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GlobePreneurs Love: The Jackfruit

The GlobePreneur lifestyle can be very stressful. But we have the opportunity to savor exotic foods around the world. Our GlobePreneurs Love series brings you a ‘taste’ of some of the amazing experiences, fruits and cuisines from different corners of the globe.

What is jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a relative of figs and breadfruit, and grows in tropical areas of Southeast Asia, Brazil and Africa. While it is a fruit, its consistency is similar to that of chicken or pork. It has a fairly neutral taste when young, so it takes on the flavor of whatever sauce or seasoning you pair it with. It has a stringy consistency that works especially well with tangy BBQ sauce to make a vegan BBQ pulled ‘pork’ sandwich. Jackfruit is a healthy and sustainable vegan meat replacement and one of the big trends of 2017.

Unlike animal sources of protein, jackfruit contains no saturated fat or cholesterol, is light on sodium, and is also low in calories. Additionally, jackfruit contains fiber and potassium, both heart-healthy nutrients that we need. It’s sustainably sourced – something that today’s consumers care about and are willing to pay for.

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How to prepare jackfruit: Young vs. ripe

When Jackfruit is “young,” “green” or unripe, it has an entirely different consistency and usage than when it’s ripe. Ripe jackfruit is eaten like any fresh fruit — the only difference is that it’s an extremely large fruit. An average jackfruit weighs between 30 and 50 pounds. Once you cut through the thick, green coral reef-like skin, you’ll find a creamy white interior filled with fibrous fruit and large pits.

The flavor of ripe jackfruit is sweet and it’s typically eaten raw on its own or as part of a dessert. Young, unripe jackfruit can be found canned and also in pouches in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. This is the type that is gaining so much attention as a meat alternative. You’ll see it in tacos, burritos, curries, bowls, salads, desserts and stir-fries.

What to do with Jackfruit?

In many parts of Southeast Asia, jackfruit is served in dozens of ways: jackfruit curry, stir fry, juice/smoothies, chips, ice cream, tacos, carnitas, desserts, decor, sandwiches/burger and even baking flour. These are just a few examples of jackfruit’s remarkable versatility in the kitchen.

Young jackfruit is generally packed with some amount of water, and sometimes also salt, so give it a rinse with cold water and let it drain in a colander before using it in recipes. Then you can literally do anything with it! It works especially well with bold and spicy flavors. Add it to chilis and stews, or sauté it with onions and peppers and throw it in a pita with some za’atar. Rub it with a Mexican spice blend, sear it in a pan and then wrap it up with brown rice and avocado for a filling burrito.

Jackfruit Benefits

Jackfruit is high in magnesium, vitamin B6 and antioxidants while offering a low-carb snack or even the perfect vegan “pulled-pork” sandwich. It can be found dried and roasted, and it can be added to soups, used in chips, jams, juices and even ice cream, in addition to simply eating fresh and raw. The seeds, containing a ton of nutritional benefits, can be boiled, roasted or ground into flour. All this nutrition gives jackfruit some truly remarkable benefits, which will be discussed below.

1. Enhances Immunity and May Help Fight Cancer

Jackfruit is a vitamin C food that contains many other antioxidants and cancer-fighting phytonutrients, including lignans, isoflavones and saponins. Additionally, we need to fight those damaging free radicals that enter the body daily. (1) According to Penn State University, by consuming antioxidants, we can neutralize the free radicals, which helps fight some forms of cancer and can give the immune system the support it needs to continue to manage it. In addition, a study published in the October 2012 issue of the journal Carcinogenesis found that vitamin C increased activity of an important antioxidant enzyme that helps prevent breast cancer. (2) Combined, all this makes jackfruit a potential cancer-fighting food.

2. Boosts Magnesium Levels

Magnesium is crucial for the structure of our bones. Women are especially at risk for magnesium deficiency, and it’s common for African-Americans and the elderly to suffer from low magnesium levels too.

One cup of jackfruit contains 15 percent of the daily recommended value of magnesium, making it a great choice to add to your diet, especially since magnesium can help reduce the risk of many diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, in addition to helping provide strong bones. (3)

3. Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

This robust fruit contains a healthy dose of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 falls into a category along with folic acid and vitamin B12 that may help reduce heart disease. This occurs due to lower levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid and important building block of protein.

