Jackfruit has a prickly surface, but as it ripens it gets softer and gives off a sweet aroma. These fruits weigh as much as 30 kilograms, and the average tree yields up to 250 fruits.
Found near the tropical regions of Southern Asia, East Africa, and Brazil, this fruit is full of nutrients that benefit the body in many ways including the prevention of cancer and the promotion of healthy bones. It is very nutritious with numerous uses and health benefits.
Health Benefits of Jackfruit
Consumption of jackfruits can improve or strengthen:
- Eyesight. The vitamin A in the fruit helps improve in the functioning of the eyes, preventing some vision problems.
- Immunity. The vitamin C in the fruit improves the condition of white blood cells.
- Asthma. The root, when boiled, helps treat asthma.
- Digestion. The fruit is high in fiber which helps prevent constipation and eliminate cancer-causing chemicals from the colon.
- Blood pressure. Potassium promotes a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure.
- Bones. The magnesium in the fruit helps calcium absorb and strengthen the bones. The potassium can increase bone density by decreasing the loss of calcium through the kidneys.
- Blood sugar. Jackfruit is rich in manganese, a nutrient that helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- Anemia. Iron helps in proper blood circulation, thereby preventing anemia.
- Thyroid. Jackfruits are rich in copper. This metal helps maintain a healthy metabolism rate. Copper is particularly important in the production and absorption of hormones.
- Skin. Jackfruit helps to detoxify the body and allow for a clear complexion.
- Hair growth. The vitamin A in jackfruit helps prevent anemia. In addition, maintaining healthy blood circulation is essential for hair growth and this is something vitamin A can improve. This vitamin also helps by preventing hair dryness.
- Energy. Jackfruit contains simple sugars (fructose and sucrose) which provide a boost of energy.
- Cancer. Jackfruits contain phytonutrients, flavonoids, and antioxidants which aid in ridding the body of free radicals. Free radicals can stimulate the production of cancer cells.
- Colon cancer. The dietary fats in jackfruit clear toxins from the colon and protect the body from colon cancer.
- Aging. The antioxidants that aid in the destruction of free radicals can also slow the degeneration of the body.
- Ulcers. Along with aiding in proper digestion, jackfruit can be used to assist in the treatment of ulcers.
Jackfruit Nutritional Value
Jackfruit is packed full of nutrients that help improve overall health. Some of these nutrients are:
- Vitamin A
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Flavonoid pigments
- Folic acid
Just one cup of the raw fruit contains large amounts of vitamins A, C and B6, dietary fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and offers two grams of protein. It is also low in sodium and free of cholesterol. Perhaps most importantly, the fruit is low in calories and low in fat. This makes it ideal for those watching their weight or concerned with heart health.
The seeds have nutritional value as well. Each fruit contains a hundred seeds or more. In fact, a jackfruit can hold as many as 500 seeds. These seeds are a good source of protein and good for preventing constipation. The seeds also provide the body with necessary nutrients for healthy hair. You can boil or roast the seeds.
These seeds can also be beneficial when used externally. Seeds soaked in cold milk for one minute and then ground up can be applied to wrinkles. You can also soak the seeds in milk and honey, and mash them into a paste. You can then apply the mixture on your face, wait until it dries and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
Other parts of the plant serve the body as well. For example, you can boil the root and then use it to treat respiratory problems including wheezing. You can also use jackfruit root extract to treat diarrhea, fever, and skin problems.
To take advantage of the numerous health benefits jackfruits have to offer, you can eat it raw, as is, or incorporate it into salads. However, the fruit is not the only part of the plant which you can use.
The plant has many additional uses like relieving fever, ulcers, and skin diseases or treating abscesses and glandular swelling. The fruit, the root, the seeds, the leaves, the latex, and even the wood from the tree have popular uses:
- Fruit. Particularly in China, people use the pulp and seeds of the fruit are as a tonic.
- Root. You can also use the root of the plant. Just boil it in hot water and strain it. You can then eat the root.. This is a good remedy for asthma, diarrhea, fever, and skin diseases.
- Seeds. Roasted seeds can be used as an aphrodisiac. The seed starch can be used to relieve biliousness (i.e. too much bile in the system).
- Leaves. When burnt with corn and coconut shells, the fruit’s leaves will produce ash that can be used to heal ulcers. You can use this ash either as it is or you could try mixing it with coconut oil, to produce an ointment. You an also make tea out of the leaves. Jackfruit tea is beneficial for fever, skin diseases, and boils. In addition, after heating the leaves, you can also use them to provide relief to a wounded area.
- Latex. Latex, a white sticky juice that oozes from the tree when it is injured, can be mixed with vinegar to heal abscesses and glandular swelling. The latex can be useful for treating pharyngitis (inflammation of the back of the throat) and opthalmities (inflammation of the eye).
Jackfruit contains many necessary nutrients, and its consumption helps in maintaining good health and, in some cases, reversing aspects of poor health. Additionally, different parts of the plant have other uses, medicinal and otherwise. While there has been a lot of research on jackfruit and its health benefits, there is still much left unsaid. Readers should share their questions, thoughts, and experiences to develop a more thorough understanding of the nutritional benefits and popular uses of this plant.