The jackfruit is a huge, exotic fruit which thrives abundantly in tropical countries such as Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam; although it may have originated in South India. The jackfruit is considered as the largest fruit, potentially weighing as much as 35 kilograms and grows as long as 35 inches. Its scientific name is Artocarpus heterophyllus. The jackfruit is a close relative to the Breadfruit. It belongs to the genus Moraceae. Jackfruits vary in shape, but usually they are oblong. Like its brother breadfruit, it has short rough protrusions, and usually turn from green to yellow green when ripe and gives off a distinct sweet smell.
The jackfruit is extremely versatile as a food. It can be consumed on its own or be incorporated in various dishes. The jackfruit provides a meaty texture which makes it an ideal meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians. The jackfruit’s flesh looks similar to pulled pork, especially when cooked. A growing number of people from the West are now choosing jackfruits over the usual sweet fruits because of its plethora of nutrients and health benefits.
Nutritional Facts of Jackfruit (per 100g) RDA
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
Vitamin A 5μg 1%
Thiamine 0.105mg 9%
Riboflavin 0.055mg 5%
Niacin 0.92mg 6%
Pantothenic acid 0.235mg 5%
Vitamin B6 0.329mg 25%
Folate 24μg 6%
Vitamin C 13.8mg 17%
Vitamin E 0.34mg 2%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 0.23mg 2%
Magnesium 29mg 8%
Phosphorus 21mg 3%
Potassium 448mg 10%
Zinc 0.13 mg 1%
11 Amazing Health Benefits and Uses of Jackfruit
1. Boosts Immune System
Jackfruit contains a wealth of antioxidants. Your body needs antioxidants to fight off the early signs of aging and strengthen your defense against common infections and diseases such as runny rose, cold, and flu. Jackfruit is an excellent source of the natural antioxidant vitamin C. Antioxidants are crucial in fighting free radicals that damage cells. Eliminating free radicals from your body ensures that the body functions as it should, and is not subject to the effects of premature and accelerated damage. Vitamin C is water soluble and is not produced in your body, making it absolutely necessary that you must consume it via diet, and foods such as the jackfruit.
2. Jackfruit Improves Energy Levels
Jackfruit is an ideal energy booster particularly for those who are weight conscious. The said fruit has a substantial amount of carbohydrates which can give you a quick energy boost without the fat. It contains sucrose and fructose that can be digested easily by the body. Persons with diabetes can enjoy eating jackfruit without having to worry about hyperglycemia. The sugar in this fruit is under the category called SAG (Slowly Available Glucose) which has the characteristic of releasing glucose in a slow pulsatile manner; hence, reducing the glycemic index of the fruit.
3. Beneficial for the Cardiovascular System
Potassium is among the top key nutrients that promotes overall cardiovascular health. It serves a variety of functions in the body, but as it related to the heart, Potassium deficiency can upset natural heart contractility and blood vessel flexibility. Your body needs potassium to maintain normal blood pressure. Potassium help maintain proper muscle function and coordination, and that includes the heart — the muscular organ that pumps blood. In addition, potassium regulates sodium and balances electrolytes. All these roles are significant in maintaining good heart health. Jackfruit can provide about 10% of your daily requirement of potassium, which surprisingly many people are still deficient in.
4. Increases Red Blood Cell Count and Prevents Anemia
Jackfruit contains iron to fight RBC deficiency. Its high vitamin C content increases the iron absorption in the body, since The body’s potential to absorb iron is restricted in the absence of this vitamin.in addition, Jackfruit also has copper and magnesium, both important minerals that assist in the blood building process.
5. Improves Digestion
It is high in dietary fiber. High fiber content improves digestion and prevents constipation. Its ability to prevent constipation also helps in prevention of hemorrhoids. Additionally, jackfruit makes for an effective bulk laxative softening your stool by adding significant bulk, so you can eliminate fecal waste efficiently.
6. Prevents Colon Cancer
It contains two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. The insoluble fiber goes through your gastrointestinal tract and adds bulk to your stools so you can easily excrete stool. This fiber also reduces the time waste spends in contact with the colon walls, reducing the likelihood of cells experiencing untoward changes or adverse effects.
7. Protects Eyes
Jackfruit contains vitamin A, and some carotenoid anti-oxidants which are essential to the good health of your eyes. Lutein is amongst these carotenoid anti-oxidants, which have a way of buffering the amount of light that enters the eye, and helps preserve the integrity of the retina and optic nerve. Vitamin A and its related compounds also helps reinforce the mucus membrane on the cornea, which acts as a natural barrier against bacteria we may come into contact with. Finally, consuming jackfruit (along with other sources of Vitamin A) will in the long term help to slow age related macular degeneration and protect your vision for years to come.
8. Reduces Asthma Symptoms
Asthma is a respiratory problem affecting a great number of people ranging in age from children to adults. Asthma has no known cure, but its symptoms can be managed. Air pollution and air debris can instantly trigger asthma, especially when you have a weak immune system. Inhaling the steam of boiled jackfruit can help alleviate symptoms of asthma, possibly through release of heat labile bioflavonoids.
9. Has Anti-aging Properties
Aging is inevitable, but the process can be slowed down. An unhealthy lifestyle, pollution, and exposure to harmful UV rays hastens aging. Starting an antioxidant rich diet including jackfruit can forestall the effects of aging as antioxidants stabilize and destroy free radicals. Jackfruit also has high water content, helping keep you hydrated and your skin moisturized. Water reduces dryness; making your skin feel more supple and visually radiant.
10. Promotes Bone Health
People with lactose intolerance can eat jackfruit to keep their bones strong and healthy. Jackfruit has high amounts of calcium. Calcium increases bone density, making it less likely to fracture or experience osteoporotic complications. Jackfruit is also abundant in potassium. Potassium minimizes the loss of calcium through the kidney. With potassium and calcium hand in hand, you can prevent rickets, osteoporosis, and other bone diseases.
11. Increases Sperm Count
The seeds of the jackfruit are edible. It can be toasted or added to various foods. The seeds are rich in protein, potassium, calcium, and iron. Regular consumption of ripe jackfruit seeds can help premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and boost your libido. It also improves the quality of semen and increases sperm count. Even traditional Chinese medicine used jackfruit to treat such issues with fair success.
Jackfruit is an excellent fruit. It is enriched with vitamins and minerals beneficial to the proper functioning of the body. Regular consumption of this fruit helps you manage symptoms of certain diseases, e.g. asthma; shields your body from common infections, e.g. influenza; and treats existing health issues. The jackfruit possesses culinary versatility and is suitable for diverse circles. Diabetics, weight conscious individuals, vegans, vegetarians, adults, and children can all enjoy this food. Jackfruit can even be hailed as the latest ‘miracle fruit’.