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Is Jackfruit Ok on The Candida Diet?

Posted 1/21/2021

Written by Dan Jackowiak, Nc, HHP

Jackfruit, scientifically called Artocarpus heterophyllus, belongs to the Moracea family of the plant kingdom. It is the largest fruit growing on all trees reaching up to 120 pounds in weight and is found predominantly in the tropical regions. India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal are top producing countries. There are about 30 strains of Jackfruit present in India. Generally, they are classified in two forms; soft form and firm form (5). In USA, jackfruit cultivation is not extensive and mostly found in South Florida and Hawaii.


Brief History of Jackfruit

Jackfruit originated from India or rain forests of Malaysia. It has also been suggested that the cultivation of Jackfruit started independently from Asia and Southeast Asia. Some sources claim that Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher that lived around 300BC, mentioned Jackfruit in his writings as a food source for Indian sages. By the middle of the 19th century they were common in Brazil.

In 1782, the plants of jackfruit were introduced in Jamaica and in the end of 19th century they were present in Florida, USA as indicated by the reports of United States Department of Agriculture. According to botanist Ralph R. Stewart, the name Jack fruit was given after the name of a Scottish botanist, William Jack, who was working in India for East India Company.

Nutrient Profile of Jackfruit

The nutrition profile of jackfruit is very good as it contains a good amount of protein and is also an impressive source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. It also has low amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats.

  • Carbohydrate: 100 grams of jackfruit flesh has 23grams of carbohydrates and it provides 8% of the daily value (DV) sugar. As the food matures, the carbohydrates content also increases. The seeds and parianth of jackfruit contain the highest content of carbs. Studies have found that the starch content of the jackfruit is mostly resistant starch, has high amylose and very low digestibility.

  • Fibers: Jackfruit is a good source of dietary fiber. There is 1.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams of jackfruit. The dietary fiber content of jackfruit provides 5% of the daily value (DV) requirement. The different parts of the fruit have similar content of dietary fibers. A study has found that immature fruit has more fiber content (2.6%) compared to ripe jackfruits (0.8%). Furthermore, different varieties also vary in their dietary fiber contents.

  • Proteins: There is a decent amount of protein in jackfruit; 100 grams of jackfruit flesh has 1.9 grams of proteins (10). The seeds of the fruits do have a higher content of proteins; 17.8%-37%.

  • Fats: The fat contents of jackfruit are very minimal. There is 0.6gram of fat/100 grams of fruit flesh and covers only 1% of the daily value (DV). Most of the fats are mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated. Important polyunsaturated fatty acid in Jackfruits is Omega-3 and Omega-6 which are good for health.

Vitamins and Minerals in Jackfruit:

Jackfruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They are considered rich in Vitamin C , 13.7mg/serving and covers 15% of the daily value (DV) and Vitamin B Complex, especially Folate, Niacin, Riboflavin, and B6. These are one of the few fruits with high vitamin B complex contents. A serving of jackfruit has 24 mcg folate, 0.920 mg Niacin, 0.055mg Riboflavin, and 0.329mg Vitamin B-6. The contents of vitamins changes at different stages of maturity of the fruits .

Jackfruits are also good source of calcium and have high content of potassium. 100 grams of fruit contains 24 mg of calcium and 448 mg of potassium. It also contains trace amounts of Iron, copper, manganese, and zinc.

Antioxidants in Jackfruit:

There are a number of phytochemical compounds in jackfruits having antioxidant properties. For example, jackfruits have carotenoids including β-carotene, α-carotene and crocetin which give them yellowish color and are considered efficient antioxidants. Furthermore, Jackfruits also contain flavonoids, and tannins , which have proven antioxidant activities.

Health Benefits of Jackfruit

There are a plenty of health benefits for consuming jackfruits.

  • Jackfruits are rich in high value compounds with antioxidant activity so they prevent the cell damage at various levels. One of the contributing factor for atherosclerosis is LDL oxidation and the antioxidants present in jackfruit can prevent or delay the oxidation process. Jackfruits also have been found to reduce the risks for hypertension, stroke and other heart disease. Potassium in fruit helps lower blood pressure and is important in muscle and nerve cells’ functioning. Vitamin B-6 helps lower homocystein in blood and indirectly reducing the risk of heart disease.

  • Jackfruit is also good for skin health because it provides a good amount of vitamin especially Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production and collagen maintains skin strength and firmness. Furthermore, there is no casein and gluten and it provides anti-inflammatory benefit for the skin.

  • Jackfruit can prevent gastric Ulcers and it is traditionally used as treatment for gastric ulcers in India (17). Although, there is not a study in humans but a study on animal models of ulcer has shown promising results.

  • It improves the immune system because of its high flavonoids and phenol contents in fruit, seeds and the peel.

  • Jackfruit is good for the digestive system because of its high fiber content. It produces smooth bowel moments and averts constipation.

  • It is good for bone health because it contains good amount of magnesium and calcium.

  • It has shown antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties in a number of studies.

Health Risks of Jackfruit

The consumption of jackfruit has not been found to be associated with any serious health effects. Individuals who have birch pollen allergy should avoid too much consumption of jackfruit because a study has found the birch pollen related allergy in some people who consume jackfruits. Diabetic individuals should also be careful while using the fruit because it can effect blood sugar control. Furthermore, It can cause drowsiness when used with medications especially medications used during and after surgery.

Jackfruit on The Candida Diet

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (165g) of sliced, raw jackfruit.

Calories: 157

Fat: 1g

Sodium: 3.3mg

Carbohydrates: 38g

Fiber: 2.5g

Sugars: 32g

Protein: 2.8g

Using the USDA carbohydrate figure of 38g and a glycemic index of a ripe jackfruit of 63, gives you a glycemic load of 24. This is on the high side for fruit and we haven't even considered the 32g of natural sugar in a serving. For reference, a ripe banana has glycemic index of 51 and 27g of carbs so you get a glycemic load of 14, which should really be avoided on the Candida Diet. A green banana however has a glycemic index of 41 and a glycemic load of 9 and is occasionally allowed on the diet.

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