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Durian vs Jackfruit - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Zvart Movsisyan by Zvart Movsisyan | Last updated on November 29, 2020
Education: Medical biochemistry MD
Durian
vs
Jackfruit

Summary

Durian and jackfruit are two entirely different fruits. Durian is higher in fiber and has a lower glycemic index. At the same time, jackfruit is low in calories, fats, and carbs.

In mineral content, durian wins with high contents of copper and zinc. Durian is undoubtedly the winner in vitamin content as well due to significantly higher vitamin B1 and B2 levels.

Both of them are widely used by various cultures for different purposes. A wide range of studies is targeted to find scientifically-based information that can allow for their further usage as part of medications.

However, the combination of jackfruit or durian with some medications or alcohol may have adverse effects. Don’t forget about precautions before trying these fruits.

Introduction

Jackfruit and durian are king-size exotic fruits widely spread in South-East Asia. Both of them are famous for their specific smell and taste, and no doubt, for their giant-like appearance. If you have never eaten them, they may look similar to you or at least somehow related. As a matter of fact, they are two different fruits from different families, and local people can easily distinguish them. Let’s try to reveal some key points to differentiate jackfruit and durian.

General Differences

It is believed that jackfruit originated in Southern India, dating back over 5000 years. Durian originated from Sumatra and Borneo. It was mentioned in Europe by the 15th Century (1).

Jackfruit is related to the mulberry and the fig and belongs to the Moraceae family. In contrast, durian belongs to the Malvaceae family.

Jackfruit is the largest fruit growing on a tree; it can reach about 50kg or 110lb, while the largest durian can weigh 14kg or 30lb.

These two fruits grow differently on trees. Jackfruits grow near the trunk of the tree, while durians are spread disorderly along the branches.

Both jackfruit and durian have thorny rinds, but jackfruit has bumps rather than thorns that allow to hold it in hands. On the other hand, durians’ thorns are sharper and more prominent, and if you want to hold a heavy durian, get ready for bleeding cuts.

Durians are banned in most public places, hotels, and airports, not for their sharp thorns but for their pungent odor, which is said to be awful. Some describe it as sweaty socks, turpentine, or stinky sewer water. Jackfruit is also banned in some places because of its strong smell. However, the smell is not so pungent. It is said to smell like bubble gum with a combination of pineapple, bananas, and rotten onions.

What about the inner part and taste? The inner part of jackfruit is chaotic; edible parts are interlaced with slimy and stringy fibers. Besides, stinky and thick white latex or gum flows from the skin and core. Contrastingly, durians’ inner part is well organized; the edible part is concentrated in five hallowed cavities, and there isn’t latex, which makes it easy to access the fruit.

Fully ripened jackfruit has a gummy, quite dense, and fibrous texture. Its bulbs are crunchy and sweet. The flavor resembles the combination of bananas, pineapple, mango, or bubble gum. Unripe durian has a chicken-like flavor, useful in vegan diets. On the other hand, durian has a creamy and soft texture; the flavor is a mix of sweet and savory, or sweet cheese.

Nutritional Content

Macronutrients

Before passing on to the next part, I would like to mention that there isn’t a drastic difference in the nutritional content of jackfruits and durians.

However, as you can see from the comparison charts below, durian is higher in calories, fats, and carbs, including dietary fiber. On the other hand, jackfruit is richer in protein.

Minerals

From the viewpoint of minerals, durian wins hands down. Durian is significantly higher in copper and moderately higher in zinc, iron, and phosphorus. However, jackfruit is higher in calcium and potassium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Iron +87%
Contains more Phosphorus +85.7%
Contains more Zinc +115.4%
Contains more Copper +172.4%
Contains more Calcium +300%
Equal in Magnesium - 29
Equal in Potassium - 448
Equal in Sodium - 2
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 2% 17% 22% 17% 39% 1% 8% 69%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 8% 9% 21% 9% 40% 1% 4% 26%
Contains more Iron +87%
Contains more Phosphorus +85.7%
Contains more Zinc +115.4%
Contains more Copper +172.4%
Contains more Calcium +300%
Equal in Magnesium - 29
Equal in Potassium - 448
Equal in Sodium - 2

Vitamins

In the vitamin comparison, durian is the medal-holder again. Durian is significantly richer in vitamin B1 and vitamin B2, mildly richer in vitamin B9, vitamin B3, and vitamin C. By contrast, it is worth mentioning that jackfruit is higher in vitamin A and vitamin E.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Durian
5
:
Contains more Vitamin C +43.8%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +256.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +263.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +16.7%
Contains more Folate +50%
Contains more Vitamin A +150%
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.235
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.329
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 3% 0% 0% 66% 94% 47% 21% 14% 73% 27% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 7% 7% 0% 46% 27% 13% 18% 15% 76% 18% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin C +43.8%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +256.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +263.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +16.7%
Contains more Folate +50%
Contains more Vitamin A +150%
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.235
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.329

Health Impact

There are many more studies about the health impact of jackfruits than durians. Nevertheless, we have done a little review of some of them.

Health Benefits

As both have almost similar nutrient content, their health impact is also analogous. Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and durian (Durio Zebethinus) have apparent antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anti-lipidemic, and anticancer properties. That is why all parts of them (stem, seeds, roots, pulp) are being researched to have health beneficial properties nowadays.

Antibacterial and Anti-inflammatory Effects

According to one study, the extract from the heartwoods of jackfruit, containing four antibacterial compounds, exhibited a strong and wide spectrum of antibacterial activities (2). According to other studies, extracts from jackfruit leaves had strong antibacterial activities against foodborne pathogens and multidrug-resistant bacteria that cause urinary tract infection (3, 4). There is also a report of antibacterial activity comparable to gentamicin exhibited by extract of durian leaves (12).

