The jackfruit or jackfruit, from the jackfruit tree is an exotic fruit native to Southeast Asia (especially India and Bangladesh). Its appearance and taste is reminiscent of mango and pineapple. It is very popular with vegetarians and vegans who use it as an alternative to meat. Jackfruit has many advantages: rich in vitamins, fibers, proteins but it is also effective in preventing the risk of certain pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases.
Physical characteristics of jackfruit
The jackfruit, linked to the mulberry and the fig, grows not only on the branches, but on the trunks of trees.
Exuding a strong, sweet and fruity fragrance, a jackfruit is quite thick and milky white when you open it, with the outer lining bordered by a large lining of hundreds of “bulbs” or fleshy lobes, which contain a lot of nutritious seeds . They are also incredibly versatile.
In addition to being eaten by hand, jackfruits can be used in jams, juices and ice creams or added to soups. The fruit can be roasted, dried and ground to make salad and fruit dishes.
Its taste has been described as a “sweet mango”, resembling peach and a little pear. The texture was compared to applesauce with pieces or an overripe banana. But a little floury and stringy.3
This stringy aspect is practical, which explains what the adventurer chefs have discovered: its resemblance to the meat that many people love.
After being cooked for about an hour, the unripened jackfruit provides the flavor and mouthfeel of braised pork. Jackfruit is becoming more popular among vegans and vegetarians as a meat substitute.
However, after harvest, the jackfruit does not last more than a few weeks, in order to keep it for later consumption, it is often canned or dried to make fries. It can also be mixed with coconut, bananas and honey as a popular Indian dessert.
1. Improves immunity and can help fight cancer
Jackfruit is rich in vitamin C and contains many other antioxidants and phytonutrients fighting against cancer, including lignans, isoflavones and saponins. ((1)
It is important to help our body fight the unwanted free radicals that enter the body every day. And the jackfruit is perfectly suited to fulfill this mission. The antioxidants found in jackfruit and other foods increase immune function by getting rid of these free radicals.
According to Penn State University, by consuming antioxidants, we can neutralize free radicals, which helps fight certain forms of cancer and can give the immune system the support it needs to continue to manage it. In addition, a study published in the October 2012 issue of the journal Carcinogenesis found that vitamin C has increased the activity of an important antioxidant enzyme that helps prevent breast cancer. ((2) Combined, all of this makes jackfruit a potential food to fight cancer.
2. Increases magnesium levels
Magnesium is crucial for the structure of our bones. Women are particularly at risk for magnesium deficiency, and it is common for the elderly to also suffer from low levels of magnesium.
A cup of jackfruit contains 15% of the recommended daily value of magnesium, which makes it an excellent fruit to add to your diet, especially since magnesium can help reduce the risk of many diseases, such as hypertension blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, in addition to helping strengthen wrinkles. ((3)
3. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
This robust fruit contains a good dose of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is in the same category as folic acid and vitamin B12 which can help reduce heart disease. This happens due to a lower level of homocysteine, which is an amino acid and an important building block of proteins.
A clinical trial of over 5,500 adults with cardiovascular disease has shown that supplementation with vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid for a period of five years has reduced homocysteine levels, which has reduced the risk of heart disease and the risk of stroke of about 25%. ((4) And although he is uncertain as to how it affects the body, studies indicate that there may be a relationship with homocysteine and arteries. (5)
Some interesting readings:
4. Improves digestion
Jackfruit can be a great choice for anyone with constipation or digestion issues. It is the seeds of the jackfruit that are useful. The seeds contain a good dose of fiber, foods rich in fiber are important because they are not just useful for constipation, but they help to supplement you, which can promote weight loss.
5. Helps prevent osteoporosis
In addition to magnesium, jackfruit contains calcium, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, or even osteopenia, which is the onset of osteoporosis.
The American Osteoporosis Foundation reports that our bones and teeth contain about 99% of the calcium found in our bodies. However, we lose calcium daily through our skin, our nails and even our sweat. The problem is, our bodies cannot produce calcium, which means we have to find it through food. When we don’t, the body goes to our bones to get the calcium it needs. This is when osteopenia, which leads to osteoporosis, can occur. One serving of jackfruit contains about 6% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, making it an effective source for fighting osteoporosis. ((6)
Jackfruit: Nutritional value
A cup of sliced jackfruit contains approximately: (7)
• 155 calories
• 39.6 grams of carbohydrates
• 2.4 grams of protein
• 0.5 gram of fat
• 2.6 grams of fiber
• 11.1 milligrams of vitamin C
• 0.3 milligrams of manganese
• 0.3 milligrams of copper
• 61.1 milligrams of magnesium
• 500 milligrams of potassium
• 0.2 milligrams of riboflavin
• 490 IU of vitamin A
• 0.2 milligrams of vitamin B6
• 23.1 micrograms of folic acid
• 56.1 milligrams of calcium
• 1 milligram of iron
• 59.4 milligrams of phosphorus
• 0.7 milligrams of zinc
How to cook and prepare the jackfruit?
This amazing fruit can be bought fresh or canned. Of course, if you choose the canned version, make sure there are no added sugars or preservatives. If you buy it fresh, make sure it is ripe. To do this, look for yellowish skin with tips that have softened. Just apply gentle pressure to make sure. Another sign that the fruit is ready to eat is its musky scent, which should be rather distinctive. You can also buy one that is green and firm and put it on your window or on your counter until it reaches the recommended maturity.
The jackfruit can take almost any flavor you desire. Want a curry and chutney chicken? Add some jackfruit curry, throw in some raisins and you have a delicious chutney curry. Some versions, such as the jackfruit, have a fibrous texture which makes them perfect to be added to braised chicken for a delicious chicken sandwich. In fact, many vegans use jackfruit as an alternative to meat because it contains a texture similar to that of pork.
When ripe, it contains a flavor similar to bananas and the appearance of a mango, but is sweeter. You can add jackfruit to your favorite dishes, pies, jellies, sauces and ice creams.
Jackfruit Curry Recipe
• 450 g jackfruit
• 1 lemongrass bulb, chopped
• 4 bird peppers
• 1 tsp ground turmeric
• 8 shallots, minced
• 60 g of coconut cream
• 40 g of sea spaghetti
• 750 ml of water
• 1 tablespoon soy / tama sauce
1. Dip the sea spaghetti in lukewarm water.
2. Cut the flesh of the jackfruit into large pieces (approx. 2x4x4 cm).
3. Combine all the ingredients in a casserole dish and boil gently, half-covered, until the jackfruit is tender.
4. Remove the jackfruit from the casserole dish and set aside in a bowl. Pass the sauce in the hand blender until a homogeneous cream is obtained. Salt if necessary.
5. Serve the jackfruit topped with its sauce, and accompany this curry with whole or semi-whole rice. Do not hesitate to replace the jackfruit with a local vegetable, such as celeriac or potatoes.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, be careful as the jackfruit is somewhat new to the market and should be investigated further. If you have an allergy to birch pollen, you may experience an allergic reaction to jackfruit. Be careful.
While it can help lower blood sugar levels, diabetics should be careful. You may experience drowsiness if you use certain medications while consuming it. It is best to stop consuming jackfruit before an operation.
Photo credit : wikimedia.org
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