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The Incredible Jackfruit


Did you know that the jackfruit is the largest fruit in the world and is capable of reaching 120 pounds in weight? The other measurements are equally amazing. This fruit can measure up to 35 inches in length and 20 inches in diameter. A mature jack tree can produce some 200 fruits per year. The jackfruit is a multiple fruit composed of hundreds to thousands of individual flowers, and the fleshy petals of the unripe fruit are edible. The ripe fruit is sweet and tasty and the seeds when cooked have a starchy and nutty pleasant taste.

The tree is known as jack tree and just happens to be a species in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family.The jackfruit has a meat-like texture that lends itself to being called a “vegetable meat”. It has a distinctive, musky smell, and a flavor that some describe as “juicy fruit gum” While it is sweet and fruity in flavor, it’s appearance is quite unusual. It is covered in a spiky skin that is either green or yellow. You can eat the fruit on its own, add it to a soup or salad, and also enjoy it roasted or dry.

Not only is the jackfruit the largest fruit but it is low in carbs and has some of the best health benefits! This tasty superfood is rich in magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6,thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, zinc and niacin among many other nutrients. Here are some of the health benefits of this interesting fruit.

1. Manage Blood Sugar Levels

People who are prone to high blood sugar levels need to be careful about what they eat. The good news is that jackfruit has a low glycemic index (GI), which simply means that it won’t raise blood sugar levels significantly after it’s eaten. The reason is that it’s packed with fiber. The fiber content slows digestion and helps prevent blood sugar spikes. A diet that includes lots of low-GI foods and high in fiber has been shown to be helpful for promoting blood sugar control. In addition to its fiber content, jackfruit contains protein which has also been shown to help control blood sugar. One study found that adults who consumed jackfruit extract showed improved blood sugar levels and another study of diabetic mice found that jackfruit leaf extract helped reduce fasting blood sugar levels and provided long-term blood sugar control.

2. Improves Digestion

Jackfruit contributes to improving the digestive system when eating it regularly due to its high content of fibers (3.6 g for every 100 g). It is not strenuous on the stomach even if eaten in large quantities and improves the bowel movement. It also protects the colon by removing carcinogenic chemicals out of the large intestine.

3. Help to Fight Cancer

Jackfruit has antioxidants and cancer-fighting phytonutrients. Research shows that the antioxidants found in jackfruit can neutralize free radicals, which helps fight some forms of cancer and can give the immune system the support it needs to continue fighting. Another study published in the Journal of Carcinogenesis in October 2012 found that the vitamin C in jackfruit can increase the activity of an important antioxidant enzyme that helps prevent breast cancer.Due to its richness with antioxidants and phytonutrient properties, plus the Vitamin C, jackfruit can be helpful towards fighting other cancers like lung cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, skin cancer and prostate cancer. The fruit properties treat cell damage and develop resistance. The phytonutrients in jackfruit contribute to its anticancer, antihypertensive, antiulcer, and antiaging properties.

4. Body Booster

Fatigue, stress and muscle weakness can be treated by consuming jackfruit in one’s daily diet seeing that it contains vitamins such as thiamine and niacin. A portion of 100 g of jackfruit pulp provides 4 mg of niacin. Niacin is a B vitamin that’s made and used by your body to turn food into energy. It helps keep our nervous system, digestive system and skin healthy. Niacin (vitamin B-3) is often part of a daily multivitamin, but most people get enough niacin from the food they eat without supplements. It is also a great source of energy.

5. Blood Pressure Reducer

With its high amount of potassium, jackfruit reduces and controls blood pressure which consequently lowers the chances of heart attacks, strokes, and cardio-disorder in general.

6. Weight Loss Type 2 Diabetes

Jackfruit can help in weight loss if consumed the right way. Jackfruit is high fibre, which helps improve our digestion and metabolism, the fundamentals of weight loss. It is not very high in calories, one cup of sliced jackfruit contains about 155 calories. Jackfruit is not exactly fit for keto, which is a very popular weight loss diet – as it is not very low in carbs – one cup of jackfruit contains about 40 g of carbs. However, it does have other benefits for weight loss that cannot be ignored. For example the fiber helps keep you satiated for longer, making you skip binging on junk unnecessarily. In fact, jackfruit is a low-calorie fruit that will help you with your weight loss struggles.

Jackfruit is very fibrous – and that is extremely helpful for people with diabetes. Fibre slows down the rate at which sugar is released in the blood, therefore keeping your blood sugar controlled. Jackfruit is also rich in various vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, etc. When you are on a weight loss or diabetic diet, you tend to follow a very restrictive diet, that may lead to a deficiency of certain nutrients in the body, and the diet may, in fact, turn out to be unhealthy for you. Therefore, it is very important to include foods like jackfruit in your diet, which help maintain the balance by managing diabetes, as well as providing the body with the essential nutrients.

People with diabetes should include foods with low GI in their diet, as it means that they spike blood sugar less than foods that have a relatively higher GI. A study also found that people who consumed jackfruit had improved blood sugar levels.

7.Fights Wrinkles

In order to avoid wrinkles on your skin, take a seed or two of jackfruit and grind it smoothly in cold milk for some time. Apply this paste on your face regularly to keep fine lines away. This is one of the chief benefits of jackfruit seeds and it should give your skin a boost of youth. Jackfruit seeds are also great for your skin’s texture. Soak the seeds with some milk and honey and grind it into a fine paste. Apply this on your face evenly and let it dry completely. Wash off with lukewarm water and be amazed.

8.Seed Prevents Anaemia

Eating jackfruit seeds can give your daily nutrition an iron boost. Jackfruit seeds are a great source of iron which is a component of hemoglobin. A diet which is rich in iron eliminates the risk of anemia and other blood disorders. Iron also helps to support a healthy brain and a strong heart. These seeds are rich in thiamin and riboflavin which help in turning the food you eat into energy and keep your eyes, skin and hair healthy. The seeds also provide small amounts of minerals like zinc, iron, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium. Jackfruit seeds contain compounds that have an antimicrobial effect, which could help prevent contamination with bacteria that cause food borne illnesses. These seeds have also been used in traditional medicine to help with digestive tract problems, although more research is necessary to verify the potential benefits.

There is definitely much more to be discovered about jackfruit as researches are still being conducted for more results and discoveries of its unique and amazing properties that will provide more solutions for improving our health. Despite its nutritional values and enormous health benefits, the jackfruit is underutilized and not classified as a commercial crop and is rarely grown on regular plantation scale due to its short shelf life and insufficient processing facilities in the regions where they are grown. I hope in the near future this will change for this incredible fruit.

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