One study tested the anti-inflammatory effects of jackfruits’ rind, spine, and skin extracts to be comparable to diclofenac. The skin was found to exhibit a maximal effect (5). On the other hand, research shows that durian pulp extract has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (13).

Antioxidant effects of jackfruit are connected with phenolic, flavonoid, carotenoid, and vitamin C contents. According to research, jackfruit and durian pulps are natural sources of these compounds (8, 15).

Cardiovascular Health

According to different studies, the extract of jackfruit leaves noticeably reduces blood glucose and cholesterol levels and improves glucose tolerance (6, 7). Research shows that durian rind extract can lower blood glucose levels in diabetic rats (14).

As jackfruit and durian are good sources of potassium, they can also help reduce blood pressure.

Cancer

It seems essential to emphasize that jackfruit has powerful anticancer qualities. According to one study, plant lectin - jacalin, extracted from the jackfruit seeds, has potential preventive activity against colorectal cancer (9).

According to another study, a different type of lectin - ArtinM, also extracted from jackfruit seeds, may protect against hepatocarcinogenesis – liver cancer (10). There is research that shows the role of ArtinM in anti-leukemia treatment.

There isn’t any reliable research about anticancer effects of durians yet (11).

Digestion

In combination with healthy fats, the high fiber content in durian improves digestion and contributes to weight loss.

Vitamin Content

Vitamin A, found in larger quantities in jackfruit, can protect our eyesight, preventing cataracts. It also contributes to skin protection, healing, and anti-aging effects along with vitamin C, which is more in durian.

Durian is significantly richer in thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and niacin (vitamin B3), which ensure proper metabolism and nervous system function. Durian is also higher in folate (vitamin B9), which contributes to the correct formation of germ cells, prevents damage of blood vessels and atherosclerotic plaque formation by decreasing homocysteine levels in the blood. Lack of folate in the body can lead to anemia.

Most studies mentioned above have been carried out on experimental animals. It is recommended to use these fruits along with a healthy diet to achieve positive results.

Downsides and Risks

As jackfruit and durian lower blood glucose levels, their combination with diabetes medications can cause hypoglycemia.

Jackfruit also has a sedative effect, so it should be avoided when doing activities that require high concentration and attention. It is also not recommended to consume jackfruit with sedative medications.

What about the side effects and interactions of durian? Since durian has a hyperthermic effect, it should not be used with paracetamol and alcohol. According to one study, the hyperthermic effect of durian consumption with paracetamol is insignificant, but it can notably decrease blood pressure (16).

References

  1. https://www.cuisinevault.com/jackfruit-vs-durian/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25856717
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20629886
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24524024
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28990815
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2056756
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20931077
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20198442
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5476885/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27815471
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22132163
  12. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326061743
  13. http://www.ifrj.upm.edu.my/23%20(03)%202016/(5).pdf
  14. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211601X15000292
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30871187
  16. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Siew_Gan/publication/24186411
Article author photo Zvart Movsisyan
Education: Medical biochemistry MD
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Durian vs Jackfruit infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Durian Jackfruit
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sodium Equal
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Durian Jackfruit Opinion
Net carbs 23.29g 21.75g Durian
Protein 1.47g 1.72g Jackfruit
Fats 5.33g 0.64g Durian
Carbs 27.09g 23.25g Durian
Calories 147kcal 95kcal Durian
Starch g 1.47g Jackfruit
Fructose g 9.19g Jackfruit
Sugar g 19.08g Durian
Fiber 3.8g 1.5g Durian
Calcium 6mg 24mg Jackfruit
Iron 0.43mg 0.23mg Durian
Magnesium 30mg 29mg Durian
Phosphorus 39mg 21mg Durian
Potassium 436mg 448mg Jackfruit
Sodium 2mg 2mg
Zinc 0.28mg 0.13mg Durian
Copper 0.207mg 0.076mg Durian
Vitamin A 44IU 110IU Jackfruit
Vitamin E mg 0.34mg Jackfruit
Vitamin D IU IU
Vitamin D µg µg
Vitamin C 19.7mg 13.7mg Durian
Vitamin B1 0.374mg 0.105mg Durian
Vitamin B2 0.2mg 0.055mg Durian
Vitamin B3 1.074mg 0.92mg Durian
Vitamin B5 0.23mg 0.235mg Jackfruit
Vitamin B6 0.316mg 0.329mg Jackfruit
Folate 36µg 24µg Durian
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K µg µg
Tryptophan mg 0.034mg Jackfruit
Threonine mg 0.086mg Jackfruit
Isoleucine mg 0.069mg Jackfruit
Leucine mg 0.103mg Jackfruit
Lysine mg 0.069mg Jackfruit
Methionine mg 0.034mg Jackfruit
Phenylalanine mg 0.052mg Jackfruit
Valine mg 0.086mg Jackfruit
Histidine mg 0.034mg Jackfruit
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat g 0.195g Durian
Monounsaturated Fat g 0.155g Jackfruit
Polyunsaturated fat g 0.094g Jackfruit

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Durian Jackfruit
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
28
Durian
19
Jackfruit
Mineral Summary Score
21
Durian
14
Jackfruit

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
9%
Durian
10%
Jackfruit
Carbohydrates
27%
Durian
23%
Jackfruit
Fats
25%
Durian
3%
Jackfruit

Comparison summary

Which food is cheaper?
Jackfruit
Jackfruit is cheaper (difference - $0.5)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Durian
Durian is lower in Sugar (difference - 19.08g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Durian
Durian is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.195g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Durian
Durian is lower in glycemic index (difference - 26)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Durian
Durian is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sodium?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sodium (2 mg)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Durian - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168192/nutrients
  2. Jackfruit - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174687/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.