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Jackfruit

What

vitamins and mineral salts, antioxidants to counteract free radicals, anticancer action, beneficial for the health of skin and eye, source of protein and fiber, energizing

How

The jackfruity, or jack tree or jack, scientific name Artocarpus heterophyllus, is a plant that belongs to the Moraceae family that includes also the fig, it is native to the southern slopes of the Himalayas but nowadays is widespread in Australia, Brazil and Africa, too. Its fruits are characterized by a really remarkable size, they can indeed reach 40 cm in diameter and 30 kg of weight. These fruits are a high calorie food, in fact they bring about 90 kcal per 100 g, are energizing but low in fats, they are an interesting source of proteins and fibers, thus resulting nutrient, satiating and even a little laxative. Moreover, the seeds of these fruits are a source of vitamins, including the A, C, useful to protect and support the immune system and counteract the action of free radicals, vitamins of group B, including B3 or niacin, important for the correct metabolism of energy, the functioning of the nerves and the synthesis of some types of hormones including estrogens, progesterone and testosterone. But jackfruit seeds contain also mineral salts especially iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus (Shrikant Baslingappa Swami et al, CRFSFS, 2012). In addition to this, the fruits of the jack also include isoflavones and lignans, antioxidants with anticancer action, and carotenoids, another class of antioxidant substances responsible for the yellow color but also very beneficial for the health of skin and eyes and for the prevention of degenerative illnesses (de Faria et al, Plant Foods Hum Nutr, 2009 and Shrikant Baslingappa Swami et al, CRFSFS, 2012). Jackfruit is also a food with a low glycemic index thanks to the fibers it contains (Hettiaratchi et al, Ceylon Med, 2011). The seeds of the jackfruit can be consumed boiled, fried or dried while the pulp can be found in specialized or online stores in dried form or in syrup.
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