As if it is a tree of magic, every part of the jackfruit tree has amazing health benefits. The bark, roots, seeds, flowers and even pulp of the jackfruit have their own magical powers. Every stage of growth of a jackfruit plant will return immense benefits to those who are willing to utilize this fantastic source of nourishment.
What is a jackfruit?
Do you know that jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world? Jackfruit comes from Asian tropics and is a part of the Moraceae family. You will commonly find this fruit in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and also in parts of Brazil. The average weight of jackfruit ranges from 3.5 kg to a whopping 10kgs! The fruit tastes sweet and has a unique smell that you can catch from afar.
Both ripe and unripe varieties of this fruit, as well as the seeds, are used in a range of dishes. Ripe varieties taste sweet when eaten raw, with a flavor comparable to pineapple and mango. Unripe varieties offer a neutral flavor and offer a blank base to absorb the sauces and spices a person puts onto it. You’ll also find young jackfruit being consumed as a meat alternative because of its capability to absorb flavors.
Nutritional qualities of jackfruit
Jackfruit is an exceptionally healthy food item that must be a part of your diet. Following nutrients make jackfruit a top contender for the healthiest fruits in the world:
- Vitamins A, C, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and folic acid
- Jackfruit is one of the few plants rich in B-complex vitamins
- It contains anti-cancer, anti-ulcer and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients
- It has minerals, fiber and is free of fats
- Antibacterial and antiviral properties
- 100 g of jackfruit have only 94 calories
Benefits of jackfruit
Here are some great health benefits of jackfruit that will convince you to add this fruit to your daily diet:
The high amount of vitamin C and antioxidants in jackfruit help build your immunity levels. Antioxidant-rich foods make our bodies stronger while fighting an infection, so make sure you add jackfruit to your diet for a healthy response system.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Potassium in right quantities within the body helps regulate sodium in our body. Without this, our arteries may become damaged and flow of sodium can become unregulated. Jackfruit is loaded with potassium that can maintain muscle function as well as strengthen the muscles of the heart. Your overall cardiovascular health will get a nice boost by consuming jackfruit. Jackfruit also has a lot of iron in it that helps fight anemia. Iron also builds our metabolism and helps improve the quality of our blood.
Helps in Digestion
Jackfruit contains both soluble and insoluble fibers. Healthy fibers contribute to a healthy digestive system in your body, and jackfruit can help you improve your body’s digestive system. The soluble fibers in jackfruit can be quickly digested by our body and insoluble fibers add bulkiness to our stool and regulate healthy bowel movement.
Vitamin A (beta carotene) in jackfruit gives nutrition to our eyes, thus improving vision. Your eyes will be protected against infection and bacteria by consuming jackfruit. Jackfruit also saves your eyes from harmful UV rays and free radicals. People with eyesight problems should start eating jackfruit regularly. You will notice an improvement in your overall vision. Jackfruit also saves your eyes from retinal degeneration and cataract.
Free radicals are the top reason behind aging. They are produced in the body by pollution and oxidative stress. Antioxidants in jackfruit save us from these free radicals and stop the worrying signs of aging. The process of aging slows down with jackfruit or any antioxidants.
Builds Strong Bones
Jackfruit is an excellent source of calcium, a key ingredient of healthy bones. Potassium in jackfruit also reduces the loss of calcium in the body through kidneys. Bone-related diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis can be avoided by adding jackfruit to your diet. Pregnant women must include jackfruit in their diet because it is a wholesome fruit.
Boosts Nervous System
Consuming jackfruit daily can also help fight stress, fatigue, and muscle weakness. That’s because the fruit provides a healthy dose of vitamins like niacin and thiamine. In fact, you can get as much as 4 mg of niacin by consuming 100 grams of jackfruit. Additionally, it is the perfect source of energy with good amounts of vitamin C and magnesium.
Meal ideas with jackfruit
If you have never tried jackfruit, you must look for it in a nearby store. It tastes best when fresh but other parts of the plant like seeds or bark can be bought in packaged and stored form. Also, it can be used in a variety of recipes. Below are just a few recipes you can try.
- Jackfruit Tacos: Did we forget to tell you that jackfruit has a texture like meat? Try These Jackfruit Tacos and taste it for yourself.
- Pulled Jackfruit: Vegan meals can get a great boost with jackfruit’s meaty texture. This sweet and spicy recipe will yield a tasty batter that you can put in stuffed bread, pizza topping or eat just as it is.
- Nachos with BBQ Jackfruit: Another vegan recipe that anyone will enjoy. Barbecued jackfruit mixed with nachos is a snack that you should try once in your life.
Is Jackfruit Meat Healthy?
With an increase in the number of people following veganism, a lot of meat substitutes have been introduced in the market in the shape of fruits and vegetables. Jackfruit, though less popular than alternatives like Tofu, is popular because it has the same texture as pulled meat. This is the main reason why it’s used to make plant-based varieties of pulled ham and shredded poultry. Additionally, a curst appears on the jackfruit when it is roasted, which is like meat. The fruit is also used to make curries, stews, and BBQ.
The next time you see a lumpy bumpy fruit in the produce area of your grocery shop, know that you’ve come across the nutritious jackfruit. You can also find it in cans in the Asian food section. Because of the rise in demand, jackfruit is available in most supermarkets around the globe. You can choose from dried, canned, sliced, frozen or whole-fruit varieties, or as a pre-prepared dish like jackfruit seeds and vegan jackfruit biryani.