Getting enough protein each day is very important. It’s also important to incorporate complete proteins into your diet.
Most foods that are categorized as complete proteins are animal products like fish, meat, poultry, and dairy.
But there are also some plant-based alternatives that people who don’t eat meat can choose from.
So, this might make you wonder whether fruits can also be complete proteins. Let’s take a look at jackfruit. Is it a complete protein? Is it even a good source of this nutrient?
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Is jackfruit a complete protein?
Unfortunately, jackfruit isn’t a complete protein, as it doesn’t contain all nine essential amino acids not produced by your body. Because of that, you have to eat it in combination with other foods that contain the missing amino acids.
On the bright side, jackfruit is an excellent source of several micronutrients, including vitamin C, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and manganese, which all contribute to good health.
So, eating jackfruit is beneficial for your health, even if not thanks to its protein content.
Why isn't jackfruit a complete protein?
Jackfruit is not only rather low in protein, but it also doesn’t contain all nine essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own. In fact, it contains only eight out of the nine essential amino acids you need, as it lacks lysine.
Because of that, it’s not classified as a complete protein.
So, if you want to eat jackfruit and still consume a complete protein, you have to pair this fruit with some other sources of the missing amino acids.
That way, you can ensure that your body’s getting all the building blocks for protein it needs.
Is jackfruit good for you?
Even though jackfruit isn’t particularly high in protein, it does provide you with quite a lot of important nutrients.
For example, a single one-cup serving of sliced jackfruit contains about 18% of your daily recommended need for vitamin C.
Vitamin C is important for the growth, development, and repair of all your tissues. It also reduces your risk of catching viral infections by boosting your immune system.
In addition, getting enough vitamin C may lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and many chronic conditions.
So, it’s important to eat a lot of foods rich in this vitamin.
Jackfruit also provides you with around 15% of your daily need for copper in a one-cup serving. It’s an essential mineral in your body that, together with iron, helps your body form red blood cells.
Copper also helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function. So, make sure to get enough of it each day.
What’s more, studies show that making jackfruit a regular part of your diet can help lower your blood sugar levels and control the symptoms of diabetes.
This is because of the powerful plant compounds it contains, as well as the fact that it has a low glycemic index.
Just like other fruits, jackfruit also contains quite a number of antioxidants. The kind it contains are called flavanones, and they have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
These also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which reduces your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Antioxidants also flush out free radicals from your body, preventing oxidative damage and reducing your risk of chronic conditions, including cancer.
So, eating a lot of antioxidant-rich foods is important for your health.
This fruit is also particularly high in potassium. This mineral helps offset the negative effects of dietary sodium on your diet.
This also means that getting enough potassium lowers your risk of high blood pressure and strokes.
Potassium is also crucial for fluid balance regulation, muscle contractions, and nerve signals. Because of that, it’s a good idea to load up on this nutrient every day to avoid health issues.
While jackfruit is very nutritious and good for you, some people might be allergic to it, especially if they’re allergic to birch pollen.
So, if you’ve never tried jackfruit, it might be best to start with a small portion and check how your body reacts to the fruit.
Then, you can start increasing the amount of jackfruit you consume and make it a regular part of your diet.
How can you make jackfruit a complete protein?
On its own, jackfruit is very low in protein. It provides you with only about 2.4 g of protein (5% of your daily need) in a one-cup serving. As a result, it’s also lower in every amino acid found in it.
Luckily, it’s easy to create a complete protein profile using jackfruit.
Jackfruit misses one amino acid in adequate amounts – lysine. So, to create a complete protein profile, you have to pair it with foods containing this amino acid in higher amounts than jackfruit.
One way to do it is to consume jackfruit with cauliflower, carrots, crimini mushrooms, cranberries, yellow mustard, kidney beans, lentils, or nutritional yeast.
Other choices include spirulina, cheese, soybeans, and eggs.
While some of these might not sound appetizing, remember that you simply have to consume these foods in a 24-hour window to create a complete protein. So, you don’t necessarily have to eat these in one sitting.
You can also try pairing jackfruit with sour cream, caramel, yogurt, or milk to create a complete protein but also a snack.
At the end of the day, there are many ways you can create a complete protein profile using jackfruit. So, you can choose which one works best for you and your dietary requirements.
Jackfruit isn’t a complete protein, which means that it doesn’t provide you with all nine essential amino acids that you need to get from your diet.
But luckily, there are many foods you can pair this fruit with to create a complete protein.
What’s more, jackfruit is rich in many micronutrients and antioxidants that help you stay healthy.
So, even though it’s not a particularly good source of protein, it still makes for a wonderful addition to any balanced diet.