The jackfruit comes from the tropics. Its original home is Asia, but it is now cultivated in South America. Since the unripe fruit in the cooked state has a meat-like consistency, it is now commercially available as a meat substitute. However, one should not expect meat-like nutritional values at the same time. For the fruit of the jackfruit is of course less protein, but more vitamin, calcium and fiber than meat. We compared the nutritional values.
The nutritional values of the jackfruit
Almost any meat dish can be mimicked with the flesh of the unripe jackfruit – whether meatballs, goulash, fricassee, meat sauces for pasta or fillings for burgers, tacos or pancakes.
What about the nutritional value of the jackfruit? Since it is a fruit, one should not expect much similarity with the nutritional value of meat. Further, since the jackfruit can be used both ripe and unripe, the values of the ripe and unripe jackfruit are indicated in the respective tables (not always, but occasionally).
Carbohydrates, sugar and glycemic load
The jackfruit is a very starchy fruit. Their water content decreases with increasing maturity, while the starch or carbohydrate content of 9 in the unripe fruit rises to about 19 percent in the ripe fruit. The unripe fruit contains hardly any free sugars and therefore does not taste sweet at all.
Data on the glycemic load (GL) of the immature fruit are not yet known. However, since even the ripe jackfruit has only a value of 10, the unripe jackfruit can be safely incorporated into the diet even with Glyx diets, moderate low carb diets and diabetes or prediabetes. The glycemic load indicates how much a food affects the blood sugar level. Values below 10 are considered low.
Of course, the jackfruit – as usual for plant foods – also provides dietary fiber, while meat does not contain fiber.
Proteins and fats
During maturation, the already low protein content drops from 2.6 to almost 2 percent. The unripe jackfruit is therefore a slightly better source of protein than the mature fruit.
Fat is as good as none in the jackfruit (between 0.1 and 0.3 percent).
Vitamins, minerals and trace elements
The calcium content is quite high at 50 mg per 100 g of unripe jackfruit for a fruit. For example, an apple does not even contain 10 mg. Only oranges, blackberries, figs and kiwis should have a similar high calcium content as the unripe jackfruit.
Also in terms of iron, the jackfruit is interesting. Unripe fruits yield almost four times the amount of iron in the ripe jackfruit, namely up to 2 mg per 100 g – almost double the iron content in chicken breasts.
Of course, the jackfruit also contains vitamin C – up to 14 mg per 100 g, while meat typically delivers 0 mg of vitamin C.
The calorie content of the unripe jackfruit is just 50 kcal per 100 g, that of chicken meat at double.
Nutrition Facts of Jackfruit versus Meat: The Table
The nutritional value of a fruit can not be compared to meat. If you want to enjoy the jackfruit as a meat substitute, remember that it is not a relevant protein source. Vegetable protein sources can be found here: Proteins in the plant-based diet
Our table with the nutritional values of the jackfruit (ripe and immature) can be found as PDF here: Nutrition facts of the jackfruit
We also quote the values of chicken breast for comparison, as the jackfruit has a similar consistency and is therefore often used for meatless “poultry dishes”. Note, however, that nutritional values always fluctuate and therefore our information can only provide a rough guide.
Your training as a holistic nutritionist
Healthy diet is your passion? You love the surplus base, natural diet? You would like to understand the connections between our food and our health from a holistic perspective? You want nothing more than to make all your knowledge about health and nutrition your profession?
The Academy of Natural Medicine trains people like you in 12 to 18 months as a consultant for holistic health. If you want to know more about the distance learning at the Academy of Natural Medicine, then you will find here all the details and feedback from current and former participants.