Healths

Can The Humble Jackfruit Help Beat Diabetes?

Is jackfruit or kathal the answer to tackling diabetes like a boss? Know more.

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Jackfruit
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Kathal or jackfruit is the native food of south Indians, but over the years, it has gained prominence across the country. Whether it's kathal ke kebab or the ever-popular kathal ki biryani, the humble fruit has come into the spotlight not just for its taste, but also for its health benefits.  

The green-and-yellow fruit is mildly sweet and some find its taste similar to meat. No wonder, there are many who consider it to be the best alternative to non-vegetarian food. Well, the opinion is divided there – but what we know is that jackfruit has certain properties that make it a great food for diabetics.  

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Before we get to that, let's first take a look at the nutritional content of jackfruit.  

Is jackfruit packed with nutrition? 

Absolutely. It is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins, but at the same time, is full of natural sugar. Let's not forget it contains generous amounts of vitamins C and B6. These vitamins work to enhance immunity and reduce inflammation in the body, which helps to reduce the occurrence of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  

One can enjoy this fruit in moderation – isn't that always the key, with everything? Now that we have shared its nutritional content, let's get to the burning question – can jackfruit help to manage blood sugar levels? 

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Should diabetics nosh on jackfruit? 

For the uninitiated, jackfruit has a medium glycemic index (GI) of about 50-60, out of 100. The GI scale is an indicator of how quickly food causes blood sugar levels to rise. Glucose has a GI of 100 and can cause your blood sugar to skyrocket. 

As mentioned earlier, jackfruit is a powerhouse of vitamins, but also contains protein and fibre in good quantities. This is exactly why it has a lower GI, which contributes to slower digestion. In turn, the blood sugar levels don't shoot up. 

Jackfruit also contains flavonoids, which are said to lower the risk of chronic diseases in the long term. They are also a storehouse of phytonutrients called lignans, as well as antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties.  

While eating jackfruit is not to be avoided, its quantity should be moderated, especially if you are eating it as a whole fruit. There was a study conducted by Sydney University's Glycemic Index Research Service that confirmed that the consumption of unripe jackfruit can help to bring down blood sugar levels. As per the study, 30 grams of dehydrated unripe jackfruit was used as a replacement for cooked rice or two wheat chapatis. It also offered increased feelings of satiety.  

What is the best way for diabetics to consume jackfruit? 

Several studies have gone on to show that jackfruit seeds are a good alternative to the fruit, and can work wonders to regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics. Jackfruit flour is another good option, which has also received a thumbs up from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The green jackfruit flour has also undergone clinical trials – it was then revealed that including the flour into your diet can reduce plasma blood glucose levels.  

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While this is a great way to tackle diabetes, remember it is no substitute for your medication. Also, while studies do prove that it's beneficial for those suffering from diabetes, it's important that you consult your medical practitioner before you decide to replace atta, rice, or any other flour with jackfruit flour.  

The last word  

While jackfruit is a great addition to your diet to tackle high blood sugar levels, it's important to use it in the right way. Of course, don't shy away from reaching out to your doctor, in case you have queries.  

As they always say, health is wealth. So, take all the steps to keep fit, so that you can steer clear of illnesses and lead a healthy life.  

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