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.
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.
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.
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.
There are a plenty of health benefits for consuming jackfruits.
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.
nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (165g)
of sliced, raw jackfruit.
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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