Jackfruit vs Durian - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
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 like similar for you or at least as members of the same family. As a matter of fact, they are two different fruits from various families, and specialists and local people can easily contradistinguish them. Let’s try to reveal some key points to differentiate jackfruit and durian.
Differences between jackfruit and durian
It is believed that jackfruit originated Southern India and dates back for over 5000 years. Durian originated from Sumatra and Borneo. It is first has been mentioned in Europe by 15th Century (1).
Jackfruit is related to the mulberry and the figs, and belongs to the Morocae family. In contrast, durian belongs to the Malvacae family. Jackfruit is the largest fruit growing on a tree; it can reach about 50 kg or 110 pounds, while the largest durian can weigh 14 kg or 30 pounds. About the position of fruits on the trees, jackfruits spring on the trunk or nearby, while durians are spread disorderly along the branches.
Both jackfruit and durian have thorny rind, but jackfruit has rather bumps or pimples, than thorns, that allows to hold it in hands. Durians thorns, on the other side, are sharper and larger, and if you have decided to hold a heavy durian, get ready for a lot of blooding cuts.
Durians are banned in the most of public places, hotels and eventually at airports not for their sharp thorns, but for their pungent odor, it is really awful! Some people describe it as sweaty socks, turpentine or stinky sewer water. Jackfruit is banned in some places too, because of its strong smell, but it smells like bubble-gum with a combination of pineapple, bananas and rotten-onions.
What about the inner part and a taste? The inner part of jackfruit is chaotic, edible parts are interlaced with slimy and stringy fibers. Besides there is stinky and thickened white latex flowing from skin and core. Controversially, durians inner part is well organized; the edible part is concentrated in five hallowed cavities, and there isn’t latex, which make 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 yellow gum of Wrigley’s. Unripe durian has a chicken like flavor, which useful for vegans. On the other hand, durian has a creamy and soft texture, the flavor is something like a mix of sweet and savory, or sweet cheese.
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT COMPARISON
Before passing to the following part I would like to dwell on that there isn’t drastic difference in jackfruits and durians nutritional content. Anyway, as you can see from the charts of comparison below, durian is higher in calories, fats and carbs. Jackfruit is the winner in this part, despite the fact that durian is also higher in fiber.
From the viewpoint of minerals durian wins hands on. Durian is significantly higher in Copper, moderately higher in Zinc, Iron and Phosphorus. However jackfruit is higher in Calcium and Potassium.
In the matter of vitamins durian is medal-holder again. Jackfruit is higher in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B6. By contrast, it is worth mentioning that durian is extremely richer in Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B2, mildly richer in Vitamin B9, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin C.
There are much more studies of jackfruit health impact, than durians. Nevertheless, I have done a little review some of them.
As both of them have almost similar nutrients content, their health impact is analogous too. Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and Durian (Durio Zebethinus) have distinguish antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anti-lipidemic and anticancer properties, that is why all parts of them (stem, seeds, roots, pulp) are being studied nowadays.
According to the study (2) the extract from the heartwoods of jackfruit, containing four antibacterial compounds, exhibited strong a wide spectrum of antibacterial activities. According to other studies extracts from the leaves of jackfruit had strong antibacterial activities against foodborn pathogens (3), and multidrug-resistant bacteria causing urinary tract infection (4). The study (13) is a first report of antibacterial activity of leaves extract of durian comparable to gentamicin.
Anti-inflammatory effect of jackfruits rind, spine and skin extracts had been tested comparable to diclofenac in the study (5), and skin exhibited maximal effect. On the other hand the study (14) shows that durian pulp extract has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
According to the different studies (6, 7, 8) leaves extract of jackfruits noticeably reduces blood glucose and cholesterol level, as well as improves glucose tolerance. The study (15) shows the durian rind extract can lower blood glucose levels diabetic rats.
Antioxidant effects of jackfruit are connected with phenolic, flavanoid, carotenoid contents and Vitamin C. According to the study (9) jackfruit pulp is natural source of these compounds, as well as durian pulp (16).
It seems essential to emphasize that jackfruit has powerful anticancer features. According to the study (10) plant lectin - jacalin, extracted from the jackfruit seeds, has potential preventive activity against colorectal cancer. According to another study (11) another type of lectin - ArtinM, also extracted from jackfruit seeds, may protect against hepatocarcinogenesis – liver cancer. There is also study (12) that shows the role of ArtinM in anti-leukemia treatment. There isn’t any reliable study of durian anticancer effect yet.
As jackfruit and durian are good source of Potassium, they also reduce blood pressure.
Vitamin A containing more in jackfruit protects our eyesight preventing against cataract. It also contributes to our skin protection, healing and anti-aging effects in cooperation with Vitamin C, which is higher in durian. Durian is extra higher in Thiamine (Vitamin B1) and Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), also higher in Niacin (Vitamin B3), that ensure the right metabolism, nervous system function, and essential energy for our organism. It also higher in Folic acid (Vitamin B9), which contributes to right formation of germ cells, prevents damage of blood vessels and atherosclerotic plaque formation by decreasing homocysteine levels in blood. It also prevents anemia.
High content of fiber in Durian improves digestion and contribute to the weight lose in combination of containing healthy fats.
The most of studies mentioned above have been done on experimental animal models, and it is advisable not to blindly trust them for improving your health.
As jackfruit and durian lower blood levels of glucose, their combination with diabetes medications can lead to hypoglycemic state, so their dose might need to be moderate.
Jackfruit has also sedative effect, so avoid of it if you are going to do something which requires high concentration and attention. It is also not recommended consuming when you have already taken or are going to take a sedative medication.
What about durian side effects and interactions? Given that durian has hyperthermic effect it should not be taken with paracetamol and alcohol. According to the study (17) hyperthermic effect of durian consumption with paracetamol is not significant, but it significantly decreases blood pressure.
Since there aren’t enough studies, those recommend jackfruit and durian as a safe or useful for pregnant, it would be prudent avoid of them.
So, the aim of what has been said above is that durian and jackfruit are absolutely different fruits. Durian is higher in fiber and has low glycemic index. But jackfruit is low in terms of calories, fats and carbs, so it is the winner in macronutrients content. In mineral content durian wins especially given that Copper and Zinc. In vitamin content durian is undoubtedly winner too, especially due to extra higher Vitamin B1 and B2. Both of them are widely used by local people for different treatment proposes, and there is wide range of studies targeted to find scientific arguments of them, which can allow their further usage as a part of medications. Besides, combination of jackfruit or durian with some medications and alcohol may lead to a pretty pickle. Don’t forget about precautions before tasting them.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Sugars|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Lower in Sodium||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
Which food is preferable in case of diets?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
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All nutrients comparison - raw data values