By Dr Divya Sharad
Not very well known to the majority, Jackfruit (kat-hal in Hindi) is not only a delight to the tongue but also plays a vital role in keeping an individual healthy. Called Artocarpus Heterophyllus, Jackfruit grow in tropical and sub-tropical regions throughout the world. It can be eaten either raw (as vegetable ) or ripened (as fruit).
Jackfruit is rich in energy, dietary fibres, minerals and vitamins and is free of fat content. It has anti-asthmatic and anti-cancer properties.
The seeds too are vital. These are rich in digestible starch, protein and minerals. People in southern part of India, use these seeds in many cooking recipes. Roasted jackfruit seeds are often consumed as a snack.
About 100gms of edible jackfruit blubs provide 95 calories. The soft, easily digestible flesh of the fruit is made up of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose which when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly.
The fruit is also very rich in vitamins. The fresh fruit has significant amount of Vitamin A which is very good for skin. It also contains flavored pigments such as Carotene-Beta, Xanthin, Lutein and Crypotaxanthin Beta. Together, these compounds play vital roles in antioxidant and vision functions. Vitamin A and Carotenes protect the body from cancers of lung and oral cavity.
Jackfruit is a good source of Vitamin C too. Vitamin C develops resistance against various infections and scavenges harmful free radicals.
Jackfruit is also one of the rare fruits that is rich in a Beta-Complex group of vitamins.
Jackfruit is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese and iron. This potassium content is a vital component of cell and body fluids which helps to control heart rate and blood pressure.
Dr Divya Sharad, BAMS, is the Medical Officer at Sant Parmanand Prakratik Chikitsalaya, Vinod Nagar, East Delhi.