The memories are still vivid in my mind. Coming home from a long day of school, the last thing I’d really like to smell as I step foot into my house is durian. No need to go into the kitchen to smell the fruit. I’d be in my room, which was in a far corner upstairs, and the deadly smell would travel up to my room and creep though the cracks of my door and then BAM. It would hit me right smack dab in the face.
So what exactly is this fruit? Why does it have such an intimidating appearance? In Southeast Asia, durian and a variety of other tropical fruits are consider to be the “Kings of Fruits”. Some of the fruit’s relatives are the hibiscus and okra, and it is originally from Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Durian are EXTREMELY popular in Thailand, and the popularity has lead to decades of tasty recipe with the star ingredient being this “stinky fruit”. There are durian chips, durian paste, durian cake… You name it! One of the most popular Thai desserts is the sticky rice and mango. When the durians are fresh and in season, most often times than not, they may be used as a substitute for mangos, and the vivid flavors of the fruit complements the sweet sticky rice well.
Although the strong odor of the fruit may turn off some individuals, the durian actually offers a variety of health benefits. Listed below are some!
- Durian contain very high levels of dietary fiber, aiding our digestive system. Not only does sufficient amounts of fiber help reduce constipation, but fiber also can actually help the reduce cholesterol!
- Speaking to one of my relatives just this past week about the fruit, he told me that eating durian can actually help reduce the chances of premature aging. No wonder my 50 year old uncle, who LOVES durian, looks like he’s only in his 30s!
- If you’re unable to sleep, eat some durian! According to OrganicFacts.net, durian contains an immense amount of tryptophan, a chemical which relaxes the body and leads to sleep. The effect caused is known as a “food coma”.
- Durian is packed with a variety of vitamins and organic chemicals that can kick cancer in the butt! Although there isn’t a cure to cancer, any way to prevent it is great.
- The fruit contains Potassium and several other types of minerals. These minerals can least to strong bones and can prevent osteoporosis from forming. Got milk? Psh, more like GOT DURIAN?!
Although the odor is vicious, there are several other health benefits to durian. If interested, although the fruit may be hard to find here in the US, check it out and give it a try! I’m not a big fan myself (besides the durian chips because you can’t smell anything and it’s FRIED), but the rest of my family loves it and you may too!