Fruits are considered to be the most essential components of a balanced diet for a healthy body. This is basically as a result of the nutritive, medicinal and protective effects they exhibit, which therefore calls for great attention by everyone to tap into them. Most of these fruits contain phytochemicals such as alkaloids, polyphenols, caretenoids, minerals and vitamins which have been proven effective in supporting and promoting our health.
One of such valuable fruits is the jackfruit, nangka or jakfruit, which is botanically referred to as Artocarpus heterophilus. Jakfruit is originally from Asia and it belongs to the fig (Moraceae) and mulberry family with its fruit reaching up to 35 kg in weight, 20 inches diameter and 35 inches in length.
The jackfruit tree thrives well in the tropical parts of the world where it can produce close to 200 fruits annually. It has a flavourful sweet taste that makes the fruit of very high demand. Jackfruit is notable for its anti-oxidizing, anti-bacterial, antidiabetic, anti-helmintic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Nutritional Values of Jackfruit
The seeds contain dietary fiber, carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins while the edible flesh is an excellent source of proteins, antioxidant, vitamin C, carbohydrates, calcium, beta-carotene, iron, vitamin B6, potassium, lutein zeaxanthin, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin (B2), zinc, niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, folate (B9), vitamin E, sodium, minerals, manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
18 Incredible Benefits of Jackfruit
1. Anti-diabetic Properties
Studies reveal that the jackfruit extracts contain anti-diabetic properties thus effective for regulating the glucose blood sugar level. Its anti-diabetic effect is due to its high constituent of flavonoid and proanthocyanidin. The sugar in Jackfruit is easily digestible and belongs to the category of Slowly Available glucose (SAG) whereby the glucose is gently released in the body thereby lowering its glycemic index. This suggests why this fruit is suitable for diabetic patients as it does not affect the blood glucose level.
2. Boosts the Immune System
Jackfruit contains essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that help the body to fight against scavenging free radicals. These free radicals have been proven to be the cause of skin wrinkling, ageing, diseases and reduced resistance to infections. Eradicating these free radicals from the body is vital for boosting the immune system and providing resistance to infections such as cold, flu and cough.
3. Regulates the Blood Pressure Level
Jackfruit is an excellent source of potassium which is a key vitamin for regulating the blood pressure level. Daily intake of balanced amount of potassium is important for maintaining a balanced sodium level. It is noteworthy that potassium deficiency in the body can result to imbalanced sodium levels which can possibly affect the arteries and the heart.
4. Eradicates Colon Toxins
Studies reveal that the jackfruit is essential for getting rid of unwanted toxins from the colon due to its high constituent of anti-oxidants. It is important to note that allowing these toxins to accumulate in the colon could possible result to colon cancer.
5. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Jackfruit contains anti-inflammatory properties due to its constituent of phenolic compounds.
6. Anti-oxidizing Properties
Jackfruit is an excellent source of antioxidant due to the presence of prenylflavonoids in the fruit. These antioxidants inhibit the lipid peroxidation of biological membranes.
7. Maintains Healthy Eyesight
Jackfruit is a rich source of vitamin A, beta-carotene and lutein zeaxanthin which are essential for maintaining and promoting healthy vision. These vitamins protect the eyes against free scavenging radicals, viral infection and bacterial attacks that can lead to macular degeneration, night blindness, the risk of cataract and loss of sight.
8. Aids Healthy Digestion
Jackfruit is an excellent source of dietary fibre that converts to roughage to prevent constipation and aid easy food digestion. Including this fruit in your diet helps to clear the digestive tracts from unwanted waste products as well as reduces any accumulated buildups in the intestines.
9. Dermatological Purposes
Jackfruit helps to maintain healthy and youthful looking skin. It can be used to fights wrinkles, blemishes, rashes, eczema and other skin related diseases. Jackfruit seeds and flesh can be blended together with honey and milk which is then applied on the skin and allowed to stay for at least one hour before washing off. This treatment can be repeated until the blemishes clear and the skin glowing.
10. Promotes Healthy Bones
Jackfruit is a rich source of calcium which is essential for promoting and strengthening the bones thereby preventing osteoporosis, arthritis and other bone related diseases.
11. Anti-fungal Properties
Jackfruit seeds contain lectins which have been scientifically proven to be effective against fungal attacks.
12. Anti-bacterial Properties
The bark, root and stem of the jackfruit have been revealed to be antibacterial in nature.
13. Energy Booster
Jackfruit is an excellent source of energy due to its constituent of carbohydrate and simple sugar such as sucrose and fructose which are easily digestible by the body system.
14. Prevention of Piles
Jackfruit is a rich source of dietary fibre thus helps to prevent and protect the body against anal piles and haemorrhoids. Pile is a painful health condition caused by constipation and associated with the swelling of the blood vessels in the anal region thereby leading to severe pain while passing faeces.
15. Prevents Anemia
Jackfruit is an excellent source of iron, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A which are all essential for preventing anaemia and fighting against the deficiency of red blood cells in the blood. Jackfruit increases iron absorption with vitamin C in the body.
16. Anti-ulcerative Properties
Jackfruit is anti-ulcerative in nature thus very effective for curing ulcers and stomach pains associated with ulcers.
17. Culinary Purposes
Ripe jackfruit can be eaten raw or can be used for preparing assorted dishes such as snacks, custards, drinks, cakes, ice cream, chips, dosas and desserts. Unripe jackfruit is distinguished by its meat-like taste thus can be used by vegetarians as a substitute for meat. Both ripe and unripe jackfruit can be used for preparing curry dishes, spices, soup, papads, pickles, chips, syrup, pasta, jam, jelly, baby food products, seasonings, snacks, beverages, candy and ice cream. Jackfruit can be eaten alone or together with roti, gulai nangka, rice, muri, gudeg or chira.
18. Other Uses of Jackfruit
Both the fruit, leaves, skins and rinds of the jackfruit are a source of food to animals, birds, flies and ants. The tree is a high-quality wood, thus can be used for manufacturing furniture, windows, doors, musical instruments, building constructions and in roof construction.
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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