Have you ever heard of jackfruit? This tropical fruit is part of the Moraceae plant family, that includes popular fruits like figs, mulberries, and breadfruit. Its flavor is quite specific, and many people have described it as a cross between bananas, apples, and mangoes. What makes jackfruit even better is its wide range of health benefits and its low caloric value.
- 155 calories
- 3 grams of fiber
- 3 grams of protein
- 40 grams of carbs
Jackfruit contains the following RDA for vitamins and minerals:
- 10 % vitamin A
- 11 % riboflavin
- 14 % potassium
- 15 % copper
- 15 % magnesium
- 16 % manganese
- 18 % vitamin C
Benefits of Jackfruit
It has been scientifically proven that jackfruit is packed with fiber, both soluble and insoluble. It has a laxative effect as well, helping to soften the stool. Generally speaking, regular consumption of jackfruit helps you stay regular and it keeps your colon clean and healthy.
- Vitamin C
Jackfruit is abundant in vitamin C, which plays a great role in protecting the body against bacterial and viral infections. This vitamin also supports blood cell function, strengthening the immune system. Amazingly, a cup of this tropical fruit contains up to 20% of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C. As an added bonus, it contains phytonutrients, saponins, and isoflavones, lignans that slow down aging.
Jackfruit contains fructose and sucrose, both of which are easily digested by the body. They are simple sugars, meaning that they are released slowly and thus help to stimulate energy production. It has a low glycemic index, which makes it beneficial for diabetics who can enjoy it without worrying about hyperglycemia.
- Eye Health
Jackfruit improves eye health due to its antioxidant content, particularly phenols and flavonoids. These compounds work to eliminate free radicals and unstable molecules which can damage the cells. Free oxygen radials are associated with retinal cell degeneration, which studies have shown to be the leading cause of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Heart Health
Jackfruit contains up to 10% of the recommended dietary allowance for potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and sodium levels within the body. This means that lack of potassium leads to increase in sodium level, which, in turn, causes damage to the heart and the arteries.
Potential Side Effects
While packed with health benefits, jackfruit also comes with certain side effects which are worth noting. For instance, it is known to trigger an allergic reaction in those who deal with birch pollen allergies. Additionally, it is said to:
- Increase coagulation, especially among those with blood disorders
- Lead to impaired glucose tolerance amongst diabetics
- Lead to sexual dysfunction amongst men