Jackfruit is one of the least known superfoods. It means many things to many people. Like the five blind people who explored the elephant, jack fruit means five different things depending on where you grew up in India. It can be a fruit, nut, vegetable vegan meat or a carbohydrate.
Most people from the South love it as a fruit and its seed as a protein rich nut. In the North, tender jackfruit or kathal is a gourmet vegetable and in Bengal, it’s gacch-patha (tree mutton). In Kerala, it’s primarily a healthy carbohydrate and every other use comes after. Chakka, the raw jackfruit, is consumed as a whole meal, an alternate to rice and roti, along with a protein curry like fish or chickpea.
Raw jackfruit is the thick flesh around the seed just 2 to 4 days before it turns sweet. Like raw mango, it is creamy white in colour, neutral in taste and doesn’t have any aroma of the ripe fruit. Thanks to lifestyle diseases and scientific research, this once forgotten God’s Own Carbohydrate has now retaken its 3,000-year-old position as a much healthier alternative to rice and roti.
We give you five healthy reasons to include raw jackfruit in your diet:
#1 It can help you reduce weight
A cup of raw jackfruit has less than half the calories of two rotis and much lower than a cup of rice but offers higher satiation due to higher fibre and water content. So you end up satisfying your hunger longer with fewer calories and lose weight without feeling hungry at all.
#2 It can help you beat diabetes
Unlike ripe jackfruit, raw jackfruit is great for diabetes. Clinical trials conducted at Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service (SUGiRS) have found that raw jackfruit has a much lower glycemic load (increase in sugar/blood glucose level) than rice and wheat. That means, when you replace a cup of rice or two rotis with a cup of raw jackfruit, your blood glucose will not increase as much. If you are taking medication for diabetes, you should consult your doctor.
#3 It helps reduces cholesterol
The percentage of soluble fibre in jackfruit reaches its peak at raw jackfruit stage. Soluble fibre from fruits is the most superior quality and helps to remove cholesterol from your body. Definitely a better, native and responsible alternative to the oats we import from Australia.
#4 It can prevent colon cancer
Jackfruit is the jack of fibre and when consumed as a carbohydrate the quantity of insoluble fibre we get per day is much higher than rice or rotis. This improves with great bowel movements; the fibre acts like a bottle-brush to cleanse your intestines to prevent colon cancer.
#5 It increases your longevity
Jackfruit, due to low acidity, is the only fruit that can be consumed as a meal replacing your regular carbohydrates such as wheat and rice in full or part. A study done by National Health Service, UK, showed that low consumption of vegetables and fruits shortens life more than lack of exercise. So when we cook and consume raw jackfruit as a meal, the quantity consumed in one meal itself is more than the vegetable and fruit we consume in a whole week!
You can add raw jackfruit to your favourite meal 365 days!
But the blockbuster development with raw jackfruit is not the research results on its health benefits, it’s the discovery that raw jackfruit in powder form has a binding factor between rice flour and wheat flour! This allows us to add raw jackfruit to most traditional Indian meals, without noticing any change in taste or texture. You can reduce a third of rice from your idli, dosa, appam, puttu, etc and a third of wheat from roti, upma, poori, aloo paratha, etc and you won’t notice any difference other than a positive change to your health.