Jackfruit's Contribution To Respiratory Health

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Jackfruit is a tropical fruit with growing popularity among vegans, it has a high nutrient content with mainly anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant activities. It contains important vitamins like vitamins A and C and several belonging to the vitamin B-complex group, but also minerals important for a physiological balance, such as magnesium, iron, potassium, sodium, and others. 

The protection this fruit can provide against inflammatory processes and immune reactions also seems to involve a general benefit towards asthma, a chronic respiratory condition caused by inflammation in the lungs, leading to tightening of the airways. The protection Jackfruit provides can help prevent correlated symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. 

If you suffer from asthma, you could include this versatile and nutrient-dense fruit in your diet. However, you must consider checking your allergies and intolerances first, as jackfruit could trigger an immune response in people sensitive to substances found in jackfruit.

Jackfruit: a tropical superfood

Jackfruit is a sweet and tasty fruit cultivated in tropical areas such as South America, Africa and Asia, and was originally grown in Malaysia and India. It is considered a superfood by some, thanks to its high concentration of nutrients, making its integration into our diet a beneficial option for our health. 

Jackfruit contains micronutrients and phytonutrients whose activities can: 

  • Boost our immune system, 
  • Improve our energy metabolism,
  • Slow down the ageing process,
  • Protect our nervous system, heart, blood vessels and our sight.1

Jackfruit is commonly found in tropical countries and needs to be imported to Western countries, making its value higher in those regions. For instance, it can be easily found around the regions of Brazil in fruit markets for $1.10 only, but a massive jackfruit was sold in London for $218/£160 instead. Its popularity plays a crucial role in the increasing value of this fruit.2

Growing popularity of jackfruit

Jackfruit is becoming popular among vegans and those who want to control their diet better and have a healthier lifestyle. In both cases, jackfruit represents an interesting meat replacement, it is used as a substitute for shredded chicken and pulled pork, and it’s even used as pizza and tacos topping. I tried it as a non-vegan person, the fresh fruit is incredibly good, and the cooked version to replace pulled pork or chicken has the same texture and almost tastes the same!

Veganism slowly became popular before Coronavirus-19 and reached a faster peak during the pandemic due to people’s fear of chicken. Moreover, a growing part of the population is concerned about the environment and climate change and, as we know, reducing meat consumption would help mitigate this global issue. 

These reasons, in addition to the desire to live a healthier life, is making people switch to plant-based options with a similar texture. This makes jackfruit the perfect option.3

A BBC article mentions how, thanks to its benefits and popularity, a study has estimated that jackfruit’s market value will reach about $359.1 million by 2026, with an expected 3.3% increase rate every year since 2021.

Nutritional composition of jackfruit

Jackfruit is a nutrient-dense food due to the micro and macro nutrients found in it.  This makes it an optimal healthy choice in a well-balanced diet. 

Proteins, carbohydrates and fibres are the main macronutrients contained in this tropical fruit, all while it remains low in fats and calories, with only 94 calories for every 100g.1

Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) take up most of the composition of jackfruit if we don’t consider water which represents up to 72-94g in the ripe fruit. 

Vitamin A, a few vitamins from the B-complex (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine) and Vitamin C are the most abundant vitamins in jackfruit. As a result, jackfruit boasts benefits for your sight, cardiovascular system, nervous system, metabolism, and anti-ageing activity as well.

Magnesium, iron, potassium, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus are some of the minerals present in the fruit as well. All are involved in functions such as 

  • Lowering blood pressure, 
  • Improving bone density 
  • Inducing muscle relaxation, 
  • And supporting the transportation of oxygen within the systemic circulation to organs and tissues.1

Anti-inflammatory properties and respiratory health

Jackfruit has several benefits as all its parts going from fruits to leaves to seeds and barks all have some sort of activity that can promote a healthy status of our body. Jackfruit, thanks to the micronutrients and phytonutrients, has a potential anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, hypoglycemic and antioxidant activity.

Flavonoids, a subcategory of polyphenols, are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds present in the jackfruit, which inhibit the cells release involved in the immune response that leads to inflammation.1 Not only phytochemicals but also vitamins play and important role in the beneficial activity provided by this tropical fruit. Vitamin C and A, highly present in jackfruit, have been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory properties.4

Phytonutrients, thanks to the inhibition of cytokines, pathways involved in inflammation, and oxidative stress, also seem to help with soothing the symptoms caused by allergic asthma like cough and mucus in the lungs.5 This can demonstrate that micronutrients like these could be considered in the treatment of respiratory conditions.

Others such as carotenoids (and therefore vitamin A)6 and vitamin C, have been found to also benefit the respiratory system thanks to their action against oxidative stress.

Potential positive impact on asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory pathological condition that affects the lungs with consequent bronchoconstriction, and that can have acute events with related symptoms such as breathing difficulties, wheezing, and coughing. Asthma if not well controlled with appropriate prevention and prescribed medications can stop you from completing even simple tasks during the day or wake you up at night.

Jackfruit is also considered to have positive impact on this chronic medical condition and ease the associated symptoms. Possibly thanks to its numerous nutrients that contrast the inflammatory processes involved in asthma, and that reach the peak during acute events. 

