Durian is an exotic fruit grown in tropical regions around the world, particularly in Southeast Asian countries where it has been nicknamed “the king of fruits”. The tree grows up to 50 meters high and starts bearing fruit 4 years after planting. Dubbed the world's smelliest but most nutritious fruit, the pungent smell will either make you love it or hate it! Durian is a large fruit (up to one foot long!) with a hard spiky exterior and yellow soft flesh which is described as having a creamy custard, almond like taste. Read below to find out more about its potential health benefits.
May Improve Digestive Health
Durian is considered to be a great digestive aid. Like many ‘meaty’ fruits it contains high levels of dietary fibre. Fibre helps with bowel movement and the secretion of digestive and gastric juices which reduces constipation, bloating, heartburn and indigestion as well as serious illnesses like colorectal cancer. A lot of the fibre found in durian is insoluble fibre which makes it a good laxative too.
Packed with Vitamins
Durian is a good source of antioxidant vitamin C, providing many health benefits including fighting off illnesses, healing wounds, lowering cholesterol and improving blood flow. It contains high levels of vitamin B6, rarely found in fruit, which helps fight free radicals linked to ageing and cardiovascular diseases. B6 also boosts serotonin levels aiding in the fight against depression. It also contains essential minerals, such as iron, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
May Help Delay Ageing
In traditional herbal medicine durian was used as a tool to slow down ageing. This is one of the main reasons why it's called the “king of fruits”. It has many antioxidant properties such as vitamin C that help reduce oxidative stress. The lower the oxidative stress levels, the slower the ageing process. Some studies show that antioxidants may help reduce signs of skin ageing.
May Treat Insomnia
The fruit contains high levels of the essential amino acid tryptophan, often referred to as “nature's sleeping pill”. Tryptophan, an organic chemical, metabolises into serotonin and melatonin; these two neurochemicals play an important role in sleep initiation and calming nervousness.
May reduces risk of infertility in men and women
A recent number of studies suggest that the flesh of durian contains aphrodisiac properties. Traditionally durian fruit has been used to boost fertility and enhance libido although there are no studies to validate this. It may also reduce the chances of infertility in men and women, and increases sperm motility.
Although durian fruit has been banned from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia because of its pungent odour, it is unique in taste. This fruit is packed with nutrients and will definitely have a positive effect not only on the taste buds but your health too. Durian fruit freezes well and is often sold frozen. You can find durian fruit in many Asian supermarkets. Durian is available for purchase from Chinese supermarkets and Loon Fung stores in London.
How to Eat Durian Fruit
Use a sharp knife to dig deep into the durian along the seams.
Once a deep incision has been made, pull it apart with your hands.
Repeat the process along each seam until the whole fruit has been opened.
To eat the durian, remove the pods of fruit.