Breadfruit is a tropical fruit which is consumed as a vegetable rather than as a fruit.
Breadfruit belongs to the Moraceae family and Genus of Artocarpus with the scientific name Artocarpus altilis. This fruit is closely related to other exotic tropical fruits like breadnut, jackfruit, figs, and mulberries. Breadfruit is a staple food and it can be roasted, baked, fried and even boiled before consumption. This fruit gets its name from the fact that the texture and smell are suggestive of bread when cooked.
Breadfruit is a staple food and it can be roasted, baked, fried and even boiled before consumption. This fruit gets its name from the fact that the texture and smell are suggestive of bread when cooked.
Breadfruit is a very large evergreen tree that is native to the tropical rainforest of Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Southern India, and the Moluccas through New Guinea to Western Micronesia.
There are many varieties of breadfruit but seeded and seedless breadfruits are the two most popular and common varieties of breadfruit grown around the world.
Mature adult breadfruit bears hundreds of fruits each season. These fruits, however, can come in a variety of color, size, and shape. Each fruit generally is ovoid or globular in shape and weighs about 1 to 5 kg in weight. Externally, it is covered with spikes similar to that in jackfruit and breadnut.
Cut-section of breadfruit has a thick ring covering smooth, creamy white to pale yellow flesh. Some varieties have smooth, brown seed color seeds interspersed in between soft tissues. It has a very pleasant aroma and sweet taste.
Breadfruit contains several nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming about 220 g of breadfruits offers
- 8 mg of vitamin C
- 66 g of carbohydrate
- 8 g of total fiber
- 185 mg of copper
- 242 mg of vitamin B1
- 005 mg of vitamin B5
- 149 g of loquats
There are also excellent sources of minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, manganese, etc. It also contains small amounts of flavonoids and antioxidants in the form of xanthin and leutin.
Health Benefits of Breadfruit
1. May Improve Cardiovascular health
Being an excellent source of potassium which is a heart-friendly nutrient, it helps reduce blood pressure and controls heart rate by counteracting the effect of sodium.
Potassium is also responsible for eliciting action potential leading to muscle contraction. The dietary fiber in breadfruit helps reduce blood cholesterol level by preventing its absorption in the intestine.
By so doing, It lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol while elevating HDL “good” cholesterol in the body (1). In addition, it also reduces triglyceride levels which are one of the predisposing factors of heart attacks.
Not forgetting the fact that breadfruit is also a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These two fatty acids are essential for maintaining a healthy heart. Omega-3 fatty acid is also important for brain growth and development
Research shows that regular intake of breadfruit can help a growing child in brain development to a large extent (1).
2. May Help Reduce Diabetes
Breadfruit which is a rich source of dietary fiber helps in providing relief from diabetes (2). Normally, fiber takes a lot of time and energy to digest and thus controls the glucose spike in the body.
Research shows that regular consumption of this vegetable fruit can keep at bay the risks of diabetes and keeps it under control. It does this by reducing the absorption of glucose from digested foods.
3. Helps In Weight Loss
Breadfruit is an ideal food for weight loss. If you are suffering from overweight, it’s high time you tried breadfruit.
This incredible fruit contains fewer calories and a high amount of fiber (3). The best part is that this fiber is a multi-tasker, as it helps to fight with the body fats and cellulitis.
This fruit also gives the fullness of eating without increasing the calorie intake.
4. Aids Digestion
Regular intake of this fiber-rich fruit is beneficial for the digestive system. It helps in proper bowel movement and functionality of the intestine (4).
It helps prevent digestion-related disorders like heartburn, ulcer, and gastritis by removing toxins from the gut.
5. Natural Energy Booster
For being rich in fiber, this fruit is also an excellent natural energy booster. It gives you that feeling of fullness ensuring that you don’t sneak in snacks between meals.
This helps in keeping up the energy levels in an appropriate and effective manner.
6. Helps Improves Skin Health
Apart from the various health benefits that this fruit provides, it also has some skin benefits as well. As mentioned earlier, breadfruit is packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are both considered beneficial for the skin.
Studies also suggest that the antioxidants present in breadfruit are good for preventing skin infections (6). So, consuming an adequate amount of breadfruit will ensure that you enjoy smooth and shining skin.
Breadfruit inhibits the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes and avoids overproduction of nitric oxides, therefore preventing skin inflammation.
7. Promotes Hair Growth
The vitamins content of breadfruit makes it a healthy choice for hair health too. Again, the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids prove effective for hair follicles (7).
Regular consumption of breadfruit is said to strengthen hair roots and stimulate hair growth.
Breadfruit is also effective in the prevention of hair disorders like dandruff (8).