Despite the stench, durian is extremely healthy, even more so than many other fruits. Naturally rich in iron, vitamin C, and potassium, durian improves muscle strength, skin health and even lowers blood pressure. Furthermore, one small durian contains 23g of dietary fiber which is nearly all of your daily nutritional requirement. However, it is important to not eat them in excess, as in 2010 Malaysian politician Ahmad Lai Bujang was rushed to hospital complaining of breathlessness and dizziness after gorging himself on durian.
The fruit’s flesh is sometimes eaten raw, or is cooked and used to flavor a number of traditional Southeast Asian dishes and candies. It’s also used in traditional Asian medicine, as both an anti-fever treatment and a aphrodisiac. Our “Off the Road” blog profiled a pair of intrepid travelers on a year-long journey planned around tasting different varieties of durian.