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Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Eating Jackfruit, According to Science

Jackfruit is a tropical tree fruit (with the scientific name of Artocarpus heterophyllus) that comes from Africa, Asia, and South America, according to the Cleveland Clinic. If you’re picturing an orange or a lemon, think bigger — a single jackfruit can weigh 40 pounds or more! It appears like an oversize mango with green skin and spikes.

Jackfruit has been consumed since ancient times, in accordance to a past review.

There are two varieties of jackfruit — firm, which is crunchier and considered to be of a greater quality, and soft, which has small, spongey flakes and a sweeter flavor, according to an article posted in January 2019 in the International Journal of Food Science.

Jackfruit is often used as a replacement for pulled meat, notes Taub-Dix: “Its stringy texture is said to resemble pulled pork, and it's frequently used as such by vegans and vegetarians.”

Jackfruit Nutrition Facts

One cup of sliced jackfruit offers 157 calories, 1 gram (g) fat, 38 g carbohydrates, 2.8 g protein, and 2.5 g fiber, in accordance to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).right up arrow

Most fruits don’t provide a lot protein. Three grams per serving is relatively high compared with other fruits, however it’s not as accurate as meat. For example, one plain chicken breast gives 33.6 g protein, according to the USDA. “It may no longer be as satisfying as animal protein,” Taub-Dix says. Some other plant-based proteins beat out jackfruit in the protein department, too. Lentils, for instance, provide 17.9 g of protein per 1 cup serving, according to the USDA. Try pairing jackfruit with plant protein sources such as chickpeas, beans, or almonds, Taub-Dix recommends. These foods provide a boost of fiber, too

Bonus: Whole jackfruit is a source of different key nutrients. “Jackfruit’s flesh is a good supply of vitamin C and its seeds are a source of protein, potassium, calcium, and iron,” Taub-Dix says. “And unlike different fruits, jackfruit contains B vitamins, which include vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid, which is especially important for a healthy nervous system.”

Health benefits

“Because of its prosperous nutrient content, jackfruit offers a variety of health benefits,” says Kristin Gillespie, RDN, a nutrition help dietitian for Option Care Health and an adviser for Exercise With Style in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Jackfruit can do the following:

Lower Inflammation in the Body

Gillespie says jackfruit can lower inflammation. One cup of sliced jackfruit contains 22.6 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, according to the USDA.

Men ought to consume 90 mg of vitamin C and women should take in 75 mg per day, according to the NIH, so just one serving of jackfruit receives you greater than 20 percent of the way there. Vitamin C–rich foods can help limit irritation in the body, which may in turn decrease your risk of chronic disease, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Promote Healthy Skin

“Jackfruit’s rich vitamin C and antioxidant content make jackfruit beneficial in terms of improving skin health and stopping skin problems such as aging,” Gillespie says. According to a previous review, vitamin C plays a function in the production of collagen, which makes the skin look plump and smooth. Previous research also found a greater vitamin C intake was associated with a lower likelihood of having wrinkled skin. Jackfruit also contains phytonutrients (lignans, isoflavones, and saponins), which can have an anti-aging effect, according to another past study.

Keep the Heart Healthy

Jackfruit also contains potassium and fiber, two nutrients that have been proven to promote a healthy heart. According to the American Heart Association, potassium helps lessen the negative outcomes of sodium on blood pressure. And ingesting a diet rich in fiber can decrease cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure and inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Originally published: Everyday Health

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