Jackfruit is a large exotic fruit with yellow edible flesh and hard, spiky skin. It is rich in vitamin B and vitamin C and can weigh up to 100 pounds! It is native to South India and grows in tropical regions.
Jackfruit has many benefits that make it perfect for many diets and has a unique taste and texture, but does it fit into the paleo diet? Is jackfruit vegan?
The answer is yes! Jackfruits are paleo-friendly because they are fruits and have no added sugars or other ingredients.
In the Paleolithic period (old stone age), hunters and gatherers would find jackfruits in the forest for their consumption. It is now often marketed as a vegan and vegetarian alternative to meat. It’s a favorite among these diet followers because of its texture, flavor, and benefits.
Jackfruit as Vegan Meat Replacement
Jackfruit is a healthy vegan alternative to meat. It is a meat replacement that both meat lovers and vegans love. You can cook an unripe jackfruit (green jackfruit) and enjoy its mild flavor and fibrous texture.
This vegan meat substitute looks and has the texture of shredded meat and is likened to pulled pork. The green jackfruit soaks up the flavors of the sauces you use to cook with, thus making it a delicious meat alternative.
Is Canned Jackfruit Paleo?
Canned jackfruit with additional flavors such as artificial syrups or processed sugars is not considered paleo. The paleo diet concentrates on foods that were acquired by hunting and gathering. Foods such as grains, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables were obtained in the forests before farming started about 10,000 years ago.
Ways to Eat Jackfruit
Jackfruit is a superfood that you can eat as ripe and unripe. The taste of a ripe jackfruit is a cross between a banana, mango, apple, and pineapple. This sweet and subtle taste makes it a great addition to cakes and custards and when mixed with shaved ice.
Unripe jackfruit is a delicacy that has taken over the world. This is because the pulp has a neutral taste and readily soaks in the flavors of the ingredients it is prepared with.
To prepare jackfruit seeds for consumption, you need to boil the seeds and roast them to remove toxic substances. After that, you can add them to your favorite desserts.
One tip to remember is to oil your knife and hands before you start cutting the jackfruit. The midribs of the whole fruit contain sticky latex that makes it hard to cut and handle this superfood.
Jackfruit Nutritional value
Jackfruit has under 3 grams of protein per cup, making it lower in protein content than meat. When eating jackfruit, you can add some beans to ensure you get enough protein.
One cup of sliced jackfruit contains:
- 157 calories
- 2 grams fat
- 38 grams carbohydrates
- 2.5 g fiber
- 2.8 grams protein
- 40 mg calcium
Health Benefits of Jackfruit
Some health benefits of jackfruit include:
- Cancer prevention
- Promotes healthy skin
- Heart health improvement
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Digestive improvement
- Protection from anemia
- Immunity enhancement
- Bone strengthening
- Improves sperm count
- Makes bones strong
Prevents cell damage
Jackfruit contains carotenoids, the pigments that make plant parts yellow, which have a high amount of vitamin A (antioxidant). The carotenoids help protect our cells from damage and help prevent diseases and eye problems.
Jackfruit is rich in antioxidants which help protect the skin against premature aging, wrinkles, and sun damage.
Helps with constipation
Jackfruit helps with constipation since it is a good source of fiber. This helps you have a regular bowel movement and makes you feel fuller for longer.
If you have diabetes and are always concerned about your blood sugar spiking up as soon as you eat other fruits, you should consider eating jackfruit, as your body slowly digests and absorbs it, avoiding the quick spikes.
Helps Fight Cancer
Jackfruit has phytonutrients such as saponins, lignans, and isoflavones that prevent cancer cells from forming in your body. The phytochemicals in jackfruit are beneficial in fighting cancer and chronic degenerative diseases.
The antioxidants found in the jackfruit help protect the cellular DNA from direct damage due to free oxygen radicals. Its sticky nature helps cleanse the colon to remove toxins from your digestive tract that cause colon cancer.
Promotes heart health
Jackfruit is a fruit that promotes good heart health, and it is beneficial to include in your diet. It has potassium, fiber, and antioxidants that help reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Prevents thyroid problems
Jackfruit is rich in copper, which plays a vital role in preventing thyroid problems. It regulates thyroid function as it helps in the absorption and synthesis of hormones.
Protection from anemia
Jackfruit has iron that aids in preventing anemia and helps in proper blood circulation. The seeds help increase hemoglobin levels and thus can cure anemia.
Improves sperm count
When men eat ripened jackfruit, the fruit helps in increasing sperm quality and sperm motility. Jackfruit is also used as a natural aphrodisiac and for treating erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and in treating low libido.
Jackfruit contains calcium which is good for strengthening bones. A handful of this superfruit will give you about 56.1 mg of calcium. You can take this as a natural supplement if you have weak bones and osteoporosis.
Where to Find Jackfruit
Jackfruit is available in many US food stores. You can get them both canned and dried. You can get them in US grocery stores in ready-to-cook and premade options.
You can also get them as taco fillings and in pulled pork dishes.
The canned jackfruit option can be frozen or in sugary syrup, which would eliminate that specific product from being paleo.
Are there risks to eating jackfruit?
Jackfruit is safe for most people, but some people may have to limit or avoid eating this fruit. If you are allergic to birch pollen, it is best to avoid eating jackfruit.
If you have diabetes, you need to consult with your doctor first for a possible change of your medicine dosages because jackfruit can lower blood sugar levels.
Jackfruit might also cause drowsiness and sleepiness, and you should be wary of eating jackfruit and taking sleeping medicines (sedatives). Taking the two together may cause you to be drowsy. If you have a scheduled surgery, it is advisable to stop eating jackfruit two weeks before your surgery.
Overall, there is no report of serious side effects from eating jackfruit, and it is thus safe for most people.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Jackfruit and Paleo Diet
Is Jackfruit Vegan Friendly?
Jackfruit is vegan and vegetarian friendly because it contains no animal products. This makes jackfruit a great meat alternative for vegans and vegetarians because this fruit has a texture similar to pulled pork when ripe or chicken/pork when immature (young). Jackfruit also has a mild flavor, so you can easily add spices and other ingredients to make curries or stews.
Is Jackfruit paleo?
Yes, jackfruit is paleo because it doesn’t contain gluten or grains, isn’t highly processed food, and hasn’t been genetically modified. Jackfruit is 100% natural (unless you buy a canned or frozen variety) and doesn’t contain any additives.
Is Jackfruit bad for you?
While jackfruit is not bad for you, it’s important to note that it’s high in carbohydrates and low in protein. If you’re looking for something delicious to eat with minimal calories (and lots of fiber), this could be your new favorite fruit!
Is Jackfruit healthy?
Jackfruit can be a great addition to any diet because of its many nutritional benefits: low-calorie content, high fiber levels, and rich vitamin C content (which helps keep skin glowing). There are no added sugars or preservatives added during harvesting, so they’re entirely natural products that taste delicious!
Jackfruit is a superfood that is both paleo and vegan. It has tremendous health benefits that both vegan and meat lovers enjoy. Enjoy the wonders of the world’s largest fruit, whether you cook it or eat it in its ripened state.