What is Jackfruit and why is it amazing for our gut?
Jackfruit is an exotic fruit that originated in Southwest India. It is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. Though it may look intimidating because of its bumpy appearance on the outside, it contains bulbs of seed containing flesh around a string core on the inside that are both subtle in sweetness and fruity in flavor. The most commonly consumed part of jackfruit is the flesh, or fruit pods, which are edible both when ripe and unripe. It can be used in sweet and savory dishes, including desserts and curries. The seeds are also safe to eat. Jackfruit has become a fan favorite to many who follow a vegan diet, as it can be used as a meat replacement all while still providing great texture and taste!
In addition to Jackfruit's unique and versatile flavor profile, it is full of nutrients! These include: proteins, vitamin A , vitamin C, and antioxidants. Vitamin C is a major antioxidant that may help to prevent inflammation by reducing free radicals that can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Another health benefit for incorporating jackfruit into your diet is its high amounts of fiber which protects the colon and acts as a natural laxative to keep bowel movements regular and healthy. In fact, the jackfruit seeds as well as the fruit are a good source of both dietary fiber and starch, which could help impact the movement of stool through the intestine. 1/2 cup contains 3 grams of fiber!
Furthermore, one study demonstrated that seed flour that is made from the jackfruit seeds has both preventative and protective properties for the gut microbiome: the flour specifically seems to be a beneficial prebiotic for the bacteria lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, two species of bacteria that help maintain a healthy #GoodGut microbiome.
Ways to eat
You can eat jackfruit in many different ways and also incorporate it for different flavors and tastes.
If you are looking for a dessert, more sweet flavor it is recommended to eat it while it is very ripe.
If you are looking for a more savory, hearty flavor and taste, it is recommended to eat unripened to mimic the texture of potatoes and meats.
Other ways to eat jackfruit are raw, pureed, roasted, and baked.
Recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich
Ingredient (Makes 4 Servings):
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp himalayan pink salt
1 (20-ounce) can jackfruit, drained
1/2 cup water
1 cup tessemae’s bbq sauce
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 Tbsp lime juice
black pepper (to taste)
vegetable broth (enough to keep from sticking to pan)
Prepare jackfruit by shredding the pieces with your hands, discarding any harder pieces of the core.
In a large skillet, pour some vegetable broth on medium heat.
Add the sliced onion, chopped garlic, and pink salt. Cook until onions are translucent.
Add the shredded jackfruit and cook for 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Add a splash of vegetable broth if necessary to keep the jackfruit from sticking to the pan.
Stir 1/2 of BBQ sauce with shredded cabbage and carrots. Mix well.
Turn heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove cover, and stir in remaining BBQ sauce to taste.
Add in lime juice and cilantro.
Cook until cabbage and carrots are soft.
Use whole grain bread to make a sandwich.
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Ranasinghe, R., Maduwanthi, S., & Marapana, R. (2019). Nutritional and Health Benefits of Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.): A Review. International journal of food science, 2019, 4327183. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/4327183.
Trejo Rodríguez, I. S., Alcántara Quintana, L. E., Algara Suarez, P., Ruiz Cabrera, M. A., & Grajales Lagunes, A. (2021). Physicochemical Properties, Antioxidant Capacity, Prebiotic Activity and Anticancer Potential in Human Cells of Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) Seed Flour. Molecules, 26(16), 4854. doi:10.3390/molecules26164854.