While previous studies have shown evidence of jackfruit flour having anti-diabetic properties, the results were unclear until a randomized control trial was performed on a group of 40 diabetics. Out of these, 20 of them in the intervention group received 30g of green jackfruit flour daily, by replacing an equal volume of wheat flour or rice flour in their meals. On the other hand, the rest of the 20 patients in the placebo group, received an equal volume of rice flour or wheat flour.
At the end of 12 weeks, the patients in the intervention group showed a statistically significant reduction in their fasting, post prandial and mean blood glucose levels as compared to the placebo group. Clearly demonstrating a practical use of green jackfruit flour in medical nutrition therapy for diabetes in an average Indian kitchen.
Not only in studies, but experts have seen positive health impacts in real-life cases as well. In one scenario, as Dr Vinod Abichandani, Diabetes & Endocrine Physician mentions, his patient had been on medication for about 3 months, but there was only marginal improvement despite following the medicine routine and other lifestyle habits meticulously. So, instead of increasing the medicine dosage, Dr Vinod asked his patient to replace a portion of the regular wheat flour with 15g green jackfruit flour twice a day. Results were visible from day 11 itself and within a matter of 45 days, his blood glucose levels showed remarkable improvement. Along with this, the patient also lost 2 kgs and his LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels also showed favourable results. “A 3000-year-old nutritional gem from India has been rediscovered and 15 patients in my clinic and every member of my family including staff are now taking 30g green jackfruit flour per day and I see benefits on all” says Dr Vinod.
Elaborating on the mechanisms through which Jackfruit flour is able to achieve such exceptional results, Dr Ishi Khosla, Clinical Nutritionist, Columnist, Author, Entrepreneur & Researcher, says, “Today, we are not managing diabetes in the conventional way based on only fats and carbohydrates, instead, we are treating diabetes as an inflammatory disease. In my clinical practice, I have seen a reversal of early diabetes in patients who follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Almost as a nature’s gift to diabetics, jackfruit flour is not only gluten-free, but also highly anti-inflammatory. Loaded with phytonutrients, it also contains an impressive amount of fibre content. The soluble fibre and resistant starch content also serve as prebiotics, which is essential for gut health.”
She adds, “This is only a part of the success and I believe we can manage and prevent virtually every chronic disease, from digestive disorders to cardiovascular diseases, because when food is impacting the gut favourably, it is going to have a cascading effect on all the other mechanisms of the body as well. This revolutionary product needs to be included in familiar foods, including porridge, rotis, idlis, pancakes, even bakery products.”
Another important aspect highlighted by Ms Sheryl Salis, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Author, Lecturer & Founder- Nurture Health Solutions, was the satiety factor, that is how early you feel full after eating. She says, “30g of jackfruit flour replaces 50 g of wheat/rice/millet flour, because of the low bulk density. We have seen in our patients that earlier they were eating three rotis, but now, after replacement with jackfruit flour, they are eating two because the satiety is achieved much faster. And they feel so happy and motivated, that incorporating just one change in their meals has brought about a major change in their blood glucose levels.”
She adds, “The product is so versatile that it can be added to almost any recipe since it doesn’t alter taste. Even if you add just one tablespoon of the flour to a bowl of curd and have it before meals, it is going to have a positive impact on your satiety as well as in controlling blood sugar levels post-meal. Green Jackfruit flour has made a world of difference to my practice, my patients especially parents of children with diabetes are very happy”
Experts are using green jackfruit flour in their households and are unanimous that in the given dosage of one tablespoon per meal, green jackfruit flour can have positive health benefits and can be taken by non-diabetics too. However, diabetics are advised to use jackfruit flour as medical nutrition therapy for diabetes not as a replacement for medicine.