8 Surprising Health Benefits of Jackfruit

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  • Jackfruit on tree

    Jackfruit is a huge fruit—sometimes weighing up to 40 pounds—that grows on tropical evergreen trees. It is indeed a fruit, but some people use it as a substitute for meat because it can have a neutral, even savory flavor when it’s not ripe. When ripe, jackfruit is sweet like other tropical fruits, such as bananas or mangos. Jackfruit benefits for health include vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and more. Scientists are also studying jackfruit’s benefits in treating viral and bacterial infections. There are many ways to enjoy jackfruit and its seeds, so find out why you may want to add this versatile fruit to your diet.

  • 1
    Jackfruit provides a great source of many vitamins and minerals and even some protein.
    sweet jack-fruit cross section on bamboo basket

    In a one-cup serving of raw jackfruit, you’ll fulfill a good portion of your daily requirements of many vitamins: folate and an assortment of B vitamins, along with vitamin C and E. Jackfruit’s mineral content packs a punch, too. It offers a good dose of magnesium, potassium and copper, and it also has some zinc, calcium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. As for protein, one cup of raw jackfruit provides nearly 3 grams, or 6% of your daily needs, which is more protein than many other types of fruit.

  • 2
    The fiber in jackfruit helps keep you regular.
    Close-Up Of Jackfruit

    As for fiber, you’ll get nearly 10% of your daily fiber requirements in just a cup of jackfruit. Because fiber helps keep you regular, jackfruit can help prevent constipation. Additionally, jackfruit’s fiber content helps reduce your risk of colon cancer, since stool moves through your large intestine more quickly. As always when adding more fiber to your diet, do so slowly, as adding a lot of fiber too fast can cause intestinal discomfort, including gas, bloating and cramping.

  • 3
    Jackfruit offers antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
    Bowl of vegan Jackfruit goulash

    In some studies, the lectin in jackfruit has been shown to inhibit several viruses, including herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), in lab settings. As for its antimicrobial properties, researchers are studying the benefits of jackfruit seeds as a potential new antibiotic, which could be particularly useful in treating antibiotic-resistant diseases. Some scientists advise caution to people who are already on antibiotics, as well as people who take blood thinners, as jackfruit may increase their risk of bleeding.

  • 4
    The antioxidants in jackfruit may help keep you looking and feeling young.
    Ripe Jack fruit or Kanun hanging from a branch of a tree. Close up of jackfruit in the garden.

    Jackfruit benefits your skin as a good source of vitamin C and other antioxidants, which help repair DNA damage due to oxidative stress. While they won’t actually turn back time, these antioxidants can help prevent photoaging, the aging of the skin due to sun exposure. Not only that, they’ll help slow skin cell degeneration and give you a youthful appearance, and vitamin C helps the body produce collagen, which helps your skin stay firm. Vitamin C also helps protect your eye health, preventing the macular deterioration that can come with age.

  • 5
    Those antioxidants and other nutrients also may help prevent degenerative diseases.
    Fresh jackfruit on wooden table

    Jackfruit contains carotenoids and flavonoids, antioxidants that may reduce your risk of developing degenerative diseases—those that get worse over time. The combination of those antioxidants plus the high amount of potassium, magnesium and B vitamins in jackfruit lowers your chances of developing conditions like heart disease, inflammation, bone loss, and cancer. They also can improve your muscle and nerve function. Potassium also can help lower your blood pressure, which is beneficial for heart health, and the magnesium in jackfruit helps your body absorb calcium, which boosts bone strength.

  • 6
    Jackfruit seeds benefit your gut.
    Sweet Jackfruit isolated on white background

    Some of the health benefits of jackfruit seeds come from the amount of resistant starch in them. Your small intestine can’t digest resistant starch, so it moves to your large intestine and begins to ferment, which feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Resistant starches also act like fiber, helping you feel full longer while also preventing constipation. However, unlike fiber, resistant starches are less likely to cause gas and bloating.

  • 7
    Avoid jackfruit if you have certain allergies or health conditions.
    Jackfruit in brine

    While it may seem strange, people with latex allergies should avoid eating jackfruit. People who are allergic to birch pollen should also skip jackfruit. And because jackfruit contains a lot of potassium, it’s not safe for people who have chronic kidney disease.

  • 8
    Unripe jackfruit is a surprisingly good substitute for chicken or pork.
    Pulled pork jackfruit burger, jackfruit, red cabbage, cucumber, paprika, parsley

    Anyone who’s looking to add more meatless meals to their weekly dinner menu, listen up. Jackfruit has a stringy texture, making it perfect as a substitute for barbecue pulled pork or chicken. Not only will it sub for barbecue meat, you can also use unripe jackfruit in a host of other vegan and vegetarian meals.

    For example, jackfruit can be a hearty replacement for tofu or chickpeas in curries. However, while it may mimic the flavor and texture of barbecue meat, it doesn’t have nearly the amount of protein as meat, so keep that in mind when you’re creating a balanced meal. And if you’re looking for ways to serve the sweeter, ripened version, try adding it to a smoothie or just eating it plain to reap the nutritional benefits of jackfruit. Also, besides jackfruit seeds’ benefits for health, they’re also a tasty snack when roasted.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2021 Aug 17
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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