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Durian Health Benefits, Nutritional Value and Uses

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What is Durian?

This fruit belongs to the genus Durio. It is known for its unique taste and also for its nutritional value. Durian trees are usually very tall and range between 25-50 meters. it is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk. In South-East countries, it is referred to as “King of Fruits”. It is aseasonal fruit that grows from June to August same as Mango and Jackfruit. It is known for its large size and fully matured fruit can reach a size of 30 centimeters easily.  The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species.Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance; others find the aroma overpowering with an unpleasant odour. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The flesh can be consumed at various stages of ripeness, and it is used to flavour a wide variety of savoury and sweet edibles in Southeast Asian cuisines. The seeds can also be eaten when cooked.

Health Benefits of Durian

Increases Immunity: Antioxidants like Vitamin C keep our immune system working in its best shape.Durian fruit contains high amounts of Vitamin C that protect against free radicals that are produced as a result of the reaction between certain molecules and oxygen.An optimum level of Vitamin C can clean and purify our systems effectively. They work like servicing engineers of our electrical appliances.Thus, Vitamin C provides immunity towards common diseases like cold and flu. It is also effective in protecting from infections and viral attacks.

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Maintains Blood Pressure: Durian fruit contains high amounts of potassium and a moderate quantity of Sodium. Both of these factors make Durian a blood pressure optimizing fruit. Potassium is responsible for all muscle functions in the body including the heart. It regulates heart beat and ensures a smooth blood pumping operation in the body. Potassium is also required to maintain sodium level. Sodium is harmful and can create a spike in blood pressure readings. Durian itself has a very low amount of sodium making it for safe consumption by patients with hypertension. A well-balanced blood pressure does not stress out heart and blood vessels resulting in a healthier Cardiovascular system.

Increases and encourages fertility: Estrogen is a hormone that helps in conceiving. Most of the women who suffer from fertility usually have a low estrogen level in their body which is increased with pills, injections, and supplements. Durian contains a high level of this hormone and can act as an herbal medicine. Apart from this valuable property, Durian has no cholesterol and can be very useful in weight loss programs. Unhealthy weight and obesity increase the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy. You may eat durian in controlled and recommended quantity after talking to your physician especially in the case of infertility.

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Alleviates Anemia: Durian fruits contain high amount of folate or folic acid.Folate is required for the production of hemoglobin. It stimulates the production of blood that improves the functionality of the body and effective oxygen distribution. This way this folic acid can prove to be a great deterrent for anemia. The iron content though is low in Durian, but it also aids in hemoglobin production alleviating the condition of anemia.

Improves Sleep & allays Depression: Durian fruit contains amino acids known as Tryptophan– a natural sleep-inducing compound. Tryptophan is required to metabolize serotonin and melatonin. Both of these neurochemicals are beneficial in improving mood. Tryptophan slows down transmissions to brain thereby calming it and relieving from incessant thoughts.When the brain is not busy with interpretations of transmissions, it relaxes, and this is what helps in sleeping.A meal rich in Carbohydrates is encouraged with a diet that has Tryptophan because it releases insulin that clears the amino acids that compete with Tryptophan, thereby making it more efficient.

Anti-aging: Eating an excessive amount of durian can seriously boost your body’s ability to eliminate those free radicals, thereby reducing the chances of premature aging and delaying the appearance of symptoms such as wrinkles, age spots, macular degeneration, hair loss, tooth loosening, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. It turns out that durian has a wide variety of antioxidant properties stemming from its vitamin and organic chemical makeup that actively reduce the amount of free radicals in the body.

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Cancer prevention: Durian has a wealth of vitamins, nutrients, and organic chemicals that function as antioxidants. In the battle against cancer, free radicals are vitally important, because during cell metabolism, there are byproducts created, called free radicals. These free radicals can destroy the DNA of regular cells and convert them to cancer cells, which can then metastasize or form fatal, tumorous growths. All of the antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress on the organs of the body are bonuses to the immune system, and durian is packed with them, including vitamin-C, vitamin-B complex, and vitamin E, as well as phytonutrients that battle cancerous cells.

Uses of Durian

  • Durian fruit is used as a flavor base in a wide variety of sweet preparations such as traditional Malay candy, ice kachang, dodol, biscuits, etc.
  • Durian seeds, which taste similar to jackfruit seeds or yam, can be eaten boiled or roasted.
  • It is also used in the preparation of ice-cream, milkshakes, Yule logs and cappuccino.
  • Unripe durians may be cooked as a vegetable in variety of dishes.