The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), also known as jack tree, is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry and breadfruit family (Moraceae). Its origin is in the region between the Western Ghats of southern India and the rainforests of Malaysia.
The jack tree is well-suited to tropical lowlands, and is widely cultivated throughout tropical regions of the world. It bears the largest fruit of all tress, reaching as much as 55 kg (120 lb) in weight, 90 cm (35 in ) in length, and 50 cm (20 in) in diameter. A mature jack tree produces some 200 fruits per year, with older tress bearing up to 500 fruits in a year. The jackfruit is a multiple fruit composed of hundreds to thousands of individual flowers, and the fleshy petals of the unripe fruits are eaten. The immature fruit (unripe, commercially labeled as young jackfruit) has a mild taste and meat-like texture that lends itself to being a meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans. The ripe fruit can be much sweeter (depending on variety) and is more often used as desserts.
Jackfruit is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines. Both ripe and unripe fruits are consumed. The jackfruit is the National fruit of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and the state fruit of the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Species: A. hetorophyllus
Binomial name: Artocarpus heterophyllus
. Artocarpus brasiliensis Ortega
. A. maximus Blanco
. A. nanca Noronha (nom inval.)
. A. philippensis Lam.
Eating jackfruit isn’t only a fun and meatless way to add something new to your usual meals. It’s also packed with nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants. The benefits of this tropical fruit are impressive. One researcher even called it a “miracle” food because it provides so many nutrients and calories.
Two cups contain 310 calories and boast the following lineup of vitamins and minerals:
. Fiber : 6 grams
. Protein: 5.6 grams
. Vitamin A: 20% of Recommended Daily Intake
. Vitamin C: 36% of RDI
. Riboflavin: 22% of RDI
. Magnesium: 30% of RDI
. Potassium: 28% of RDI
. Copper: 30% of RDI
. Manganese: 32% of RDI
Benefits of Jackfruit for your health
Good for the immune system
Jackfruit contains moderate level of vitamin C, and antioxidant which helps your body fight free radicals and protect you from colds and other illness.
Improve your digestion
Jackfruit is packed with fiber, which helps improve digestion and prevent contipation
Help Prevent Cancer
Jackfruit contains phytonutrients, such as lignans, isoflavones, and saponins, which have anti-cancer properties. It also contains many carotenoids, which have been found to help protect against cancer.
Boost your Energy Levels.
Boost your Energy Levels
Jackfruit has B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6, and it’s high in complex carbs which can give you a boost of energy, without throwing your blood sugar levels out of which. In fact, clinical trials conducted at Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service have found that raw jackfruit has a lower glycemic load (increase in sugar/blood glucose level) than wheat or rice.
Maintain Blood Pressure and Heart Health
It also has moderate levels of potassium. Which helps regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Support Healthy Vision
Jackfruit has vitamin A, as well as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which help improve vision and protects eye health.
Improves Skin Health and Reduces Aging
The water content in the fruit helps keep your skin moisturized and youthful. The antioxidants help slow the aging process.
Good for Bone Health
It’s also high in calcium, which strengthens and help promote healthy bones. The right amount of magnesium helps with the absorption of calcium. And the high amount of potassium helps decrease the loss of calcium
It may Benefit Blood Sugar Control
Jackfruit has several properties that may help with blood sugar management. It has a fairly low glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating a food. This has been attributed to the fiber it provides, which slows digestion and helps prevent blood sugar spike. Diets that include lots of low-GI foods have been shown to be helpful for promoting blood sugar control. Moreover, jackfruit provides some protein, which may help prevent blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after a meal.
In one study, adults who consumed jackfruit extract were found to have significantly improved blood sugar levels. Additionally, a study of diabetic mice found that jackfruit leaf extract helped reduce fasting blood sugar levels and provided long-term blood sugar control.
These effects were attributed to jackfruit’s content of flavonoid antioxidants, which are known for their ability to promote balance.
Although the results from these studies are promising, more studies of people eating fresh jackfruit are necessary to confirm these potential benefits.
May Protect Against Disease
Jackfruit is high in a few powerful antioxidants that provide various health benefits, including a reduced risk of several diseases. Antioxidants protect your cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, which often result from damage caused by molecules called free radicals.
Overview of the antioxidants that are most abundant in jackfruit:
Vitamin C: jackfruit contains high amounts of vitamin C, which may help prevent the inflammation that can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Carotenoids: Carotenoids have been shown to help lower inflammation and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Flavanones: Flavanones contain anti-inflammatory properties that may help lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels – important factors in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Other Potential Health Benefits
Immune Health: Jackfruit’s content of immune-boosting vitamins A and C, these may help prevent illnesses. Eating this fruit is also claimed to be helpful for reducing the risk of viral infections.
Preventing Skin Problems: this fruit provides several nutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, that may improve skin health. There is anecdotal evidence that eating it may slow the aging process of your skin.
Heart Health: jackfruit may have the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease due to its content of potassium, fiber and antioxidants.
Food Revolution Network