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The Summer Superfood - Jackfruit

3 April, 2021

Fruits
, jackfruit

Nature knows what is good for us in what season and hence provides us with the best of foods through the varying seasons. Summer is the time when we get many seasonal fruits like mango, litchi, strawberry, watermelon, muskmelon, plums, pineapples, oranges, and of course, jackfruit.

Jackfruit is more commonly eaten in South India than in the North. This is a wholesome fruit that is the biggest tree fruit and can be eaten raw as well. Mostly in the North, people prepare subjis with the raw katal as it is called, while in South India, it is eaten raw and ripe.

As in the case of many typically Indian things, jackfruit has gained much popularity recently as being healthy. It is even touted as the meat alternative to those who go vegan. Some love it for its distinctive flavour, and some hate it for the same reason as they cannot stand the smell. If it’s ripe, you can smell this fruit for quite some distance around! In South India, many flavourful dishes are prepared with it, and the whole house will carry the same aroma. Typically, the flesh (pods) and the seeds of this fruit can be eaten, and the rest is usually used as fodder for cattle.

Packed with nutrients

This fruit is packed with many essential nutrients that make it a healthy fruit with necessary carbs, fibre, Vitamins, proteins, and minerals like Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Manganese, Iron and Copper. It has a low glycemic index, and hence even diabetics can eat a few pods safely. It is also a powerhouse of antioxidants that helps our body fight a lot of infections.

May help with blood sugar management.

Any food with a low glycemic index is helpful to people with diabetes; besides, the amount of fibre and protein in jackfruit also makes digestion slow and prevents any spike in blood sugar levels. The sugar control benefits have also been attributed to certain antioxidants present in it. Of course, as in most other fruits, people with diabetes should not indulge too much in the jackfruit as well.

Antioxidants

The various antioxidants present in jackfruit help our body in many ways, other than blood sugar control. It helps control inflammation and prevents oxidative stress in the body as well. The carotenoids contained in it helps reduce the risk of diseases like Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Also, the flavanones in it help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

The Vitamin C levels in it also help immensely to prevent inflammation and protect from heart diseases. With all these help fight inflammation and oxidative stress, this fruit works as an anticancer agent. These antioxidants can help prevent eye problems like cataract and macular degeneration.  Vitamin A through the carotenoids also helps vision issues. 

Good for heart

Apart from what is mentioned above, the Pottasium in jackfruit helps lower the blood pressure and also reverses the bad effects of Sodium on it. This can help prevent heart diseases, strokes, and bone loss and help improve nerve and muscle function. Additionally, the Vitamin B6 in jackfruit also helps lower the chances of heart issues. 

Immunity builder

Being rich in Vitamin C, jackfruit consumption can help build your immunity since it also contains many other essential minerals and antioxidants. Vitamin C also prevents skin damage and slows down ageing, and even helps maintain oral health. Some components present in jackfruit are said to provide it anticancer, antiulcer and antiaging properties. It is said to be very good for stomach ulcers. 

Good digestive aid

The fibre in jackfruit makes it add bulk to your stool and makes bowel movements smooth. It can help prevent constipation and act as a natural laxative and even prevent colon damage. 

Benefit from minerals

The Magnesium in jackfruit helps absorb Calcium better, which helps bone health and even prevents osteoporosis. The Iron helps prevent anaemia, whereas the Copper helps in metabolism. 

Whether you like it ripe or raw, make sure that this summer you relish this fruit and gain from its immense health benefits. The various dishes that you can try out are stir fry, curries and gravies, kheers/payasam, breakfast dishes like idlis or dosas, tasty fries, and more.

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