The jackfruit tree is believed to be indigenous to the Southwestern rain forests of India. It is widely cultivated in the tropical regions of Indian subcontinent, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil for its fruit, seeds, and wood. The tree grows best under tropical humid and rainy climates but rarely survives cold and frosty conditions. Jackfruit is a huge tree that grows to as high as 30 meters, higher than the mango tree.
Health benefits of jackfruit:
- 100 grm of edible jackfruit bulbs provide 95 calories. The fruit is made of soft, easily digestible flesh (bulbs) with simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly.
- Jackfruit is rich in dietary fiber, which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time and as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
- Fresh fruit has small amounts of vitamin-A, and flavonoid pigments such as carotene-ß, xanthin, lutein and cryptoxanthin-ß. Together, these compounds play vital roles in antioxidant and vision functions. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining integrity of mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A, and carotenes has been found to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- addition, jackfruit is a good source of antioxidant vitamin-C, provides about 13.7 mg or 23% of RDA. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.
- It is one of the rare fruits that is rich in B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid.
- Fresh fruit is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
Jackfruit seeds are indeed very rich in protein and nutritious. In general, the seeds are gathered from the ripe fruit, sun-dried and stored for use in rainy season in many parts of South Indian states. Different variety of recipes prepared in Southern India where they are eaten either by roasting as a snack or added to curries in place of lentils.