A strange fruit indeed, it’s probable that unless you have traveled to Southeast Asia or the Philippines, you will have never heard of the jackfruit. It is a large tropical fruit, related to the breadfruit. Deliciously sweet, tangy, and exotic, it can sometimes be found at Asian supermarkets in the Western world. The trees produce prolific amounts of fruit, upwards of 150 individual fruits per year, with each fruit weighing up to 100 lbs.
It’s no joke when people claim that the jackfruit tree has the potential to feed the world. The powerful health benefits of jackfruit range from bone care to digestion, each benefit more impressive than the other. So let’s look closer at 10 jackfruit health benefits and provided some delicious jackfruit recipes to help you get started for the next time you run across a jackfruit.
Jackfruit Health Benefits
1. Reduces Blood Pressure
One cup of raw jackfruit contains 14% of your daily recommended intake of potassium. This mineral is extremely important for balancing and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. This is a great addition to your diet to prevent heart attack, and increase overall heart health.
2. Benefits Digestion
As everyone has likely experienced when overindulging in our favorite fruits, over-consumption can lead to digestive cramping within a few hours. Jackfruit on the other hand can be eaten in enormous amounts without any digestive consequences. On top of this, it is high in fiber, with roughly 4 grams for every 100 grams. Fiber facilitates healthy bowel movements, and is extremely important for a smooth and functional intestinal tract.
3. Diabetic Diet Friendly
Jackfruit has been found to increase glucose tolerance for both Type I and Type II forms of diabetes. Although very sweet tasting, it is safe to eat for those suffering from diabetes because its sugars are slowly absorbed through the digestive tract. This is due to the fact that it contains high levels of magnesium (15% of your daily value % in 1 cup), which is a mineral that facilitates slow healthy absorption of sugars.
4. Nervous System Support
Have you ever heard of niacin or thiamine? Did you know they were vital to the health of your central nervous system? Thankfully jackfruit is an easy way to include these trace minerals in your daily diet, as they are often hard to find. For example, 100 mg of jackfruit contains 4 mg of niacin. When these trace minerals are included in a balanced diet, symptoms like stress, fatigue and weakness will be reduced.
5. Bone Health
A primary component of healthy bones is a diet high in calcium. It’s also important to ensure you meet your daily recommended intake of vitamin C and magnesium, minerals which promote absorption of vitamins and other minerals. If you consume foods high in magnesium and potassium, both of which are found in jackfruit, you will have stronger and denser bones.
6. Eyesight Health
Deteriorating eyesight is a common and expected symptom of growing older, especially deteriorating eyesight at night. Jackfruit, like carrots, can help improve and maintain night vision. This is due to the fact that Jackfruit contains high levels of vitamin A.
7. Weight Loss
As part of a balanced diet and exercise routine, jackfruit makes a great addition. Its low in calories, contains zero fat and is packed full of vitamins and minerals. This makes it a great snack option, and because it’s so exotic, it’s much more exciting than an apple or banana.
8. Antioxidant Packed
Jackfruit is packed full of antioxidants, including Vitamin C and Vitamin A among others. Antioxidants are powerful mechanisms which combat aging and the proliferation of free radicals. If left unchecked, free radicals lead to disease, illness and even cancers.
9. Ulcer Treatment
A natural method to treat ulcers, jackfruit has a number of characteristics which make it a great alternative remedy. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-ulcerative.
10. Anemia Prevention
With its impressive list of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, iron, and magnesium, jackfruit is a great dietary supplement to ensure you always meet your daily requirements. All these vitamins and minerals are essential for blood formation, and allow your body to absorb more iron.
Jackfruit Recipes – a great vegan alternative!
Jackfruit Pulled Vegan “Pork”
- 3×20 oz. cans jackfruit
- 1 tsp. oil
- ½ chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1½ tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
- Buns, tacos, etc…
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drain the jackfruit and remove the core.
- Sauté onion and garlic until softened, add the jackfruit, sugar, spices and liquid smoke. Stir until combined.
- Add the vegetable broth, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Spoon jackfruit onto a lined baking sheet, bake for 20 minutes. Add BBQ sauce and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Serve exactly as you would pulled pork, on a taco or a bun!
Jackfruit Vegan “Bacon”
- 2×20 oz. cans young green jackfruit
- 4 tbs. liquid smoke
- 2 tbs. coconut aminos
- 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbs. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. molasses
- ½-1 tsp. black pepper
- ¼-1/2 tsp. Salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.Drain and dry jackfruit. Slice evenly and thinly.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Once thoroughly combined, add jackfruit.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
- Spread jackfruit in a thin even layer over the baking sheets.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Keep a close eye on it during the end as it may burn.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
Try those out and let us know how much you enjoy these delicious recipes.