Jackfruit: Nutrition, Health benefits, and Preparation
Jackfruit, known as “Kathal” in Hindi, is a unique superfood from Mother Nature with a very impressive nutrient profile. This succulent yellow fruit is popular and widely available during summer. Jackfruit’s unique nature makes it usable as a fruit, vegetable, nut, carbohydrate, or healthy meat alternative. The largest tree fruit in the world, jackfruit is getting widely accepted across the globe for healthy snacking as it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and proteins. In this blog, we talk about the health benefits of jackfruit, tips to prepare the fruit, and precautions while consuming the delicious fruit.
- Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that has several health benefits due to its high nutrient content
- Jackfruit is versatile and can be incorporated into many recipes and dishes: raw, cooked, ripe, or unripe
- Jackfruit is safe to consume for everyone except for those who have a birch pollen allergy
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that requires a hot and humid climate to thrive and cannot typically be grown in warm temperatures. It is fleshy inside and thorny on the outside, and one fruit can have up to 150 seeds. It has a distinctive sweet flavor. Jackfruit benefits in lots of ways. Since its texture is similar to meat, it is used as a meat substitute and can be found on the diet chart for vegans.
Historically grown in countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and other South Asian countries, jackfruit trees are now grown even in other parts of the world, such as Thailand, Africa, Australia, and so on. The Jackfruit belongs to the Moraceae family and is packed with numerous vitamins and minerals. It is yellowish brown in color, and its outside has hexagonal apices. There are two types of jackfruits – the firm ones that remain firm even after ripening and the soft ones that become soft and mushy upon ripening. , lets read on to know more.
The amazing Jackfruit contains vitamins A, C, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, niacin, and zinc, among other nutrients. Jackfruit is extremely low in fat and hence a heart-healthy food. Micronutrients are abundant in Jackfruit, including magnesium, copper, and Manganese. The antioxidant properties of Jackfruit play a key role in improving health and relieving various medical conditions. The various jackfruit benefits are:
The high amount of Vitamin C and antioxidants in Jackfruit can help boost the immune system and make it strong enough to fight infections. Vitamin C can also repair cell damage and aid the body in absorbing essential nutrients like iron. Vitamin C has proven to reduce the occurrence of the common cold by 50%, especially in the high-risk population.  Vitamin C is a precursor to collagen that is key to wound healing.
Regulates Blood Pressure to Improve Heart Health
The right amount of potassium ensures balanced sodium in your body. If left unregulated, sodium can cause damage to the heart and arteries. Potassium also can maintain and coordinate muscle function, including the heart muscles. Jackfruit is loaded with potassium and antioxidants that can keep our heart and circulatory system healthy. Vitamin B6 in Jackfruit can lower the levels of homocysteine that can cause stroke or heart disease. 
Helps in Digestion
Jackfruit has a sufficient quantity of fiber that is essential for every meal. It has soluble fibers broken down by your body immediately to release energy and insoluble fiber that eases your bowel movement and prevents constipation. Jackfruit also contains probiotics that promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria and keep gastrointestinal problems at bay.
Jackfruit contains phytochemicals such as saponins, flavonoids, and tannins, as well as antioxidants. Both phytochemicals and antioxidants can help counter the effects of free radicals that can damage cells and cause cancer. Phytochemicals can also prevent new blood vessels from growing around cancerous cells. 
The high amount of calcium in Jackfruit can strengthen the bones. It also contains potassium which can reduce calcium loss via the kidneys. Regular consumption of Jackfruit can help manage symptoms of bone disorders such as osteoporosis, arthritis, and so on. Jackfruit also contains a decent amount of Manganese, a key nutrient for bone formation. The vitamin C and magnesium in Jackfruit can help in better calcium absorption. 