A clinical trial known as the the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation 2 including more than 5,500 adults with known cardiovascular disease learned that supplementation of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid for a period of five years reduced homocysteine levels, which decreased both heart disease risk and stroke risk by about 25 percent. (4) And while it’s uncertain as to how this affects the body, studies indicate that there may be a relationship to homocysteine and the arteries. (5)

4. Improves Digestion

Jackfruit may be a great choice for anyone suffering from constipation or issues with digestion, and it’s the seeds of the jackfruit that come in handy. The seeds contain a good portion of dietary fiber, and as we know, high-fiber foods are great because they not only help with constipation, but they help fill you up, which may contribute to weight loss.

5. Aids in Preventing Osteoporosis

In addition to bone-building magnesium, jackfruit contains calcium, which may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, or even osteopenia, which is the onset of osteoporosis.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that our bones and teeth compile about 99 percent of the calcium found in our bodies. However, we lose calcium through our skin, nails and even our sweat on a daily basis. The problem is that our bodies cannot produce new calcium, which means we have to get it through the foods we eat. When we don’t do that, the body goes to our bones to get the calcium it needs. This is when osteopenia, which leads to osteoporosis, can occur. A serving of jackfruit contains about 6 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, making it a strong source to help stave off osteoporosis. (6)

Conclusion

Jackfruit is a versatile fruit which can be eaten as a fruit, or in the preparation of meals as a meat replacement. It tastes great and has many health benefits too. Furthermore it is a sustainable fruit and a big trend setter for 2017! Are you a jackfruit fan?

Please feel free to send suggestions to and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook LinkedInInstagram, Twitter & Pinterest!

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67 Comments

  1. July 13, 2017    

    I am so glad you did the side by side comparison because i so confused this to the Duran fruit! I wonder if you can order this fruit to the US? If so I’d love to try!

  2. July 13, 2017    

    WOW! Thank you so much for this information.
    Jackfruit is also available in my area, I live in India and this fruit is easily available here too.
    After learning this much i will surely try some thing new with it.

  3. July 13, 2017    

    All those dishes look so yummy! I hadn’t ever heard of this fruit, but it looks so versatile!

  4. July 13, 2017    

    I believe I have seen jackfruit on Chopped on the Food network, and I may have even seen it in stores near me, but I have never tried it. Your post was so interesting and informative. I would like to try it, but I wish I could find it in a restaurant first both to try it out and to see how they prepared it. Nevertheless, jackfruit is now on my list!!

  5. saidy saidy
    July 13, 2017    

    Wow everything looks so amazing!!!!

  6. Liza Perry Liza Perry
    July 13, 2017    

    Never ever heard of that fruit! Thought it was pineapple at first. It sounds so good for health I need to try it! Thanks!

  7. July 13, 2017    

    Very Interesting! Never heard of Jackfruit – looks very healthy as well as tasty!

  8. July 13, 2017    

    This was great info. I have never seen/heard of Jackfruit, so this was all new to me.

  9. July 13, 2017    

    I love how “the old becomes new” with all these fruits that are getting attention in America now 🙂 My parents probably grew jack fruit back in their day – LOL 😉 I recently just tried dragon fruit and it was awesome! It’s great how these fruits are so high in nutrition and antioxidants and all the things that our bodies need.

  10. July 13, 2017    

    I know that this is going to sound bad. But, What is breadfruit?

  11. July 13, 2017    

    I have actually never tried Jackfruit. I think it’s time I did! It has so many benefits from eating it!

  12. Sophia Sophia
    July 13, 2017    

    I love jackfruit!! It’s so versatile!

    Sophia x http://sophiawhitham.co.uk

  13. July 14, 2017    

    I’d love to try these exotic fruits, I’ve seen several vegan “Muk bangs” on YouTube of people trying this in Thailand and surrounds. I’d to try it as a meat replacement.

