The Jackfruit – All You Need to Know
The panasa or jackfruit as it is more popularly known is largely found in tropical regions. Scientificallly known as 'Artocarpusheterophyllus ', it is the national fruit of Bangladesh and is called 'Kathal' in Bengali. The jackfruit tree is characterized by a solid trunk that grows up to a height of 50 to 60 feet. The barks, leaves and fruits of this tree contain latex. Jackfruit comes from mulberry family. It has thorny projections outside and soft flesh inside which is intensely sweet and delicious in taste. The leaves are oval in shape, glossy in appearance and leathery to touch. The tree bears both male and female flowers. The fruits (jack fruit) are huge and weigh about as low as 5 kilograms to a massive to 25 kilograms. The jackfruit contains small fleshy fruits inside that have seeds inside them which are hard and starchy. The flesh of these small fruits is either crisp or soft depending on the variety of tree.
Medicinal and Health Benefits of Jackfruit:
- Ayurverda has used the medicinal properties of jackfruit to its advantage. The jack fruit across its various stages of development as a fruit, offers a wide range of benefits. The raw fruit increases vata and kapha whereas the ripened fruit alleviates vata and pitta.
- The latex of this tree, due to its anti-inflammatory properties helps to combat abscesses and wounds. The poultice of jackfruit latex helps to reduce pain and swelling in abscesses and wounds.
- The fully ripened fruit is a very helpful in increasing quality and quantity of semen. It helps to increase sperm count and sperm motility. Weak and skinny people are largely benefited by ripened fruit as it increases body bulk and body energy level.
- The decoction of leaves and roots are used in diseases of skin. The leaves also help to reduce effects of poison.
- In Chinese folk medicine, the jackfruit is considered to have cooling and nutritional properties. The flesh and seeds are used to reduce influence of alcohol. Roasted seeds are regarded as aphrodisiac and given to patients who suffer from low libido, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
- They are rich source of nutrients that are required to maintain a cardiovascular system. Jackfruit’s flesh is very high in fiber content. The taste and texture make it a great fruit for jams, candies, cakes and other sweet preparations.
- Jackfruit is a good source of calories but contains no cholesterol or saturated fats. The nutrition data below gives a detailed picture of Jackfruit’s nutrient value.
- Jackfruit is rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin B6 content in Jackfruit fulfills about 25% of our daily requirement. (1 2)
- The fat content of Jackfruit is very low at just about 0.64 grams.
- Jackfruit is made up 80% of water.
- It is rich in antioxidants that protect from cancer, aging and degenerative disease. (4)
- Due to rich antioxidants, it is good for eyesight and protect from conditions like cataract and macular degeneration. (5, 6)
- It is a good source of potassium that maintains fluid and electrolyte level in balance. Also, it improves bone and skin health.