Jackfruit is the largest fruit tree in the world, each tree bears as many as 250 large fruits but it's not the size that is so beneficial, it's the nutrition. Indigenous to the Southwestern rain forests of India, jackfruits are related to figs, mulberry and breadfruit. The trees are widely cultivated for their fruit, seeds and wood. The exotic fruit has a thorny outside and is soft on the inside with an intensely sweet taste. Read below to find out our 5 top health benefits of this powerful superfruit!
May Improve Cardiovascular Health
Jackfruit contains potassium which has been found to be helpful in lowering blood pressure and therefore reducing the risk of heart attacks as well as strokes. It also contains a healthy dose of vitamin B6. Researchers say B6, along with folic acid and vitamin B12, may fight heart disease by lowering levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that is affected by diet and genetics.
May Help Prevent Colon Cancer
Antioxidants found in jackfruit and other foods fight damaging free radicals that enter the body daily by boosting the immune system. Jackfruit is also filled with dietary fats that cleanse the toxins from the colon and therefore reduce the toxin effects in the colon and protects it from cancer.
Boosts Your Immune System
Jackfruit seeds contain vitamin A that is essential for healthy hair and eyes. It is filled with Vitamin C and antioxidants which help strengthen the immune system. Vitamin B, otherwise known as niacin, in this fruit monitors hormones, boosts the immune system and is especially good for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding.
May Prevent Osteoporosis
Jackfruit is rich in magnesium, a nutrient that helps with the absorption of calcium to help strengthen bones and prevent bone related disorders such as osteoporosis. It is also loaded with copper which plays an important role in the thyroid metabolism, particularly in hormone production and absorption.
May Boost Energy Levels
Jackfruit is an energy generating fruit because of its simple sugars, fructose and sucrose that give the body a boost. It is loaded with carbohydrates and calories helping you feel fuller for longer. The fruit contains no cholesterol making it a safe and healthy food.
The texture of unripe jackfruit is similar to meat and it is used in savoury dishes as well as cooked in gravies and spicy curries. When ripe it looks like a mango and tastes similar to banana. Collect the seeds from ripened jackfruit and sun dry for later use. They are packed with nutrients and many health benefits including, flawless skin, protein, hair growth and the list goes on. They can be found at asian supermarkets, usually tinned, try to buy the ones in brine rather than syrup. Check out our favourite jackfruit recipe below!
These are the ultimate, easy to make Vegan Enchiladas served with fresh avocado, tomato salsa and vegan cream cheese!
Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 40 mins | Makes: 6 Enchiladas
6 small tortillas
2 can 400g young jackfruit in brine
1 can 400g chopped tomatoes
1 can 400g kidney or black beans
1 cup stock (I use vegan bouillon)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp harissa paste
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp maple syrup or any liquid sweetener
1 tsp onion salt (substitute with 1/2 onion)
1 tsp garlic granules (substitute 2 garlic cloves crushed)
1 tbsp vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
1 avocado, cubed
50g vegan cheese, grated
1/4 onion thinly sliced
Salt & Pepper
1. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a pan. Drain and rinse the jackfruit, remove the core of the jackfruit (the harder triangular piece), and add the jackfruit to the pan. Pan-fry it for about 4 minutes, then add salt, smoked paprika powder, onion salt, garlic granules, stock, harissa, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, cream cheese and maple syrup.
2. Simmer with the lid off for 20-30 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
3. Preheat the oven to 180’C 10 minutes before the jackfruit is ready.
4. To assemble the enchiladas, fill each tortilla with 2 heaped tablespoons of the jackfruit mixture, roll up and place in a small oven dish.
5. Sprinkle the top with the vegan cheese and bake for 10 minutes, until crispy.