Posted by: godshealingplants | October 29, 2019

JACKFRUIT FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Jack-fruit’s scientific name is Artocarpus heterophyllus and falls under the Moraceae species.

Historical reports suggest that jack-fruit tree is supposed to have originated in the rain forests of the Western Ghats in the Southwestern part of India. However with time, the trees have been introduced to other parts of India and tropical regions of the world. Today, the trees are found widely growing in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, in the Caribbean islands, in parts of USA (Florida and California), Brazil, Puerto Rico and Pacific Islands. 

ABOUT

The jack-fruit tree is very long-lived tree and generally with a lifespan of 60 to 70 years.

It grows to an enormous size up to 30 meters (almost 100 feet) high and 80 to 200 centimeters (2.6 to 6.5 feet) in diameter.

The fruit of this tree is the largest fruit. Fruits will reach up to 36 inches (about 1 m) and approximately 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter, weighing up to 80 pounds (36 kg).

The interior consists of large edible bulbs of yellow, banana-flavored flesh.

When fully ripe, the unopened jack-fruit emits a strong disagreeable odor, resembling that of decayed onions, while the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana.

Each seed is approximately 1.9 to 3.8 centimeters (3/4 to 1.5 inch) long and 1.3 to 1.9 centimeters (1/2 to 3/4 inch) thick and is white and crisp within.

There may be 100 or up to 500 seeds in a single fruit. The seeds from ripe fruits are edible, and are said to have a milky, sweet taste often compared to Brazil nuts. 

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Jack-fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, A, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, zinc and niacin (B-3).

Its great source of potassium helps to lower blood pressure. It also includes phytonutrients such as isoflavones, lignans and saponins that have numerous health benefits.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Here is a list of some of its health benefits: 

Anemia – If you do not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, you may be anemic. Symptoms include being tired or feeling weak. Poor blood circulation can also lead to anemia. However, increasing your iron intake will reduce the symptoms and encourage adequate blood flow. This fruit is rich in iron and can reverse the symptoms associated with iron-deficient disorders. 

Bones – Jack-fruit is an excellent source of calcium and is also packed with magnesium, which helps your body absorb calcium. Particularly for those who are lactose intolerant, jack-fruit is a healthy way to strengthen your bones without consuming dairy products. It can also help with bone disorders such as osteoporosis.

Cancer – Jack-fruit is an excellent source of phytonutrients like lignans, isoflavones, and saponins, all of which have anti-aging properties and the ability to protect against cancer. Jack-fruit is high in dietary fats that cleanse the toxins from the colon. Hence, it reduces the toxin effects in the colon and gives protection from colon cancer.

Digestion – Jack-fruit helps to cure digestive disorders including constipation and ulcers because of its high-fiber content.

Energy  – You can jump-start your day by eating this simple kind of sugar. This healthy fruit also has zero saturated fats and no cholesterol.

Eyesight – Another essential nutrient found in jack-fruit is vitamin A. Consuming jack-fruit can help prevent disorders such as macular degeneration or cataracts because of its healthy nutrients.

Immune System – Rich with vitamin C, jack-fruit can help fight against viral and bacterial infections.

Lowers High Blood Pressure – Jack-fruit is an excellent source of potassium. Because it is high in this mineral, it can lessen the risk of a heart attack or other cardio-related disorders.

Reduces High Cholesterol – Jack-fruit is packed with niacin, also known as vitamin B3. This essential nutrient is ideal for lowering the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while maintaining the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. It also reduces the level of triglycerides. In turn, consuming jack-fruit can lessen your chance of cardiovascular risks.

Skin – Vitamin A and other phytonutrients also promote a radiant complexion. These anti-aging components help protect skin damaged by sun exposure. They also soften skin and help treat wrinkles from the inside out.

Thyroid – Jack-fruit is rich in copper and is a tasty way to promote a functioning thyroid.

Ulcers – Jack-fruit has strong anti-ulcerative properties that can cure ulcers and many other digestive system disorders.

Weight Loss – Jack-fruit is low in calories and free of fat. You can consume this sweet fruit in moderation knowing you are not packing on the pounds. The next time you have a craving for something sweet, you can satisfy it with this healthy fruit.

Wrinkles – Jack-fruit seed can give you flawless skin. Soak some dry seed with milk and honey. Grind them into a fine paste and apply on your face. Let it dry, and then wash off to reveal flawless skin in just few minutes. 

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Buying a jack-fruit is not always an easy task because of the sheer size of it. It is one of the largest fruits, which has a spiky exterior that encloses the fleshy fruit pods inside.

This is also the reason why most supermarkets pre-cut and package it into set grams to make it easier for purchase. If you are picking the raw type, make sure the pieces are not blackened and look soft and tender. If you are picking the ripe fruit, the flesh should be vibrant yellow, without any dark patches.

For those who would prefer to pick the whole fruit, a point to note is to select one that imparts a strong smell. That’s an indication that it is ripe and you can relish the juicy flesh inside. But remember, when you are about to cut it open, oil the knife and your hands really well because it contains an extremely sticky substance inside which is difficult to handle otherwise. Usually, the jack-fruit is split vertically into two and then worked upon with a knife to extract the pods.

The cut fruit should be stored in the refrigerator, and can be kept for up to five to six days. You can also wrap up the pieces and keep them in the freezer for up to one month. But the flavor is best enjoyed when eaten as fresh as possible. 

HOW TO COOK

Jack-fruit is commonly used in Southeast and South Asian countries. In South India, the jack-fruit is a popular food ranking after mango and banana. 

Jackfruit vegan BBQ

The greenish unripe fruit is cooked as a vegetable, and the ripened fruit is eaten fresh for the sweetly acid but insipid pulp surrounding the seeds. The ripened fruit is also used to make a variety of dishes, including custards, cakes, ice cream. It can be a great substitute for vegan recipes.

When opened, a ripe jack-fruit has bright yellow pods that are delicious both raw and cooked. If the flesh is green, it is unripe, but can still be used for cooked vegetable dishes. 

HOW TO ENJOY

Here are some ideas of how you can enjoy the very versatile jackfruit.

Taco salad with avocadoes and shredded jackfruit

Pizza with shredded jack-fruit

Jackfruit smoothie

Flan with jackfruit

Jack-fruit ice cream

Spring rolls with jack-fruit and mushrooms

Vegan BBQ with pulled jack-fruit and coleslaw on a bun

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PRECAUTIONS

Pregnant women should not use it, as well as people with blood disorders. People taking blood medications such as aspirin or blood thinners should avoid it.

The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.

REFERENCES

http://www.fruitsinfo.com/Jackfruit.php

https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/jackfruit_ars.html

http://www.diethealthclub.com/health-food/jackfruit.html

http://wiki-fitness.com/jackfruit-health-benefits-nutrition-facts/

http://www.amazingfacts4u.com/jackfruit/

https://draxe.com/jackfruit/

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artocarpus+heterophyllus

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=282749&isprofile=0&

https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/grocery-shopping-guide-how-to-buy-and-store-jackfruit-kathal-1404632

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