You Should Be Eating More Jackfruit. Here's Why

Although jackfruit might not be quite as popular a fruit as its more common counterparts, like bananas, there are many good reasons why it should become a staple in everyone's diet. It has a mild, sweet flavor, similar to a mango or pineapple, and it is a popular vegetarian alternative that is often used in dishes as a meat substitute, thanks to its fibrous, umami texture. But jackfruit isn't just for vegans and vegetarians. The tropical fruit is loaded with nutrition and delivers a healthy punch that just about everyone can benefit from.

To begin with, jackfruit can pack quite a few nutrients into a fairly low number of calories. It boasts higher levels of vitamin C and B vitamins than more common fruits, like apples and bananas, according to WebMD. The fruit also contains significant amounts of potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, folate, and niacin. But the nutritional benefit that makes jackfruit such a beloved option is its relatively high protein content. One cup of the stuff contains only 155 calories and three grams of protein, which is substantially higher than many other fruits, according to Healthline. This is why it is such a great vegan substitute, and it is often used in both sweet and savory dishes to add in a healthy and delicious boost of protein.

Jackfruit contains high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants

Eating jackfruit has also been shown to help protect against a number of diseases. It contains a high amount of healthy antioxidants, including carotenoids and flavanones, as well as fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar, according to Healthline. Regularly consuming the fruit may be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, as it may prevent blood sugar spikes, reports WebMD. It also contains healthy antioxidants called phytochemicals, which have been linked to a lower risk of cancer. This is because antioxidants protect the body against free radicals that can cause cell damage. 

The fruit's high levels of carotenoids and vitamin A have also been shown to improve eye health and help protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. Its high levels of Vitamin C also boost the immune system, improve skin health, and even promote the production of collagen, an essential protein that can heal wounds and develop healthy skin, bones, and tissues, according to Medical News Today.

Jackfruit can help promote heart and gut health

Furthermore, foods that are high in fiber, like jackfruit, are important for maintaining good digestive health. People who consume the seeds of the jackfruit will reap even more of these healthy benefits, thanks to their high levels of prebiotics, which promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, according to Medical News Today. Eating jackfruit has also been shown to help some people lower their blood pressure because it contains a high amount of potassium, as WebMD states. Lowered blood pressure can decrease the risk of many serious illnesses, like heart disease and stroke.

So the next time you are at the grocery store, you might want to think twice before putting the same old bag of apples or bunch of bananas in your cart. While there is certainly nothing wrong with these common fruits, you might want to expand your palate and give the versatile and highly nutritious jackfruit a try instead.