10 Surprising Jackfruit Benefits You Should Know

Jackfruit is a lesser known fruit native to India, and is most commonly grown in and around the Kerala region. Like many tropical fruits, it has a distinctive appearance. It’s shaped rather like a mango, but encased in a thick skin that is covered with hard, blunt projections that grow softer as the fruit ripens. Jackfruit can range anywhere from 4 to 24 inches in length and has the potential to weigh upwards of 60 pounds! The fruit very much resembles the durian in both size and appearance, but has a much more pleasant odor and a sweet flavor. The interior of the jackfruit is composed of many medium sized seeds, and each seed is encased in it’s own bulb of flesh. The flesh is soft and sweet, with a high fiber content. Each jackfruit can contain anywhere from 5 to 50 bulbs, depending upon the size of the fruit. Jackfruit has the potential to provide many benefits to those who consume it daily. It has a well rounded nutritional profile, providing a number of antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and copper. It’s high in fiber, rich in trace elements, and low in cholesterol and saturated fat.
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  • 1# Jackfruit can help prevent cancer cells from forming.

  • Phytonutrients are specific compounds that are found only in plants. There have been over 25,000 different phytonutrients identified to date, and each has potential benefits when consumed regularly. Jackfruit contains large amounts of 3 specific phytonutrients: lignans, isoflavones, and saponins. While the method of action is still being studied, all 3 of these phytonutrients appear to have strong anti-cancer properties.

    Saponins in particular seem to be powerful anti-cancer agents. One study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 1995 found that saponins can help prevent colon cancer, and another study has shown them to be effective at inducing mitotic arrest in leukemia cells, sometimes leading to remission. They seem to work by reacting with the outer membranes of cancer cells, binding to them and preventing growth.

    Lignans and isoflavones are both classified as a phytoestrogens. As the name implies, phytoestrogens are a specific type of phytonutrient that can bind to the same receptors in the body as the hormone estrogen. A study published by the National Cancer Institute in 2006 found that when lignans and isoflavones were consumed regularly the risk of endometrial cancer was reduced. The study was case controlled and involved 500 randomly selected women. Those women that consumed the highest amount of lignans and isoflavones from fruits such a jackfruit had significantly lower rates of cancer than the control group.
  • 2# Jackfruit has the potential to rejuvenate skin.

  • If you’re looking to fight wrinkles, help maintain a glowing complexion, and keep your skin flawless and beautiful, make sure to add antioxidant rich jackfruit to your diet. Antioxidants destroy the free radicals that, when left unchecked, cause damage to your skin. This damage is a primary cause of the signs of aging, and both eating jackfruit regularly and applying jackfruit seed powder to your skin can tremendously.

    If you soak the jackfruit seed in cold milk for a few hours it becomes easy to grind into a fine powder, which you can then apply to your face or neck area. Treating your skin with jackfruit powder daily can do wonders to help fight wrinkles and improve complexion.
  • 3# Jackfruit has been shown to promote a healthy digestive system.

  • Jackfruit’s high fiber content makes it a fantastic choice for those looking to help maintain a healthy digestive system. It contains 15 grams of fiber per 100 grams of fruit, which is a ratio that not many fruits can match. Jackfruit contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, with insoluble making up 75% of the total fiber content. Insoluble fiber is not easily digested, so it passes through the gastrointestinal tract rather quickly. This adds bulk to stool, helping with constipation and keeping the digestive tract clean by preventing build up.
  • 4# Jackfruit is a natural source of energy.

  • Jackfruit has been used as a quick source of energy by the indigenous peoples of India for hundreds of years. Not only does it contain 12% of the daily recommended value of carbohydrates, it also contains large amounts of B vitamins - vitamins B2 and B1 - to help cells convert those carbohydrates into energy. This combination makes jackfruit a powerful source of energy that not many other fruits can match. It also has a low glycemic index, so it won’t cause blood sugar spikes and troughs.
  • 5# Jackfruit can help promote weight loss.

