The durian fruit is hailed as the king of fruits in South East Asia because of its succulent taste when compared to other fruits. It probably got its name from the thorn covered husk because duri means thorn in Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. The durian tree is native of these three countries.
A durian tree can grow up to 165 feet. The fruits are seasonal, come in various sizes are either oval or round in shape. Within the fruit are "compartments" with "valves" and inside them are the custard-like fleshy fruit pulps. Each fruit with whitish yellow, yellowish or dark yellow flesh when ripe covers a durian seed.
Besides the thorn, another distinctive feature about the durian fruit is its smell. You'll either love it or hate it. It is so pungent that you can smell it from a distance. Most public transportation and hotels in the South East Asian countries forbid durian in their vicinities.
There are about 30 durian species but the only species that have been really examined outside south East Asia for its constituents and health benefits is the durio zibethinus species.
Here is the list of nutrients in a 100g of the fruit according to the USDA National Nutrient data base.
Notice that the potassium content is high. The RDA is 3500 milligrams. This is good if you aren't getting enough potassium in your diet from foods such as squash, spinach, cantaloupe, grapefruit, yogurt and avocado.
Even though durian fruit seems to have many nutrients, Gabriel Cousens who wrote Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine and David Klein in his book Vegan Healing Diet Guidelines think that durian is a high glycemic food. Glycemic foods are those that break carbohydrates down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly in the bloodstream making the glucose levels jump. However, raw food advocates think otherwise. They think that it is a good source of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Some studies were done to discover the health benefits of the durian fruit. Among the findings are as follows.
Even though, there isn't much research done, parts of the durian trees have been used as folk remedies for various ailments.
The durian fruit is also used to make durian juice and to flavor ice creams, cakes, jams and candies. Here's how to make durian juice or smoothie. Peel off the flesh from 3 pulps. Put it in a blender with ½ glass of fresh milk and 2 scoops of ice cream of your choice and ice cubes. Blend it and it's ready.
There are also many sweet dishes cooked or served with durian. The durian flesh is also fermented to make what is known as tempoyak. It is eaten as a side dish with grounded chili paste or cooked with fish.
According to a research paper, the fermented durian contains lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus sp and pediococcus acidilactici. All these are good bacteria, probiotics or live microorganisms. A controlled double bind randomized study found that patients who were given lactobacillus plantarum found relieve from the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as abdominal pain and bowel irregularity.