What is a Jackfruit ?

Jackfruit is a thorny and enormous fruit which is usually grown in tropical areas where Monsoon rains are frequent.

The appearance of this fruit is somehow like the durian and tastes musky and sweet [1]. The fruit varies in size and weight. Usually, the weight ranges from 2 to 30 kg. It has a round or oblong shape that measures 25 to 75 cm in diameter, 10 cm to 60 cm in length [2].

Jackfruit Image picture

Picture 1: Jackfruit Image
Source: kimberlysteele.wordpress.com

When the jackfruit is opened, there are pods or bulbs inside. These are referred to as the jackfruit seeds. They are dark, round, and covered with flesh. Also, the seeds can be roasted or boiled and known to taste like the chestnuts [1].

As for the fleshy part of the jackfruit, it can be cut up, eaten as is, or cooked. If it is still unripe, its texture can be compared to chicken. This makes jackfruit an excellent meat substitute for vegetarians [3].

Jackfruit seeds photo

Picture 2: Jackfruit seeds
Source: medicmagic.net

The jackfruit tree is thought to originate from India in its Southwestern rain forests. Its growth is suitable in places with rainy and tropical humid climates because it does not survive in frosty and cold weathers.

Moreover, it can grow up to 30 meters in height [2]. It has leaves that are sleek, deep green in color, oval shaped, and in clusters. It bears male and female flowers that grow in separate flower heads. These male and female jackfruit flowers differ in their appearance.

The female ones sprout on the short twigs of the trunk. On the other hand, male flowers come with pollens while the female flowers don’t [1].

Jackfruit Tree picture

Picture 3: Jackfruit Tree
Source: simplemalaysian.com


“Jackfruit” originated from the Portuguese word jaca. The fruit is called Panasa in Telugu, Ka-noon in Thailand, Nangka in Malaysia and Indonesia, Langka in Philippines, and Jaca in Spain. [4]

Jackfruit Nutrition

Jackfruit is known for its benefits to health. It is abundant in minerals, vitamins, protein, phytonutrients, electrolytes, fiber, fat, and carbohydrates [5].


In a 100 gram serving of a raw jackfruit, there are 95 calories [6]. The fleshy part of the fruit has simple sugars like sucrose and fructose. This is why jackfruit can help in replenishing and revitalizing the body [2].


Dietary fiber can be found in jackfruit in high amounts. This is why it is considered as an effective bulk laxative. Also, it aids in the protection of the colon mucous membrane through the deduction of time exposed and the tendency for cancer-causing chemicals to bind to colon [2]. The dietary fiber in jackfruit amounts to 4% of the daily recommended value per 100 grams [7].


It also contains various vitamins which are essential for the body’s functions. An example is vitamin C which works as an anti-oxidant, vital for developing resistance against infection and other dangerous free radicals. Jackfruit supplies 13.7 mg of 23% of the recommended intake.

The B-complex group of vitamins can also be found in high amounts in this fruit. It has sufficient amounts of pyridoxine (vitamin B6), riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid [2]. The pyridoxine contained in jackfruit makes up to 25% of daily value per 100 grams while the other B complex vitamins only has moderate to low levels in it [7].


Jackfruit is also rich in minerals. Minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, calcium are found in this fruit in moderate amounts. On the other hand, jackfruit almost has no sodium but has abundant levels of potassium. [7]


There is also the presence of few amounts of phytonutrients in jackfruit. These are lutein, bera carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin. [6]

Jackfruit Benefits

Cardiovascular Health

  • Due to its rich amount of potassium, jackfruit is known to be effective in decreasing high blood pressure as well as regulating the heart rate.
    Jackfruit is also able to improve blood circulation and to prevent anemia.

Digestive Health

Another health benefit of jackfruit is treatment of digestive ailments such as constipation. Since jackfruit is rich in fiber, it is known to be effective in promoting normal bowel movements. Thus, it prevents and treats constipation.

Eye, Bone, and Skin Health

  • Vitamin A and the antioxidants, particularly the phenols and flavonoids, help in preventing the damage caused by free oxygen radicals to the DNA. Free radicals are accounted for the degeneration of the retinal cells. This leads to development of chronic degenerative diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • The calcium contained in jackfruit is very significant in making the bone health better. This is a great help for natural supplementation of calcium in people who suffer from weak bones and osteoporosis.
  • Another benefit obtained from the antioxidants from jackfruit is the protection provided against skin damage and wrinkles caused by early aging brought about by free radicals.

Energy Booster

Jackfruit is an excellent source of calories and carbohydrates. With its content of simple sugars such as sucrose and fructose, it is able to give the body an energy boost.

