Jackfruit or Fenne is an exotic fruit, belonging to the family of figs, mulberry and breadfruit. Native to southwest India, its taste is naturally sweet with a subtle flavour. Its seeds are edible and its flesh is starchy and fibrous which makes it a good source of dietary fibre. Jackfruit is also rich in Vitamin B6 with moderate levels of Vitamin C and potassium. According to a study published on Research Gate, the general health benefits of Jackfruit are manifold; from fighting wrinkles to maintaining healthy digestion and blood circulation.Below are some more interesting facts, benefits, uses and other important details about Jackfruit.
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Interesting Facts about Jackfruit
The largest tree fruit in the world has a spiky exterior with a fleshy bulb. This is also the reason why it is sometimes referred to as ‘vegetable meat’. It needs a hot and humid climate to grow which is why it is widely seen and used in South Asian cuisines. It is also the national fruit of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and the state fruit of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India. Its seeds also have immense nutritional value. They have large amounts of thiamine and riboflavin along with compounds that have an anti-microbial effect, saving you from food-borne illness. Archaeological findings trace its cultivation 3000 to 6000 years ago in India. Its wood is often used for religious purposes like making Buddhist statues and the priest’s seat during Hindu ceremonies.
Benefits and Uses of Jackfruit
1. Prevents wrinkles
According to a study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition showed that Jackfruit pulp is a natural source of antioxidants. These antioxidants protect cells from free radical damage thus, slowing the process of aging, preventing wrinkles and repairing damaged molecules.In order to fight wrinkles, you can either consume the fruit or use its seeds mixed with some milk and honey to make a face mask.
2. Might possess anti-cancer properties
Jackfruits have beneficial phytonutrients like lignans and saponins that have been shown to offer anti-cancer properties as mentioned in a study published on the Wiley Online Library. While lignans decrease the risk of hormone associated cancers like uterine, ovarian, breast and prostate cancer, saponins optimize the immune function.
3. Prevents Anaemia
Another study published at Research Gate cited the various benefits of jackfruit and concluded that having this fruit aids in preventing anaemia due to its iron content. It helps in developing healthy red blood cells, provides immunity to the body and gives you more energy. Munching on jackfruit seeds might be a good idea for building overall health.
4. Improves vision
Vitamin A and carotenoids present in jackfruit are some of the most important nutrients for building eye, skin and hair health. These carotenoids protect the eyes from bacterial and viral infection, save them from harmful UV rays and protect against degeneration of the retina which can lead to various eye diseases. A study published in the Wiley Online Library showcases the carotenoid composition in jackfruits along with its benefits for eyes.
5. Boosts energy
Jackfruit can be consumed whenever you are feeling low on energy as it is rich in its calorie and nutrient content. According to Shyamala Reddy, a biotechnology researcher at the University of Agriculture Sciences in Bangalore, India, having 10 – 12 bulbs of jackfruit fills you up so much that you wouldn’t need to eat anything for the next 12 hours.
6. Supports bone health
Jackfruit contains potassium and calcium; both these nutrients help in preventing bone loss and in maintaining bone health. Small amounts of manganese, phosphorus and zinc, which are also present in Jackfruit help in maintaining optimum bone health, increase bone-density and manage problems like arthritis and osteoporosis as mentioned in a study cited on Research Gate.
7. Aids in digestion
The high amount of dietary fibre present in Jackfruit acts as a laxative and aids in digestion. These healthy fibres are broken down easily by the body to produce energy and add more bulk to the stool thereby easing your bowel movements.
8. Promotes heart health
According to a research published by PubMed, Jackfruit contains a good amount of potassium which ensures a balanced regulation of sodium in the body. If the regulation of sodium is left unmanaged, it can cause damage to the arteries and the heart. Potassium also improves the functioning of heart muscles which promotes a healthy heart and prevents heart diseases.
