Jackfruit is very nutritious and may even provide several health benefits. It is a fruit native to south India and has grown in popularity in recent years. Many vegans and vegetarians use jackfruit as a shredded meat substitute because of its texture. It pairs well with sauces and dishes you may find at a summer bar-b-que. It’s packed with nutrients, may help control blood sugar, and could even stave off disease.
1. Jackfruit is known as an Energy-Boosting Fruit and is diabetic friendly
The jackfruit has a high amount of carbohydrates and calories, but is very low in fat content. The simple sugars contained in the jackfruit such as fructose and sucrose are easily digested by our bodies and come from a category that is called “Slowly Available Glucose” or “SAG”. The glucose is released in a slow and restrained way. This aids in reducing the glycemic index of the jackfruit. Because of the low glycemic level, diabetics who suffer from sugar spikes and high sugar levels can eat the jackfruit without worrying too much about their glucose levels. Nutritionists recommend everyone who consumes jackfruit to take into account the higher caloric level and reminds people to incorporate physical activity into each day whenever possible.
2. Jackfruit is high in fiber content
Researchers have found that the jackfruit is high in fiber with 1.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams of serving which is considered to be an excellent source of fiber. The fiber is a significant amount of roughage. The dietary fiber found in the jackfruit has a laxative effect that adds bulk to stools and helps to soften them up. Studies have found that the jackfruit and its fiber helps to make it easy for your body to push the stools through the intestinal passage which improves digestion and helps to prevent constipation. The fiber helps to keep the tracts clean and reduce buildup in the intestines. Research shows that the jackfruit contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Twenty-five percent of the total fiber is soluble fiber, which is digested in our body and provides energy.
3. Jackfruit is high in anti-oxidants
Studies have shown that the jackfruit is an excellent source of vitamin C which is known to help the body against viral and bacterial infections. Vitamin C aids the immune system by strengthening and supporting the white blood cell function. One cup of jackfruit can supply the body with 20% of the daily recommended allowance. Not only does the jackfruit contain a good amount of vitamin C, but it also is rich in phytonutrients. Lignans, isoflavones, and saponins that are known to have both anti-cancer and anti-aging properties are found in jackfruit. Studies are being done with promising results that these phytonutrients may be a strong force in eliminating cancer-causing free radicals from the body and to slow the degeneration of cells that may to lead to degenerative diseases.
4. Jackfruit is helpful to eye health
Nutritionists and researchers have studied jackfruit and its benefits to eye health. They have found that the jackfruit is high in antioxidant compounds like flavonoids and phenols that are known to remove free oxygen radicals which damage cells at the DNA level. Studies have shown that these free oxygen radicals can be a cause of degeneration of the retinal cells which can lead to chronic degenerative diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. The jackfruit is also quite rich in vitamin A with a single serving offering 10% of the daily requirement. Vitamin A also plays a critical role in maintaining neurological function and healthy skin,
5. Jackfruit is heart-healthy
Researchers have studied the jackfruit and have found that a single serving contains roughly 10% of the daily requirement of potassium. Potassium is considered one of the most important components that regulate blood pressure. It is known that the proper amount of potassium is needed to control the correct amount of sodium in the body. If the body has a potassium deficiency, sodium levels can spiral out of control which leads to damage to the heart and arteries. Potassium is also responsible for coordinating and maintaining muscle function which also includes the heart. Potassium helps to balance electrolyte levels. The potassium found in jackfruit helps to maintain ideal blood pressure and therefore reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Side Effects of Jackfruit
The jackfruit has many health benefits but there are some side effects on health that may affect some who eat the fruit.
Jackfruit is known to cause an allergic reaction in people who suffer from birch pollen allergies.
People who suffer from blood disorders may have an increase in coagulation.
Some diabetics may have altered tolerance levels of glucose
Research has found that the seeds of the jackfruit have an immunostimulating effect on patients with tissue transplants or immunosuppression therapy
Jackfruit may inhibit sexual arousal, libido, and vigor in men.
Dr. Partha Nandi M.C. F.A.C.P. is a fulltime, practicing gastroenterologist and internal medicine physician. As an active holistic health practitioner in the field, Dr. Nandi is also the Chief Health Editor at WXYZ ABC Detroit. At the age of 16, he completed his high school education in Columbus, Ohio where he was awarded a full academic scholarship to The Ohio State University and University of Notre Dame. To remain closer to his family, he chose Ohio State. Partha graduated summa cum laude (Top 1% of the class), a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society, with a Bachelors degree in chemistry and a minor in classical Greek civilization. Partha also served as the Rhodes Scholar representative from Ohio State. Partha then traveled to Detroit, Michigan to obtain his medical degree at Wayne State University. At Wayne State, he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honor society and graduated in the top 10% of the class. He also completed his internal medicine training at Wayne State University, where he was the intern of the year. He completed his gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Nandi practices gastroenterology in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. He is the author of several publications in peer reviewed journals. He is a national speaker, educating physicians on various topics within medicine. He is a patient advocate, emphasizing empathy in patient care and treatment of the entire patient, both body and mind. Partha is passionate, empathetic and dedicated to his patients and his community.