  14. July 14, 2017    

    Oh I absolutely LOVE fresh jackfruit! I grew up in Asia and during Jackfruit season I ate it everyday after school! Absolutely a fruit you have to try if you have never had it. If you have the chance to get your hands on a fresh jackfruit, all the better 🙂

  15. July 14, 2017    

    this fruit looks yummy! I have heard good things

  16. July 14, 2017    

    What a good, informative post. I love jack fruit. I just wish it is readily available.

  17. July 14, 2017    

    I’ve never been brave enough to try this but it looks good!

  18. July 14, 2017    

    It’s tasty and I love the texture as well. I don’t have much access to jackfruit but I think it’s a really good fruit to have in desserts or you can simply eat it on its own! I love that you shared all of these, I didn’t know that it’s packed with benefits! So cool!

  19. July 14, 2017    

    Oh, my that looks delicious. Also, that’s a very exotic looking fruit. It sounds refreshing!

  20. July 14, 2017    

    I too have never heard of this. I feel completely informed now. I’m interested in trying it as a meat suppliment. I’ll see if I can find some at the market. Thanks for sharing.

  21. July 14, 2017    

    Your truly lucky to get to sample all of this wonderful produce from around the world! As a food blogger, I’m more than a little jealous. I havne’t heard of jackfuit before, and it sure sounds like one I’d love to try! x

  22. July 14, 2017    

    I don’t think I had ever heard of jackfruit before. Sounds interesting, I have yet to even see it here in New Hampshire. I wonder if we have it anywhere local? Glad you shared some info and now I know about it because I am going to research more!

  23. July 14, 2017    

    Wow, I never knew a fruit could have such good health benefits. It’s interesting that its consistency is like meat. it seems like it’s worth trying though.

  24. July 14, 2017    

    This is a great all-in-all post about jack fruit. I definitely learned a lot. Thanks for the post.

  25. Lea Lea
    July 14, 2017    

    Never actually tried it but it sounds quite nice especially with the different recipes! Thanks for sharing.

  26. talha talha
    July 14, 2017    

    Never heard this fruit name before. But I wish I can taste it

  27. July 15, 2017    

    Never heard of this before but it seems so exotic and delicious! I would love to try it for sure!

  28. Pam Pam
    July 15, 2017    

    I lived in Brazil last year and this article makes me miss it even more! The amazing selection of exotic fruit was incredible.

  29. hal hal
    July 15, 2017    

    damnnn thats a lot of benefits – it never surprises me that some of the lesser known fruits pack the most amount of nutrients

  30. July 15, 2017    

    I can honestly say I have never tried this fruit before! I’m not even sure it’s available in Canada but I would definitely like to try it if I see it while traveling. Thank you for the information!

    Heather | http://www.heatherleguilloux.ca

  31. Rashmi Rashmi
    July 15, 2017    

    I loved your post👍

  32. sam sam
    July 15, 2017    

    Oh I would love to try! I don’t think anything could smell as bad as durian fruit so this is now on my list!

  33. July 15, 2017    

    I’ve only eaten jackfruit and durian raw- I had no idea you could cook them! That vegan barbecue sandwich sounds intriguing.

  34. July 16, 2017    

    Jackfruit is my favourite

  35. July 16, 2017    

    Ooo I LOVE jackfruit! Used to eat this all the time when I visited Uganda but never knew you could do much with it. It’s delicious as a pulled pork alternative, but I still love it fresh from the tree!

  36. July 16, 2017    

    I have never tried jack fruit. It sounds very yummy will look to see if I can find one to try
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  37. Ramiz Kaydı Ramiz Kaydı
    July 16, 2017    

    ohh they look really delicious and now ı know more informations about them thanks for share

  38. July 16, 2017    

    Jack fruit is my favourite and it is easily available in India. But it is very difficult to chop, so I bring chopped version from market.

  39. July 16, 2017    

    Wow I had no idea people were actually using this in recipes, in my country we feed the pigs and the cows jackfruit…
    Cheers
    Maggie
    http://www.cascadeavenue.com

  40. July 16, 2017    

    They just started seling Jackfruit at our local grocery store. I need to try it! I had no idea how versatile it was!

