Jackfruit comes from mulberry family. It has thorny projections outside and soft flesh
inside which is intensely sweet and delicious in taste. It is typically found in South East Asia and finds its origins in India. Thailand and Vietnam are the largest producers and exporters of this fruit. Jackfruit is found in many varieties across countries and continents and is classified based on the softness of its flesh.
Jackfruit’s flesh is very high in fiber content. The taste and texture makes it a great fruit for jams, chutneys, candies, cakes and other sweet preparations. Unripe raw jackfruit is used in savory dishes and is cooked in gravies and spicy curries. The texture of unripe jackfruit is like mutton and so is its taste when cooked in spices which makes it popular amongst vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. The seeds of Jackfruit are also eaten in boiled form as a snack in some countries.
It is a healthy fruit with almost no fats but high energy. The taste and preparations make it a delectable fruit which is not too hard to include in the diet. Unfortunately many countries get only canned jackfruit stored in sugar syrup or brine which is not as healthy as out-of-tree fruit. But this fact should not keep you from eating and enjoying this gorgeous fruit even if it is out of the can.
Scientific name: Artocarpus heterophyllus
Nutritional Value of Jackfruit
It contains high amount of nutrient like vitamin, minerals, electrolytes, phytonutrients, carbohydrate, fiber, fat and protein. Jackfruit is a good source of calorie but contains no cholesterol or saturated fats. The nutrition chart below gives detailed picture of Jackfruit’s nutrient count.
|Dietary Fibre||1.5 gms|
|Vitamin A||5 ug|
|Beta Carotene||61 ug|
|Lutein Zeaxanthin||157 ug|
|Vitamin B1||0.105 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.055 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.92 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.235 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.329 mg|
|Vitamin B9||24 ug|
|Vitamin C||13.8 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.34 mg|
Jackfruit is rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B5 content in Jackfruit fulfills about 25% of our daily requirement. Apart from Vitamin B5 Jackfruit is also a rich source of Vitamin C, Magnesium and Potassium. The fat content of Jackfruit is very low at just about 0.64 grams. Though water is not a nutrient but it is pertinent to mention that Jackfruit is made up 80% of water.
Health Benefits of Jackfruit
Jackfruit contains high amount of carbohydrate and calorie that provides energy instantly. It is rich in antioxidants which protect from cancer, ageing and degenerative disease. Due to rich antioxidants it is good for eye sight and protect from conditions like cataract and macular degeneration. It is a good source of potassium which maintains fluid and electrolyte level in balance. Also it improves bone and skin health.
1. Optimizes Immune function
Anti-oxidants are required by the body for scavenging free radicals. These are produced when oxygen reacts with certain molecules and kick starts a chain reaction which damages cell membranes and even DNA.
These free radicals have been associated with natural processes like ageing, skin wrinkling, increased vulnerability to infections and diseases and more serious conditions like cancer and tumors. Vitamin C is a natural anti-oxidant but since it is water soluble and is not found in our bodies, you need to consume it through dietary sources.
Jackfruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C with a high content of 13.8 mg per 100 grams. Studies have shown that Vitamin C is a better anti-oxidant than compounds like Meth anol and Ethanol. This makes vitamin C very effective against the free radicals in the body. The purification of our body by ridding it of free radicals increases immune system function. It increases immunity to protect against common diseases like cough, cold and flu. It has also been found to form a strong resistance against infections.
Wrap up: Jackfruit is a high grade anti-oxidant owing to dense concentration of vitamin C. It strengthens immune function and protects from could, cold, flu, infections and critical conditions like Cancer and tumors.
2. High Energy Source
If you are looking at quick energy boost than very few fruits come close to Jackfruit. Jackfruit contains high amount of carbohydrate and calorie but hardly any companion fat. It contains a healthy amount of simple sugar like fructose and sucrose that are easily digested by our bodies. The sugar in Jackfruit is not only easy to digest but also comes from a category called “Slowly Available glucose” or SAG. This releases the glucose in our body in a restrained manner and therefore reduces the glycemic index of Jackfruit.
In simple words, diabetic people suffering from high sugar levels and sugar spikes can enjoy this deliciously sweet fruit without worrying about the glucose levels. However, if Jackfruit is regular part of your diet than make sure you add some physical activity to your routine to aid the digestion.
Wrap Up: Jackfruit is a powerhouse of energy. It can lend a quick boost of energy without disturbing the sugar levels in the body significantly.
3. Maintains Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular health
Potassium is one of the most important components that regulate blood pressure. Our body needs about 4700 milligrams of Potassium in a day. Optimum balance of potassium is key to controlling the right amount of sodium in our body. Potassium deficiency can make your sodium levels spiral out of control leading to substantial damage to heart and the arteries. Apart from this functionality, potassium is responsible for coordinating and maintaining muscle function which includes heart muscles as well.
Jackfruit contains good amount of potassium which is about 10% of our daily requirement. The ideal levels of potassium is required to maintain fluid level i.e. to balance electrolyte also. All these different functions of potassium helps in maintaining ideal blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Wrap Up: Potassium controls sodium, maintains the electrolyte balance along with regulating muscle function. All these roles make potassium a very healthy food for arresting high blood pressure and maintaining health of your heart.
4. Improves Digestion
When you open up a Jackfruit and take a look at its flesh, it clearly shows a lot of soft fiber. This fiber is not just for show but actually does convert itself into important and significant amount of roughage. Jackfruit has 1.5 grams of roughage per 100 grams of serving which is considered excellent. Dietary fiber makes for a laxative which adds bulk to your stools and soften them up. Both of these factors make it easy for your body to push them through the Anal passage. Thus it improves digestion and prevents constipation.
