The benefits of durian have a lot. Durian contains vitamins B6 and A, niacin, and plant compounds, such as flavonoids, carotenoids, anthocyanins, and polyphenols. Durian also contains essential minerals, such as iron, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. Durian contains the amino acid tryptophan. When broken down, it gets converted to serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel happy and relaxed.
Benefits of Durian
May Improve Digestive Health
The dietary fiber in durian helps in easing bowel movement. This, in turn, helps prevent 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 stimulates peristaltic motion. It may ease the digestive process in the intestines. It also helps treat issues like bloating, excess flatulence, heartburn, and cramps.
May Help Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases
The organosulfur in durians may regulate inflammatory enzymes and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A study conducted by the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine found that the intake of fruits that are rich in soluble dietary fiber may help lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Durian fruit is a heart-friendly food with high fiber content.
May Help Maintain Blood Sugar Levels
The manganese in durian may help in the maintenance of blood sugar levels. In one study, the intake of durian also improved the insulin response curve in 10 patients with diabetes. The antioxidants in durian also help reduce oxidative stress, which can otherwise aggravate diabetes symptoms. Durian also has a lower glycemic index (GI). Hence, the fruit would not lead to blood sugar spikes.
May Help Regulate Blood Pressure Levels
Durian is a good source of potassium. Research shows that increasing potassium intake can lower blood pressure levels. The potassium in the fruit also works as a vasodilator. It can help maintain the balance between fluid and salt in the body’s cells. The mineral may help reduce stress on the blood vessels and decrease the risk of heart attack or stroke.
May Help Delay Aging
Durian is rich in vitamin C. The nutrient is a powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress caused by free radicals. The lower the oxidative stress levels, the slower the aging process. Durian is rich in other antioxidants as well. Studies show that antioxidants can help reduce some signs of skin aging. The consumption of durian may reduce the signs of premature aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, or age spots. However, direct research is lacking in this aspect.
May Reduce Cancer Risk
Durians are said to possess antioxidant properties that may help reduce cancer risk. The fruit contains polyphenols that inhibit cancer growth and even kill cancer cells. In one study, the fruit showed protective effects against breast cancer cell lines. Free radicals are known to destroy healthy cells and cause the spread of cancer. Since the antioxidants of durians fight free radicals, they may also help in lowering cancer risk. However, more direct research in this regard is warranted.
May Help Treat Sexual Dysfunction
Durian pulp is believed to possess aphrodisiac properties. However, there are no studies to validate these claims. Though durian is traditionally used to boost fertility, its effectiveness is yet to be studied.
Helps Maintain Bone Health
Durians are rich in potassium and magnesium. These two minerals contribute to bone health. Studies show that a high potassium intake can promote bone mineral density in men and women over the age of 50 years. Research also shows that magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis. However, more direct research is needed to substantiate the efficacy of durians in promoting bone health.
May Treat Anemia
Durian is a rich source of folate. Studies link folate deficiency to hemolytic (related to the rupture of red blood cells) anemia. Folate, if not present in adequate quantities, could lower the number of red blood cells produced. This, in turn, can trigger anemia. Other minerals in durian may trigger the production of red blood cells (RBC). However, more research is warranted in this regard.
May Treat Insomnia
Eating durian fruit may treat insomnia. Durian contains tryptophan (an essential amino acid). Studies show that tryptophan may help treat short-term sleep disorders.
May Act As A Natural Anti-Depressant
It is believed that durian can help relieve the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Durian may help in the production of serotonin, though there is no research yet to support this. Studies show that low levels of serotonin can aggravate depression.
May Help You Sleep Better
The higher your levels of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep cycles, the better you sleep. Durian contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is required to increase the levels of melatonin. So eating a seed of durian near bedtime may help you sleep better.
May Help Combat Skin Pigmentation And Wrinkles
Durian contains more vitamin C than many tropical fruits. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that help to fight free radicals in your body, which can help reduce the appearance of pigmentation and wrinkles. So, including fruit in your diet could supplement your beauty regime, although, like all good things, it’s best consumed in moderation.
100g Durian Nutrition Value
- Energy – 147 kcal
- Protein – 1.47 g
- Carbohydrate – 27.09 g
- Fiber – 3.8 g
- Calcium – 6 mg
- Potassium – 436 mg
- Vitamin C – 19.7 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.2 mg
- Folate – 36 micro g
Side Effects of Durian
Limited research is available on the side effects of durian. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that durian may cause gas, diarrhea, stomach upset, vomiting, and allergic reactions in some people. The consumption of durian seeds may cause shortness of breath. However, these are yet to be validated by concrete research.
May Aggravate Diabetes
This is highly unlikely, given the low glycemic index of durians. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that excess intake of durians in a short period may spike blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, limit your durian intake.
May Cause Problems During Pregnancy
Not enough scientific data is available about the safety of durian consumption during pregnancy or lactation. Hence, stay safe and avoid use. Consult your doctor.
Eating durian along with alcohol is thought to lead to death. Some compounds in the durian fruit may stop certain enzymes from breaking down alcohol. However, evidence is lacking in this regard.