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What Are the Health Benefits of Jackfruit?

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If you’ve ever been strolling through a supermarket produce section and noticed a rather large (or even gigantic) green fruit with a hobnail surface, it was probably a jackfruit. Native to southern India, but now spread to other warm areas of the world, such as Asia, South America, Africa and, in recent years, Florida, the Artocarpus heterophyllus is finding its way into the mainstream for several reasons.

The oblong jackfruit is the largest tree fruit and grows directly from the trunk and lower branches, making them cauliflorous, a botanical term that translates to “stem flower.”1 Jackfruits can weigh as much as 100 pounds and reach nearly 3 feet in length. Noticeably fragrant when ripe, they turn from green to light brown in the process and resemble breadfruit, aka Artocarpus altilis, which originated in New Guinea.

People often wonder about the difference between jackfruit and a similar-looking fruit, durian. While these two tree-grown fruits appear quite similar, they’re completely different, although both exotic to the Western eye.

Durian is much smaller, and rather than the pebbly appearance of jackfruit, durian has a spiky (read: thorn-like) exterior. Inside, durian fruit is soft, creamy and pungent, while jackfruit is crisp, firm and sweet.2 Horticultural educator Fred Prescod describes jackfruit very well:

“The outer skin of the ripe fruit consists of numerous hard, cone-like points. The inside has 100 to 500 light-brown seeds … The seeds are enclosed in masses of yellow, banana-flavored flesh. The unopened ripe fruit emits an odor resembling that of rotting onions, but the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana.”3

With that in mind, it must have been a very brave or desperate individual to consider jackfruit as potential food the very first time, considering the fragrance of the whole product, but like many other things, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

The Nutritional Benefits of Jackfruit

A study from 20164 indicates that jackfruit contains lignans, isoflavones and other phytonutrients with wide-ranging health benefits, including anticancer, antihypertensive, antiulcer and antiaging properties.

That means eating jackfruit can help your body prevent the formation of cancer, lower blood pressure, slow down the degeneration of cells that causes visible aging and combat stomach ulcers. As a unique-tasting food, you’ll find jackfruit to be very versatile. According to Health.com:

“Like all fruits, jackfruit supplies plenty of nutritional perks: It’s low in calories, naturally fat- and sodium-free, provides ample vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin C, and packs in a surprising blood pressure-lowering potassium.

It’s also rich in fiber, which means it can help you feel satisfied on fewer calories … While jackfruit is often marketed as a meat substitute, it’s nutritionally more similar to a starchy vegetable than lean protein. A typical serving of a jackfruit product will have 2 grams of protein, compared to 6 to 7 grams of protein in an ounce of meat, poultry or fish.”5

In jackfruit, you’ll also find plenty of B vitamins, including niacin, folic acid, pyridoxine and riboflavin, plus calcium and thiamine; minerals like potassium, iron, manganese and magnesium. Powerful antioxidants help protect you from free radicals and can even help repair DNA damage, according to a 2010 study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition.6 As mentioned above, the 2016 study reports:

“The phytonutrients found in jackfruit, therefore, can prevent the formation of cancer cells in the body, can lower blood pressure, can fight against stomach ulcers, and can slow down the degeneration of cells that make the skin look young and vital. Jackfruit also contains niacin, known as vitamin B3 and necessary for energy metabolism, nerve function, and the synthesis of certain hormones.”7

Cancer-fighting properties from the lignans are shown to help block the effects of the hormone estrogen and in turn decrease such hormone-related cancers as prostate, breast, uterine and ovarian, while saponins help slash your heart disease risk and optimize your immune system function.8

Jackfruit also contains healthy amounts of fiber — 2 grams in every 3.5-ounce serving9 — which helps move the foods you eat through your system for faster elimination, among other benefits.

What Jackfruit Can Be Used For

Jackfruit is considered a “sustainable” fruit because the trees they grow on are both drought- and pest-resistant. A single tree can produce as many as 200 fruits every year. While it’s now increasingly easy to access the whole fruit, the time it takes to harvest the edible parts may encourage you to opt for canned or packaged “heat-and-eat” alternatives, but choosing the fresh whole food is usually best.

