Not all of nature’s greatest creations smell divine, and an example of this is the Durian fruit. Although most westerners will run for the hills after one sniff of its exposed flesh, across south-east Asia, it is revered and has even earned the nickname, the ‘King of Fruits’.
When it comes to durian, there is a significant stumbling block you’ll need to overcome before you can get stuck in, and it’s the smell. Unfortunately, as moreish as the fruit is, it carries a somewhat distinct aroma, which some have likened to rotten cheese! However, once you’ve trained your senses to get past this, you’ll understand why millions love it. Malaysia is a country known for its love of durian, and in 2020, during the Pandemic, its people consumed more than 30 million kgs of the stuff! To put that in some context, that’s the equivalent of 75,000 average elephants in weight!
If we’re being completely fair, not everyone in Malaysia is a fan of durian. Although most agree that it deserves its title, the King of Fruits, its smell, high-fat content and how it tastes divide opinions in the country. However, one thing that cannot be disputed is the health benefits hidden away under its thorny exterior. Below are some snippets of information which should help break down the stigma surrounding Durian fruits.
1. Durian nutritional content
If you ignore the durian’s huge size and appearance, it is actually like most other tropical fruits such as bananas, jackfruits and avocado. The durian fruit contains a high amount of healthy fats, which help our bodies absorb vitamin A, D, E and K. Like other foods, it is easy to overindulge, and this is one of the reasons why some view it as unhealthy. However, in the right amounts, it is far from this and, when taken in moderation, will be a friend to your body.
2. How durian helps with high blood pressure
In addition to being packed with healthy fats, durians are also a brilliant source of potassium. A diet that includes natural sources of potassium is important for people who suffer from high blood pressure. The reason why is it helps to maintain the balance of sodium and fluid within the body. It also helps to relax blood vessels allowing the blood to flow to and from the heart at a healthy rate. Helping blood vessels means more oxygen to the brain; another benefit is it takes the pressure off the cardiovascular system.
3. Feeling pain in your joints? Have a durian or two
Durian contains more Vitamin C than many other tropical fruits. This is especially important because Vitamin C is the “hero of heroes” when it comes to vitamins – a deficiency of it can lead to joint pain, and an adequate intake has been connected with a reduced risk of cancer-related pain. More reasons to end durian distancing and have a ken-durian with your family!
4. It can help if you’re feeling a bit bunged up!
If you’re having trouble going to the toilet, one thing that will help is more fibre in your diet. Not only does the fruit contain plenty of this, but it is also rich in natural sugars. It’s often said that your gut is your body’s second brain, not the body’s bin, as some people think! The natural sugars in the fruit help the gut as it ferments after being exposed to the bacteria, becoming prebiotic, which feeds the billions of tiny bacteria resulting in more efficient digestive functions and improved colon health.
Not every one of mother nature’s greatest creations comes with the most delicious scents. It is almost unfair to lead with its smell, as behind its less-than-friendly exterior is something spectacular. Durians aren’t the only amazing natural wonder that comes with a, let’s call it, scent barrier. The world’s largest flower, part of the Rafflesia genus, is known as the Corpse Flower for a very good reason. Having experienced one close-up, let me tell you that smelling the king of fruits is a breeze in comparison!
I couldn’t have compiled this guide without the assistance of Grab, who is on a mission to end durian distancing. Grab offers durian-based goodies to please all palate types, irrespective of whether you love or hate the fruit. On offer is everything from fresh durian to durian-flavoured desserts, which in my experience, don’t come with the smell, just the taste. And handily, they even offer odour-fighting solutions!
For more information on Grab, visit www.grab.com.
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