9. Manages blood sugar levels
Jackfruit is categorized as a low-glycaemic index fruit, due to its dietary fibre content. Consuming unripe jackfruit can even be used to fight high blood sugar levels, according to a Sydney University Glycemic Index Research Service study.
10. Builds immunity
Vitamin C and other antioxidants present in Jackfruit help boost immunity to fight against various diseases. According to a study published on Research Gate, jackfruit possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antioxidant, antipyretic properties and acts as an immunity booster.
Also Read: Benefits Of Orange | Water Chestnuts Benefits
Nutritional Value of Jackfruit
According to Nutrition Data, the nutritional value of Jackfruit for 165 g is as follows:
|Calories||649 kJ (8% Daily Value)|
|Total Carbohydrate||13% DV|
|Dietary Fibre||11 % DV|
|Total Fat||1% DV|
|Vitamin A||10% DV|
|Vitamin C||18% DV|
|Vitamin B6||9% DV|
- The fruit replenishes energy and revitalizes the body as it is calorie rich.
- Jackfruit is a good laxative because of its high content of dietary fibre. It also helps protect the colon mucous membrane.
- Vitamin A and other antioxidants play a vital role in maintaining eye, skin and hair health.
- Presence of Vitamin C helps the body fight against harmful effects of free radicals in the body.
- Potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
Also Read: Jackfruit Calories | Pumpkin Calories
Risks or Precautions when consuming Jackfruit
- People allergic to birch pollen should avoid its use
- Medical advice is necessary for diabetic patients as its consumption might affect blood sugar control
- If you’ve undergone surgery, it is best to avoid Jackfruit until your medications continue. You should also stop its consumption at least 2 weeks before a planned surgery
- There are varied opinions about its consumption during pregnancy, however, it is advised to limit its use when pregnant
- Patients with tissue transplants and those undergoing immunosuppression therapy must avoid its use
- Overconsumption might lead to an upset stomach
- Although not studied in humans, consumption of Jackfruit might supress libido and sexual performance in men
How to Consume Jackfruit
Jackfruit can be consumed in various ways, ripe or unripe, cooked or uncooked. Nowadays, the fruit is widely available pre-cut in pieces for easy purchase and consumption. If you are looking for the whole ripe fruit, here are a few ways you can pick one.
- Check its colour. It should have a yellowish-green exterior rather than a completely green one
- Smell it. It should give out a strong sweet smell
- Tap it. The fruit will give out a hollow sound if it is ripe
- Press the cover. It should not be too hard or too soft. If it is soft, it is probably going to rot soon
- Check the spines outside, they must be spread apart
Here are a few ways you can consume a jackfruit.
Roasted or boiled jackfruit seeds
You can boil or roast the seeds for consumption. After boiling or roasting, remove the outer white layer and top up with salt or other spices if you wish. Jackfruit seeds are highly nutritious. They are good for eyesight, prevent constipation and are good for the bones. They also bring you loads of energy.
Jackfruit spicy salad
Dice a fresh jackfruit, you can also boil it to soften. Add finely chopped onion, red chillies, spring onions, garlic and any other vegetable you like in a pan and sauté them in vegetable oil or butter. Remove them from the pan, then add jackfruit, salt, some mint or coriander leaves and black pepper.
You can also make jackfruit sandwiches, pickles, Thai, Indian or any other type of curry. Other than satiating your taste buds, the fruit will also be a healthy option to include in your diet.
Some Fun Facts about Jackfruit
- The jackfruit tree can produce as many as 250 fruits in a single year
- Jackfruit connoisseurs say that the best jackfruit in the world comes from Sri Lanka, a variety called Peniwaraka or honey jak
- The number of seeds in one fruit might be around 100 – 150
- Its wood is known to have termite and fungus-resistant properties
Jackfruit is a healthy and large fruit. Due to its benefits and size, it can also be a solution for countries facing problems with food security such as several parts of Africa. You can gain immensely from this fruit, so look up some delicious recipes that you can make with jackfruits and enjoy the taste of this exotic and luscious fruit.