Jackfruit is an exotic fruit grown in tropical regions and native to the southern part of India. It’s available in other parts of the world, including the United States. Jackfruit is the largest tree fruit, reaching up to 35 kg in weight. Jackfruit has a dull green, spiky outer skin, which is not eaten, and the edible part of the fruit (the flesh or fruit pods) lies inside, which is light yellow in color and has a rubbery texture. Jackfruits may be eaten when ripe or unripe. Jackfruit can be consumed plain or cooked and made into both sweet and savory dishes, depending on its ripeness. The seeds are also safe to eat. Jackfruit may be used as a meat substitute due to its texture, which is comparable to shredded meat. Jackfruit flour may be used as a substitute for wheat flour. Jackfruit is an extremely nutritious fruit with several health benefits and has a mild sweet taste. Despite the sweet taste, it has the potential to lower blood sugar levels, and patients with diabetes may need lower doses of their medication if the fruit is consumed regularly. It is a major source of nutrition for those at risk of starvation in developing countries. Jackfruit is not bad for humans, and eating jackfruit is safe for most people. Some people may be allergic to it if they are also allergic to birch pollen, hence may need to avoid eating the fruit. No serious side effects of eating jackfruit have been reported.
What are the nutritional and common health benefits of eating jackfruit?
- Calories (155 calories per cup, which mostly comes from carbohydrates and protein)
- Carbohydrates (40 g)
- Protein (3 g)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
The common health benefits of eating jackfruit include:
- It may benefit blood sugar control: Jackfruit has a fairly low glycemic index (the measure of how quickly the blood sugar increases after eating a particular food) probably due to the high fiber content. The high protein in jackfruit also helps prevent blood sugar levels from increasing too quickly after a meal.
- Improves immunity: Jackfruit contains powerful antioxidants such as vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavanones that provide several health benefits and improve immunity. Antioxidants reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of diseases, improve skin tone, slow down the aging process, and protect the heart, improving heart health.
- Rich source of protein: Jackfruit contains higher protein than most fruits. Jackfruits contain more than 3 g of proteins per cup, whereas most fruits contain only less than 1 g of protein per cup.
- Improves digestion: Jackfruit is rich in fiber, which helps to maintain good gut health and prevent constipation.
What are the risks of eating jackfruit?
No serious side effects of eating jackfruit have been reported. Eating jackfruit is safe for most people. Some people may be allergic to it if they are also allergic to birch pollen, hence may need to avoid eating the fruit. Because jackfruit lowers the blood sugar levels when consumed regularly, people with diabetes who consume the fruit regularly would have to get tested and have the dosage of their anti-diabetic medication adjusted by the doctor. Jackfruit might cause excessive drowsiness if combined with certain medications used during and after surgery. Hence, it is advised not to consume jackfruit for at least two weeks before an elective (planned) surgery. There are no known negative interactions of jackfruit with other foods or medications.
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