Durian is a large-sized fruit with a strong odor. It is commonly found in Southeast Asia. While you may love it for its unique taste, you may wonder if it is safe to eat durian during pregnancy. Pregnant women have to be careful about everything they eat. However, while you may read the label on packed food, it is not as easy to know about fruits and vegetables’ contents and nutritional value. Read on to know about the safety, health benefits, and if you can eat durian during pregnancy.
What Is Durian?
Durian is a type of fruit, hailed as the king of fruits in Southeast Asia. Its strong odor is its specialty as well as a put-off for some. It has a husk covered in thorns. While it is available in various forms, only one type of durian fruit is available in the international market.
Is It Safe To Eat Durian During Pregnancy?
There are no proven studies that effectively state any risks or negative effects of eating durian on maternal health. Similarly, there are no studies that say it is good to eat durian during your pregnancy. Before you eat it, speak to your doctor who can guide you best about whether or not you should eat durian now, depending on your health.
Durian is a powerhouse of sugar as well as carbohydrates. One medium-sized durian has 885 calories (1). It is also a food with a high glycemic index, which can lead to sharp spikes in blood glucose (2). It is important to limit your intake of durian while you are pregnant, even though it is considered safe for consumption during pregnancy.
If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you should stay away from eating durian, as it has a high amount of sugar.
Phyllis, a mom and blogger, shares how she managed her craving for durian. She says, “I have been craving it for days until I got to eat it at my in-law’s place. My gyne (gynecologist) warns me of the high sugar content in durian. So, I only eat four pieces (i).”
It is also important to note that the region where durians originally came from, South East Asia, does not encourage eating it during pregnancy. In fact, many Asian communities recommend pregnant women to refrain from eating durian when they are pregnant, as they believe that eating the fruit can heat the body up and harm the unborn baby.
Health Benefits Of Eating Durian Fruit During Pregnancy
Here are a few health benefits of eating durian (1):
- It is high in energy, as well as minerals and vitamins. Durian is made of soft flesh that is easily digestible. It contains simple sugars, such as fructose and sucrose that will provide you energy and make you feel energetic.
- It does not contain any cholesterol or saturated fats.
- Durian is also a good source of dietary fiber. It can act as a natural laxative and prevent any constipation worries, which is a common occurrence while you are pregnant.
- The fiber content present in durian will help to keep your mucous membrane protected as it decreases the exposure time to toxins. It will also help bind and then remove any chemicals from your gut that may have a chance of causing cancer (3).
- Durian is loaded with healthy vitamins like niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin. All of these help your overall health and are extremely important for the healthy functioning of your body.
- The fruit is also a good source of copper, manganese, iron and magnesium. Copper and iron help to make red blood cells in your body, which is essential for the proper growth and development of your unborn baby.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is durian good for fertility?
Yes. Studies have shown that durian contains a high level of estrogen, can help treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and acts as an aphrodisiac for intensified sexual libido and stamina, all of which can improve fertility rates and help women conceive (4) (5).
2. Can you eat durian after giving birth?
Yes. Durian is rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, and phosphorus, all of which can help the new mother recover faster (1) (5). They also provide the body with plenty of energy and nutrition. However, always eat this fruit in moderation.
3. What are the disadvantages of eating durian?
Due to its high sugar content, durian can aggravate diabetes and cause weight gain in the mother and baby if consumed excessively during the third trimester. Additionally, since durian has a warming effect, overeating it can cause sore throat, phlegmy cough, constipation, and even fever (4).
4 What cannot be eaten after eating durian?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that one should avoid consuming mutton, beef, coffee, cocoa, lychee, crab, and mangosteen after consuming durian. However, the exact reason for this recommendation is not clearly known.
5 Can I eat durian before sleep?
Durian contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is known to induce sleep. Tryptophan is also required to increase serotonin and melatonin levels, which can, in turn, help relieve stress and promote sleep (7).
6 Does durian raise blood pressure?
Durian is known to have a “heaty” effect on individuals upon consumption. Therefore, pregnant females and individuals with high blood pressure are often discouraged from consuming Durian (8). However, there is sparse clinical evidence explaining Durian’s role in elevating blood pressure and subsequent heart ailments.
There are no scientific studies on quality trials about the negative effects of consuming durian during pregnancy. Although it can provide you with energy, essential nutrients and vitamins, and dietary fibers, you may consume it in moderation to avoid excess calories. The strong odor of the fruit can also be a put-off for someone, and you may also avoid durian if you experience any discomfort after consumption. It is also recommended to seek a more personalized opinion from the doctor or dietitian based on your sugar levels or risk of diabetes.
Infographic: Health Benefits Of Eating Durian During Pregnancy
Durian fruit is native to Southeast Asia with a distinct flavor. Do you want to have durian when pregnant but are cautious about its safety for you and your baby? Explore the potential benefits of durian during pregnancy in the infographic below. However, seek your OB-GYN’s approval before having the fruit.
- Limit your intake of durian during pregnancy, despite it being safe for consumption.
- Durian has high carbohydrate and sugar content, as well as a high glycemic index.
- Durian provides various health benefits, such as being an excellent source of energy, nutrients, vitamins, and dietary fiber.
- The fruit also contains dietary folate, which is crucial for developing the neural tube during pregnancy.
- Durian is rich in iron, copper, manganese, and magnesium, which support the development of the baby.
Discover in this video whether it’s safe to consume durian while pregnant. Explore the potential advantages and disadvantages associated with eating durian during pregnancy.
Personal Experience: Source
i. Pregnancy week 22: Body soreness/aches, ‘nesting’ syndrome, hubby feeling baby kick, carving for durian.
- Durian, raw or frozen. FDC ID: 168192.
- Rusmiati et al.; (2015); The Nutritional Composition of Red Durians from Banyuwangi, Indonesia.
- S. Wanwimolruk et al.; (2020); Food safety in Thailand 1: it is safe to eat watermelon and durian in Thailand.
- Tan Mei Chian and Shyamala Asohan; (2022); Exploring the Nutritional Contents and Benefits of Durian (Durio zibethinus).
- Nurul Arneida Husin et al.; (2018); A review on the nutritional medicinal molecular and genome attributes of Durian (Durio zibethinus L.) the King of fruits in Malaysia.
- Lisa Striegel et al.; Durian Fruits Discovered as Superior Folate Sources;
- Exploring the Nutritional Contents and Benefits of Durian (Durio zibethinus)
- Zubairi, et al.; Durian Locule (Endocarp) Water Immersion Drinking Effect to Reduce Heaty Sensation after Flesh Consumption: A Preliminary Study.