Jackfruit belongs to the Moraceae family and is also known as the jack tree. It generally grows in Asia, Africa, and South America. Tropical lowlands are best suited for jackfruit cultivation, and it is extensively cultivated in tropical regions worldwide. Historians say that jackfruit is 300 years old. It gets its name from the Malayalam name of this fruit called “Chakka”.
This fruit consists of 3 parts: the central core, fleshy bulbs, and outer skin. The fleshy consistency of its bulbs also replicates a meat-like texture. Hence it is also known as “vegetable meat”. A single jackfruit weighs between 10-25 kgs, and the jackfruit tree can bear up to 150 fruits per year. Furthermore, if the tree is old, it can bear up to 500 fruits per year.
One can eat them in both ripe or unripe forms. For consuming jackfruit in its unripe form, you need to cook it. When the fruit becomes ripe, it’ll turn juicy, slurpy, and taste almost like a mixture of banana and pineapple. One can eat the fruit in its purest form or use them to prepare delectable desserts like ice-creams and puddings etc.
Jackfruit is rich in vitamin A, C, riboflavin, carotenoids, magnesium, potassium, and fibre. These nutrients help in digestion, skin issues, controlling blood sugar levels, inflammation, and many more.
Popular Varieties of Jackfruit
1. Black Gold
This variety of Australian jackfruit is medium-sized and weighs approximately 22 lbs. It has yellow skin and bright yellow flesh. This variant is aromatic and delightfully sweet in flavour. It is suitable for savoury dishes.
2. Golden Nugget
The golden nugget is also an Australian variety of jackfruit. It is comparatively smaller in size and has a round shape. The skin looks bright yellow, and the flesh is a slightly darker orange. It weighs between 7-8 pounds.
3. Golden Pillow
The golden pillow is a Thai variety of jackfruit. It is generally round in shape. It has a different skin colour; rather than yellow, it has dark green-hued skin. The flesh is yellow-orange and surprisingly crunchy, while other varieties of jackfruit are soft and slurpy. It is deliciously sweet and weighs between 8-14 lbs.
4. Honey Gold
Honey Gold is yet another Australian variety of jackfruit and has a boxy shape rather than round and weighs between 10-12 lbs. The flesh is juicy, soft, and sweet and has an intense orange colour.
5. Dang Rasimi
Dang Rasimi is also a Thai variety of jackfruit that replicates the smell and taste of a mango. It is oblong and comes in a medium to large size. Also has yellow skin and dark orange-coloured flesh and weighs between 17-20 lbs.
6. Lemon Gold
Lemon Gold is an Australian variety of jackfruit. It has a block-like rather than a round shape and is generally smaller. It weighs between 12-13 lbs and tastes extremely sweet with bit of a crispy texture.
7. Kun Wi Chan
Kun Wi Chan is also a Thai variety of jackfruit with bright yellow skin. Still, the inner part is likely to be dull yellow. This variety of jackfruit is not popular as a fruit or dessert ingredient. Its taste makes it more appropriate for savoury dishes. It weighs somewhat between 30-40 lbs.
NS1 is a variety of jackfruit that comes from Malaysia. It is a smaller variety of jackfruit that ripens between June may-June. This jackfruit has a boxy shape and orange-coloured flesh that tastes sweet and rich in flavour.
Nutritional Values of Jackfruit
1 cup (165 grams) raw sliced jackfruit contains
- Calories – 155
- Carbs – 38.5 g
- Fibre – 2.5 g
- Protein – 2.8 g
- Sugar- 31.48 g
- Vitamin C – 18% of the DV
- Vitamin A – 10% of the DV
- Riboflavin – 11% of the DV
- Magnesium – 15% of the DV
- Potassium – 14% of the DV
- Copper – 15% of the DV
- Manganese – 16% of the DV
Jackfruit is low in calories and is a low-fat fruit that contains about 80% of water. Jackfruits are rich in vitamin A, antioxidants, and carotenoids that prevent cell damage in the body and assure the proper functioning of the internal system.
Surprising Health Benefits of Jackfruit
Jackfruit contains many rich nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, magnesium, riboflavin which makes it a superfood. It helps reduce the chances of harmful diseases and aids in weight loss. Let us have a look at its tremendous benefits.
1. Jackfruit Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Jackfruits are rich nutrients that help in controlling blood sugar levels. Also, jackfruit has a low glycemic index. The Glycemic index measures how rapidly the blood sugar level rises after consuming any food.
Jackfruit is rich in fibre which reduces the absorption of sugar in the blood and hence helps to maintain blood sugar levels. A study shows that eating fibre-rich food prevents higher blood sugar levels. Another study shows that adults who consumed jackfruit extracts experienced improved blood sugar levels.
