growing in a house in South India, eating jackfruit was a big part of my childhood. Even today, the slightest smell of fruit brings a whiff of nostalgia, and I never miss an opportunity to return to the snacks, curries or ripe juicy bulbs of the fruit I gorged on as a child.
I have always been in awe of the fruit for being incredibly versatile and nutritious. It is also impressive to note that almost every part of the fruit can be turned into something delicious.
I remember my grandmother and my mother collecting jackfruit seeds every time they cut the fruit. These seeds would then be cleaned, dried in the sun and stored in a dry place for later use, such as making savory dishes, roasting or sautéing.
Jackfruit seeds also have a high nutritional value – they are rich in fiber, iron, potassium, several vitamins, proteins and antioxidants.
So think before throwing away the seeds before eating the fruit. Here are some more reasons to include them in your diet:
1. Promotes Good Digestive Health
Jackfruit seeds are rich in dietary fiber which helps improve digestion, thus leading to good metabolism. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber; soluble fiber plays a major role in lowering blood cholesterol and blood sugar, while insolubles help prevent constipation. In addition, the presence of fiber allows you to stay full for an extended period of time, thus promoting weight loss.
2. Helps Fight Anemia
These seeds are also a good source of iron, which helps stimulate the production of red blood cells. This in turn increases hemoglobin levels, thus preventing weakness and anemia. It also helps in good blood circulation.
3. Energy Boosting B Vitamins
The B-complex vitamins such as thiamin and riboflavin found in jackfruit seeds can help provide needed energy to the body, as well as aid in the overall functioning of the body.
4. Improves Eye Health
Among the many vitamins, small amounts of vitamin A found in jackfruit seeds can help improve eye health. It also helps prevent cataracts and muscle degeneration.
5. Rich source of protein
According to studies, jackfruit seeds contain good amount of protein compared to fruit. Therefore, it helps regulate hunger levels, helps build muscle, and promotes weight loss.
A protein found in jackfruit seeds – Jacalin – helps boost the immune system.
6. Anti-Aging Properties
The presence of several antioxidants like lignans, saponins, isoflavones and vitamin C in jackfruit seeds have anti-aging properties. This helps reduce free radical damage that leads to premature skin aging.
Nutritional and Health Benefits of Jackfruit: A Reviewpublished by RASN Ranasinghe, SDT Madhuwanthi and RAUJ Marapana on January 6, 2019.
The nutritional source by the Harvard School of Public Health.
Jackfruit seed: an accompaniment to functional foodspublished by the Brazilian Journal of Food Technology
Jackfruit Seeds, A Nutrient Powerhouse: Lesser-Known Health Benefits You Need To Know About, by Pavitha N Raj; released on NDTV on August 18, 2021.