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Aaron Sta Maria
Written by Aaron Sta Maria

Reviewed by Dr Jessica Gunawan

Love the King of Fruits? 6 Surprising Facts on Durian Nutrition

A durian’s nutrition profile is associated with many health benefits. However, people with certain conditions should consume the fruit with caution.

Woman holding a durian shell that’s holding a single pulp

If you weren’t previously aware about durian nutrition and this spiky fruit’s benefits for health, this article is for you. Popularly known as the “King of Fruits”, the durian packs a flavourful punch and an equally potent scent. 

Moderate consumption will allow you to savour every bite while preventing the onset of health problems. On the contrary, eating too much durian can have adverse effects on a person’s body.

Here are a few ways how durian consumption can help maintain your overall well-being.

6 Must-Know Durian Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits 

A small durian typically measures 650 grams (g) and contains 885 calories (kcal). That’s a whopping 44.25% of 2,000 kcal; an average person’s daily calorie intake. It also has 34.5g of fat, which is half the amount of monounsaturated fat you need every day.   

Better bone strength 

The fruit is low in calcium but has enough potassium to make up 9% of your body’s daily requirement. These minerals play an important role in keeping bones healthy.

It does this by regulating the deposit and distribution of calcium in the bones. Subsequently, the action prevents an excessive dissolving or release of calcium into the bloodstream. 

Hence, moderate consumption of durian can be useful in keeping your bones healthy.

Close-up of a pregnant women with an exposed belly sitting cross-legged while holding a durian pulp in each hand
Durian consumption during pregnancy has protective effects on a foetus’ brain and spine.

Relieves anaemia  

Anaemia involves low levels of haemoglobin in the blood and may see you experiencing symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, and headaches. In pregnant women, the condition’s onset can increase a foetus’ risk of physical abnormalities or fatality.

Durian pulp contains a high amount of folate, which is necessary for the production of haemoglobin. Folate also aids in the regular growth of body tissues and protects the foetus’ brain and spine.

Lower risk of cardiovascular problems  

Consuming sugary foods or foods with a high fat content can contribute to the onset of heart disease. Fat and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (also called LDL or the “bad” cholesterol, for short) may accumulate in the artery walls and provoke these conditions:  

  • Hypertension 
  • Hypercholesterolemia – abnormally high levels of cholesterol in the body 
  • Atherosclerosis – a narrowing of the blood vessels due to plaque build-up 

However, durians have zero cholesterol. The monounsaturated fat content in the fruit can actually help lower LDL cholesterol levels in the body.

The potassium in durians also promotes better blood circulation, lowers blood pressure and improves heart health. The good news is, the consumption of the king of fruits may help keep cardiovascular conditions at bay.

Supports healthy digestion 

Durian nutrition includes an abundant source of dietary fibre. The nutrient encourages peristaltic motion and the secretion of digestive and gastric juices. These processes can alleviate: 

  • Heartburn 
  • Indigestion 
  • Constipation 
  • Excessive flatulence 
  • Intestinal blockage 

Fibre also helps maintain digestive health by increasing bowel movement, making it easier for stool to pass through the intestinal tract.

Lowers the risk of illnesses and accelerated ageing 

Boasting a wide variety of antioxidant properties, durians can be consumed to reduce the number of free radicals in your body. Consequently, it can help prevent certain diseases and delay the symptoms of ageing, including: 

  • Arthritis 
  • Cancer 
  • Wrinkles 
  • Hair loss 
  • Loose teeth 
  • Age spots, skin pigmentation 
  • Macular degeneration  

It’s also a hydrating fruit and can be eaten to alleviate dry skin and the appearance of fine lines.

Woman grimacing in pain while pressing her left hand to her throat and placing her right hand on her chest
Excessive durian consumption can cause a cough and sore throat.

Corrects body constitution imbalances 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that durians are warm-natured. In addition, the flesh of the fruit demonstrates the ability to: 

  • Relieve pain 
  • Disperse Cold 
  • Support blood circulation 
  • Warm the meridians 
  • Strengthen yang (active energy) 
  • Tonify qi (vital life force) 
  • Invigorate the Kidneys and Spleen 
  • Increase urine flow to treat jaundice 

Malaysia’s weather is hot and humid all year long. If you consume too much of the fruit, you’ll likely develop a fever, constipation, a sore throat or phlegm with cough

Durian nutrition is one of the main reasons it’s been dubbed the “King”. However, you should limit your consumption of the fruit if you have a yang body constitution or have been diagnosed with a Yin Deficiency or other specific conditions. These include renal failure or poor kidney function. 

Enjoying the king of fruits moderately will help you avoid dizziness, dry mouth, stomach bloating and other symptoms of a fever. Do also remember to drink lots of water after enjoying durian.

Overindulging can cause hyperkalaemia, which describes a level of potassium in the body that’s higher than normal. If uncontrolled, it can lead to arrhythmia, low blood pressure, and numbness in the limbs. People with diabetes should avoid durian altogether, as each pulp has between 3.1 and 19.97g of sugar, depending on the variety.

Love it or hate it, there’s no doubt that durian evokes plenty of debate amongst those who relish it or dislike it. Consume it moderately, two to three durians at a time, and you can enjoy durian nutrition benefits, minus the guilt. 

This is an adaptation of an article, “5 Questions About Durian”, which first appeared on Health123’s website. 

References

  1. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Exploring the Nutritional Contents and Benefits of Durian (Durio zibethinus). [online] [Accessed 20 September 2022]  
  2. Yahoo! News. 2012. Durians: 8 myths and facts about the king of fruits. [online] [Accessed 20 September 2022] 
  3. MedicineNet. 2022. Durian Fruit: Potent Smell but Incredibly Nutritious. [online] [Accessed 20 September 2022] 
  4. ScienceDirect. 2021. Chemical constituents and pharmacological effects of durian shells in ASEAN countries: A review. [online] [Accessed 20 September 2022] 
  5. Verywellfit. 2021. Durian Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. [online] [Accessed 20 September 2022] 

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