Jackfruits are usually mistaken as durian. While most of you might be confused with these two fruits, jackfruits have smooth bumps on its surface and are bigger than durians. But other than looking like a durian, what are jackfruits?
Origin of Jackfruit
Jackfruits are fruits that grow in tropical regions around the world, usually in Southeast Asia. It originally came from South India and grew abundantly in other countries including Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia. It also grows in Brazil, Australia, and Hawaii. Even better, it is the national fruit of Bangladesh.
Part of the Moracae family, jackfruits are oblong with a yellow or green color. It earned the title of the largest fruit tree in the world that can weigh up to 100 pounds and 3 feet long. A jackfruit tree can bear up to 200 fruits in one whole year.
According to Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank president, the plant is easy to grow and can survive diseases and pests. This makes the fruit ideal in planting especially during climate change.
Nutritional Value of Jackfruit
Apart from the fact that the fruit easily grows in different climates, jackfruit was called a miracle crop because of its nutritional content. Those from the US use this fruit as a meat substitute as its texture can be similar with a pulled meat. You can even find stores in other countries that use it as a filling in sandwiches. Others prefer to use the fruit in pizza, salads, soups, and even yogurt. But what nutritional content does this fruit have for people to substitute it to some foods, like meat?
Jackfruits taste like pineapples or sometimes potatoes. It is rich in nutrients such as antioxidants, protein, calcium, and fiber. The following are the other minerals and vitamins that you will find in this fruit:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Although dieticians recommend eating this fruit, take note that jackfruits are low in protein. So if you are planning to use it as a substitute, be sure that you have eaten foods with high protein throughout the day.
Benefits of Jackfruit
Eating jackfruits do not only give you nutrition, but it also give you other benefits. Learn more about these advantages below.
Controls Blood Sugar
Jackfruits contain low glycemic index which can have an impact on how your blood sugar rises. It also helps slows down digestion. There was even a study that shows that jackfruit extracts can improve blood sugar levels.
The fruit has vitamins A and C that can reduce the risk of getting diseases and viral infections. In addition, vitamin C is known for being good for the skin. Hence, eating jackfruit can improve the skin and slows down aging. Other minerals found in jackfruits such as antioxidants, potassium, and fiber can help prevent heart diseases.
More than those, antioxidants can defend your cells from inflammation and stress. It can also help in preventing chronic diseases and diabetes.
Strengthens Immune System
Vitamin C is not only good for your skin, but it can also strengthen your immune system. It can protect you from illnesses such as colds and gives your body enough power to fight free radicals.
Jackfruit contains various nutrients apart from those that were mentioned. It also has phytonutrients like isoflavines and lignans. These nutrients have anti-cancer properties that can protect you from cancer.
Maintains Blood Pressure
One of the nutrients that you can find in jackfruit are potassium. It can help manage your blood pressure and prevent heart attack and stroke.
This fruit contains fiber that can shield you from constipation and improve your digestion.
These are just some of the health benefits that you can get from eating jackfruit. It can also improve your bones and vision.
Disadvantages of Jackfruit
If there are advantages, expect that there are disadvantages in eating jackfruits. The most basic con of jackfruits are their large size. Imagine buying yourself a whole jackfruit and bringing it to your home. Even cutting the fruit takes a lot of strength and time.
Those who have blood-related disorders are prohibited from eating the fruit. It is also not recommended to those with birch pollen allergy as it contains allergens that can trigger the allergies. It can even have an effect in diabetics and those with tissue transplants. Although the fruit has various health benefits, pregnant women should take precautions when eating this fruit as it can induce miscarriage.
Some studies say that the fruit is not advisable for those with blood disorders as it can increase blood coagulation. It may also have an impact in sexual performance, arousal, and vigor in men.
Buying, Cutting, and Eating Jackfruit
Buying fruits can be a little tricky and the same goes for jackfruits. So in case you are planning to buy this fruit in a grocery store, make sure that it gives off a sweet smell. Once you have chosen the best jackfruit out there, immediately refrigerate it. You can store it on your refrigerator for seven days up to two months.
With the fruit’s huge size, you might have troubles cutting it. But do not worry, you can ask for someone in the grocery to cut it for you, or you can do it yourself. Simply place the fruit on the table and cut it into halves. You can, however, watch online videos on how to cut the fruit step by step if you want to.
Once you are done cutting the jackfruit, you can either eat it raw or add it to your favorite food. You can create a jackfruit smoothie with almond butter. You can even use it as a substitute for meat and use the fruit as a burger patty.
The jackfruit is called a miracle fruit as it contains nutrients and minerals that can help your body. It grows in tropical countries and is used as a meat substitute in different countries, especially in the US. But you must also be aware of the risks that come with eating this fruit. Overall, jackfruit is one of the healthiest fruits that you will find in grocery stores or even outside your home, if you are residing in a tropical country.