  41. Nelu Mbingu Nelu Mbingu
    July 17, 2017    

    I’m vegetarian so this is fantastic for someone like me! I will definitely be looking more into it lol

  42. Sian Sian
    July 17, 2017    

    Wow! Very interesting! I’ve never tried this. I wonder if I can get it here in the UK…

  43. Olivia Olivia
    July 17, 2017    

    To be honest, I’ve never heard of this fruit before! But I’m a HUGE fruit lover, I could live off of it, so I’d love to try this! It has so many benefits to it also, si that’s a plus!!!

  44. Moe Moe
    July 17, 2017    

    I’ve been hearing a lot about jackfruit recently. Good to resource for great info. Thanks for going so in depth!

  45. July 17, 2017    

    I would love to try Jackfruit in some recipes if I can ever find some fresh. I like the taco or BBQ ideas.

  46. July 17, 2017    

    I’ve had durian before and I wasn;t a fan, I’ve never heard of jackfruit though. It does have amazing benefits, I would totally give it a try.

  47. July 18, 2017    

    Never had jackfruit before! I will try it one day – never knew of its health benefits

  48. July 18, 2017    

    Wow I want that now! I want to give it ago. I love trying new things and also it is a great article.

  49. July 18, 2017    

    Thirty to fifty pounds!! That’s ginormous! I wouldn’t know WHAT to do with something that large/heavy! LOL

  50. Elizabeth O Elizabeth O
    July 18, 2017    

    i grew up eating jackfruit and other exotic fruits we planted in my father’s West African village. As an adult, it is so empowering to read that a lot of those fruits and vegetables had healing properties… No wonder the villagers rarely got sick.

  51. July 18, 2017    

    I have never heard of a jackfruit before! Looks very interesting! I’d like to try one!

  52. July 18, 2017    

    Come to Bali and I will bring you to my farm .its a season for Durian and Jack fruit this month . We love this fruit , both are the best fruit to have

  53. July 19, 2017    

    I knew of Jackfruit but I didn’t know there were so many variations of enjoying it. Such a super fruit, also so grateful for the infographic comparison. Great post.

  54. July 19, 2017    

    I want to eat that pudding. It looks great.

  55. July 20, 2017    

    I actually had jackfruit yesterday and today. Have a little more in the refrigerator for later. Nice fruit (although I don’t like the odour).

  56. July 21, 2017    

    I have heard of a jackfruit but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one up close. I would love to try it if I could ever find it in the states.

  57. July 21, 2017    

    Every day there is minimum one thing which we want to learn new. Today i feel good because i learned something new 🙂 thank you

  58. Taylor Taylor
    July 21, 2017    

    Wow! This was super interesting! Will definitely have to check it out

  59. July 23, 2017    

    I can’t find a jackfruit in my country 🙁
    I really want to try it!

  60. July 25, 2017    

    I enjoy jackfruit it si easy to find in my market. I make tacos and also agua fresca with it. It is tasty good vegetarian option. Love yoru pictures great content.

  61. July 29, 2017    

    Wow. This is the most information on jackfruit that I ever thought I needed. Hahaha. I’m more of a mango guy myself, but I may have to give this a try… maybe smoothie form first. Thanks for sharing!

  62. July 30, 2017    

    i didn’t know the jackfruit had cancer fighting properties. i’ve had it in Turron, basically a filipino spring roll. it was very tasty.

  63. July 30, 2017    

    That’s a lot of good info about jackfruit. I’ve been wanting to learn more, thank you. Now, I just need to incorporate it into my meal. That sweet dessert looks good.

  64. July 31, 2017    

    Very informative and interesting post, we don’t see Jackfruit in the UK very often 🙁

  65. July 31, 2017    

    Very interesting article about Jackfruit. I have seen it pop up in the local grocery stores around here & never really knew how to cook it/what to do with it. Learn something new everyday! I am not a big meat fan, so this is going to be a great alternative for me besides eggs and tofu.

  66. August 4, 2017    

    Great information here !!!

  67. August 6, 2017    

    Yum, that looks so good.

    http://www.fashionplugin.com

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