Wondrous Nature’s Gift: Versatile Jackfruit 大自然的神奇贈禮:多功能的菠蘿蜜

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The aromatic jackfruit is the world’s largest tree-borne fruit and has been a common food source for centuries in tropical South and Southeast Asia. People from these regions revere the jackfruit as it has saved millions of lives during years of food scarcity. It is honored as the national fruit in both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Due to its versatility, jackfruit is considered a miracle crop that can improve worldwide food security amidst the effects of climate change. During the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people in the Sri Lankan rural villages lost their source of income, waiting for weeks or even months before any form of government support reached them. Fortunately, the villagers could rely on the jackfruit crops as their staple food, thereby preventing another food shortage.
The jackfruit is an evergreen tropical tree fruit native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. Archaeological evidence reveals that its cultivation in India started as early as 1300 BC. This fruit is a member of the mulberry family, related to fig and breadfruit, and prefers tropical or near-tropical lowlands with rich, deep, and porous soil to flourish. The tree is easy to grow, highly productive, resilient to pests and disease, and can endure extreme weather conditions. Once established, it requires minimal attention. Jackfruit can weigh on average between 10 and 15 kilograms. In some cases, they can even weigh up to 45 kilograms! In its native climate condition, the jackfruit tree is very productive and its fruits can be harvested all year round, and the peak season being summer. A healthy tree can produce up to 200 fruits a year, equivalent to three metric tons.
The jackfruit tree is blessed with longevity, having an average life span of 60 to 70 years. This amazing fruit is a nutritional powerhouse. It is rich in dietary fiber, which helps maintain digestive health and weight control; it is also free from fats and bad cholesterol- good for cardiovascular health. Moreover, it has plenty of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support the immune system and helps to prevent cancer and inflammation.

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