Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, jackfruit (whose texture is reminiscent of certain meats) is very good for your health.
- Jackfruit can be eaten raw or cooked.
- “The stringy texture of jackfruit makes it a good vegan substitute for pulled pork or chicken,” says dietitian Gillian Culbertson.
- However, people allergic to latex or birch pollen should avoid consuming it. This is also the case for people with chronic or acute kidney failure because it contains a large amount of potassium.
It is one of the largest fruits in the world. The jackfruit can weigh up to 50 kilos. Cultivated in Asia, Latin America or Africa, it contains orange-yellow flesh, the taste of which is close to pineapple and mango. Above all, this flesh is a possible substitute for meat, as its texture may resemble it.
Jackfruit, a texture similar to meat
“The stringy texture of jackfruit makes it a good vegan substitute for pulled pork or chicken.“, believes Gillian Culbertson, dietician at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. She points out that when the fruit is not ripe, it has a neutral flavor that goes well with savory dishes.You can use unripe jackfruit in a vegetarian curry and instead of tofu or chickpeas”, she specifies. On the other hand, it contains less protein than meat.
But not everyone can consume jackfruit. “If you have an allergy to latex or birch pollen, avoid“, advises Gillian Culbertson.”These two allergies can cross-react with jackfruit.“The fruit also contains a significant amount of potassium, which may be harmful to people with chronic or acute kidney failure.”People with these conditions can develop hyperkalemia if they consume large amounts of potassiumsays the specialist. This buildup of potassium in the blood can cause weakness, paralysis and even heart attack..”
What are the health benefits of jackfruit?
In addition, jackfruit is high in fiber and low in fat. A 100 gram serving of jackfruit is 95 calories, 2 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber. It contains various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, B9 or B2, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. “Combination of potassium, fiber and antioxidants may benefit heart health“, believes Gilian Culbertson.”Research also shows that jackfruit contains flavonoids and lignans, plant compounds that may help fight inflammation.“The various antioxidants it contains also help protect against inflammation and oxidative stress. The dietitian adds that the glycemic index of the fruit is low,”which means that its consumption should not affect your blood sugar unlike other foods with higher scores”.
The jackfruit, a use in traditional medicine
The various health benefits of jackfruit have made it a medicine in some cultures. “In traditional medicine, where the fruit is grown, people have used it for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties.“, explains Gilian Culbertson. More recently, research has shown that jackfruit leaf extract can promote wound healing, and has confirmed its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
An exotic fruit, rare in Europe
If you want to consume jackfruit, the biggest challenge will be to find it, even if it is true that more and more organic stores sell it in canned form. In February 2022, a photo published by a reporter from the BBC of Brazilian origin made the buzz. He photographed a jackfruit on a London market for the price of 160 pounds or almost 180 euros. In Brazil, where the fruit is widely grown, it usually costs less than a euro!
1000 reais to Jaca pic.twitter.com/oYDnOUKMvR
—Ricardo Senra (@ricksenra) February 12, 2022