9 Benefits of Jackfruit

9 Benefits of Jackfruit

Sometimes mixing up your produce intake with some new, exotic, highly nutritious foods you never heard of could be a valuable move. Some of these oddities significantly surpass your everyday apple, orange, carrot or cucumber vitamin, mineral and enzyme percentage.

Jackfruit is one of these foods and it has slowly been making the kitchen rounds with current interest beginning to rise. Some are even touting jackfruit as a potential “miracle crop” that could aid global food banks in reducing expensive, environmentally draining meat production. That’s right, this fruit can go beyond your traditional fruit expectations and actually mimic the texture of meat.

If mainstream America and other westernized countries can embrace the thick, beaded, pear-shaped, bright green skin of jackfruit you just may see it on supermarket shelves, in many forms, real soon.

These 9 benefits of jackfruit are just the tip of the iceberg that this botanical can offer.

Packed Protein

Alternative Daily reports that,

“One cup of jackfruit (165 grams) offers up to 2.4 grams of protein. That is five percent of your Daily Value (DV)”, a considerable protein punch. The protein compound is called jacalin and it has been hailed as a possible meat substitute due to jackfruit’s extensive availability with some harvests reaping a single fruit at 100 pounds. In fact, when prepared a certain way, this fruit has some deeming it the vegan “pulled pork”.

Carotenoid Hero

Eating jackfruit may considerable enhance your health. According to a study published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety (2012),

“Jackfruit-containing carotenoids can be important for the prevention of several chronic degenerative diseases, such as cancer, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cataract, age-related macular degeneration.”

Blood Sugar Regulator

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are over 100 million Americans who are either diabetic or pre-diabetic. Eating Jackfruit instead of other less healthy sources in addition to other healthy dietary changes could enhance better health and possibly reverse diabetic or pre-diabetic symptoms.

Weight Loss Lender

Reaching for jackfruit just may assist in your weight loss regiment. This is a low calorie fruit that aside from high fiber and blood sugar regulation it can enhance systemic metabolic burning energy through its high protein content.

It contains highly packed weight loss compounds that may improve digestion, assist in maintaining a healthy thyroid and reducing high fat content cravings.

Flour Replacement

White flour is a nutrition-less glue that, over time, can accumulate in your intestines to compromise full nutritional absorption. Jackfruit seeds can be ground into an easily digestible flour that easily replaces conventional flour in any recipe while adding high protein compounds instead of fat inducing carbohydrates.

Environmental Boon 

It turns out that Jackfruit is easily grown and reaps high yields without draining environmental resources like meat and other factory farming does.

Nyree Zerega, a Chicago Botanic Garden plant biologist, whose specialty is jackfruit, told Business Insider, 

“A lot of underutilized crops like jackfruit have a ton of potential to produce food more locally and more sustainable, so there’s not as much reliance on imports from other countries. This local market development is important to focus on,”

Healing Botanicals

Most botanicals contain high levels of one healing compound or another and jackfruit is no exception. Also reported in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety (2012) it was stated that,

“Jackfruit contains phytonutrients: lignans, isoflavones, and saponins that have health benefits that are wide ranging. These phytonutrients have anticancer, antihypertensive, anti-ulcer and anti-aging properties. The phytonutrients found in jackfruit, therefore, can prevent forming of cancer cells in the body, can lower blood pressure, can fight against stomach ulcers, and can slow down the degeneration of cells that make the skin look young and vitae”

Anti-Viral Champion

Published in the European Journal of Immunology (Favero 1993), it was stated that,

“This result suggest that JFL [jackfruit lectin] may act either on the surface of the host cell or directly on the viral envelope, thereby inhibiting viral infectivity.”

Textile Titan

Like bamboo, hemp and other sustainable plants, jackfruit is capable of going beyond its nutritional benefits to also be utilized in other forms. These are a few of the unconventional applications this fruit, which is second in popularity to mangoes throughout the Asian continent, as reported by Business Insider:

  • The leaves from jackfruit trees can be a source of food for goats and other farm animals.
  • The bark has an orange color, shown in the picture to the right, that was traditionally used as a dye for monk’s robes.
  • The trees produce a sticky latex substance that can be used as glue.
  • Wood from the trees can be sold or used as timber.

Look for jackfruit being sold in any nearby Asian community market. Then, take home this best kept secret and expose these 9 benefits of jackfruit to friends and family with some homemade recipes. It could be the best addition to your produce shopping list for years to come.