Additional Read: 6 Calcium-Rich Fruits
Keeps Skin and Eyes Healthy
Rich in vitamin A, Jackfruit can help in maintaining a healthy vision. It can enhance eyesight and prevent eye disorders such as macular degeneration and cataract. Vitamin C in Jackfruit is an anti-aging component and gives radiant skin. It can protect the skin from sun damage and treat wrinkles.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Although sweet to taste, Jackfruit can safely be consumed by diabetes patients. It enables slow absorption of sugar into the bloodstream so that diabetic patients can consume it and leverage its health benefits. Jackfruit benefits in increases glucose tolerance and promotes sugar control for both types of diabetes. One of the protein-rich, along with dietary fiber, Jackfruit can delay digestion and prevent sugar level spikes.
Can Improve Sleep
One serving of Jackfruit contains about 48 mg of magnesium, and adding magnesium to your diet plan can help improve sleep quality and reduce the occurrence of insomnia. Magnesium and iron in the fruit can prevent anemia which is one of the primary causes of sleeplessness.
Improves Thyroid Functioning
Jackfruit is rich in copper, and copper aids in thyroid metabolism, specifically in hormone production and absorption that contributes to a healthy thyroid.  Regular intake of Jackfruit can help people suffering from thyroid disorders.
Helps The Nerves And Muscles
Conditions such as fatigue, muscle weakness, and stress can be treated by consuming Jackfruit daily. Its rich content of vitamins such as niacin and thiamine helps to strengthen the nerves and provide energy. Additional Read: Amazing Benefits of Pineapple
Ways to Prepare and Eat Jackfruit
- Jackfruit is very versatile and can be consumed either raw or cooked. To prepare it, first, you must slice it in half and remove the yellow seeds and fruit pods from the core and skin with your hands or a knife. Due to the sticky sap, you will need to wear gloves or apply oil before you handle the fruit.
- Jackfruit can be taken either plain or cooked in sweet or savory dishes, based on its ripeness. While ripe Jackfruit tastes good with desserts, unripe Jackfruit goes well with savory recipes.
- Vegetarians and vegans tend to consume Jackfruit as an alternative to meat due to its similar texture. You can use the fruit as a meat replacement in tacos by first cooking it and then mixing it with veggies and seasoning.
- You can also incorporate Jackfruit into soups and curries. Ripe Jackfruit can also be added to oatmeal and yogurt. Jackfruit can be a main course vegetable curry or in a side dish in dry form along with sautéed onions and tomatoes.
- Jackfruit seeds are also edible. They can be boiled or roasted, added to soups, or used as a seasoning. You can use the seeds to make hummus as well.
- Dried Jackfruit can be used to make chips.
- You can get fresh Jackfruit in the summer months, and the canned variety can be found in grocery stores during other times. Ripe Jackfruit must be refrigerated to retain its freshness.
Precautions While Eating Jackfruit
An allergy to Jackfruit is rare, but you are at high risk if you have birch pollen or latex allergy. You may develop swollen lips and an itchy mouth when you eat Jackfruit or other food in this group. Since regular jackfruit consumption can lower blood sugar levels, people with diabetes must adjust their medication accordingly or consult a general physician.
You may also want to avoid Jackfruit if you have chronic kidney disease or acute kidney failure. This is because the potassium in Jackfruit could build up potassium in the blood, causing a condition called hyperkalemia that can cause paralysis or heart failure.
Pregnant and nursing women must consume Jackfruit with caution. Elderly people must also exercise caution while taking Jackfruit. Each individual reacts to the same food differently. Get a doctor consultation online if you have any doubts or side effects after taking Jackfruit.
Jackfruit is a nutrient-loaded superfood that can be part of your diet due to jackfruit benefits. But if you are suffering from any specific health condition or wish to know about the interaction of Jackfruit with other drugs, consult your doctor. Avoid consuming Jackfruit to treat any condition without consulting a physician first. Find and talk to many doctors and specialists online from Bajaj Finserv. If you have any chronic ailments or wish to financially protect yourself from future health issues, you can choose an optimal health insurance plan tailored to your needs from Bajaj Finserv.
Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.
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