Besides its imposing size, one of the most amazing things about jackfruit is that it’s a meat substitute in some circles, making it a popular option for both vegans and vegetarians. It has a meat-like texture and absorbs other flavors it’s cooked with, such as herbs, spices and vegetables, so it’s excellent for everything from sushi bowls to chili to sandwiches.

Where it’s grown, jackfruit has had a long tradition of uses, including as a raw fruit, said to taste like a combination of mango, pineapple and banana, or in salads. It can be cooked like a vegetable and used as a stir-fry ingredient, which demonstrates that whether you’re wanting something sweet or savory, this massive fruit can fit the bill.

Because of its starchy consistency, it’s been cooked with coconut milk as a dessert, made into “edible leather” and pureed into baby food, juice, jam, jelly, marmalade and ice cream. It’s been vacuum‐fried and freeze-dried, and as one study notes, it’s undergone cryogenic processing as a preservation method.10

As an alternative meat, it’s worth mentioning that, according to Independent,11 a U.K. publication, the jackfruit’s stringy consistency is becoming the new base for several dishes that assume the main ingredient is meat, from shredded chicken or pulled-pork sandwiches to tacos and burritos. It’s even showing up as an ingredient on restaurant menus for such favorites as veggie burgers and vegan pizza.

Jackfruit Seeds

Besides the food they provide, jackfruit trees have a diverse set of uses, from fuel, timber and medicinal extracts, and as shade for important plants such as coffee, cardamom and pepper, one study notes. Oil from the seeds also has nutritional benefits, but according to another study:

“About 50 percent of the fruit protein consists of lectins named jacalin that has an adverse effect in the digestive tract. The seed therefore needs to be cooked or processed for consumption. Interest in jackfruit seed has increased as a result of a search for alternative sources of starch.”12

This is similar to the way beans are soaked to neutralize the lectins, which have been linked to autoimmune reactions and inflammation, and have been identified as possible toxins to your cells and nerves. However, other studies note benefits to eating jackfruit seeds, such as proteins, but most conclude that the science has not yet revealed all the potential benefits or detriments.

How to Get the Nutritional Benefits of Jackfruit

If you love the taste and texture of recipes that call for meat but are looking for alternatives, the secret’s out: Jackfruit is an excellent alternative to meat and can even be added to meat dishes to cut down overconsumption.

One thing to consider, however, is how to separate the fruit from its bumpy exterior. The featured video gives you step-by-step pointers for getting to the good parts while discarding the parts you don’t need. It’s important to know it contains a sticky sap known as “latex” that wearing rubber gloves will help you avoid, as does oiling your work surface and cutting knife.

Once you’ve mastered the skill of getting the jackfruit out of its coat, you could use the following recipe, adapted from a recipe by registered dietitian Katie Francisco of Spectrum Health’s Concierge Medicine, from WZZM 13,13 to make jackfruit gyros:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 120 ounces of young jackfruit, shredded
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced tomato
  • Tzatziki sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat until sizzling. Add the onion and sauté for three to four minutes, stirring until softened. Add the jackfruit and cook 20 minutes or until lightly browned and caramelized.
  2. Add the broth, half of the lemon juice, oregano, coriander, salt and pepper. Simmer 15 minutes or until liquid has completely evaporated. Stir in remaining lemon juice.
  3. Serve with the lettuce, tomato and sauce.

You Want to Get Healthy, but Where Do You Start?

With the arrival of the internet, anyone — not just researchers and physicians — can quickly and easily access clinical studies that explain (although not always in layman’s terms) the newest observations and discoveries in plant-based foods, including jackfruit. However, conventional medicine as an establishment isn’t always concerned with helping people find the information they need to optimize their health

Whatever question you have or term you’re interested in learning more about, you can click on Mercola.com to get the latest information and up-to-the-minute research. Find out about the health benefits of foods, how to incorporate healthier foods into your diet, ways to prepare them and, as always, the basics on how to transform your health, naturally.

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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