2. Jackfruit Reduces Risk of Several Diseases
Jackfruit is abundantly rich in antioxidants that help keep harmful diseases at bay. For example, the presence of vitamin C prevents various diseases like inflammation. Vitamin C helps to release oxidative stress from the body and removes free radicals. As a result, it controls cell damage, soreness, and redness due to inflammation. It also helps in preventing inflammation related to chronic diseases and cancer.
The carotenoids in jackfruit also help to lower inflammation and prevent type 2 diabetes and chronic diseases. The flavonoids help to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels and control inflammation in the body. It also helps in preventing type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
3. Jackfruit Build a Strong Immune System
Jackfruit contains high amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin A that helps to build a robust immune system. As per research, vitamin A plays a vital role in regulating cellular immune responses and humoral immune processes. In addition, it prevents several allergic reactions and viral infections. When we need to have a proper check on our immunity level, jackfruit brings a way to strengthen it to fight viral infections.
4. Jackfruit Keeps the Skin Healthy
Jackfruit turns out to be very beneficial for the skin as it contains nutrients like Vitamin C, vitamin A, and other antioxidants. For example, vitamin C helps to excrete free radicals from the body and releases oxidative stress that helps repair cell and DNA damage.
Vitamin C helps in strengthening the skin barrier. It also helps in healing wounds in a shorter time. Vitamin A helps to prevent sun damage and repair cell damage due to sun exposure. Both the antioxidants help in preventing photoaging. In addition, vitamin A in jackfruit is essential for both the upper and lower layer of skin. It prevents collagen breakdown and increases cell turnover that aids in healthy and glowing skin.
5. Jackfruit Helps in Better Digestion
Jackfruit contains a lot of dietary fibre that helps in better digestion. It also acts as a natural laxative and is helpful to provide relief from constipation. Constipation leads to piles when one is experiencing it chronically. Due to jackfruit’s high fibre content, it helps in better digestion and prevents constipation.
Laxatives soften the stools by providing a high amount of water secretion into the bowels and stimulating the digestive tract walls that also aid in bowel movements.
Jackfruit also helps to clean the colon that may slowly help treat colon cancer. The dietary fibre present in jackfruit helps in protecting the colon mucous membrane. It also eases bowel movements by adding energy and bulk to the stool.
6. Jackfruit Helps in Weight Loss
Jackfruit is rich in dietary fibre and low in calories. High fibre food keeps you fuller for a longer time and reduces cravings, leading to low-calorie intake. Jackfruit is low in calories as well, only 155 calories per cup.
Jackfruit is a rich source of fibre, vitamin C and minerals. In addition, it does not contain any saturated fat or cholesterol. The sucrose and fructose in the fruit increase your energy and do not store as fat. It is also low in sodium, preventing water retention. So, you can eat jackfruit and not gain any weight. So, a cup of raw jackfruit is enough to help you manage weight.
Healthy Recipes Using Jackfruit
Raw Jackfruit Poriyal
Cooking Time- 45 minutes
- Raw diced jackfruit – 1 cup
- Oil- 1 tablespoon
- Curry leaves- 2 springs
- Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
- Asafoetida- 1 pinch
- White urad dal- 1 tsp
- Chana dal- 1 tsp
- Green chilli- 2
- Salt – as per taste
- Turmeric- ½ tsp
- Black pepper- 1 tsp
- Lemon juice- 1 tsp
- Grated fresh coconut- 2 tbsp
- Boil the diced jackfruit with ¼ cup water in a cooker for six whistles.
- Heat a pan, drizzle oil into it and add mustard, let it splutter.
- Add chana dal, and urad daal. Fry until it turns brown.
- Add curry leaves, finely chopped green chili and fry for 20-30 seconds.
- Next, put the boiled jackfruit, turmeric powder, salt, black pepper, asafoetida and mix well.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes and mix in lemon juice, grated fresh coconut.
- Let it cook for a couple of minutes and serve hot.
Ripe Jackfruit Cake
Cooking Time- 45 minutes
- Pureed ripe jackfruit – 3 cups
- Fresh coconut- 1 cup
- Salt – ½ teaspoon
- Sooji/semolina- 1 cup
- Jaggery- 1 cup
- Cardamom powder – 2 tsp
- Cashew nuts – 5-10
- Almonds- 10
- Raisins- 10
- Take a pan and first dry roast semolina for 10-12 mins, then turn off the flame.
- Take a bowl and add roasted semolina, jackfruit puree, grated coconut, salt, jaggery, cardamom powder, cashew nuts, almonds, and raisins.
- Mix well, grease a baking dish, put the prepared mixture into the dish.
- Put the baking dish in the prepared steamer and steam it for 20 minutes.
