Jackfruit, a fruit belonging to the Moraceae family, is native to the Western Ghats of India but is also found in other parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. This fruit is famous for being the largest edible fruit worldwide and is rich in nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The flesh and seeds of jackfruit are consumed in various ways, such as curries, boiled forms, or eaten directly as a fruit when fully ripened. Additionally, different parts of the jack tree, including the fruits, leaves, and bark, have been widely used in traditional medicine due to their health benefits.
What is less known about jackfruit is that it is an excellent source of potassium, which is known to help lower blood pressure and counteract the harmful effects of sodium on the heart and blood vessels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease, strokes, and bone loss. The presence of vitamin B6 in jackfruit also helps to lower the levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Jackfruit is a mineral-rich fruit, containing high amounts of magnesium, which helps the absorption of calcium, strengthens bones, and reduces the risk of bone-related disorders such as osteoporosis. Iron in jackfruit aids in preventing anemia and supports proper blood circulation, while copper plays a critical role in thyroid gland metabolism.
Despite its numerous health benefits and nutritional values, jackfruit is an underutilised fruit, mainly due to its short shelf life and lack of processing facilities in the regions where it is grown, making it difficult to commercialise.