MEDICALLY REVIEWED

Durians: Are They A Boon Or Bane To Our Health?

durians health benefits and risks

To Durian lovers, the months of May and June are especially exciting as it marks the commencement of the much-anticipated Durian season. While we may be tempted to take it as a sign to indulge, what are some possible health implications of consuming this fruit?

Known as the King of Fruits due to its unique taste, distinctive smell, and crown-like exterior, durians are known to spark polarising opinions from the masses. The most common point of contention would be its pungent smell, with some who detest durians describing it as “cat poo”. Say what they will, durians are nutritious foods with health benefits, provided they are consumed in moderation.

Benefits of consuming durians 

Consuming durians aids digestion

Durians are a rich source of dietary fibre, a carbohydrate essential for digestion. As the dietary fibre softens stool, movement in the intestinal track is easier, and constipation is prevented.

Consuming durians improves bone health

Durians are abundant in minerals that promote bone health, such as copper, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Thus, consuming durians is a natural way to build healthy bones and get a good intake of bone-healthy nutrients.

Consuming durians improves mood

The amino acid tryptophan is present in durians. During digestion, tryptophan is broken down and converted to serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a chemical sometimes referred to as “feel-good hormones” as it regulates mood, while melatonin supports better sleep.

Given these benefits, lovers of the king of fruits still ought to be cautious as excessive consumption of durians can lead to serious health concerns.

Dangers of overconsuming durians 

Overconsumption may increase the fat level in our body and lead to health problems

They have a very high fat and calorie content. Therefore, overconsuming it can result in weight gain. Especially for those at risk of obesity, this is dangerous as it increases one’s risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and even several types of cancer.

Overconsumption can raise body temperature and cause sore throats

In Chinese medical terms, due to their high levels of sulfuric compounds, they are classified as “heaty” fruits. This means that they raise body temperature, which can cause sore throats, mouth ulcers, and an increase in phlegm.

Overconsumption may cause a sharp rise in blood sugar and lead to health problems

Durians are also high in sugar content such as fructose and glucose. It is estimated that consuming three seeds is equivalent to about half a can of a soft drink. High blood sugar can lead to concerning health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage.

Conclusion

Durians have numerous health benefits, but they must be eaten in moderation. Although its addictive nature makes it difficult to stick to, two to three seeds in one sitting is ideal. We must be disciplined and not overindulge so we can gain the most out of consuming durians.

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