Life on the fruity side of ‘ffene’, the all round delicacy

Jackfruit smells really bad, they say. ‘Ffene’ smells perfect, and it is that smell that tinges the taste to perfection, others will claim.

Jackfruit smells really bad, they say. ‘Ffene’ smells perfect, and it is that smell that tinges the taste to perfection, others will claim.

Forget the arguments about the scent, no one eats scent. Ffene, as jackfruit is commonly known locally, is as delicious as its tropical fruit family members such as durian, banana and others.

It is also rich in energy, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins and free from saturated fats or cholesterol, making it one of the healthy treat to relish.

The outer surface of jackfruit is covered with the blunt thorn-like projections, which become soft as the fruit ripens. Its interior consists of orange-yellow coloured edible bulbs. Each bulb consists of sweet-flavoured flesh (sheath) that encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown seed.

There may be as many as a hundred to five hundred edible bulbs embedded in a single fruit interspersed between thin bands of fibers. Jackfruit seed is encased inside a thin, transparent outer cover. It’s largely composed of starch and white and crisp within, and when roasted, it can match nuts nutrient for nutrient.

According to Joseph Uwiragiye, a nutritionist at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali, jackfruit is important to our body because it is rich in energy, dietary fibre, minerals, and vitamins and free from saturated fats or cholesterol.

Ffene is easily digestible with simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalises the body instantly.

The fibre content helps the body protect the colon mucous membrane and eliminating cancer causing chemicals products from the colon.     

Jackfruit has small amounts of vitamin A and its compounds play vital roles in antioxidant and vision functions. It is also a good source of antioxidant vitamin C, which helps the body to develop resistance against infectious agents (to reinforce immune system).  

The fruit is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. Potassium is also an important component of cell and body fluids that helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

Jackfruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C with a high content of 13.8mg per 100 grammes. Studies have shown that Vitamin C is a better anti-oxidant than compounds like methanol and ethanol. This makes vitamin C very effective against the free radicals in the body.

The purification of the body by ridding it of free radicals increases immune system function. It increases immunity to protect against common diseases like cough, cold and flu. It has also been found to form a strong resistance against infections.

The fruit contains good amount of potassium, which is about 10 per cent of our daily requirement. The ideal levels of potassium are required to maintain fluid level that is to balance electrolyte also. All these different functions of potassium help in maintaining ideal blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.

Jackfruit has 1.5 grammes of roughage per 100 grammes of serving which is considered excellent. Dietary fibre is a laxative which adds bulk to your stools and softens them up. Both of these factors make it easy for your body to push them through the anal passage. Thus it improves digestion and prevents constipation.

Ageing is caused due to natural factors like increase in age. But due to pollution, UV radiations and unhealthy lifestyle ageing is knocking at an early age and is progressing faster than natural.

The main causes of ageing are free radical produced in our body due to high oxidative stress caused due to pollution. Antioxidant rich diet including fruits like jackfruit has proven to destroy these free radicals to slow the ageing process.

Jackfruit contains iron, which can combat the deficiency of red blood cells in the blood. The vitamin C content further enables an effective absorption of iron in the body.

It is said that all iron that you get from dietary sources can pass right through your body without being absorbed if there is no vitamin C in the body.