  • Eating jackfruit can be an easy and effective way to help support any weight loss routine. The high fiber content of jackfruit helps food pass quickly through the digestive tract and can help clear the body of toxins. Jackfruit is also a healthy source of energy; high in carbohydrates, but low in fat. The carbohydrates found in jackfruit primarily come from a specific type of glucose, known as slowly available glucose, or SAG. This means the carbohydrates provided by jackfruit are processed by the body over time, rather than all at once. This helps prevent spikes in blood sugar and the subsequent crashes that follow, making it much easier to practice healthy eating habits and avoid binge eating.
  • 6# Jackfruit is effective at treating anxiety and sleeplessness.

  • Anxiety can have many causes, but oftentimes a copper deficiency is the culprit. Low levels of copper have been linked to anxiety attacks, panic disorder, and sleeplessness. Sometimes all it takes to prevent anxiety attacks and improve sleep is to increase your copper intake. This can be accomplished by supplementation in the form of copper citrate, but it tends to be absorbed by the body rather poorly. A significant portion of the copper in copper citrate passes straight through the body without being absorbed. The copper provided by jackfruit is readily absorbed, providing a much more efficient option compared to supplementation.

    A single serving of jackfruit contains .19 mg of copper. This may not sound like much, but it’s actually 9% of the recommended daily value. This makes jackfruit a great alternative to copper citrate for those looking to treat anxiety or sleeplessness.
  • 7# Eating Jackfruit has been shown to improve memory and prevent memory loss.

  • The same antioxidants that make jackfruit so good for the skin also make it a highly effective tool in supporting healthy cognitive function. Free radicals do more than just superficial damage, they can attack all parts of the body. When free radicals damage brain cells, the result can be memory loss, degraded reflexes, and impaired cognition. While damage from free radicals is unavoidable to some extent, antioxidants can help to mitigate a large portion of it, as long as they are consumed regularly.

    Vitamin B6 has also been shown to play a role in healthy cognitive development, and jackfruit has one of the highest concentrations of B6 found in any fruit; a whopping 25% of the recommended daily value per serving!
  • 8# Jackfruit is an effective way to strengthen the immune system.

  • In addition to fighting wrinkles and preventing memory loss, the antioxidants and phytonutrients found in jackfruit have been shown to have a positive effect on the immune system. Vitamin C in particular has long been touted as an immune system booster, and jackfruit is a fantastic source. A single cup of sliced jackfruit contains 37% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C!
  • 9# Jackfruit is a natural way to fight high blood pressure and promote cardiovascular health.

  • The American Heart Association (ADA) recommends that those with high blood pressure or those who are at risk for heart disease consume at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day. This is because potassium is essential to a healthy circulatory system, and works to balance the sodium that people consume throughout the day.

    One of the kidney’s primary functions is to remove excess water from the bloodstream. When too much sodium is consumed it makes the kidneys less efficient. This causes excess fluid to build up in the circulatory system, leading to increased blood pressure. Increasing potassium intake has a direct effect on blood pressure because it facilitates the transfer of excess fluid from the bloodstream and into the kidneys. Those suffering from high blood pressure may see their condition dramatically improved by making sure they consume the ADA recommended amount of potassium every day.

    Bananas have a reputation as the best source of potassium around, but did you know that jackfruit actually contains more potassium per serving? A single cup of jackfruit contains 739 milligrams, while the same cup of banana contains 537 milligrams.
  • 10# Regular consumption of Jackfruit promotes eye health.

  • Vitamin A is intimately involved in ocular health, playing an essential role in protecting the cornea, lubricating the eye, and guarding against infection. Recent studies have also shown vitamin A to be effective in reducing the risk for Macular Degeneration, an incurable eye disease that can ultimately result in blindness. A study sponsored by the National Eye Institute that was conducted over a 6 year period found that people at high risk for Macular Degeneration who consumed the daily recommended value of vitamin A had a 25% reduced risk of contracting the disease than those who did not.

    Jackfruit’s high concentration of vitamin A makes it a great addition to the diet of anyone looking to protect and promote eye health, particularly those at high risk for Macular Degeneration.

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