- Take the dish out and let it cool. Demould it and serve
Raw Jackfruit Curry
Cooking Time- 35 minutes
- Diced jackfruit – ½ cup
- Onion – ½ cup
- Turmeric- ½ tsp
- Salt- as per taste
- Coconut- 3 tsp
- Coriander seeds- 1 and ½ tbsp
- Peppercorn- 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
- Red chilli- 2 nos
- Garlic- 2 nos
- Oil- ½ tbsp
- Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
- Urad dal- 1 tsp
- Curry leaves- 1 sprig
- Boil diced jackfruit along with water, turmeric powder and pinch of salt until it turns soft.
- Grind fresh coconut, garlic, red chili, coriander seeds, peppercorn into smooth paste and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let them splutter.
- Add curry leaves, urad dal and fry for a minute.
- Next, put the chopped onions and saute until it turns light brown.
- Then add boiled jackfruit along with water, ground paste, turmeric powder, salt and mix well.
- Bring it to a boil, simmer for 10-12 minutes or until desired consistency and serve hot.
Precautions and Things to Remember
Jackfruit is proven to have super health benefits with its rich nutritional value. But on the other hand, it carries several side effects that may be dangerous for some people.
- A person with a birch pollen allergy should refrain from consuming jackfruit. It may lead to allergic reactions. A study proves allergic reactions to jackfruit in birch pollen allergic patients.
- Jackfruit may increase coagulation when consumed by a person with blood-related disorders. Coagulation causes blood clotting.
- If you consume jackfruit with sedative medications, it can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Sedative medications make you sleepy, and jackfruit may intensify the effects.
- It is excellent for digestion but not particularly for people experiencing gastric issues. That is because it increases the production of gaseous content in the body.
- Pregnant women should consume it in fewer quantities and consult with their doctors before consuming jackfruit. It is because jackfruit produces heat in the body. Therefore, excessive consumption may be harmful during pregnancy. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that. But, overeating is always detrimental.
- Jackfruit can also be harmful if you eat it with milk or carbonated drinks. It may cause digestion and skin issues.
- You should avoid drinking water after the consumption of jackfruit as it can lead to diarrhoea. Jackfruit is a high water content fruit that smoothes out bowel movements. So, if you drink water after eating jackfruit, it can lead to even smoother bowel movements and cause diarrhoea.
- Diabetic patients should be careful when consuming jackfruit daily. That is because it lowers blood sugar levels. Hence, it becomes essential to note your blood sugar frequently. In addition, you should consult your doctor for alterations in their medications.
Jackfruit is a superfood with a high nutritional value and less calorie count. It contains vitamins, minerals and fibre. It has tremendous health benefits like it eases out the digestion process, boosts immunity, lowers the chances of several inflammatory diseases, and improves skin health. However, you should always ensure moderate consumption.
At the same time, you should follow the precautions mentioned above. This superfood can be highly beneficial if you consume it the right way and in moderation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What are the benefits of eating jackfruit?
A. Jackfruits may benefit us in several ways. For example, it helps boost immunity, control blood sugar levels, aids weight management, and is good for the skin.
Q. What are the disadvantages of eating jackfruit?
A. Although jackfruit is a healthy food, it has a few disadvantages. If you have blood issues or are using sedative drugs, jackfruit can be harmful. Furthermore, it may also be harmful to pregnant women.
Q. Is jackfruit good for weight loss?
A. Yes, jackfruit is good for weight loss as it contains an adequate amount of dietary fibre. These dietary fibres boost the weight loss process.
Q. Is jackfruit a Superfood?
A. Yes, jackfruit is a superfood as it contains tremendous nutrients and is full of benefits.
Q. Can jackfruit be eaten raw?
A. Yes, you can eat raw jackfruit. However, you should eat it in moderation, such as ½ cup per day.
Q. What’s the best way to cook jackfruit?
A. There are various ways to cook jackfruit. Some of the best recipes are cited in the article. You can also cook it like regular Indian vegetables with curries.
Q. Can we drink water after eating jackfruit?
A. Ideally, we should not drink water after eating jackfruit. It may cause issues like diarrhoea. Drinking water after eating jackfruit will affect the pH of the stomach and slow digestion since water dilutes digestive acids and enzyme activity.
Q. What can you not eat with jackfruit?
A. According to Ayurveda, jackfruit should not be consumed with dairy products or carbonated beverages. It can be harmful if consumed simultaneously. It is believed to cause indigestion and skin problems.
Q. Does jackfruit contain protein?
A. Yes. One cup of raw jackfruit contains 2.8 g of protein.
Q. Is jackfruit high in sugar?
A. Yes, it contains lots of natural sugars; one cup of raw jackfruit has 31.48 g of sugar. The presence of natural sugars and fibre in the fruit may actually help diabetics control their blood sugar levels. It prevents and treats diabetic symptoms by regulating glucose and insulin release in the body and improving insulin sensitivity.