Jackfruit Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Jackfruit

The jackfruit is a tropical fruit with a claim to fame. Reaching measurements of up to 120 pounds and 35 inches long, this yellow-green, spiky-shelled colossus is the largest tree-borne fruit on earth. (If you’ve ever seen one, you probably noticed right away that, compared to the size of other fruits, it’s definitely not apples to apples.) It is typically grown in southern India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Indonesian island of Borneo.

When cooked, jackfruit has an appearance and texture similar to pulled meat. For this reason, it has recently gained popularity in Western culture as a base for vegetarian meals like tacos, barbecue sandwiches, and chili. Due to the enormous size of whole raw jackfruit, many grocery chains and other food purveyors have begun to offer more manageable portions in the form of canned jackfruit, often preserved in a salt water brine. This canned variety can make recipes more convenient, especially if you’re just starting out with preparing jackfruit.

In addition to its large dimensions, the jackfruit’s versatility, taste, and nutrient profile make for a fruit that truly stands out. Here’s a look at what to expect from this unique food, and how to include it in a healthy diet.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (165g) of sliced jackfruit.

  • Calories: 155
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 5mg
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Sugars: 32g
  • Protein: 2.8g

Carbs in Jackfruit

Because it is a fruit, it’s not surprising that most of jackfruit’s calories come from carbohydrates. A one-cup serving contains 40 grams of carbs. About 3 of these grams come from dietary fiber, and 32 grams come from sugar. Fortunately, because jackfruit is a whole, unprocessed food, you can rest assured that these sugars are naturally occurring in the raw fruit. You may want to pay attention to added sugar content in canned or frozen options, however.

Fats in Jackfruit

Jackfruit is extremely low in fat, with only about 0.5 gram per cup.

Protein in Jackfruit

Despite its reputation as a replacement for pork or chicken in many main dishes, jackfruit can’t compete with these animal products in terms of protein. One cup of raw jackfruit contains about 3 grams of protein—a far cry from the 20-plus grams you’d find in most meats. It’s worth noting, though, that jackfruit has more protein than many other fruits.

Micronutrients in Jackfruit

Micronutrients are where jackfruit really shines. Those looking for a potassium boost will be pleased to learn that one cup of the fruit serves up 739 mg of this mineral—21% of the Daily Value. Additionally, raw jackfruit contains a wealth of vitamin C (23 mg, or about 35% DV) plus respectable amounts of vitamin A, magnesium, manganese, and copper.

Health Benefits

The micronutrients in jackfruit each have a role to play in bettering your health. Getting enough potassium can help regulate blood pressure, maintain the right balance of electrolytes, and keep bones and muscles functioning smoothly. Vitamin C supports the immune system, repairs cell damage, and helps the body absorb other critical nutrients like iron. Adding more magnesium to your diet can lead to better digestion and improved sleep. Meanwhile, manganese strengthens bones and copper is essential for brain development and creating connective tissue.

Plus, for those trying to lose weight, occasionally substituting jackfruit for meat could be an effective way to cut back on calories and fat while adding fiber.

Common Questions

What does jackfruit taste like?

If you haven’t experienced jackfruit yet, your first question may be about its taste. Straight from the tree in its raw form, many people say it's reminiscent of other tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, or banana. Typically, canned jackfruit intended for cooking is harvested when slightly underripe, meaning it has less flavor—and thus can take on the taste of whatever seasonings or marinades you choose to add. As for its texture, it’s often compared to artichoke hearts because of its stringy, pull-apart quality.

Can you really substitute fruit for meat?

The rise in savory dishes that use jackfruit to mimic shredded meat has made many people wonder: How can a fruit stand in for meat? The truth is, it’s not a perfect substitute. With the right seasonings and flavorings, jackfruit may look, feel, and even taste like pork carnitas or barbecue chicken.

But don’t expect to it check all the same boxes nutritionally. With far fewer calories and fat than meat, jackfruit-based entrees likely won’t be as filling. And jackfruit doesn’t provide nearly the same protein content of meat (or even other meat alternatives like soy or legumes), nor does it come with the same amounts of other important nutrients like B vitamins.

All in all, while jackfruit does offer plenty of excellent nutrition—and fruits make up an important part of a healthy diet—it may not be the best replacement for a meal you’d normally eat with meat. For a hearty lunch or dinner, you’ll probably want to add another protein source.

Recipes and Preparation Tips

There’s no wrong way to eat a jackfruit. (Except, of course, for not removing its spikey outer rind—ouch!) In addition to the many preparations for cooked jackfruit, you can also enjoy it raw. Cutting it, however, may be an arduous task.

Since the fruit releases a sticky sap, many chefs recommend using an oiled knife to cut into it. Slice the fruit lengthwise, as you would a pineapple, then remove the core, pulling the fruit away from the rind. Raw jackfruit can make its way into smoothies (like these 10 healthy fruit smoothies under 300 calories) or fruit salads with other tropical fruits like rambutan or dragon fruit.

As for cooking jackfruit, recipe ideas abound. You can experiment with substituting jackfruit in just about any meal that features a pulled or shredded meat. In the slow cooker, jackfruit works well as a vegetarian alternative to pull-apart pork for street tacos. (Simply replace pork with an equivalent amount of drained canned jackfruit.) Or marinate cooked jackfruit in a buffalo or Caesar dressing, shred, and stuff in a wrap.

Nachos, salads, and loaded baked potatoes are all additional opportunities for using jackfruit in place of pulled meats.

Allergies and Interactions

While it’s rare to have an allergy to jackfruit, it is possible. For some people, having an allergy to other tropical fruits, latex, or birch trees may make a jackfruit allergy more likely. Some experts believe that chemicals in jackfruit could interfere with medications used during surgery, making you excessively drowsy. If you know you’ll be having surgery soon, it may be best to stay away from jackfruit, or consult your doctor about eating it.

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources

Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • Harvard Health Publishing. Potassium lowers blood pressure. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/potassium-lowers-blood-pressure

    National Institutes of Health. Vitamin C. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

    Abbasi, B, Kimiagar, M, et al. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23853635

    National Institutes of Health. Manganese. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Manganese-HealthProfessional/

    National Institutes of Health. Copper. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Copper-HealthProfessional/