Jackfruit is a popular Asian fruit that originates from South East Asia and India. When ripe, its soft, sweet flesh can be used in smoothies or to make jams, chutneys, candies, cakes and even ice creams. When unripe, the pulp has a gummy, mutton-like texture, and can be incorporated into savory dishes like gravies and spicy curries. The flesh can also be boiled and salted and served like a vegetable, or dried and fried to mimic the texture of potato chips. You can even mix jackfruit with milk and create a custard. Not only is jackfruit delicious and a clever way to add a unique fruit into your diet, but it’s also overflowing with healthy nutrients.
Health Benefits of Jackfruit
High in fiber, jackfruit helps optimize digestive function, curing constipation and even helping to heal gastric ulcers. Jackfruit is a great source of B vitamins, including thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin, and an outstanding source of vitamin C. These antiviral and antibacterial nutrients help boost immune function and support the production of white blood cells.
Jackfruit is also highly concentrated in the cancer-fighting phytonutrients lignans, isoflavones, and saponins, so cellular aging is stalled and disease-promoting free radicals stopped in their tracks before they can inflict damage. Other notable nutrients in jackfruit include:
- Calcium and magnesium for bone health
- Vitamin A and lutein for vision, glowing skin, and healthy hair
- Iron to help protect against anemia
- Copper for maintaining thyroid health and normal cholesterol levels
- Potassium for optimal electrolyte and fluid balance
- Selenium for extra antioxidant protection
- Phosphorus for energy production and bone mineralization
Jackfruit can be a bit tricky to find, especially fresh. Asian markets carry jackfruit fresh in season (typically summer and fall), but you can find them canned throughout the year as well.