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Have You Heard of the Health Benefits of Langka?

    Have You Heard of the Health Benefits of Langka?

    The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.), is a tropical climacteric fruit known locally as langka. It is also the largest edible fruit in the world, and it is rich in nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Jackfruit is a highly nutritious and versatile fruit: It can be prepared in many different ways, such as jams, jellies, ice creams and puree. Vegans also use young jackfruit as a meat substitute. In this article, we will discuss the many benefits of jackfruit for your health.

    Health Benefits of Jackfruit

    Jackfruit has long held a place in traditional medicine due to its anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, and hypoglycemic properties. Its fruits, leaves, and bark can also be used to treat illnesses and relieve certain symptoms.

    1. Rich in Antioxidants

    Antioxidants protect the body against cell damage caused by free radicals. Jackfruit contains high levels of carotenoids, a phytonutrient which acts as an antioxidant.

    2. Prevents Heart Disease

    Jackfruit is rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure. It can also reverse the effects of sodium, which can cause blood pressure to rise.

    It is also rich in vitamin B6 which reduces the homocysteine levels in the blood. An excess of homocysteine may damage the lining of your arteries. But because of jackfruit’s vitamin B6 content, consuming jackfruit can reduce the risks of heart disease and stroke. In addition, it can also prevent bone loss and improve muscle and nerve function.

    3. Rich in Vitamin C

    Jackfruit is also a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for body tissue growth and repair. Vitamin C protects the skin from damage and slows down its natural aging process. It also plays an important role in producing collagen, which keeps the skin firm and elastic.

    4. Prevents Cancer

    Phytonutrients like isoflavones and lignans found in jackfruit can also prevent the formation of cancer cells. One study suggests that jackfruit contains chemoprotective compounds that are helpful in preventing or even, one day, treating lymphoma cancer.

    5. Benefits of Jackfruit for Diabetes

    One of the many benefits of jackfruit is its potential as an alternative to rice for those suffering from type 2 diabetes.

    About 462 million individuals or 6.28% of the world’s population suffer from type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder that causes uncontrolled hyperglycemia when left untreated. Hyperglycemia can cause vomiting, excessive hunger and thirst, rapid heartbeat, and vision problems. As diabetes has no cure, medical nutrition therapy is one of the important approaches in treating diabetes. A controlled diet, along with proper medication, can help in the management of blood glucose levels.

    Diet has a close link with glucose levels, with rice consumption as an easy culprit for high blood sugar levels. For this reason, researchers have proposed green jackfruit as an alternative to rice for those with diabetes.

    Green jackfruit is rich in fiber and has fewer calories. Flour made from jackfruit can be made into roti, porridge, or pancakes which people with diabetes can include in their diet.

    Studies show the antidiabetic effect of jackfruit, due to its high proanthocyanin and flavonoids content. There are still concerns, however, that surround the consumption of ripe jackfruit by those who suffer from diabetes, as it is still rich in sugars.

    Jackfruit Allergy

    While research about the benefits of jackfruit is promising, individuals still need to be careful of allergies. Jackfruit belongs to the mulberry (Moraceae) family and contains allergens that are reactive to birch pollen-associated food.

    Once case study reported of a 57-year old woman with diabetes mellitus and hypertension who had an anaphylactic reaction and was sent to the emergency room after consuming fresh, ripe jackfruit. She had rashes which rapidly worsened. And she also experienced throat constriction.

    While the benefits of jackfruit outweigh its disadvantages, we still need to be careful when making any changes in our diet. Before incorporating jackfruit as part of your daily diet or as part of your diet for diabetes, make sure to check if you are allergic to it and consult with a doctor first.

    Learn more about Herbals and Alternatives here.

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    Sources

    Minerals and functional groups present in the jackfruit seed: a spectroscopic investigation, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15762312/, Accessed Sept. 17, 2021

    Nutritional and Health Benefits of Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.): A Review, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6339770/, Accessed Sept. 17, 2021

    Jackfruit, raw, https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174687/nutrients, Accessed Sept. 17, 2021

    Jackfruit Induced Anaphylaxis Associated Birchpollen-Related Food Allergies, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S108112061831144X, Accessed Sept. 17, 2021

    Everything You Should Know About Oxidative Stress, https://www.healthline.com/health/oxidative-stress#effects, Accessed Sept. 17, 2021

    Efficacy of green jackfruit flour as a medical nutrition therapy replacing rice or wheat in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41387-021-00161-4, Accessed Sept. 17, 2021

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    Written by Fred Layno Updated Jul 25
    Medically reviewed by Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD
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