Home > Blog > Diet > Why You Should Eat Jackfruit

An image of a jackfruitJackfruit is a tropical fruit grown in certain parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. As part of the Moraceae family of plants, it is a close relative of breadfruit, mulberries, and figs. Due to its distinctively sweet flavor when ripe, it makes a great addition to various dishes, whether raw or cooked. When younger, it has a neutral flavor and a meat-like texture, making it useful for vegetarian marinades. Highly nutritious in nature, jackfruit holds many health benefits that could make it worth adding to your diet.

About Jackfruit

Jackfruit, considered a great source of carbohydrates and calories in certain parts of the world, is commonly consumed in both its ripe and unripe forms. The seeds and flesh are both edible and are used in both sweet and savory dishes. Jackfruit is often used in curries and desserts. Generally, the unripe fruit is usually used in savory dishes while the ripened fruit is used in desserts. It also makes a great addition to yogurt or oatmeal at breakfast time.

While jackfruit is available in the USA during the summer, a canned version is also available. Some stores also sell the fruit in pouches in the refrigeration section. Most specialty Asian food markets stock this fruit. It has a sweet, fruity flavor that reminds one of a combination of mangoes, pineapples, apples, and bananas.

The texture of unripe jackfruit makes it a desirable alternative to meat. It is great in stir-fries, burritos, curries, and tacos. You could also substitute it for pulled pork when making sandwiches. It does have more protein than other fruit but contains low protein overall.

Jackfruit seeds are also edible and have a higher protein content than the flesh. And while jackfruit is also available in a flour form that makes an alternative to use when baking, it is relatively hard to find.

One average jackfruit weighs anything between 30 to 40 pounds but it can get up to 80 pounds. It has thick, green skin, and a creamy, pale interior. The seeds are quite large and make a great in-between snack. This is the largest fruit in the world that grows on a tree.

Before cooking with your jackfruit, do take note that you may need to strain it before use. This is because of the fruit’s high water content. You can use it as a meat substitute in just about any dish and cook it in a similar way. The fruit’s texture is remarkably similar to that of cooked, shredded meat. It is low in protein, though.

The Health Benefits of Jackfruit

Jackfruit has a high fiber and low fat content. Like most fruit, it is not terribly high in protein, but it does contain many vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. These include, amongst others, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and many B vitamins. The fruit contains no cholesterol or saturated fat.

Rich In Antioxidants

Jackfruit is rich in antioxidants that help protect your body against oxidative stress and inflammation. This is usually the result of free radicals.

The most common antioxidants found in jackfruit include:

  • Vitamin C helps promote heart health by helping to prevent the inflammation linked to heart disease and certain cancers.
  • Flavanones with their anti-inflammatory properties help to lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
  • Carotenoids that help combat inflammation and reduce your risk of certain chronic health issues like heart disease and diabetes.

Boosts Immunity

Jackfruit contains many vitamins that help boost your immune system and reduces your risk of viral infections, including vitamin A and C.

Promotes Heart Health

an image of two pairs of hand holding a heart shaped objectThe strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in jackfruit promote heart health. In addition, the fruit further helps reduce your risk of heart disease due to its high potassium and fiber content.

Boosts Skin Health

Certain evidence shows that by incorporating jackfruit into your diet you can slow down skin aging and improve your skin health. This could be ascribed to the nutrients and oxidants found in the fruit.

Blood Sugar Control

Besides the fruit’s strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, jackfruit has a low glycemic index (GI). Low GI foods digest slowly, thereby helping to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. They thus promote blood sugar control. In the case of jackfruit, this is possibly due to the fruit’s high fiber content.

Interestingly, a study on jackfruit in diabetic mice found that an extract from the tree’s leaf helps with long-term blood sugar control and reduces fasting blood sugar levels.

Traditional Medicine Uses

Although not scientifically proven, practitioners of traditional medicine in certain Asian countries use jackfruit when treating certain health issues like stomach ulcers, asthma, and diarrhea. It has also been used for its antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

Jackfruit for Adrenal Fatigue

Jackfruit may benefit those with adrenal fatigue or one of its many related health issues on many different levels, such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes. But the fruit’s strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits could include adrenal support as well. This is because your body’s continued NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response during stressful periods has, as a side effect, a dysregulation effect that spans most body systems and functions. The main cause of this is the constant, heightened demand for cortisol production in an effort to deal with stress.

While we usually think of stress in terms of its psychological impact, this includes stress from physiological or external causes as well. Even your diet can cause stress. In the long term, your NEM and its continued call for cortisol release result in hormone imbalance, inflammation, cardiac issues, and many more. Furthermore, your adrenal glands start suffering and, at some stage, cannot maintain the demand for cortisol. Ultimately, you may suffer from an adrenal crash and its own set of health implications.

What one also needs to keep in mind is the impact of stress on your body’s immune system and inflammatory response. A compromised immune system may result in low-grade inflammation that, while you may see no health issues in the short term, may have a negative effect on your health in the long term. Arthritis is a good example of this. Many people with arthritis may have had low-grade inflammation over an exceptionally long period before manifesting symptoms.

A Word of Caution

While jackfruit is safe to eat for most people, some people with food allergies, birch pollen, and diabetes should be cautious when doing so. If you take blood-sugar-regulating medication, you may need to have your dosages looked at if eating jackfruit regularly. This is due to the fruit’s blood sugar regulatory properties. Those with diabetes may find that eating this fruit regularly causes their blood sugar levels to decline while on their regular medication.

If you suffer from food allergies, first talk to your healthcare practitioner about incorporating jackfruit into your diet. They are better able to help you ascertain whether you could have a possible jackfruit allergy or whether it is safe for you to consume.

If in any doubt about consuming jackfruit, please talk to your healthcare practitioner. Once they look at your medical history, they can discern whether you can safely make the fruit part of your dietary regime or whether you should abstain.

In Closing

An image of a bowl of soupFor most of us, jackfruit would make a great addition to our diets. This is due to the large array of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the fruit, and their strong anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and antioxidant abilities. So, if you do not fall in the risk group, please do consider making jackfruit a part of your diet.

If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, here is how jackfruit may help you alleviate the situation:

  1. By using it as a meat substitute in certain dishes, you cut down on your fat consumption.
  2. The strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the fruit supply adrenal support while helping your body deal with associated conditions.
  3. Because of its strong immune-boosting properties, jackfruit may help your body overcome certain health issues.

Do remember that those with diabetes and certain allergies should be cautious when eating jackfruit. It can lower blood sugar and cause potential allergic reactions in some.

If you would like to know more about or need assistance with regards to incorporating jackfruit into your diet, the team at Dr. Lam Coaching can help. We offer you a free** no-obligation phone consultation at +1 (626) 571-1234 where we will privately answer any possible questions. Alternatively, you can send a question through our Ask The Doctor System by clicking here.

© Copyright 2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

There is no quick cure for adrenal fatigue. But, because jackfruit has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it may help support adrenal gland function and help address various health issues associated with the condition. Amongst these conditions are included heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

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