Illustration: Hye Jin Chung
Getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from the food you eat can be challenging for anyone—no matter what diet you follow. Not sure where you might come up short? In a 2009 research review, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) identified important nutrients of concern to vegans and vegetarians: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12 and D, calcium, zinc, iron, and iodine.
I was first introduced to jackfruit in southern India, where the edible orbs dangle from trees like prickly green footballs. In hot and steamy South Asia, they’re eaten fresh, cooked, and dried, in both sweet and savory preparations. In the mainland United States and other non-tropical corners of the world, the fruit is more commonly found in cans at Asian markets, where you can buy it soaked in sweet syrup or packed in salty brine. I didn’t actually try jackfruit until years later, but when I did—wow! What a revelation.