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The Wonders of Jackfruit

Being rich in potassium, jackfruit has been found to be helpful in the lowering of blood pressure. The extract of jackfruit root is believed to help cure fever as well as diarrhea. Jackfruit contains phytonutrients, with health benefits ranging from anti-cancer to antihypertensive. The root of this fruit has been found to be beneficial for those suffering from asthma.


Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus or A. heterophylla) is a species of tree in the mulberry family (Moraceae), which is native to parts of Southern and Southeast Asia. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh.

It is well suited to tropical lowlands. Its fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, reaching 80 pounds (36 kg) in weight and up to 36 inches (90 cm) long and 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter.

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The name "Jack fruit" is derived from the Portuguese, Jaca, which in turn, is derived from the Malayalam language term, Chakka. The Portuguese first arrived in India at Cochin on the Malabar Coast.

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The fruit is called a variety of names around the world. The common English name jackfruit is thought to derive from the Malayalam chakka or cakkai via the Portuguese jaca. This name is used by the physician and naturalist Garcia de Orta in his 1563 book Colóquios dos simples e drogas da India. A botanist, Ralph Randles Stewart suggests that it was named after William Jack (1795–1822), a Scottish botanist who worked for the East India Company in Bengal, Sumatra and Malaysia.

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The jackfruit has played a significant role in Indian agriculture for centuries. Archeological findings in India have revealed that jackfruit was cultivated in India 3000 to 6000 years ago. Findings also indicate that Indian Emperor Ashoka the Great (274–237 BC) encouraged arbori-horticulture of various fruits including jackfruit. Varahamihira, the Indian astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer, wrote a chapter on the treatment of trees in his Brhat Samhita. His treatise includes a specific reference on grafting to be performed on trees such as jackfruit.

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Maturing in 35-40 years, their wood can be used for furniture. The woods can also be use to make body of instruments like kutyapi and lute. In India, It is also used to make the body of the Indian string instrument veena and the drums mridangam and kanjira. The gum from this tree and jack fruit is used as a stopper for small holes of pots.

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Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Jackfruit

• Being rich in potassium, jackfruit has been found to be helpful in the lowering of blood pressure.

• The extract of Jackfruit root is believed to help cure fever as well as diarrhea.

• Jackfruit contains phytonutrients, with health benefits ranging from anti-cancer to antihypertensive.

• The root of this fruit has been found to be beneficial for those suffering from asthma.

• Jackfruit proves to be a very good source of vitamin C, which is known for its high antioxidant properties.

• The fruit contains isoflavones, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, all of which are credited for their cancer-fighting properties.

• Jackfruit is known to contain anti-ulcer properties and is also good for those suffering from indigestion.

• Boasting of anti-aging properties, the fruit can help slow down the degeneration of cells and make the skin look young and supple.

• Jackfruit serves as a good supply of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins, for the human body.

• It is believed that the fruit can help prevent and treat tension and nervousness.

• Since it contains few calories and a very small amount of fat, jackfruit is good for those trying to lose weight.

• If you are suffering from constipation, regular consumption of the fruit will surely prove beneficial.

• The root of jackfruit is said to be good for the treatment of a number of skin problems.

Nutritional Value of Jackfruit

Given below is the amount of nutrients present in 100 gm of jackfruit:

• Sodium - 3 mg

• Total Carbohydrates - 24 g

• Dietary Fiber - 2 g

• Protein - 1 g

• Vitamin A - 297 IU

• Vitamin C - 6.7 mg

• Thiamin - 0.03 mg

• Riboflavin - 0.11 mg

• Niacin - 0.4 mg

• Vitamin B6 - 0.108 mg

• Folate - 14 mcg

• Calcium - 34 mg

• Iron - 0.6 mg

• Magnesium - 37 mg

• Phosphorus - 36 mg

• Potassium - 303 mg

• Sodium - 3 mg

• Zinc - 0.42 mg

• Copper - 0.187 mg

• Manganese - 0.197 mg

• Selenium - 0.6 mcg

• Total Fat - 0.3 mg

• Saturated Fat - 0.063 mg

• Monounsaturated Fat - 0.044 mg

• Polyunsaturated Fat - 0.086 mg

• Calories - 94


The Nutritional Value of Jackfruit Seeds

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Jackfruit seeds

The seeds would give you around 135 kcal/ 100 grams. It is a rich source of complex carbohydrate, dietary fiber, vitamins like vitamin A, C and certain B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, zinc, and phosphorous. They contain lignans, isoflavones, saponins, that are called phytonutrients and their health benefits are wide-ranging from anti-cancer to antihypertensive, anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-ulcer, etc.

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Roasted Jackfruit Seeds

Jackfruit seed powder has the ability to relieve discomfort due to indigestion. Boiled Jackfruit seeds are a very tasty and nutritious snack. Boiled Jackfruit seeds can be used as an alternative to potatoes.

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Jackfruit Seeds with eggplant curry

Jackfruit seeds, which appeal to all tastes, may be boiled or roasted and eaten, or boiled and preserved in syrup like chestnuts. They can be canned in brine, in curry, and, like baked beans, in tomato sauce. They can also be included in curried dishes. Roasted, dried seeds are ground to make flour which is blended with wheat flour for baking.

The young fruit is called Polos in Sri Lanka, and 'Idichakka" in Kerala. It is a wonderful dish with spices to replace meat curries in Sri Lankan cuisine. The skin of unripe (young) jackfruit must be pared first and discarded and then the whole fruit can be chopped into edible portions and cooked to be eaten. Young jackfruit has a mild flavor and distinctive texture. The cuisines of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam use cooked young jackfruit. In Indonesia, young jackfruit is eaten as gudeg. In many cultures, jackfruit is boiled and used in curries as a staple food.

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Unripe Jackfruit called 'Kadgi/Chakko'

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Raw Jackfruit cooked with coconut milk

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In the Philippines, young jackfruit with its seeds is cooked most often with coconut milk with chili pepper for hot spicy flavor. Ripe jackfruit is best eaten raw for its fibrous content. The ripe fruit is usually cooked with thick sugar for sweets and preserved.


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Comments (8)

Here in the Philippines, Cebu city, we make six-string guitar body out of jackfruit wood.

Ranked #27 in Food & Nutrition

Fantastic article ! The wood is also used for making wooden beams for tiled roofing, it is very popular down south.We have a huge Jackfruit tree growing in our compound which is more than 60 years old...

I am so interested in finding this and cooking with it! I sent your article to my musician friends as well as as my foodie friends! Thank you so much!

This is a well-written article.

Wow! Never thought jackfruit has so many uses. This is one of the fruits i miss eating.Voted up.

Looks very interesting. I've never heard of this.

Ranked #68 in Food & Nutrition

I miss our very own jackfruit. Another interesting health post, Ron.

Dear all, thanks for the read and comments.

Thanks a lot Bridget. Thanks everyone for the read, votes and comments, appreciated!