Durian Fruit for Pregnancy: Is It Safe, Health Benefits & Risks

Consuming Durian Fruit in Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Mukhija (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Pregnant mothers are expected to be careful about their dietary intake at all times. Sometimes mothers are ridden with frequent bouts of nausea whereas, at other times, they fall prey to food cravings. Durian is one such fruit which many expecting mothers long to dig into. Do you also like durian? Are you unsure whether it is safe during pregnancy or not?

What Is Durian Fruit?

Durian fruit is a tropical fruit found abundantly in South East Asia. This exotic fruit is large in size and has a husk covered with spikes. In complete contrast, its soft and tender flesh is succulent to eat. It is characterised by a strong odour that not many can tolerate. It is, interestingly, adored as the ‘King of fruits’. While some pregnant women love durian for its juicy deliciousness, others are revolted by its pungent smell.

Is Eating Durian Safe During Pregnancy?

Since durian is a highly nutritious fruit, there has always been a great deal of speculation as to whether it can be consumed during pregnancy. In some Asian countries, durian is taboo for pregnant women as it is believed to create heat in the body and, therefore, can adversely affect the unborn baby. However, there is no such scientific evidence to suggest that.

So, can pregnant women eat durian? Yes! Durians can be beneficial for expectant mothers as they contain vitamins and minerals and also, organo-sulphur and tryptophan which have anti-oxidant effects. Its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties make it a safe bet for women during pregnancy. However, you must exercise caution as over-indulgence of durians may have harmful effects too. Consult your doctor before you consume durian, particularly if you are eating it for the first time.

Health Benefits of Durian Fruit in Pregnancy

The durian fruit has many nutrients that are essential for our body. It has antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties and, hence, can prove beneficial to pregnant women. Here is a list of the health benefits of durian during pregnancy:

1. Rich in Dietary Fibre

Many pregnant women often suffer from constipation due to hormonal changes in the body. Durian acts as a natural laxative and helps in the removal of harmful chemicals from the gut. It also keeps the mucous membrane protected as the fibre content reduces the exposure time to toxins.

2. Good Source of Folate

Durian is rich in folic acid and can help prevent birth defects in newborns. You can gain 9% of the daily requirement for folic acid from 100 gms of durian.

3. Rich in Vitamin B

Durian is rich in vitamins like riboflavin, niacin and thiamine. It is beneficial for the overall health of pregnant women.

4. Rich in Antioxidants

Durian contains zinc, tryptophan and organo-sulphur which have antioxidant effects. They protect the mother and the foetus from attack by pollutants and free radicals.

5. Rich in Vitamin C

Vitamin C not only helps the immune system, but it also helps the expectant mother and the unborn foetus in the absorption of calcium and iron.

6. Packed With Minerals

Durian is rich in minerals like iron, copper, manganese and magnesium which makes it especially beneficial for pregnant women who require increased blood supply for the growth of the foetus.

7. Prevents Acidity

It can help prevent acidity, as it has an antacid action due to its high water content.

8. Fights Depression

It may also help in fighting depression during pregnancy and also after delivery.

Why Is Less Consumption of Durian Insisted for Pregnant Women?

Although durian is loaded with nutrients, it is also a high-glycemic food that contains large amounts of sugar and carbohydrates. Two medium-sized seeds of a durian fruit can give you 60 calories. So, over-eating of durian may lead to sudden spikes in blood glucose and may also increase the weight of the foetus. This would prove to be a hindrance to a natural delivery. It may also be a major cause of childhood obesity.

Who Should Avoid Durian Fruit When Pregnant?

The high sugar and carbohydrate content in durian may prove to be harmful to some expectant mothers. Durian fruit is best avoided by:

  • Pregnant women with gestational diabetes
  • Pregnant women with a preceding history of gestational diabetes
  • Pregnant women with a family history of diabetes
  • Pregnant women who are obese
  • Pregnant women who have been strictly advised against any extra weight-gain other than what has been recommended
  • Pregnant women in their third trimester

Now, if you are wondering how to eat durian fruit during pregnancy, then moderation is the key to a healthy pregnancy and smooth delivery. Also, it may be wise to consult your doctor before consuming it.

In conclusion, the durian fruit is safe for pregnant women and helps in the overall growth and well-being during pregnancy. You can satisfy your craving for durian but keep a watchful eye on the intake. Always consult and follow your doctor’s advice to avoid any unnecessary complications.

Also Read: Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy

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