  • Leaves extract and latex have been found to have the potential to treat asthma.7
  • Root extract obtained with boiling methods, when consumed, has also been demonstrated to better control asthma attacks.8

Potential negative impact on asthma

Despite jackfruit is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity given by phyto and micronutrients that can potentially protect and prevent asthma related acute attacks, jackfruit also contains substances called salicylates, which have been linked to a possible worsening of asthma symptoms instead, in people that are intolerant to salicylates.9

Has also been demonstrated that jackfruit could cause cross-reactivity (interaction between substances that can induce an immune response) with latex and lead to an allergic reaction in those allergic to this substance.10

How can you integrate jackfruit in your diet?

Jackfruit is a great versatile option to introduce in your diet thanks to all the associated benefits we have discussed. Both flesh and seeds can be eaten, and what is interesting about this fruit, is that it has a sweet taste if eaten raw or dried fruit as a healthy snack, but it can also be utilised in savoury dishes to replace meat. Here’s how.

  • Jackfruit seeds

Not only the flesh of the fruit, but even the seeds are edible. They get soft once boiled for about 30 minutes, and can be used for recipes like vegan curry. Click here to find a healthy and tasty recipe for the next time you have someone over for dinner.

  • Flesh jackfruit

The flesh does not need to be boiled like the seeds and can be eaten raw. However, it can also be cooked and be used to replace meat in vegan savoury dishes. A popular favourite is jackfruit used as a substitute of pulled pork, as it has a similar texture, but you know is a healthier option when you eat it.


Jackfruit is a sweet versatile fruit, of which you can eat both flesh, raw or cooked, and seeds when boiled. It is used in vegan cooking to replace meat without giving up on a good taste, jackfruit curry and fake-pulled pork jackfruit barbeque are some of the most popular dishes made around the world. 

Thanks to being considered by many a superfood, power is claimed thanks to high high-density nutrient content. Essential minerals and vitamins are found in jackfruit and some of them are also in higher concentration than in other fruits. 

The nutrients contained in jackfruit give it the title of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and neuroprotective, making it an ideal food to include in a healthy balanced diet.

Jackfruit has been found to also be protective towards the respiratory system and have a preventive action against asthma attacks and its linked acute symptoms, since asthma is caused by an inflammation of the muscles in the lungs that consequently causes constraint of the airways leading to breathing difficulties, and jackfruit we mentioned is effective against inflammation.

It is important to say, however, that like every food, it may contain substances you may be allergic to, and salicylates and latex in jackfruit were demonstrated to possibly cause immune reactions and worsen respiratory conditions instead.

If you are unsure of whether this may be your case or you are free to eat jackfruit without any worry, it is always recommended to consult healthcare professionals.


  1. Ranasinghe RASN, Maduwanthi SDT, Marapana RAUJ. Nutritional and health benefits of jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.): a review. Int J Food Sci [Internet]. 2019 Jan 6 [cited 2024 Feb 2];2019:4327183. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6339770/
  2. Why a single fruit in a London market has a £160 price tag. BBC News [Internet]. 2022 Feb 24 [cited 2024 Feb 2]; Available from: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-60417533
  3. Jackfruit goes global: How India’s superfood is becoming the world’s preferred meat alternative. The Economic Times [Internet]. 2020 May 22 [cited 2024 Feb 2]; Available from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/jackfruit-goes-global-indias-superfood-is-becoming-the-worlds-preferred-meat-alternative/articleshow/75798621.cms
  4. Kaur K, Sculley D, Wallace J, Turner A, Ferraris C, Veysey M, et al. Micronutrients and bioactive compounds in oral inflammatory diseases. Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism [Internet]. 2019 Dec 1 [cited 2024 Feb 2];18:100105. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352385919300210
  5. Jasemi SV, Khazaei H, Morovati MR, Joshi T, Aneva IY, Farzaei MH, et al. Phytochemicals as treatment for allergic asthma: Therapeutic effects and mechanisms of action. Phytomedicine. 2024 Jan;122:155149. 
  6. Berthon BS, Wood LG. Nutrition and respiratory health—feature review. Nutrients [Internet]. 2015 Mar [cited 2024 Feb 2];7(3):1618–43. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/3/1618
  7. Baliga MS, Shivashankara AR, Haniadka R, Dsouza J, Bhat HP. Phytochemistry, nutritional and pharmacological properties of Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam (Jackfruit): A review. Food Research International [Internet]. 2011 Aug 1 [cited 2024 Feb 2];44(7):1800–11. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996911001372
  8. Goswami C, Chacrabati R. Chapter 14 - Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophylus). In: Simmonds MSJ, Preedy VR, editors. Nutritional Composition of Fruit Cultivars [Internet]. San Diego: Academic Press; 2016 [cited 2024 Feb 2]. p. 317–35. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124081178000143
  9. Baenkler HW. Salicylate intolerance. Dtsch Arztebl Int [Internet]. 2008 Feb [cited 2024 Feb 2];105(8):137–42. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696737/
  10. Dey S, Hu Y, Torres J, Atoot A, Bangolo A. Jackfruit anaphylaxis due to cross reactivity with latex. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect [Internet]. [cited 2024 Feb 2];13(4):42–4. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10589020/

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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Yasmin Alame

Master’s degree in Pharmacy, University of Milan, Italy

Yasmin is a pharmacist with experience in both pharmacy settings and the pharmaceutical industry.

As a Medical Writer at Klarity, Yasmin utilises her knowledge and passion for medical education and communication to write reader-friendly articles on a wide range of topics.

my.klarity.health presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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