Health Care

What are the health benefits of jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a healthful source of vitamin C and other essential nutrients, and research suggests that it may provide a number of health benefits.

Jackfruit is a tropical tree fruit native to southwest India. It belongs to the Moraceae plant family, which also includes mulberries, figs, and breadfruit.

A jackfruit is large, with thick, yellow flesh and edible seeds and pods. The flesh has a sweet, distinctive flavor, which some describe as a cross between banana and pineapple.

Due to its fibrous texture, people often use jackfruit flesh as a meat substitute in vegetarian or vegan dishes.In this article, we explore some of the potential health benefits of jackfruit. We also look into its nutritional contents, any risks and considerations, and how to add it to the diet.

Cholesterol levels

Animal studies suggest that jackfruit seeds may help reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, is a waxy deposit that can stick to the inner walls of arteries. As these deposits build up, they can restrict the flow of blood, which can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, helps remove LDL cholesterol from blood vessels and send it back to the liver.

A 2015 study investigated the effects of various jackfruit seed diets on cholesterol levels in rats.

Rats who ate a diet rich in jackfruit seeds had increased levels of HDL cholesterol and reduced levels of LDL cholesterol, compared with the rats who ate fewer seeds.

Animal studies suggest that jackfruit seeds may help reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, is a waxy deposit that can stick to the inner walls of arteries. As these deposits build up, they can restrict the flow of blood, which can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, helps remove LDL cholesterol from blood vessels and send it back to the liver.

A 2015 study investigated the effects of various jackfruit seed diets on cholesterol levels in rats.

Rats who ate a diet rich in jackfruit seeds had increased levels of HDL cholesterol and reduced levels of LDL cholesterol, compared with the rats who ate fewer seeds.

Blood pressure

Jackfruit is a good source of potassium. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), foods rich in potassium can help reduce blood pressure.

Potassium lowers blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium and reducing tension in the walls of blood vessels.

The AHA recommend that healthy adults consume 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium a day. A cup of raw, sliced jackfruit contains 739 mg of potassium.

However, a potassium-rich diet can be harmful to people with kidney disease or any condition that alters the way that the body regulates potassium.

Cancer

Jackfruit contains substances called phytochemicals, such as flavonoids, saponins, and tannins.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, many phytochemicals have antioxidant properties, which means that they may help to counter the effects of free radicals.

Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that occur naturally in the body and can damage cells. This damage, known as oxidative stress, may play a role in the development of several chronic diseases, including cancer.

Phytochemicals may also prevent new blood vessels from growing around cancerous cells. A lack of blood vessels reduces the cells’ blood supply and growth.

A 2017 study found that jackfruit seed extracts inhibited the growth of induced, ectopic blood vessels in chicken embryos.

The researchers noted that the effect may result from the combination of flavonoids, saponins, and tannins in the extracts and that jackfruit extract may have potential as a future anticancer therapy.

They concluded that further in-depth studies are necessary to confirm and better understand their findings.

Blood sugar levels

The glycemic index (GI) is a system for rating how specific foods affect a person’s blood glucose levels.

Foods with higher GI scores are likelier to cause spikes in blood sugar than those with lower scores. The GI system can help people with diabetes plan their meals.

Jackfruit has an intermediate GI score, but other parts of the plant may help treat type 2 diabetes.

A 2011 study investigated the effect of jackfruit leaf extract in rats with induced diabetes. At the end of the study, the rats who had consumed jackfruit leaf extract had higher insulin levels and lower blood glucose levels than those who had eaten a control diet.

A 2011 study investigated the effect of jackfruit leaf extract in rats with induced diabetes. At the end of the study, the rats who had consumed jackfruit leaf extract had higher insulin levels and lower blood glucose levels than those who had eaten a control diet.

The researchers determined that jackfruit leaf extract contains flavonoids that may help prevent cell death in the pancreas, which is the organ that produces insulin.

A test tube study from 2016 found that extract from the bark of the jackfruit tree contains chemicals that prevent the breakdown of fats and complex carbohydrates into sugars. The researchers suggested that the chemicals may be useful in managing diabetes.


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