Strengthening of Immune System

  • Jackfruit contains abundant amounts of vitamin C which is a helpful antioxidant. This enables the body to fight off the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for causing damage that results to heart disease and cancer.
  • Aside from vitamin C, E, and A, the phytonutrients (isoflavones, lignans, and sponins) aid in the body’s protection against cancer by interfering the effects of free-radicals to the cells and tissues.
  • The antioxidants contained in jackfruit also strengthen the immune system by acting as a shield. They protect the DNA from the attack of the free radicals.
    Jackfruit aids in prevention of oral cavity, lung, and colon cancer.

Controlling Asthma

Another benefit which could be obtained from jackfruit consumption is management of asthma as well as other respiratory tract disorders. According to experts, the extracts and root of jackfruit are useful in asthma management and alleviation of its symptoms. [7, 8, 9, 10]

How to eat jackfruit?

When preparing a jackfruit, use a vegetable oil to lubricate your hands. This is because the fruit is very sticky. So, the substance from the fruit is difficult to remove.

Once ready, begin by eliminating the core using a sharp knife. Run the blade of the knife along the line of the core. When the core is removed, there will be yellow pods visible. It has fibrous strands which appear like sea anemones are around them. After that, cut off one pod at a time.

Afterwards, using the paring knife, eliminate the white strands. Pry off the part that links the pod to the skin of the fruit. When you just have the jackfruit pod which is trimmed, cut it lengthwise along the side of the pod. Expose the pit at the bottom of the pod.

Then, separate the pit base from the edible flesh. Make sure that the rubbery skin is removed around the pit. The pits can still be eaten like chestnuts. Boil these for 20 to 30 minutes until soft.

Now, you can enjoy both the flesh and pit of the jackfruit! [11]

Jackfruit’s fleshy part picture

Picture 4: Jackfruit’s fleshy part
Source: animagro.blogspot.com

Jackfruit Recipes

Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos

Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos pivture image

Picture 5: Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
Source: tastespotting.com


  • 1 Jackfruit in can (drained, rinsed, and removed solid center piece)
  • ¼ diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 package taco shells


Avocado, Salsa, Cabbage


  1. Set the oven to preheat for 400 degrees. Use the parchment paper in lining the sheet pan.
  2. Utilizing the small pot, heat the coconut oil. Saute’ garlic and onion until it appears translucent. Put the jackfruit, paprika, red pepper, salt, mustard powder, cayenne powder into the pot. Saute’ them for 5 minutes. Make sure to prevent burning of the spices.
  3. In a bowl, mix the water and barbeque sauce. Pour the sauce to pan. Then, for 15 to 20 minutes, simmer the jackfruit until it softens. Also, pull the jackfruit apart as cooking is done.
  4. When the jackfruit mixture is ready, spread it on the lined sheet pan. Put it in the oven and heat for 10 to 15 minutes until it becomes slightly dried. Use more barbeque as needed.
  5. Do the heating of the taco shells until it goes soft.
  6. Place the desired jackfruit onto the taco shells and put the toppings. [12]

Jackfruit Smoothie

Jackfruit Smoothie image

Picture 6: Jackfruit Smoothie
Source: phamfatale.com


  • 1 cup of jackfruit
  • 2 cups of milk
  • ¼ cup of sugar

Optional Ingredients:

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Yogurt
  • Vanilla Extract


  1. Put 1 cup of jackfruit, 2 cups of milk, and ¼ cup of sugar into the blender.
  2. For a thicker, sweeter smoothie, you may add 2 cups of yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Or, you may opt for a thinner shake. To do this, add more milk and put ice cubes to the blender.
  3. If you will not use yogurt or vanilla ice cream, you may use 2 to 3 drops of vanilla extract. When you do this, you can just utilize 1/8 cup of sugar instead.
  4. Set the blender into High until the mixture becomes smooth.
  5. Pour the smoothie into a container. Then, serve. [13]


  1. http://www.fruitsinfo.com/Jackfruit.php
  2. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/jackfruit.html
  3. http://thaifood.about.com/od/glossary/g/jackfruit.htm
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackfruit
  5. http://www.healthbeckon.com/jackfruit-fruit-benefits/
  6. http://www.nutritionvalue.org/Jackfruit,_raw_nutritional_value.html
  7. http://rajanjolly.hubpages.com/hub/Jackfruit-Health-Benefits-And-Nutrition-Facts
  8. http://wiki-fitness.com/jackfruit-health-benefits-nutrition-facts/
  9. http://www.diethealthclub.com/health-food/jackfruit.html
  10. http://beautyhealthtips.in/bets-health-benefits-jack-fruit/
  11. http://shesimmers.com/2011/05/jackfruit-kha-nun-and-how-to-prepare-it.html#lightbox/2/
  12. http://myvega.com/vega-life/recipe-center/pulled-jackfruit-tacos/

Published by Dr. Raj MD under Nutrition and Diet.
Article was last reviewed on August 6th, 2018.

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