What is jackfruit?
Jackfruit is regarded as the largest tree-borne fruit. Aside from its big size, its nutritional value makes it the richest among all fruits. Jackfruit can be consumed in various ways, it can be dried and roasted or added to soups. It is also available in the form of chips, jams, ice cream, and juices.
In most cases, jackfruit can be eaten raw while it is still fresh. The seeds of the jackfruit are also loaded with a lot of nutritional benefits. The seeds can be boiled and eaten. They are also roasted and ground into flour and can be added to curries. Jackfruit is said to be rich in vitamin B6, magnesium, and antioxidants. Aside from the fruit's amazing nutritive value, it comes with some amazing health benefits as well. Jackfruit improves the process of digestion, enhances the immune system, improves the levels of magnesium in the body, and much more.
Jackfruit grows on the trunk and branches of the jackfruit tree. The average weight of the fruit itself is approximately 10-20 pounds. The smell of the fruit is musky instead of aromatic. The jackfruit tree belongs to the mulberry family. It has originated from India and is one of the exceptional fruits when it comes to its nutritive value.
Apart from the health benefits provided by the fruit, the tree itself is known to provide rot-resistant timber for preparing furniture or any kind of musical instrument. The timber is also sturdy and of good quality. The common names of jackfruit include jaca, nangka, and jakfruit. This tree grows best in the tropical climate and the fruits reach maturity at 3-9 months from flowering time.
Nutritional Value of Jackfruit
Jackfruit is considered as a sweet and delicious fruit, which is rich in various nutrients and health benefits. It is considered as the "jack-of-all-fruits". Jackfruit is a power packed source of various minerals, vitamins, fiber, fat, phytonutrients, electrolytes, protein, and carbohydrates. Jackfruit contains calories, but it does not have saturated fats or cholesterol.
One cup of raw and fresh jackfruit is considered to contain the following nutrition values:
- 2.5 g protein
- 155 calories
- 0.5 g fat
- 11 mg of vitamin C
- 0.3 mg copper
- 40 g carbohydrates
- 2.5 g fiber
- 500 mg potassium
- 0.3 mg manganese
- 61 mg magnesium
- 491 IU of vitamin A
- 23 micrograms folic acid
- 56 mg calcium
- 59 mg phosphorus
- 0.2 mg riboflavin
Health Benefits of Jackfruit
1. Boosts the level of magnesium in the body
Magnesium is considered to be one of the vital minerals for bone structure. The elderly and women are the ones who suffer from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency is commonly seen in African-Americans. A cup of jackfruit contains around 15 percent of the daily recommended value of magnesium, thereby making it a good option to be added to the diet. Magnesium in the body is helpful for a number of reasons as it reduces the risk of certain medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It also improves bone strength.
2. Strengthens the immune system and can help fight cancer
Jackfruit is said to contain vitamin C, wherein it has many other antioxidants as well as phytonutrients, which would include saponins, lignans, and isoflavones. These compounds help fight cancer. On a daily basis, there are free radicals that can damage the body. Hence, the body has to be prepared to fight against them.
The antioxidants found in jackfruit can help boost the immune system leading to the damage of free radicals. In one study, it has been suggested that the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods can neutralize the damaging free radicals. Thus, antioxidants fight against cancer-causing cells and also supporting the immune system in various ways.
According to research, vitamin C increases the activity of one particular antioxidant enzyme, which is very important and helps prevent the development of breast cancer.
3. Aids in digestion
Jackfruit can be considered as a great choice for individuals who are suffering from constipation or certain issues linked with digestion, especially the seeds of the jackfruit. Its seeds are known to contain a very good amount of dietary fiber.
A good amount of dietary fiber in our body would help in the process of digestion, thereby reducing the issues related to constipation. However, one of the effects would be that too much of it can lead to making you feel full, thus contributing to weight loss.
4. Helps regulate blood pressure
Jackfruit contains high levels of potassium, which helps in the reduction and control of blood pressure. A normalized blood pressure level can reduce the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, and other heart problems.
5. Beneficial for the skin
Jackfruit is known to fight against signs of aging such as wrinkles. To reduce the signs of aging, dip the seed of jackfruit in cold milk for a minute. Once done, grind it properly and gently apply it on the wrinkles of your face. In a span of six weeks, you can start seeing the results. For best results, it is advisable to use it on a regular basis.
