What is Jackfruit?
This fruit, from a distance, looks like the breadfruit, with the exception of the size. It is a huge fruit, which is green on the outside and yellowish on the inside with some large seeds. This fruit could weigh as much as 100 pounds and the smallest is approximately 10 pounds.
It is a sweet fruit with a strong scent. Your hands will be a bit stained when you tear away the flesh to eat the fruit. Not to worry, some soap powder and water will do the trick. This is nothing when one considers the benefits of eating raw jackfruit.
It is considered an Asian fruit, but can be seen in the rural parishes of Jamaica and other Caribbean areas. Jackfruit health benefits will see many happy faces amongst persons with type 2 diabetes.
The Jackfruit Tree
The jackfruit comes from the breadfruit and the mulberry family. it is believed that this tree was first seen amongst the Indians. It is a huge tree, with a huge fruit. The tree can bear as much as 200 fruits per year. The fruit can weigh as much as 100 lbs. It is Bangladesh’s National Fruit.
This fruit contains potassium, iron, and calcium. The jackfruit is rich in vitamins and minerals. This is an indication that due to the potassium, jackfruit could be used in conjunction with other foods to help to lower blood pressure.
It is low in fat, but high in fiber. Its’ fiber content is an indication that it would be a good food for persons suffering from diabetes. Another plus for the Jackfruit is that it is low in calories. This means that persons wanting to lose weight could also benefit from eating this fruit.
What is also interesting, is that the jackfruit is high in carbohydrate. No alarm is necessary here as this is unprocessed carbs, which is used by the body for energy, will give a lower spike than consuming regular junk foods.
Jackfruit and Diabetes
The jackfruit has been eaten by people all over the world for centuries. In jamaica, it is one of those exotic fruits, which is rarely seen in the market, because of the high demand and the low supply of this fruit. Strangely enough, it is, however, most times seen on the street sides being sold by the pound.
Due to its’ fiber content, the jackfruit is seen as a good fruit for diabetics, who should consume a diet rich in fibers and for those trying to lose weight. According to Viswanath (2016), “a study by Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service (SUGiRS) has found that raw jackfruit is the best replacement food for the diabetic patients.” This is a recent study, which was done between January and February 2016, (Viswanath, 2016).
The study found that the persons who ate jackfruit felt full and as such had little need to snack in between meals. This is good news for persons with diabetes, especially those who are not so happy to eat 5-6 mini meals during the course of the day.
Of extreme importance, was that, according to this study, persons who eat raw jackfruit, could experience a reversal of diabetes and be taken off the diabetic medication. “This is the real scientific explanation why raw jackfruit is good for diabetes and why many of those who consume it are experiencing a reversal of the disease, and why they are able to reduce or eliminate diabetic medication,” (Viswanath, 2016).
It was also pointed out that jackfruit is different things to different persons. To some, it is a:
Regardless of how we see jackfruit, it is worth noting that the possibility exists that it could eliminate diabetes if eaten raw on a regular basis.
The Other Health Benefits of Jackfruit
- Digestion. According to the folks at The Jackfruit Company (March 2016), in Burma, Jackfruit is eaten before the main course so that it would improve their digestion of the other foods they will eat after.
- Asthma Symptoms. The root has been used to relieve asthma symptoms.
- Vision. The Vitamin A content has helped persons with vision issues. It also protects the eyes from inflammation.
- Colon Cancer and Pile. It eases constipation and therefore prevents piles and it reduces the effects of the toxins found in our colon.
- Heart and High Blood Pressure. The potassium helps to lower blood pressure by controlling the sodium level in our bodies and as such it helps to keep our hearts healthy.
- Skin. The jackfruit has an 80 percent water content. This, along with its’ anti-oxidant properties, keeps our skin looking younger. It moisturizes the skin and minimizes dryness and wrinkles.
The Jackfruit Company (March 2016) reported that this exotic fruit (jackfruit) is used to make tacos, curry chili and “pulled pork sandwich.” No pork is used in the sandwich, just the jackfruit, which looks like pulled pork when torn into pieces. The idea here is to use more plant-based foods in your diet and less animal protein. Note, that the jackfruit has very little protein, so, when used in a recipe, free of animal protein, it will be necessary to add beans or other forms of plant protein.
