Jack Of All Fruits


The jackfruit is a major tree-centric fruit in the world. It reaches 80lb in weight, close to 36 inch in length, and 20 inch in diameter. This oval fruit has a pale-green to dark-yellow rind when ripe. It is encased with short, sharp, hexagonal, fleshy spines. The interior consists of large, soft, yellow bulbs that taste like banana. The flesh encompasses hundreds of smooth, oval, light-brown seeds.

The jackfruit is believed to be indigenous to the Western Ghats, India, where it has been cultivated for over 6,000 years. It is also cultivated in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, and the Philippines.

The fruit is high in calories, but the best part is it contains no saturated fats, or cholesterol. This makes it one of the healthiest fruits to savour.

The fruit is made of soft, easily digestible flesh [bulbs], as already cited, with simple sugars, like fructose and sucrose, that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalises the body, instantly. The only caveat is jackfruit should not be consumed by pregnant women and individuals suffering from ascites [pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity] and/or digestive problems.

100gm of edible jackfruit bulbs provide 95 calories.

Jackfruit is rich in dietary fibre — this makes it a good ‘bulk laxative.’ The latex of jackfruit tree has anti-inflammatory properties. It is useful as a poultice for abscesses and wounds.

Its fibre content protects the colonic mucous and decreases the exposure time as well as the binding to cancer-causing chemicals [carcinogens] in the colon.

Jackfruit’s flavonoid pigments — carotene-ß, xanthin, lutein and cryptoxanthin-ß — along with vitamin-A have antioxidant and other functions, especially in vision. While vitamin A also helps to maintain the integrity of mucous membranes and skin, carotenes are evidenced to protect from lung and oral cavity cancer.

Jackfruit is also a good source of vitamin C. It provides 23 per cent of Recommended Daily Allowance [RDA]. Consumption of antioxidant foods, rich in vitamin C, such as jackfruit, helps the body to develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals and other toxins and flush them out of the body.

Jackfruit is rich in B-complex vitamins, which is something unusual for a fruit. It contains good amounts of pyridoxine, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid too.

Fresh jackfruit is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese and iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids. It helps in controlling and regulating heart rate and blood pressure.

Unripe jackfruit is often boiled, fried, or roasted, especially in Asia. The ripe fruit, which emits a pleasant smell, and has a sweet taste, is usually eaten fresh as a dessert, or fermented and distilled to produce

a liquor. Jackfruit is also preserved by drying, or canning. Jackfruit seeds are roasted, or boiled and eaten like chestnuts. It is also used in curries, as also sambhar — the South Indian favourite.

To sum up: the jackfruit is a good source of vitamin C. One serving also provides a moderate amount of vitamin A [beta-carotene].

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