Durian vs Jackfruit - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
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.
Table of contents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are many more studies about the health impact of jackfruits than durians. Nevertheless, we have done a little review of some of them.
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).
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.
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).
In combination with healthy fats, the high fiber content in durian improves digestion and contributes to weight loss.
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).
Comparison summary table
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Sodium||Equal|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|