By Naini Setalvad June 2013 Jackfruits, with their golden yellow bulbs, are packed with nutrients, says Naini Setalvad Like many others, I devoured the golden yellow scrumptiousness of the jackfruit, while completely oblivious to their nutritional prowess. I was pleasantly shocked to discover that this delectable childhood favorite is actually a powerhouse of nutrients. Jackfruit abounds in beta-carotene, indicated by the flawless golden yellow of its insides. Besides being regarded as the most powerful disease-fighting antioxidant, beta-carotene means an endless supply of Vitamin A. It is extremely ironical that while Vitamin A is so readily and cheaply available in tropical countries like ours, a large number of people in our country are suffering from blindness, and other degenerative eye problems, as they are deficient in this nutrient. Jackfruit is strongly recommended in ongoing campaigns to curb Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is essential for a variety of other conditions as well. It is crucial for proper cell production, and there is good news for expectant mothers – it is good for foetal development during pregnancy. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining integrity of mucus membranes, and the maintenance of our skin. All this, in the simple jackfruit. The jackfruit is made up of supple digestible flesh (bulbs), which are rich in simple sugars such as sucrose and fructose. When consumed, they help replenish the energy stores of the body, and are instant revitalizing agents. The jackfruit abounds in flavonoids, which simply means that it has antioxidant properties that are doubled by the presence of Vitamin C. Antioxidants are the little soldiers that protect our body from free radical damage. Consumption of Vitamin C helps build a stronger immune system, by providing protection against disease-causing germs, and by removal of harmful substances from the body. Jackfruit is a rich source of niacin (Vitamin B3) that helps regulate hormones, boosts immunity, and controls stress levels in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Stress also leads to high blood pressure, which can be curbed in the long run, by the regular consumption of potassium-rich foods. Luckily for us, every 100 gm of jackfruit contains 303 mg of potassium, which helps reduce blood pressure. We often throw away the seed, mesmerised by the aroma and taste of the fruit. However, the seed of the jackfruit is beneficial. Jackfruit seeds are rich in phytonutrients, which are said to be antihypertensive, anti-aging, and anti-ulcer. They too are rich in potassium, and prevent high blood pressure. It is said to be a good protein source, having high solubility and neutral pH. The jackfruit, as a whole, is a treasure trove of health. Eat it often in order to maintain your health, rejuvenate your body, and revitalise yourself. It is certainly a jack of all trades. Jackfruit delight Ingredients 100 gm raw jackfruit bulbs and seeds 1 onion 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste 2 tsps oil coriander leaves for garnish pinch of haldi 1/2 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp coriander powder salt to taste Method • Cut the jackfruit into thin slices • Sauté the onions. When soft add garlic and ginger paste • When cooked add haldi, chilli powder and coriander powder • Add the jackfruit to this mix. Add salt. Stir. After a while pour some water, cover and cook • Garnish with coriander leaves
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