Durian, an exotic Southeast Asian superfood, has undeservingly earned a bad rep for its notorious smell and spiky exterior. Few people have given this fleshy fruit enough of a chance to realize that it not only tastes good, but it also has a ton of health benefits. Don’t worry – we’ll fill you in.
1. Vitamins and minerals galore
Thought leafy greens were the best way to get your vitamins and minerals in? Think again. Many fruits and veggies pale in comparison to the nutrient-dense durian. Boasting vitamins C and B6, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese (you get the picture)—durian packs a health punch.
2. Immune-boosting benefits
Durian is known to prevent signs of aging, lower blood pressure, strengthen bones, reduce thyroid inflammation, reduce headaches and alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. If there were a natural cure-all, it’d be durian.
3. It’ll keep things moving
Durians are full of natural dietary fiber. We’ll let you connect the dots.
4. Detox, detox, detox!
Put down your açaí-kale-gogi-maca-chia seed smoothie and crack open a durian. Filled with antioxidants, durians can give you all the anti-aging health benefits you could ever want.
5. It’ll help you sleep
Durians are chock-full of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is metabolized into serotonin and melatonin. The tryptophan in turkey is what knocks you out after a huge Thanksgiving dinner. If you have bouts of insomnia, durian might help you feel sleepy (minus the Thanksgiving food coma).
6. You’ll look like a badass
Everyone will be impressed if they see you slice into a durian’s spiky exterior and pull out a custardy pod. Be careful opening it, as the spikes can actually cut you. People recommend using an oven mitt or working glove (like this guy here) to hold it steady so you don’t hurt yourself.
7. There are delicious ways to prepare it
Although eating raw durian is the typical way to go, there are a ton of recipes you can make with durian (many of them delicacies in Asia!). You can go sweet with durian ice cream, durian cheesecake or durian pastry, or try something savory, like durian curry soup, durian Thai salad or even durian chips.
This misunderstood fruit has a lot to offer and definitely earns its title as a superfood. Find it in your local Asian supermarket and try this royal delicacy for yourself.