Jackfruit seeds can also be directly consumed in various ways to keep constipation at bay. The seeds can also help in the detoxification of the system to provide a glowing skin. Who would not want a flawless skin? However, the health of your skin is dependent on your diet. Jackfruit seeds are usually recommended to achieve a flawless-looking skin.
To use jackfruit on your skin, soak some dry seeds of jackfruit in milk and honey. Grind the mixture and make it into a fine paste. Apply it on your face and let it dry. Leave it for a few minutes before washing your face. Moreover, the antioxidants present in jackfruit help destroy free radicals, which cause premature aging.
6. Prevents the risk of heart problems
Jackfruit is a good source of vitamin B6. This vitamin is said to fall under the same category as vitamin B12 and folic acid, which helps lower the risk of developing heart diseases. Such conditions are known to occur due to low homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid and one of the major building blocks of protein in the body.
7. Provides better quality of sleep
Certain sleeping disorders such as insomnia can be remedied with the help of jackfruit. Magnesium and iron are known to assist in the improvement of the overall quality of sleep. Anemia is considered as one of the major causes of insomnia. The magnesium content of jackfruit can prevent anemia in an individual.
8. Helps in losing weight
Obesity is an invitation to a number of medical conditions. For people fighting obesity, jackfruit is considered as one of the fruits that are quite safe to consume and is loaded with various nutrients. This fruit is free from fat and also has a low-calorie content.
9. Good for the eyes and diabetes
Jackfruit tastes sweet but is considered safe to consume by individuals with diabetes since it helps in the slow absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Jackfruit increases glucose tolerance for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is also one of the good fruits to consume for a healthy eyesight. It is rich in vitamin A, which helps enhance eye vision. The regular intake of jackfruit helps in the prevention of macular degeneration and cataract formation.
10. Prevents bone weakening
Jackfruit contains magnesium, which helps in bone strengthening. At the same time, it contains calcium, which is also known to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and in some cases, osteopenia, which is regarded as the initial stage of osteoporosis. Our body comprises of 99 percent of calcium, but during the growth process, our body tends to lose this important mineral through our nails, sweat, and skin on a daily basis.
However, problems arise when our body cannot produce calcium on its own. This would leave us with the only option of consuming foods that are rich in calcium. However, when there is an insufficient amount of calcium coming from the diet, the body starts to reach out to the bones for its calcium needs. This condition is termed as the onset of osteoporosis or osteopenia. One serving of jackfruit would contain about 6-7 percent of the daily recommended dose of calcium, thereby making it a good way to keep osteoporosis at bay.
11. Heals ulcers
When it comes to ulcers, various medications are available over-the-counter and through prescription. However, they all have other side effects to the body. Jackfruit acts as a natural treatment method for curing ulcer disease due to its antiseptic, anti-ulcerative, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
12. Strengthens the nervous system
Weakness in the muscles, fatigue, and depression can all be treated with the regular consumption of jackfruit. Everyone should include this fruit in their daily diet due to its richness in vitamins such as niacin and thiamine. It is also considered as an energy booster.
13. Prevents anemia
Jackfruit is a rich source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, E, K, C, B6, B3, pantothenic acid, folate, manganese, copper, and magnesium. These nutrients are essential for a smooth blood formation process. It also helps increase the capacity of the body to absorb iron, thereby leading to the prevention and treatment of anemia.
14. Maintains a healthy thyroid
One of the vital minerals for your thyroid is copper. It is significantly important for the production and absorption of hormones in the body. The jackfruit is enriched with this micromineral, which helps maintain a healthy metabolic rate in the body.
15. Promotes hair growth
The seeds of jackfruit are especially beneficial for a healthy blood circulation in the body. Having a healthy blood circulation also means good hair growth. Aside from the growth of hair, it also promotes hair volume and reducing the instances of hair fall.
Side Effects of Jackfruit
There is no major cause for concern with jackfruit consumption. However, it is best for pregnant women and those who breastfeed to consume it with caution. It is also recommended to consult a doctor before its consumption. Individuals who are allergic to birch pollen may also experience allergic reactions after eating jackfruit.
Jackfruit is also known to reduce blood sugar levels. For this reason, people with diabetes should ideally check with the doctor before the consumption of jackfruit. For those who are on certain medications and also consuming jackfruit, they may potentially experience drowsiness. In such cases, it is best not to consume jackfruit when taking medications and also before any type of surgery.