: 9 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Vitamin C: 80% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Thiamine: 61% of the DV
- Manganese: 39% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 38% of the DV
- Potassium: 30% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 29% of the DV
- Copper: 25% of the DV
- Folate: 22% of the DV
- Magnesium: 18% of the DV
- Niacin: 13% of the DV
Health Benefits of Durian
Here are 10 reasons why durians are super healthy.
1. Improves digestive health
The dietary fiber in durian helps the digestive process and bowel movement. This, consecutively, helps avoid constipation and improves digestive health. The thiamin in the fruit may improve appetite and general well-being in the elderly.
The fiber in durian fruit also encourages peristaltic motion. This helps in easing the digestive process in the intestines. It also helps treat issues like bloating, excess flatulence, heartburn, and cramps.
2. Reduces cancer risk
Durians are said to carry antioxidant properties that may help reduce cancer risk. The fruit contains polyphenols that inhibit cancer growth and even kill cancer cells. Durians have shown protective effects against breast cancer cell lines.
Free radicals are known to destroy healthy cells, which accelerate the spread of cancer. Since the antioxidants of durians fight free radicals, they also help in lowering cancer risk.
3. Regulates blood pressure levels
Durian is an excellent source of potassium. Research has shown that increasing potassium intake can lower blood pressure levels.
The potassium in Durians also performs as a vasodilator. It can help in managing the balance between fluid and salt in the body’s cells. The mineral may help reduce stress on the blood vessels and decrease the possibility of heart attack or stroke.
4. Maintain blood sugar levels
The manganese in durian supports the balancing of blood sugar levels. Studies have proven that the intake of durian improved the insulin response curve in patients with diabetes. The antioxidants in durian help in reducing oxidative stress, which can on the other hand aggravate diabetes symptoms. Durians do not lead to sudden increments in blood sugar levels due to its lower glycemic index (GI).
5. Prevent cardiovascular diseases
The compound named organosulfur in durians help regulate the inflammatory enzymes and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Also, Durian fruit is a heart-friendly food with high fiber content.
6. Delay aging
Durian is rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress caused by free radicals. The lower oxidative stress levels slow down the aging process.
Durian is loaded in other antioxidants as well. Studies show that antioxidants can help in reducing certain signs of skin aging, such as premature aging, fine lines, wrinkles, or age spots.
7. Maintain bone health
Durians are enriched with potassium and magnesium, which helps to promote bone health. Research shows that high potassium consumption encourages bone mineral density, and magnesium deficiency increases the risk of osteoporosis. However, more direct research is needed to affirm the effectiveness of durians in improving bone health.
8. Help treat sexual dysfunction
There is a traditional belief that Durian pulp carries aphrodisiac properties. However, there are no studies yet to justify this. Though durian is traditionally used to increase fertility, its effectiveness is yet to be studied.
9. Act as a natural anti-depressant
There is a belief that durian help in relieving depression, anxiety, and stress. Durian may contribute to the production of serotonin, though there is no research yet to validate this. Studies show that low levels of serotonin encourage depression.
10. Help treat anemia
Durian is an excellent source of folate. Folate deficiency can lower red blood cell production and this can lead to hemolytic anemia. Other minerals in durian can prompt the production of red blood cells (RBC).
Health benefits of Durian are numerous, therefore it is considered a super food by many.
Check out my article which discusses the health benefits of Jack fruit that the majority of people are unaware of.