Jackfruit is an exotic fruit that can be used in cooking both raw and cooked and is spreading all over the world as a base in the preparation of vegetarian dishes, thanks also to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Jackfruit is the English term for Artocarpus Heterophylus, an exotic plant belonging to the Moraceae family and also commonly called ciaca, juca or catala.
This plant is cultivated for the production of the edible fruit, also used in traditional medicine for its many properties. Jackfruit, in fact, thanks to its properties has long been used as a remedy for inflammatory processes, malaria, diarrhea, diabetes and tapeworm infections.
The jackfruit is a very large fruit with a spongy dark yellow skin and very nutritious yellow internal bulbs (ranging from 50 to 500 for each fruit). The outer surface is covered with thorns that become softer and softer as the fruit ripens.
The plant is native to Southeast Asia and then spread to Australia, Africa and some South American countries, where it is still cultivated today. In fact, it needs warm and tropical climates and cannot bear sudden changes in temperature. For this reason it is not possible to cultivate it in many areas of the plants: the cold damages the fruits from a nutritional point of view.
Jackfruit: calories and nutritional values
The jackfruit is a very sugary fruit that provides about 95 calories per 100 g of product and therefore is not recommended in large quantities in low- calorie diets. In fact, it contains a moderate amount of carbohydrates (23.5 g per 100 g of jackfruit) of which more than 80% in the form of sugars. The fat content is almost nil, but the fiber content of 1.5 g per 100 g of product is discreet.
This fruit is also rich in some micronutrients such as magnesium (29 mg of magnesium per 100 g of jackfruit with a recommended daily dose of 240 mg) and potassium (448 mg in 100 g of product, equal to 11.5% of the recommended dose) and low instead of sodium (only 2 mg in 100 gr of fruit).
Among the vitamins, vitamin C and vitamins of group B are fairly represented and in particular vitamin B6: 100 gr of jackfruit contain 0.33 mg of vitamin B6, equal to about 25% of the daily requirement of an adult man.
Nutritional values per 100g of Jackfruit:
- Waterfall: 73.46 g
- kcal: 95
- Proteins: 1.72 g
- Fat: 0.64 g
- Carbohydrates: 5.3 g
- Fibers: 1.5 g
- Potassium: 448 mg
- Magnesium: 29 mg
- Iron: 0.23 mg
- Phosphorus: 21 mg
- C vitamin: 13.7 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.329 mg
- Soccer: 24 mg
- Folate: 24 ugr
- Cholesterol: 0 g
Jackfruit: nutritional properties
As we have mentioned, the jackfruit turns out to be a particularly nutritious fruit, very rich in B vitamins, like only a few other fruits. It is also very rich in some phenolic compounds such as flavonoids, stilbenoids and jacalin, which give the jackfruit many healthy properties.
In particular, the presence of jacaline makes this fruit particularly important in medical research. We deepen below the properties of the major constituents of jackfruit, at the micronutrient level.
- Vitamin C: with its antioxidant function, it is essential for our immune system, it is also involved in the synthesis of collagen and is important for the assimilation of iron by red blood cells;
- Potassium: mineral involved in various physiological processes such as muscle contraction, the maintenance of a correct hydro-saline balance and the regulation of blood pressure;
- Magnesium: mineral with multiple properties, essential for the well-being of the nervous system, for the construction of the skeleton and for the metabolism of fats;
- Vitamin B6: another water-soluble vitamin whose deficiency is linked to dysfunctions of the nervous system. It is necessary for the synthesis of serotonin (or hormone of good mood) and is therefore also useful in the case of depressive disorders.
Jackfruit: Health Benefits
All parts of the jackfruit and other plants belonging to the same family (from the pulp, to the roots and to the seeds) have always been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases: inflammation, malaria, diarrhea, ulcers and abscesses. We explore its main biological activities below.
✓ Antibacterial activity
Jackfruit extract has a broad spectrum antibiotic activity, being effective against many pathogenic microorganisms (different strains of Bacillus, Micrococcus, Staphilococcus, Streptococcus, Salmonella and so on).
✓ Anti-diabetes activity
The effect of jackfruit extract on glucose tolerance has been studied since the early 1990s. The results of these studies have shown that this extract significantly improves glucose tolerance in both healthy and diabetic subjects.
✓ Anti-inflammatory properties
The presence of some phenolic compounds gives the jackfruit anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies, in particular, have shown that jackfruit contains artocarpesin and norartocarpesina, two phenolic compounds that have a powerful anti-inflammatory activity: they are able, in fact, to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory molecules.
✓ Antioxidant properties
The phenolic compounds present in jackfruit possess a remarkable antioxidant activity, which protects the body from lipid peroxidation. This activity appears to be greater than that exerted by genistein, a long-known isoflavone present in some plants such as lupins, soybeans and broad beans.
✓ Anti-HIV activity
The jacaline present in jackfruit is a lectin that possesses anti-HIV properties. In particular, jacaline is the most represented protein in the seeds of this fruit, identified in 1980. It is also able to bind to human IgA (immunoglobulin A), a type of antibodies involved in the immune response, and in particular to the IgA1 subclass.
Jackfruit: some tips for use
Jackfruit is visibly similar to Durian (another very popular exotic fruit in Southeast Asia) and contains several separable fruits, with a shape slightly similar to that of peppers or chillies. It deteriorates very quickly and therefore once opened it is recommended to consume it as soon as possible or to store it in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2-3 days.
Ripe jackfruit has a sweet, fruity and sugary flavor, reminiscent of the mix of some fruits that we are more used to consuming. The most unripe fruits, which are green, must be cooked before they can be consumed.
Jackfruit seeds can also be used in the kitchen, which must first be dried, toasted or roasted to be consumed as the raw seeds are toxic to the human body.
The prolonged cooking of this fruit gives it a particular flavor, attributable to that of the meat: for this reason, and thanks to its consistency, it is well suited to be used as a base in the creation of vegetarian or vegan dishes.
In this regard, we suggest you boil the jackfruit and then pass it in a pan, flavoring it with spices of your choice such as paprika, curry or chilli. Then use it to fill tacos or wraps, accompanying them with an avocado sauce.
Jackfruit: Contraindications and Potential Negative Effects
There are no particular contraindications to the consumption of jackfruit in moderate quantities. As we have anticipated, in fact, it is a fruit with a moderate sugar content, whose abundant consumption is not recommended in case of obesity and low-calorie diets.