Jackfruit - The New Superfood for Health & Weight Loss?
Jackfruit is the largest tree fruit in the world. A single piece of jackfruit can weigh upwards of 100 pounds. It features a very distinct taste - almost like that of Juicy Fruit gum - and a unique musky smell.
The popularity of jackfruit is growing so rapidly there was even an international symposium held in 2012 on its benefits.
These enormous fruit pods grow on the trunks or branches of trees that reach 30 to 50 feet tall. They contain a wealth of good nutrition and are high in micronutrients. Each jackfruit:
- Contains 95 calories per half cup
- Features a wealth of potassium and vitamin B
- Is lower carb than foods like corn or rice
- Contains no saturated fat or cholesterol
- Is high fiber
- Provides a wealth of electrolytes and phytonutrients
Here is the complete breakdown per half cup serving.
|Per Half Cup Serving|
|Vitamin A||5 ug|
|Vitamin B1||0.105 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.055 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.92 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.329 mg|
|Vitamin C||13.8 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.34 mg|
Nyree Zyrega, Northwestern University's Plant Biology Graduate Program Director, stated that jackfruit is an underutilized crop. It is often recognized as one of the healthiest fruit choices you can eat.
What follows are merely a few of the many health benefits that jackfruit offers.
Jackfruit contains antioxidants. Jackfruit provides nearly 14 mgs of vitamin C per serving. As an antioxidant, vitamin C works to fight free radicals. Free radicals can contribute to all sorts of health issues including damaged call membranes, compromised DNA, aging, wrinkled skin, tumors, cancers, and increased susceptibility for diseases and infections.
Jackfruit is micronutrient dense and provides healthy energy. The fructose and sucrose in jackfruit are rapidly digested, making it an excellent source for quick energy. Combine this with the rich in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and you have a powerhouse food choice.
Jackfruit is great for your cardiovascular system. Concerned about heart health? The rich amount of potassium found in jackfruit helps to balance and control sodium levels. Without potassium, sodium levels can spiral out of control and lead to a damaged heart and arteries.
Jackfruit helps with healthy digestion. The soft fiber content in jackfruit provides a significant amount of roughage. For every 100 grams of jackfruit there is 1.5 grams of roughage. This is considered an excellent amount. This fiber not only helps to soften your stools, but it also adds bulk, making it easier for waste to pass.
It should be noted that 25 percent of the fiber content in jackfruit is soluble. Soluble fiber helps to provide energy.
Works to prevent colon cancer. When the colon is damaged at a cellular level, cancer can form. These altered cells reproduce rapidly, and eventually travel to other areas of the body. The antioxidants in jackfruit help to flush toxins from the colon, reducing the likelihood of cancer.
Aids in eye health. jackfruit is rich in vitamin A and beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A plays a major role in eye health. It works to protect the eyes from free radicals, as well as to fight off viral and bacterial infections.
May help with asthma. jackfruit root is being used as an experimental treatment for asthma and its symptoms. These symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, and asthma-related panic.
Assists with bone health. Jackfruit is calcium-rich, which makes it an excellent food choice for overall bone health and bone density. Also, the high potassium levels found in jackfruit also help to prevent calcium wasting.
Helps in the prevention of anemia. Anemia is a condition caused by the reduction of hemoglobin or red blood cells. The result is a slowing of oxygen transport, leading to excessive fatigue, a pale complexion, and in some cases even blackouts. The iron and vitamin C found in jackfruit helps to prevent anemia.
Jackfruit and Weight LossJackfruit, as part of a healthy and balanced diet, also assists with weight loss. Here are some important points to note:
- The fiber content in jackfruit will help you to feel full. This feeling of fullness will - of course - reduce the likelihood that you will overeat or reach for poor food choices. It also helps to provide an energy boost and to stimulate key bodily processes.
- It's hard to overeat jackfruit. It is not calorie dense, and a perfect choice for anyone trying to fill-up on nutritious food without filling up on calories.
- The potassium content in jackfruit assists with muscle recovery, development, and repair. Lean muscle mass helps you to burn more calories.
- Jackfruit is low in fat. While fat in itself does not inherently make you fat, it does contain 9 calories per gram which is much high than the 4 calories per gram found in carbs and protein. This makes jackfruit a lower calorie choice that is a perfect choice for those watching their calories.
- The bounty of micronutrients found in jackfruit keeps the body running as it should, helping to stave off sluggishness.