Jackfruit – you might have seen them in your local supermarket. These strange-looking fruits are covered in a bumpy exterior. If you already enjoy them, you know the many jackfruit benefits you're getting.
But did you know that they are an excellent addition to any health-conscious diet?
If you're looking for a low-calorie, nutritious addition to your diet, jackfruit may be the answer. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of jackfruit, what it tastes like, and how you can use it in a variety of recipes, including vegan friendly options!
Jackfruit is native to India. Despite its large size, it grows on trees and belongs to the same family as figs and mulberries. Some jackfruits can weigh up to 80 pounds.
Jackfruit is extremely underrated. Its dense flesh is packed with all sorts of micronutrients. This means that the jackfruit has numerous health benefits.
Jackfruit is rich in potassium. Potassium is essential for regulating blood pressure. Studies show that diets rich in naturally occurring potassium result in lower blood pressure.
This is especially helpful for people who consume sodium-rich diets. Oftentimes, an increased intake of sodium leads to high blood pressure. By eating jackfruit, the increased levels of potassium offset the negative effects of sodium. A single cup of raw jackfruit contains over 700 mg of potassium. This is about 1/7th of the daily recommended intake.
However, make sure to consult your medical professional if you struggle with kidney disease or other medical conditions that affect the way the body processes potassium. Consuming more jackfruit can lead to high levels of potassium that your body cannot process.
Jackfruit benefits can also play a role in helping to prevent cancer. Jackfruit is rich in many phytochemicals. Incorporating jackfruit in your diet can increase your intake of:
These powerful little nutrients work to fight the effects of free radicals in your body.
Free radicals naturally occur in your body. They play an important role in a healthy life. However, when free radicals are not balanced out, your body goes into a state of oxidative stress. This oxidative stress can cause many health conditions, including cancer.
Some studies also show that the phytochemicals found in jackfruit can slow the growth and spread of cancerous cells.
These phytochemicals help prevent the growth of new blood vessels, which starve the cancerous cells and prevent additional growth.
Jackfruit can also help regulate your blood sugar levels. The jackfruit itself ranks moderately on the scale of foods that can increase natural insulin levels. However, the same flavonoids that work to combat and prevent cancer may also help control blood sugar levels.
Studies also show that extract from the bark of the tree can help regulate and control blood sugar levels. When you consume fats and complex carbohydrates, the body works to transform them into sugars. This can raise your blood sugar levels. The extract from the bark of the jackfruit tree may be able to slow or prevent this breakdown. This helps to control blood sugar levels, especially for people with diets rich in fats and carbohydrates.
Jackfruit is also packed full of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays an essential role in a healthy immune system.
The body requires vitamin C so it can naturally produce a protein called collagen. This protein isn't just necessary for youthful-looking skin. It also plays a critical role in maintaining healthy bones and connective tissues. This includes your blood vessels and cartilage.
That's why it's no surprise that jackfruit can also help speed up the wound recovery process. The high levels of vitamin C in jackfruit can boost collagen, skin, and blood vessel development to speed up the recovery process. The jackfruit also boasts anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. These are all beneficial qualities to help aid wound healing and prevent complications.
In addition to its numerous micronutrients, jackfruit is also full of two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. These two types of fiber play an essential role in maintaining good digestive health.
Soluble fiber doesn't just help lower your LDL cholesterol. It also slows the rate that the body absorbs carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This can help regulate blood sugar spikes after meals.
This dietary fiber can also lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even colon cancer.
In addition to its high fiber content, the seeds of the jackfruit also naturally contain prebiotics. These little powerhouses help boost the good bacteria levels in your gut. These good bacteria help the body digest food quickly and efficiently, leading to improved gut health.
Does Jackfruit Help with Weight Loss?
If you're looking to incorporate health-conscious foods into your weight loss journey, jackfruit may be a solution for you.
But why is this?