Jackfruit contains both Soluble and insoluble fiber with soluble content of 25% of the total fiber. Soluble fiber is the one which is digested in our body and provides energy whereas insoluble just passes through the Gastrointestinal tract. The insoluble fiber actually adds bulk to stools and make for an expeditious exit. It keeps the tracts clean and reduce a build up in the intestines.
Wrap Up: The high fiber content in Jackfruit aids healthy digestion and an effective excretion which keeps the gastrointestinal tract clean and healthy.
5. Colon Cancer and Piles
Colon cancer is caused when there is damage to colon at cellular level and these altered cells continue to divide rapidly even when there is no requirement of new cells. Eventually they destroy the normal cells and also tend to travel to other parts of the body through blood stream. Colon cancer appears in its early stages as polyps in the colon lining and take a full blown cancerous form as it progresses.
Fruits like Jackfruit that are high on anti-oxidants help to clean toxins from the colon, keeping it in a good and healthy shape. Though it does not treat the cancer itself but can definitely help in reducing the risk of developing this condition.
It also helps in alleviating and preventing piles. Piles are Hemorrhoids in the anal area and are basically made of swollen blood vessels. It is a very painful condition and critical cases experience bleeding and excruciating pain while passing stools. One of the main causes of Piles is Chronic Constipation. Jackfruit prevents constipation due to its high fiber content and can help alleviating the symptoms.
Wrap Up: Jackfruit contains dietary fiber that reduces the effects of toxin in the colon and protect from colon cancer. Additionally its constipation preventing properties prevent piles.
6. Vitamin A for Vision
Jackfruit contains Vitamin A and its equivalent in form of Beta Carotene and Lutein Zeaxanthin. Beta Carotene gets synthesized and converts itself into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an important nutrient for eye health. It is an anti-oxidant that improves the vision and protects the eye from free radicals.It is also known to protect eyes from bacterial and viral infections by strengthening the mucous membranes that create a film on the cornea .
Lutein Zeaxanthin in Jackfruit is also known for its anti-oxidant properties that serve your eye sight effectively and impressively. It protects the eyes from intense and harmful light waves like ultraviolet rays. This component is also considered monumental in improving your eye sight in dim lit and low light arenas. It is highly effective in preventing degeneration of the retina and reduce the risk of cataract and macular degeneration.
Wrap Up: Jackfruit is a rich source Vitamin A and its equivalents that protect eyes from infections, improve eye sight and prevent vision related medical problems .
7. Skin Health and Ageing:
Ageing is caused due to natural factors like increase in age. But due to pollution, UV radiations and unhealthy lifestyle ageing is knocking at an early age and is progressing faster than natural. The main causes of ageing are free radical produced in our body due to high oxidative stress caused due to pollution. Antioxidant rich diet including fruits like Jackfruit have proven to destroy these free radicals to slow the ageing process.
Eating Jackfruit also keeps skin moisturized and well hydrated due to high level of water content in it. Water reduces dryness and lend a supple appearance to your facial skin. This further reduces the light wrinkles and fine lines on skin making it look younger and glowing.
Wrap Up: The anti-oxidant properties and high water content of Jackfruit keeps skin healthy, moisturized and reduces the wrinkles and dryness retaining the youthful texture of the skin.
With an increase in pollution and weakened immunity, number of asthma cases being reported are increasing every year. Jackfruit has been proved beneficial to asthma patients. Asthma shows symptoms like extreme difficulty in breathing, wheezing and accompanying panic attacks. It is a chronic condition and does not really have a cure but needs to be managed with medicines and hypoallergenic diet.
Jackfruit and its extracts are now being explored to treat asthma and controlling its symptoms. Boiling the root of Jackfruit and consuming it is known to alleviate the symptoms of asthma.
Wrap Up: The Jackfruit root has been found to be an effective remedy for asthma symptoms.
9. Bone Health
Jackfruit contains high amount of calcium which strengthens and promotes healthy bone health. Other bone related illnesses like Arthritis, Osteoporosis can also be managed and prevented with regular seasonal consumption of Jackfruit. High potassium in Jackfruit further decreases the loss of calcium through kidney thereby increasing calcium density in bone and strengthening it.
Wrap Up: Jackfruit maintains good bone health with high calcium content and increases its density by reducing the calcium loss owing to healthy potassium content.
Anemia is a condition which is defined by reduction of red blood cells (RBC) or Hemoglobin in blood below the acceptable minimum levels. This leads slow transportation of oxygen in the body leading to bouts of lethargy, constant tiredness, pale complexion and in some cases blacking out.
Jackfruit contains iron which can combat the deficiency of RBCs in the blood. The vitamin C content further enables an effective absorption of iron in the body. It is said that all iron that you get from dietary sources can pass right through your body without being absorbed if there is no Vitamin C in the body. Other minerals like copper and magnesium in Jackfruit improve the quality of blood.
Wrap Up: Jackfruit alleviates anemia by adding iron and increasing the iron absorption with Vitamin C in the body. Other minerals in it improve the quality of blood.
Amazing facts about Jackfruit
Jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world which can weight from a mere 3 kilograms to 36 Kilograms! A full mature jackfruit can have a length of 36 inches and width that extends to 20 inches.
The wood of Jackfruit is used in making musical instruments, furniture and even in house construction. the distinct color of Monks’ robes in South East Asia comes from the dye of this wood.
Jackfruit is also known to grow from the underground roots in some rare cases! In such situations the fruit actually cracks the ground over it and emerges outside.
Jackfruit is a wonderful fruit with wonderful health benefits. Its juicy sweet taste becomes even better when you know about the health benefits that you are going to derive from it.