Health Benefits of Jackfruit
Jackfruit comes from mulberry family. It has thorny projections outside and soft flesh inside which is intensely sweet and delicious in taste.
It is mostly 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 make it a great fruit for jams, candies, cakes and other sweet preparations.
Unripe raw jackfruits are 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 that is not too hard to include in the diet.
Unfortunately many countries get only canned jackfruit stored in sugar syrup or brine that 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 a high amount of nutrients 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 a 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 B6 content in Jackfruit fulfills about 25% of our daily requirement. (1, 2)
The fat content of Jackfruit is very low at just about 0.64 grams.
Though water is not a nutrient, it is pertinent to mention that Jackfruit is made up 80% of water.
See also: 45 Healthiest Fruit List On The Earth
Health Benefits of Jackfruit
Jackfruit contains a high amount of carbohydrate and calorie that provides energy instantly.
It is rich in antioxidants that protect from cancer, aging and degenerative disease. (3, 4)
Due to rich antioxidants, it is good for eyesight and protect from conditions like cataract and macular degeneration. (5, 6)
It is a good source of potassium that 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 to fight against free radicals. The body requires Antioxidants for scavenging free radicals.(7, 8, 9)
Free Radicals is produced when oxygen reacts with certain molecules and kick starts a chain reaction that damages cell membranes and even DNA.
These free radicals are associated with natural processes like aging, skin wrinkles, increased vulnerability to infections and diseases and more severe conditions like cancer and tumors. (10, 11)
Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, 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 antioxidant than compounds like Methanol and Ethanol. It makes Vitamin C very efficient against the free radicals in the body.(12, 13)
The purification of our body by ridding it of free radicals increases immune system function.
It increases immunity to protect against common diseases like a 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 for quick energy boost than very few fruits, come close to Jackfruit.
Jackfruit contains a 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. It 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 Jackfruits are a regular part of your diet then 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. (15, 16, 17)
Optimum balance of potassium is essential 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 the heart and the arteries.
Apart from this functionality, potassium is responsible for coordinating and maintaining muscle function that includes heart muscles as well.
Jackfruit contains a good amount of potassium that is about 10% of our daily requirement. The ideal levels of potassium are required to maintain fluid level i.e. to balance electrolyte also. (18)
All these different functions of potassium help 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.
See also: Cayenne Pepper Health Benefits You Must Enjoy
4. Improves Digestion
When you open up a Jackfruit and take a look at its flesh, it clearly shows a lot of soft fiber.(18, 19, 20)
This fiber is not just for show but does convert itself into the important and significant amount of roughage.
Jackfruit has 1.5 grams of roughage per 100 grams of serving that is considered excellent. Dietary fiber makes for a laxative that adds bulk to your stools and soften them up.
Both of these factors make it easy for your body to push them through the intestinal passage. Thus, it improves digestion and prevents constipation.
Jackfruit contains both Soluble and insoluble fiber with the soluble content of 25% of the total fiber.
Soluble fiber is the one that is digested in our body and provides energy whereas insoluble just passes through the Gastrointestinal tract.
The insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools and makes 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 the cellular level, and these altered cells continue to divide rapidly even when there is no requirement for new cells.(21, 22)
Eventually, they destroy the healthy cells and also tend to travel to other parts of the body through the blood stream.
Colon cancer appears in its early stages as polyps in the colon lining and takes a full-blown cancerous form as it progresses.
Fruits like Jackfruit that are high in antioxidants help to clean toxins from the colon, keeping it in a good and healthy shape. Though it does not treat cancer itself, it can assist in reducing the risk of developing this condition.
It also helps in alleviating and preventing piles. Piles are Hemorrhoids in the anal area and is made of swollen blood vessels. It is a very painful condition, and critical cases experience bleeding and excruciating pain while passing stools. (23, 24)
One of the leading 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 the form of Beta Carotene and Lutein Zeaxanthin. Beta Carotene gets synthesized and converts itself into Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for eye health. It is an anti-oxidant that improves the vision and protects the eye from free radicals. (25)
It is also known to protect eyes from bacterial and viral infections by strengthening the mucous membranes that create a layer on the cornea.
Lutein Zeaxanthin in Jackfruit is known for its antioxidant properties that serve your eyesight efficiently and impressively. It protects the eyes from intense and harmful light waves like ultraviolet rays. (26, 27)
This component is also considered monumental in improving your eyesight in the dim or low light. 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 to protect eyes from infections, improve eye sight and prevent vision related medical problems.
7. Skin Health and Ageing
Aging is caused due to natural factors like increase in age.
But due to pollution, UV radiations and unhealthy lifestyle aging is knocking at an early age and is progressing faster than natural.
The main causes of aging are free radical produced in our body due to high oxidative stress caused due to pollution.
An antioxidant-rich diet including fruits like Jackfruit has proven to destroy these free radicals to slow the aging process. (28, 29)
Eating Jackfruits also keeps skin moisturized and well hydrated due to a high level of water content in it.
Water reduces dryness and lends a supple appearance to your facial skin. This further reduces the light wrinkles and fine lines on the 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.
See also: Health Benefits of Pistachios Seeds And Nutrition Facts
With an increase in pollution and weakened immunity, some 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. (30)
It is a chronic condition and does not 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 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
Jackfruits contain a high amount of calcium which strengthens and promotes healthy bone health. (31, 32, 33)
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. (34)
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 that is defined by a reduction of red blood cells (RBC) or Hemoglobin in blood below the minimum acceptable levels.
It 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 that can combat the deficiency of RBCs in the blood. (35, 36)
The vitamin C content further enables an efficient absorption of iron in the body. (37)
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.
Plants Compound That Make Jackfruit Special
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Rare fruit that contains Vitamin B6 complex. It is an excellent nutrient to protect from Anemia. Along with it is excellent for heart health, builds immunity, stroke prevention and much more. (38)
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is proven to treat dry eye syndrome. Also, it decreases the risk of macular degeneration(AMD). Vitamin A benefits eye vision and prevents any harm to it. (39)
- Potassium: Potassium renews heart health. (40)
- Carotene-ß: Powerful antioxidants protect from aging, cancer and boost eye health.
- Xanthin: Being an excellent antioxidant, it has many properties from harm caused by free radicals.
- Lutein: Many Research has found that Lutein protects from age-related macular degeneration(AMD) and cataracts.(41)
- Cryptoxanthin-ß: Cryptoxanthin-ß is converted into Pro-Vitamin A. It reduces risk for rheumatoid arthritis by 41 per cent. Reduce risk of lung cancer by 30 per cent. It also protects from DNA and Eye damage from free radicals.
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 cracks the ground over it and emerges outside.
Jackfruits are an excellent fruit with incredible health benefits. It’s sweet juicy taste becomes even better when you know about the health benefits that you are going to derive from it..