When James Joseph started promulgating jackfruit, many frowned as it was no business for a technocrat like him to leave a lucrative job with Microsoft and do something like this. The curiosity increased when the brand, Jacfruit365, that the 46-year-old developed, became a favourite among consumers. Now the journey has reached a full circle. A study by Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service (SUGiRS) has found that raw jackfruit is the best replacement food for the diabetic patients.
SUGiRS is a leading research institute in Glycemic Index (GI) studies. It has been recommended by the Glycemic Index Foundation and has tested GI values of more than 3,500 varieties of food. The study was conducted on raw jackfruit, between January and February 2016, as per the internationally recognised GI methodology and was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Sydney.
According to the survey, 30 gm of raw jackfruit can replace one cup of cooked rice or two rotis. It offers a much higher satiation, which means feeling full for a longer time, and eliminating the need for snacking or nibbling in between.
The Glycemic Load (GL) of one cup of rice is 29, two rotis is 27, and that of one cup jackfruit is 17. In addition, 120 gm of jackfruit reduces the calorie per meal by half, compared to rice and wheat. GL is the measure of quality and quantity of carbohydrates in a meal.
“This is the real scientific explanation why raw jackfruit is good for diabetes and why many of those who consume it are experiencing a reversal of the disease, and why they are able to reduce or eliminate diabetic medication,” says Joseph.
According to him, jackfruit tale is similar to the story of the five blind men who touch an elephant and come to different conclusions. “To many, it is just a fruit, while to some it is a nut. Some treat it as a vegetable, but for others it is meat. In Kerala, it is taken as a meal, which supplies carbohydrates,” he adds.
Meanwhile, nutritionists had raised doubts whether people outside Kerala would embrace raw jackfruit as a daily meal. Hence, they suggested ways to add the fruit to a few traditional meals. “We challenged a few chefs to add jackfruit to idli and roti,” says Joseph, adding that at least a third of jackfruit into the traditional Indian carbohydrate meals can do wonders. “We can now compensate for our culinary and lifestyle sins 365 days in a year, without even noticing any change to our eating habits,” he explains.
A study by the National Health Service, UK, on fruits, vegetables and exercises states that the leading cause of death is high blood pressure. Among the many reasons, lack of fruit and vegetables is fifth on the list. To that, Joseph adds, “My uncle told me that a jackfruit tree in your backyard extends human life by 10 years.”
Chakka Puzhukku: A Dish Cooked in Kerala with Unripe Jackfruit
● Raw jackfruit (unripe): 120 gm (or 30 gm dry)
● Grated coconut: 20 gm
● Onions: 10 gm
● Curry leaves: 1/2 sprig
● Green chillies: 1 number
● Turmeric powder: 1 pinch
● Garlic (optional): 1 clove
● Salt to taste
1. Chop jackfruit into small pieces and boil the pieces with a sprinkling of water.
2. Grind the ingredients and set it aside.
3. Add the grinded mixture with jackfruit and stir well after 10 minutes. Continue steaming for some more time. Can be had with fish or chickpea curry.