Note, that the jackfruit has very little protein, so, when used in a recipe, free of animal protein, it will be necessary to add beans or other forms of plant protein. According to Bronte (April 2015), it is the young jackfruit which is used for pulling in the “pulled-pork-like recipes.” Please see below for a pulled jackfruit recipe.
Pulled Jackfruit, Jamaican Style
You will need:
- 1 piece escallion, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small tomato, finely chopped
- 5 pimento seeds, crushed
- 1 dash black pepper
- salt to taste
- scotch bonnet pepper to your liking, cut into tiny pieces or used whole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- garlic to your liking
- juice from 1 lime
- 1/4 cup water
- the flesh from approximately 5 pounds of jackfruit
- barbecue sauce (about 1 tablespoon)
Cooking the sauce
- Fry the seasoning (escallion, garlic, tomato, onion, pimento seeds and scotch bonnet pepper) in olive oil for approximately 1 minute.
- Add the lime, water, and the barbecue sauce.
- Cover pot and cook on very low flame.
- Turn off the flame when the sauce is thick to your liking.
- Set pot aside.
Cooking the Jackfruit
- Pull the flesh from the jackfruit, using your fingers.
- Place the pulled flesh into a dish.
- Use a knife to dice into smaller pieces some of the core of the jackfruit. This is the harder section.
- Place the diced core into a dish.
- Heat the coconut oil.
- Add the jackfruit flesh and the diced core.
- Cook for a few minutes until the jackfruit changes color. It should look a bit gray and there will be less water in the pot.
- If it is sticking, add a teaspoon or two of water.
- Add some of the sauce and fold it into the jackfruit.
- Add more sauce, if you would like.
- Turn off the stove, when it starts to get crisp.
How to serve: options
- In a whole wheat loaf with lettuce and tomatoes.
- Beside some steamed bammy with a green salad.
- Beside some roasted or baked breadfruit with some steamed callaloo or cabbage.
Below is a recipe I by Chandrakanth Viswanath. Please see the citation in the reference list below. Here is the recipe.
|Chakka Puzhukku: A Dish Cooked in Kerala with Unripe Jackfruit
● Raw jackfruit (unripe): 120 gm (or 30 gm dry)
● Grated coconut: 20 gm
● Onions: 10 gm
● Curry leaves: 1/2 sprig
● Green chillies: 1 number
● Turmeric powder: 1 pinch
● Garlic (optional): 1 clove
● Salt to taste
1. Chop jackfruit into small pieces and boil the pieces with a sprinkling of water.
2. Grind the ingredients and set it aside.
3. Add the ground mixture with jackfruit and stir well after 10 minutes. Continue steaming for some more time. Can be had with fish or chickpea curry.
Please be reminded that the study was done on raw jackfruit. It is worth mentioning here as well, that the seeds can be boiled and eaten as a snack. This is done in some countries, however, I need to do some more research in this area. I just thought you might find it interesting, or at least would want to know.
I heard it mentioned before, that the unripe jackfruit, when cooked, has the texture of mutton and also the taste. I have never tried this, but, interesting news for vegans, I suppose.
All things considered, the jackfruit is worth eating, especially raw. There is good news for both diabetics and non-diabetics alike. This fruit, when eaten raw and regularly, could result in a reversal of diabetes. It has also lowered blood pressure and protects the heart, help with vision and aging. The jackfruit has been used for digestive issues and as such, it prevents colon cancer as it cleans out the system and reduces the occurrence of a pile.
The raw Jackfruit is a fruit with a lot of health benefits, especially for those with diabetes and it should be eaten by all on a regular basis. I know I will be eating more jackfruit as of today.
- Bronte, Georgia. “Green Jackfruit: Is ‘pulled Pork for Vegetarians’ the next Big Food Craze?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 12 Apr. 2015. Web. 26 June 2016.
- “What Is Jackfruit Anyway? (Jackfruit FAQs) – The Jackfruit Company.” The Jackfruit Company. N.p., 09 Mar. 2016. Web. 26 June 2016.
- Viswanath, Chandrakanth . “Jack of All Fruits, Killer of Diabetes.” The New Indian Express. The New Indian Express, 25 June 2016. Web. 26 June 2016.
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