Category Archives: Jackfruit

Jackfruit: Health Benefits and Nutrition

The jackfruit is a fruit native to the thick tropical jungles of southern Asia, in the Bangladesh and Sri Lanka region. It has a prickly, light green exterior, which can be sliced open to reveal a thick yellow fruit. It is delicious and sweet when ripe, and is served up as a sweetmeat in many Asian countries. However, the jackfruit not only provides a tasty snack, it also can do wonders for the human body.

jackfruit

This fruit, not to be confused with breadfruit, provides wondrous boosts for your body.

First off, jackfruit has a multitude of the essential vitamins and minerals that are needed to keep the human body in prime condition. It contains high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, and many others. These vitamins and minerals can improve the health of your bones, blood, digestive system, and immune system, and after eating a few servings of delicious jackfruit, you will start feeling the effects already.

One of jackfruit’s main benefits to the human body is improving the body’s ability to fight disease by strengthening the immune system. With its extraordinarily high concentration of vitamin C, it can provide a boost for your immune system and your white blood cells, which fight against bacteria, viruses, and other harmful pathogens that may enter your body. But the nutrients of the jackfruit are also useful against deadlier opponents—studies have shown that a sustained intake of jackfruit will increase the body’s ability to fight against cancer, through high levels of antioxidants which fight free radicals, harmful compounds which can cause cancerous growths

Apart from the boost to your immune system, the jackfruit also contains healthy amounts of fiber, which aid in healthy digestion and bowel movements. Vitamins in the fruit can also help rebuild and revitalize aging and sagging skin, most notably the soft skin surrounding the eyes. These essential vitamins, especially vitamin A, can reverse signs of aging in the face and the vision, such as night blindness and other degenerative diseases. Simple sugars present in the fruit, like fructose and sucrose, can also help give the recipient a boost of extra energy for the day; combined with the healthiness of the dietary fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants, the jackfruit is an extremely delicious fruit which can work wonders for your body and your appearance.

Jackfruit: Various Health Benefits

A few months ago I made a post introducing you all to the jackfruit, a truly unique exotic fruit.  In this article, I’m going to devote the entire post to the health benefits that the jackfruit provides after doing some extensive research on the subject.  As an exotic fruit enthusiast, even I was surprised at the wide range of beneficial health benefits that this exotic fruit provides.  Let’s get started!  If you are interested in reading an introduction to the jackfruit first, see my earlier post here.

Though you may not always be able to get fresh jackfruit in your local supermarket, jackfruit is a very excellent fruit to look for at your local Asian market or farmers’ market due to the extensive and wide array of health benefits it provides.

Cancer fighting properties

One very important health benefit that the jackfruit provides is that it has been scientifically proven to help protect you against developing cancer.  This is because the jackfruit, like a few other exotic fruits, is very rich in phytonutrients, including isoflavones, saponins, and lignans.  These phytonutrients can help prevent cancer as well as having anti-aging properties.

Healthy digestion

Even more, the jackfruit helps fight a very common problem: digestion.  Various components of the jackfruit contain different properties which work together to aid in healthy digestion.  For example, research has shown that jackfruit helps with preventing ulcers.  Even more, jackfruit has very high fiber content – this helps in preventing constipation and helps with digestion as well.

Building a strong immune system

With dangerous pathogens all around us, having a good, health, and strong immune system is very important.  The jackfruit also helps with just that: it’s got an excellent source of vitamin C rivalling citrus fruits.  Vitamin C helps maintain a healthy and strong immune system by supporting white blood cells.

Other health benefits

Research on this exotic fruit has also shown that it is quite useful in helping with hypertension (high blood pressure) problems, helping with asthma, strengthening bones due to its great source of magnesium, as well as boosting energy.

All in all, the jackfruit presents a plethora of great health benefits.  And – don’t forget: it makes for a very tasty, low-calorie, and nutritious snack too!

Further reading

  1. The Exotic Jackfruit Growing the World’s Largest Fruit
  2. Top 100 Exotic Food Plants

The Jackfruit: An Exotic Fruit

The jackfruit is yet another very interesting exotic fruit, and like others, it’s also native to South and Southeast Asia.  In fact, the jackfruit is so popular in some parts of Asia that it is actually the national fruit of Bangladesh!

The jackfruit has an interesting history of cultivation.  It is believed by scientists to have first originated in the southwestern region of India, growing in dense and humid rainforests.  Jackfruits have long been part of Indian culture and agriculture; scientists have found that the jackfruit was grown in India as early as 6000 years ago!  Now, the jackfruit is grown all over Asia and other tropical areas, including India, Thailand, Indonesia, East Africa, and even Brazil!

Fun fact:  did you know that the jackfruit is actually the largest fruit that grows on trees?  Jackfruits can grow to over 80 pounds, or 36 kilograms.

No more history and facts – let’s go on to the delicious taste of the jackfruit, as well as the great health benefits the jackfruit provides.  The jackfruit tastes pretty similar to a tart banana, but the texture of its flesh varies depending on what variety you are eating.  Usually, the jackfruit has starchy and fibrous flesh, which is an amazing source of dietary fiber.

Interestingly enough, the jackfruit can be eaten both when it’s young and unripe and when it is ripe.  However, when eaten young and unripe, it must be cooked.

Jackfruit is used very often in Asian cuisine, whether Indian or Southeast Asian.  The seeds of jackfruit can be boiled or baked, similar to how we eat beans.  In fact, you could say that no part of the jackfruit goes unused:  the leaves of the jackfruit plant can be used to wrap steamed idlis.

Jackfruit is used in a wide variety of dishes, both hot and cold.  It can be served together with cooked coconut milk in the Philippines when eaten young and unripe.  When ripe, the jackfruit is deliciously sweet and is used in Asia to make custards, cakes, and sometimes even fried to make jackfruit chips.

Jackfruit provides numerous health benefits, and not only basic vitamins and minerals.  For one, the fibrous flesh provides an excellent source of dietary fiber, which many people do not get enough of daily.  In addition to a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals, jackfruit may also improve bodily systems and prevent diseases, including heart disease.

Further reading

  1. The Exotic Jackfruit Growing the World’s Largest Fruit
  2. The Great Exotic Fruit Book: A Handbook with Recipes