Jackfruit has unusually high levels of protein and fiber. With 3 grams of fiber per one cup serving, jackfruit has nearly 3 times the amount of protein as other comparable fruits. For comparison, other fruits, like apples or mangoes may only have 1 gram of protein, if any at all.
Jackfruit can also help with weight loss as a great go-to, low-calorie snack. If you are feeling hungry, grab a handful of sliced jackfruit. This can be a great alternative to binging on salty snacks.
If you're not careful, it's easy to mindlessly eat through a whole bag of calorie-dense crackers. It will be much more difficult to overeat jackfruit. Because it is so low calorie and filled with fiber, you will feel full quicker. This fullness will also help you avoid the temptation of junk food.
The high levels of potassium in jackfruit can also help you in your weight loss journey. Leading a healthy lifestyle involves more than dietary choices. It should also include regular physical activity. However, intense physical activity on a regular basis can really take a toll on your body.
Increasing your potassium intake aids in muscle recovery. Try incorporating jackfruit in your diet to help speed muscle recovery between workouts. This can help you get the most out of your exercise routine.
Your workouts can also benefit from the additional energy that jackfruit provides. The fiber and many micronutrients found in jackfruit work together to keep your body running like a well-oiled machine.
What Does Jackfruit Taste Like?
Many people hesitate to try jackfruit because of its peculiar exterior. However, the jackfruit is a sweet, juicy treat that many people find satisfying.
While you may not be able to describe it immediately, the flavor will grow on you. It becomes mysteriously familiar. After a few bites, you may recognize the flavors of some other fruits. The taste of jackfruit can be described as a flavor of bananas and pineapples combined. Others identify the flavors of mangoes or apples. It's a delicious fruit medley!
The flesh is not the only part of the jackfruit that you can eat. The pods and the seeds of the jackfruit are also edible and high in fiber.
Jackfruit is typically prepared by slicing the fruit. Eating jackfruit raw is the method that provides the most nutrients, but it can also be enjoyed in many cooked dishes as a vegetarian or vegan protein alternative.
Best Jackfruit Recipes to Try
While you may traditionally consider jackfruit to be a sweet, fruity treat, the culinary options for jackfruit are nearly endless. It is a highly versatile fruit that can be used in a variety of dishes. This includes many savory main dishes. It can be a great stand-in for those who are looking for meat alternatives for health or lifestyle reasons.
Doing a simple internet search for jackfruit recipes will yield pages and pages of options. To make your life easier, we compiled a list of a few of our favorite, mouth-watering jackfruit recipes ideas.
- Sriracha “Pulled Pork” Sandwiches
- Jackfruit Fish-Free Tacos
- “Crab” Cakes
- Jackfruit Pot Pie
- Grilled Vegan BBQ Jackfruit Pizza with Hemp Seed Cheddar
- Jackfruit “Meatball” Tacos
- Teriyaki Jackfruit “Sushi” Bowls
- Vegan Jackfruit and Mushroom Gyros with Tzatziki
- Jackfruit Nachos
- Pulled Jackfruit Chili
- Vegan BBQ “Ribs”
- Jackfruit Fried “Chicken”
- Jackfruit Chickpea Coconut Stir-Fry
- Loaded Sweet Potato Fries with BBQ Jackfruit
- Slow Cooker BBQ Jackfruit Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
So next time you're wandering through your local grocery store, you don't need to shy away from that strange-looking jackfruit. Sure, its exterior may be bumpy and strange, but that's no reason to avoid it.
The jackfruit is a great, healthy option for anyone. It is packed full of nutrients and all kinds of goodies to help boost your health.
The great part about jackfruit is that it is extremely versatile. It's not the same as other fruits that you may enjoy. Jackfruit is also a great vegan and vegetarian meat substitute. If you're whipping up chili or a taco recipe, try substituting jackfruit for your favorite protein. It doesn't just help you cut calories, it can also help you feel fuller for longer. Plus you'll get the added benefits of boosted energy and speedy muscle recovery. Do yourself a favor and start incorporating jackfruit into your diet today!