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Health Benefits of Jackfruit ‘Kathal’

Jackfruit, a native of southwest India, is grown in abundance in the tropical regions of the world. Though an integral part of South Asian diet, jackfruit ‘kathal’ popularity has skyrocketed amongst the new vegan/vegetarian converts as it has the taste and feel of meat and helps make the transition easy.

Jackfruit, also known as kathal has a unique musky smell and is deliciously sweet. The rind of the fruit is green or yellow and spiky. When unripe, jackfruit is green and when it ripens it turns light brown and emits a strong fragrance. The internal yellow flesh and seeds are the edible parts of jackfruit. The flesh has a sweet flavour.

Nutritional facts of Jackfruit

Jackfruit is rich in fibre, potassium, vitamin C, and various other essential vitamins and minerals. As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, one cup of raw, sliced jackfruit contains 157 cal, 2.84 gm of proteins, 2.5 gm of fiber, 38.36 gm of carbohydrates, 1.06 gm of fat, 31.48 gm of sugar, 40 mg of calcium, 48 mg of magnesium, 739 mg of potassium, and 22.6 mg of vitamin C.

Potential Health Benefits of Kathal

1/5. Prevents Cancer

1. Kathal contains certain compounds such as tannins, flavonoids, and saponins which possess antioxidant properties that help eliminate the effects of free radicals that cause cancer.

2. The Vitamin C content of jackfruit cures different types of cancer such as gastric cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer.

2/5. Beneficial for Eyes

1. The high content of vitamin A in jackfruit makes it beneficial for the eyes. The antioxidants present in jackfruit enhance vision and protects the eyes from free radicals.

2. The lutein and zeaxanthin content of jackfruit protects the eyes from the harmful UV rays. 

3. Jackfruit prevents bacterial or viral eye infections, cataract, macular degeneration, and night blindness.

3/5. Regulates blood sugar levels

1. Jackfruit is rich in manganese which helps in regulating blood sugar levels.

2. Jackfruit offers protein, fibre, and antioxidants which promotes balanced blood sugar levels. Fibre slows digestion and prevents blood sugar spikes.

4/5. Regulates blood pressure

1. The high potassium content of jackfruit decreases and controls blood pressure thus, reducing the risk of strokes, heart attacks, etc. 

2. Potassium decreases blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium and decreasing tension in the walls of the blood vessels.

5/5. Other possible Benefits…

Apart from the benefits mentioned above, some of the other benefits produced by kathal aredecreases cholesterol, ensures bettercardiovascular health,reduces levels of bad cholesterol, improves digestion, maintains healthy skin and bones, promotes a healthy immune system, protects from colon cancer and piles, relieves asthma, prevents calcium loss, prevents anaemia, offers flawless skin and glowing complexion, treats thyroid disorders, cures insomnia, treats ulcer disorder, reduces weight, increases longevity, promotes wound healing, fights wrinkles, cures mental stress, replenishes energy, prevents ageing, and improves blood quality.

Jackfruit is known to offer innumerable health benefits but people who are allergic to birch pollen and/or are pollen sensitive should go easy on Jackfruit. Also, research points towards its potential in lowering blood glucose levels, people with diabetics should consult their health care professional, if they sense any blood sugar fluctuations.

How to use Kathal in Diet?

Kanthal can be consumed raw or cooked, ripe, or unripe. Jackfruit is available as fresh, frozen, or canned. Some of the ways by which jackfruit can be consumed are as follows…

  • Incorporated in soups.
  • Used to prepare pickles.
  • Used as a meat substitute. 
  • Added to yogurt or oatmeal. 
  • Used to prepare sweet dishes.
  • Used to prepare vegetable curry.
  • Used to prepare jackfruit vegetable. 
  • Used in stir-fries, wraps, and other dishes.
  • Seeds can be roasted and consumed as a snack.

How to prepare Kathal Ka Achaar?

Take 3 kgs of kathal, peel it, and cut it into chunks. Boil it with 1/4 cup salt.

Drain the water and allow the kathal to dry up. 

When cool and dry, mix 1¼ cup of salt, 2½ cups of powdered mustard seeds, 1 cup grounded lal mirch, 2 tbsp kalonji, and 2tbsp hing. Mix it well.

Keep this covered for 4 days and stir it once a day.

Pack this tightly into a sterilized jar.

Heat mustard oil till the aroma is very strong. Cool it to room temperature and then pour it over the jackfruit. 

Allow the pickle to settle for another 2-3 days before consuming.

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