Alternatives to meat are very in right now. One of them that’s gaining traction lately is jackfruit. But should you go for it? Here are the jackfruit health benefits to know about.
Maybe you’ve heard news about jackfruit lately as a viable, tasty and a quite similar alternative to meat. Pizza Hut has just announced that it’s replacing pulled pork with jackfruit on one of their pizzas. But are the jackfruit health benefits good enough for you to start using it? Let’s find out right now.
You might have seen some jackfruit around your grocery store. It’s pretty big, green, and it looks very similar to a sea urchin. People have been using jackfruit in recipes for pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, chili, and so on.
Jackfruit is part of the Moraceae plant family, which means that it’s related to figs, mulberry, and breadfruit. Its taste is mildly sweet and fruity. Where does it come from? It’s been used for centuries in countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India, where it’s the absolute star in a lot of dishes. Chief among them are desserts and amazing breakfast meals.
When you tear into a jackfruit, you can eat the flesh, which can also be described as fruit pods, but the seeds of the fruit are also edible. And the great news is that you can eat them both raw and cooked! How’s that for convenient?
The main jackfruit health benefits
I always tend to be skeptical when it comes to buzzed-about food items. I always want to know if they are as good as the marketing makes it seem. So I went into a deep dive of research. The results… Well, read them for yourself and see what I’ve found out.
Jackfruit is low in calories, but it also doesn’t have any fat and sodium. It has plenty of vitamin A and vitamin C, and a large load of potassium, which helps regulate your blood pressure. Add to that a healthy heap of magnesium, manganese, riboflavin, and copper and it all sounds pretty good, right?
Another perk? It’s also pretty rich in fiber, which keeps you satisfied long after you eat it. It doesn’t have as much protein like meat or fish, though - only 2 grams per serving as opposed to 6-7 in an ounce of meat or fish.
All of the antioxidants in jackfruit may help prevent inflammation but also lower it. They also lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Vitamins A and C may help boost your immunity and protect the healthy glow of your skin.
The roots and extracts of jackfruit have been used in Indian and Sri Lankan medicine to treat ulcers, upset stomachs, and asthma. The scientific evidence on that is not enough, yet.
What else should you know about jackfruit?
Jackfruit has the ability to absorb the flavors of the foods, herbs, and spices it’s cooked with, which makes it a great ingredient for vegetarian or vegan meals. But also, as opposed to almonds, for instance, jackfruit is actually a sustainable food, because it’s drought and pest resistant. One tree can produce about 200 fruits per year and some of them end up being as large as 100 pounds if you can believe it!