Why jackfruit is good for you

By Umar Nsubuga

Added 19th June 2019 10:53 AM

Jackfruit has no cholesterol and is high in fibre and water, which aids digestion.

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Jackfruit ranks highly in carbohydrates (Photo by Umar Nsubuga)

Jackfruit has no cholesterol and is high in fibre and water, which aids digestion.

Jackfruit is a delicacy to many people. However, they eat it without knowing its nutritional value.
Sharon Naluwende, a nutritionist at Mulago Hospital, says jackfruit (ffene) is rich in energy, dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins. Some of the minerals include; potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron.
Others are; copper, calcium, zinc and it also provides a small amount of selenium.
She adds that vitamins in jackfruit include; the vitamin B complex group, which are pyridoxine (vitamin B6), niacin (vitamin B3), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and folic acid. It also has vitamin C and small amounts of vitamin A.
Jackfruit has no cholesterol and is high in fibre and water, which aids digestion. Jackfruit ranks highly in carbohydrates, 92%, protein (5%) and fat (3%).
One of the medicinal uses of jackfruit is the treatment of constipation. Jackfruits are rich in fibre and have powerful laxative properties that help in facilitating bowel movements, thereby preventing and treating constipation.
Vitamins A and C as well as phytonutrients (chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants) inherent in jackfruit, have anti-oxidant properties and can ward off or slow down the ageing process and resulting in smoother skin and stronger nails.
 Nulu Nalwanga a nutritionist at Mulago Hospital Kawempe, says the vitamins A and C in jackfruit are crucial for proper cell production, eyesight and foetal development. It is a rich source of niacin (vitamin B3) that helps regulate hormones, boosts immunity and controls stress levels in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Nalwanga adds that fruit is also an excellent source of phytonutrients including lingans, isoflavones and saponins, which all have anti-cancer properties due to their capacity to protect the body from the effects of free radicals that slowly degenerate the cells, leading to diseases like cancer.


Fatty acids
The fruit provides small amounts of essential fatty acids with an ideal omega 3 to omega 6 ratio of roughly 1:2,” he adds.
It can also be purchased frozen, dried, or canned either in brine (usually unripe) or in syrup (ripe and sweet).
Naluwende adds that some doctors do not recommend jackfruit for diabetic patients. However, moderate consumption of the fruit may help improve glucose tolerance among diabetic patients.
Side-effects of jackfruit
Nalwanga says although jackfruit has a number of health benefits, it is also important to consider some of its side effects on health.
“Jackfruits may cause an allergic reaction in people suffering from birch pollen allergies and it may increase coagulation in people suffering from blood disorders.
It may also alter the tolerance levels of glucose in diabetes patients,” she explains.
More benefits
Bone health: Jackfruit is effective in maintaining bone health. It is a rich source of magnesium that helps in the absorption of calcium and strengthens the bones.
Asthma: The fruit helps treat asthma and other upper respiratory tract problems. Experts believe that the root and extracts of jackfruit are effective in controlling asthma and alleviating the symptoms associated with this condition.
Anaemia: Jackfruit, being a rich source of iron, helps prevent anaemia and improve blood circulation in the body.
Ulcers: Jackfruit contains strong anti-ulcerative properties that not only help cure ulcers, but also prevent a number of other digestive system disorders.

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