Considered a delicacy by some and totally gross to others, durian fruit is one of those things you either love it or you hate it. Most south east asians absolutely love it, for the rest of us its kind of hit or miss. Just try to ignore the smell and go for it, you really have to try it while you are here!
With its pungent aroma and sweet garlic/soft cheesy onion taste and texture it is both messy and smelly, which is why it’s not recommended to open in your friends car or public transport. It’s unlikely you’ll be making many new friends if you do.
There are quite a few myths surrounding the infamous "Durian Fruit" also so let’s bust them once and for all right here.
1. Durian will make your body “Heaty”
This is actually true! as durian contains sulphides and other compounds that are known to cause a slight warming of the body. Also due to the richness and high calorie content it can kick up your metabolism a notch causing your body to heat up as it struggles to digest the fruit.
2. You will die or be very sick if you eat durian with alcohol
False! You may feel a bit hot or get indigestion but that’s about it. It is however not recommended to eat durian if you suffer from kidney disease due to its high potassium content.
Although there really is no evidence or recorded case of durian/alcohol related death we still don’t recommend you plan any vodka durian parties just in case!
3. Durian is high in fat
This is true, however its considered healthy natural fat with zero saturated fats and low cholesterol. It also promotes healthy cholesterol levels, in theory reducing the risk of heart disease and other related illness. Durian boasts the second highest fat levels of all tropical fruits, being seconded only by avocado.
4. Durian is very high in antioxidants
True! This is a biggie because antioxidants provide so many health benefits. Including high antioxidant foods into your diet promotes healthy aging, reduces cancer causing cell and DNA mutations, protects the heart and also helps keep your brain and skin healthy.
5. Durian could help ease a cough
This may be true, the evidence so far is not conclusive but it is believed that the analgesic and antibacterial content does help to a certain degree.
6. Durian helps you sleep
True! Durian has high levels of tryptophan which metabolizes into serotonin (which makes you happy) and Melatonin (which helps maintain a healthy sleep cycle).
Other Notable Facts:
• Apart from the already mentioned benefits, durian is in general very nutritious and a truly healthy addition to your diet (if you can put up with the smell and taste!)
• Durian packs roughly triple the amount of calories of most other fruits which makes it a great energy source.
• Rich in fiber, vitamin C, B, and minerals such as manganese, potassium and magnesium.
• High in iron and copper, both are requirements in the production of healthy red blood cells.
Durian is only just starting to gain mainstream popularity and clearly the health benefits are many. Just don’t go too crazy and binge on it as the calories and fat content are considerably high.
Also keep in mind that although it’s an expensive delicacy, it’s not advisable to eat on a first date. For a start, its certainly not an aphrodisiac and durian breath will definately NOT make a good impression on your prospective date!
Have you ever tried durian? Got any funny durian stories?
Let us know in the comments section below!