Jackfruit is a popular fruit, especially in the South India. The jackfruit trees are very commonly grown in the south-western ghats and hence it is more prevalent in states such as Kerala and Karnataka. Now if you are a south Indian, or if you like having jackfruits, then you might be wondering if it is a good idea to have it during pregnancy. This is because you need to be very cautious about what you consume when you are pregnant. Many fruits and vegetables that are otherwise healthy can cause problems during pregnancy (Refer to 10 Foods to Definitely Avoid During Pregnancy). Many believe that consuming jackfruit during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage. Is this true? Should you be consuming jackfruit during pregnancy? Read on to know all about it.
Is Jackfruit Safe To Consume During Pregnancy?
Contrary to what you might have heard, jackfruit consumption does not lead to miscarriage. There are of course, some risk factors associated with eating jackfruit during the pregnancy.
- Allergic reactions: Some people might be allergic to jackfruit. So, if you have not ever eaten jackfruit before, then pregnancy might not be the right time to start as you do not want to risk getting allergic reactions
- Stomach upset: Even if you are not allergic to jackfruits, it might not be a good idea to consume jackfruit in large proportions. Jackfruit has high fiber content and this can result in abnormal digestion and loose motions
- Blood disorders: Jackfruits can increase coagulation of blood. While this is ok under normal circumstances, it can be a problem if you already have blood disorders
- Gestational diabetes: Jackfruit, like many fruits, is high on sugar content. So it can result in sugar level spiking, which is not desirable during pregnancy, especially if you have gestational diabetes
What Are The Benefits Of Consuming Jackfruit During Pregnancy?
Do not let all those side effects scare you. As you can see, it will only affect you if you are diabetic, allergic or have blood disorders. If you do not fall in any of these categories, and you love eating jackfruit, then you might want to think about consuming it in moderation. This is because consuming jackfruit has many benefits too:
- Hormones: Jackfruits are known to regulate hormones of pregnant women. This is especially useful since pregnancy is a time when hormones can go haywire
- Immunity: Jackfruits are rich in vitamin C and this can improve your immunity and help you fight some of the common diseases
- Stress: Research has linked jackfruit to anti-stress properties. This means jackfruit can lower your stress levels
- Fetal Development: Jackfruits are rich in many vitamins and minerals which will help in healthy fetal development. For instance, it has vitamin A which will help build strong eye sight for your child
- Low sodium: Jackfruits contain only low amount of sodium and saturated fat. And that is healthy
- High fiber: As we mentioned before, jackfruit contains high fiber content. This helps optimize digestion
- Energy: Jackfruits can provide a lot of energy which can be very good during the lethargic days of pregnancy
- Blood pressure: Jackfruits can lower blood pressure. High blood pressure can be a problem during pregnancy so jackfruits can be a great solution to that
- Minerals: Jackfruits are rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and beta-carotene, zinc and so on. All these minerals are very important for fetal development
- Good for stomach: Jackfruits help avoid stomach ulcers and stomach sensitivity
How To Enjoy Jackfruit During Pregnancy
Jackfruit can be enjoyed both in raw form after cooking or steaming it as a vegetable or as a fruit when it is ripened. Ripe jackfruit can be relished by eating its pulp which is yellowish in color and is very sweet and tasty. It also smells nice and as mentioned above has lots of health benefits. A lot of people enjoy the ripe jackfruit slices with grated coconut sprinkled on it, along with banana slices or honey. Jackfruit is also used to prepare jams, jellies, various deserts, fruits salads etc.
However, remember that cutting open a jackfruit involves some level of complexity.
How To Select And Store Jackfruit
If you like to cook jackfruit as a vegetable then always look for jackfruit that are unripe, fresh, heavy, green and have hard thorn projections with their skin intact. If you are buying it to eat it as a fruit then look for well- ripened jackfruits that are heavy, fresh, yellowish and have soft thorn projections. Do not pick jackfruits that are infected, light and have bruises, spots or wrinkles on them.
Raw Jackfruit can be stored at room temperature for a week while the ripe one can be kept outside for a day or two. However, both these type of jackfruits stay for much longer time when refrigerated.
So, in conclusion, there is no need to avoid eating jackfruit during pregnancy as there is no scientific research that links jackfruits to miscarriage. In fact, as you have seen above, jackfruits can be very beneficial during pregnancy as it provides energy, vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, like all things, jackfruits also should be consumed in moderation. Too much of jackfruit can give you an upset tummy and make your sugar levels spike. So do not overeat jackfruits.
Do share with us in the comments section below if you ate jackfruit during pregnancy? Do you know any yummy recipes of jackfruit? Don’t forget to share with us.