What is a durian fruit?
Durian is a tropical fruit, which is characterized by its large size and hard shell. It has a smelly, custard-like meat with large seeds in it. There are many varieties, but the most common is Durio zibethinus. The pulp of the fruit can have many colors. It is most commonly yellow or white, but it can also be red or green. Durian grows in tropical regions around the world, especially in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. The fruit can grow to 1 foot (30 cm) long and 6 inches (15 cm) wide. A typical durian fruit has about 2 cups (486 grams) of edible pulp.
How is it used?
Durian is used in sweet and savoury dishes. Both buttered meat and seeds are edible, but the seeds need to be cooked. This taste is described as tasted like cheese, almonds, garlic and caramel at the same time.
Common food preparations for durian fruit include:
- fruit juice
- Seeds, boiled or roasted
- Candies, ice cream and other desserts
- Side dish
It is also used in traditional medicine and has some medicinal properties that are currently being studied.
One of the most nutritious fruits
Compared with most other fruits, durian is very high in nutrients. A cup of pulp provides:
- Calories: 357
- Fat: 13 grams
- Carbohydrates: 66 grams
- Fiber: 9 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Vitamin C: 80% of the daily intake (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
- Folic acid: 22% of the DV
- Magnesium: 18% of the DV
- Niacin: 13% of the DV
This nutritional ingredient makes durian one of the most nutritious fruits in the world. It is also rich in healthy plant compounds, including anthocyanins, carotenoids, polyphenols and flavonoids. Many of them act as antioxidants.
The health benefits of durian
All parts of the durian plant-leaves, shells, roots and fruits-have been used in traditional Malaysian medicine to treat various diseases including high fever, jaundice and skin diseases.
Studies have shown that durian fruit has the following health benefits:
- Reduce the risk of cancer. Its antioxidants can neutralize free radicals that promote cancer. In a test-tube study, durian extract prevented the spread of a type of breast cancer cell.
- Prevent heart disease. Several compounds in durian may help reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of atherosclerosis, or arteriosclerosis.
- Fight infection. The outer skin contains compounds with antibacterial and anti-yeast properties.
- Lower blood sugar. Durian's glycemic index (GI) is lower than many other tropical fruits, which means it may lower blood sugar levels.
Although these studies show promise, many studies have been done on animals or in test tubes. Until the health benefits of durian are confirmed by human controlled studies, no reliable claims can be made.
May be harmful when combined with alcohol
Consuming durian while drinking alcohol can cause problems. Scientists believe that the sulfur compounds in durian may prevent certain enzymes from breaking down alcohol, leading to an increase in alcohol content in the blood. This may cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and palpitations. To be safe, avoid eating durian and drinking at the same time.
How to eat durian
Opening the hard, prickly shell of durian usually requires wearing gloves or gloves to protect your hands. You need to cut the shell with a knife and pry it open with your hands, and then gently remove the durian flesh. You can then eat it alone, with glutinous rice, or as an ingredient in various dishes. You can find tutorials on how to open durian and many recipes online. The pulp is also sold frozen, which slightly changes its texture, making it looser and more viscous. Durian is also used in prepared foods such as candies. However, while this may give you an idea of its flavor, it will not bring you health benefits.
Why is its smell so strong?
There are different opinions about the smell of durian. Some people like it, while others hate it. The smell is very strong and is described as a mixture of sulfur, sewage, fruit, honey, and roasted and rotten onions. A study on the aromatic compounds in durian found 44 active compounds, some of which produce the smell of skunk, caramel, rotten eggs, fruits and soup seasonings. The smell of this fruit is so strong that it is forbidden to use it in many hotels and public transportation systems in Southeast Asia. Your impression of fruit depends on whether you smell sweet or odor compounds more strongly.
Durian is rich in healthy nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin C, minerals, plant compounds, healthy fats and fiber. However, the smell and taste may not be suitable for everyone.