Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, and its bright yellow edible pods are very sweet and juicy. There’s a seed inside each pod, largely composed of starch and protein. This fruit is popular in Asian countries and mostly available during the summer.
Its nutritional content provides many wonderful health benefits. It contains many important nutrients like vitamins A, C and B6, calcium, potassium, iron, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and magnesium.
It is also rich in dietary fiber and has a significant amount of flavonoid pigments, such as carotene, xanthin, lutein and cryptoxanthin.
The easily digestible pods contain simple sugars like fructose and sucrose. In addition, it is gluten-free and casein-free. Jackfruit is also a great water-based food. It is made up of 80 percent water.
You can use the ripe fruit to make jam, jelly, ice cream, candies, cakes and chutneys. The pods even make a great addition to fruit salads, smoothies, or healthy snacks. You can use raw jackfruit in cooking curries, stews and other delicious vegetable dishes.
Note: Excessive consumption of jackfruit may cause stomach upset, so eat it in moderation. Plus, it may not be suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of jackfruit and its seeds.
1. Boosts Immune System
Being an excellent source of vitamin C (an antioxidant), jackfruit gives a boost to your immunity by supporting the white blood cells’ function. This antioxidant also helps neutralizes free-radicals in the body, which damage cell membranes and even DNA.
A healthy immune system forms a strong resistance against viral and bacterial infections. This helps prevent common illnesses like coughs, colds and flu.
Just 100 g (3.5 oz) of jackfruit provides 13.8 mg or 17 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. So, when available, try to eat at least 1 cup of jackfruit to give your body a healthy dose of this powerful antioxidant.
2. Keeps Skin Healthy
If you are seeing signs of aging at an early age, start eating jackfruit to prevent premature aging. Its antioxidant property prevents free-radical damage caused by high oxidative stress and pollution. This in turn slows the aging process and reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and dryness.
The vitamin C in jackfruit aids the production of collagen, a protein that helps keep skin firm and tight.
In addition, it helps keep skin moisturized and well-hydrated due to its high water content. Well-hydrated skin glows and looks younger.
3. Backents Anemia
Jackfruit is beneficial for preventing anemia caused by iron deficiency. It provides a good amount of iron and increases the production of red blood cells.
Its high vitamin C content also improves the absorption of iron in the body. Other minerals in it, such as copper and magnesium, help improve the quality of blood.
In addition to providing nutrition, it helps the blood supply more oxygen throughout the body, which helps reduce symptoms of anemia like bouts of lethargy, constant fatigue and pale complexion.
4. Improves Energy Levels
Jackfruit is also an energy-generating fruit. It contains simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that give your body an instant energy boost without significantly impacting the sugar levels in the blood. At the same time, it contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.
It also increases metabolism, which helps your body burn calories faster to provide energy. In addition, its high water content keeps your energy level high.
A cup of jackfruit makes a great addition to your diet, especially if you are involved in sports or other activities for which you constantly need a good supply of energy.
5. Relieves Constipation
The dietary fiber in jackfruit helps keep the digestive system healthy. Fiber adds bulk to your stools and softens them up. This helps regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation.
In addition, jackfruit helps keep the digestive tract clean and prevents buildup of waste products in the intestines. It also helps alleviate and prevent piles as well as colon cancer.
However, as mentioned above, do not eat jackfruit in excess as it may cause stomach upset.
6. Lowers High Blood Pressure
Jackfruit is even good at improving your cardiovascular health by lowering high blood pressure. Its vitamin C content helps fight the harmful effects of free radicals and lowers the risk of heart disease.
In addition, its potassium content helps regulate blood pressure by controlling the sodium level in the body. High sodium can cause a rise in blood pressure. Potassium also helps strengthen and control heart muscles.
The fruit also has vitamin B6 that helps reduce homocysteine levels in the blood, which helps lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
7. Maintains Healthy Vision
Jackfruit contains vitamin A, an essential nutrient for the eyes. This vitamin improves eyesight as well as helps prevent cataracts, night blindness, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Vitamin A even helps strengthen the mucous membranes that create a film on the cornea, thus protecting the eyes from bacterial and viral infections.
The vitamin C in jackfruit promotes healthy capillaries and helps maintain proper functioning of retinal cells. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin that are good for the eyes. Lutein protects the eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light and zeaxanthin aids visual development.
8. Strengthens Bones
Jackfruit is rich in magnesium, a nutrient that helps in the absorption of calcium. Magnesium and calcium work together to strengthen the bones and prevent bone-related disorders, such as osteoporosis.
In addition, its potassium prevents the loss of calcium and improves calcium density in bones.
9. Supports Thyroid Health
The copper found in jackfruit plays an important role in the thyroid metabolism, mainly in hormone production and absorption.
Jackfruit also helps deal with hypothyroidism, due to the B vitamins it contains. B vitamins are vital for healthy thyroid functioning and can help reduce symptoms of the disorder.
In addition, it contains zinc, magnesium and potassium that can help improve thyroid functioning. It even stimulates metabolism and boosts energy.
10. Protects against Cancer
Jackfruit is rich in cancer-fighting phytonutrients and antioxidants. It may help prevent the development of certain cancers, such as oral, colon and skin cancer.
The vitamin C in it neutralizes free radicals that can damage cells and lead to cancer. It also contains vitamin K, manganese and dietary fiber, which help lower cancer risk.
Plus, jackfruit contains phytonutrients, such as lignans, isoflavones and saponins that help eliminate cancer-causing free radicals from the body.