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Breadfruit is a versatile fruit that belongs to the mulberry and jackfruit botanical family. They grow across tropical regions and the Pacific Islands, Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. Because of their availability, they are part of a staple diet in these locations. The common areas include Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Southern India. In addition, due to its nutritional profile, breadfruit is full of health benefits. For example, it is rich in vitamin C and thiamine. It also contains a high amount of dietary fibre.
Ulu is an important part of the local food tradition and folklore in Hawaii. It can be prepared like a fruit or a vegetable since it’s incredibly versatile. When roasted, it feels and tastes like baked bread, hence the name.
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The name breadfruit comes from the apparent association with bread. People cook the semi-ripe food, and the texture resembles that of bread with a hint of potato-like flavour. The roasted seeds taste like chestnuts, and you can eat them boiled or baked or ground into flour.
Breadfruit brings various health benefits to you. For example, it has anti-cancer properties, helps improve digestion, improves bone health etc. In addition, breadfruit flour is gluten-free and has a low glycemic index. Therefore, it is an excellent option for people with diabetes.
Nutritional Value of Breadfruit
Breadfruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other components. Also, they contain vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K, and B complex vitamins. They also contain minerals like folate, potassium, and many others. In addition, breadfruit contains high amounts of dietary fibre.
As per USDA, around 100 grams of breadfruit serving contains:
- Calories: 103 kcals
- Carbohydrates: 27.1 g
- Fat: 0.23 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Fibre: 4.9 g
Breadfruit is one of the superfoods. It is a daily staple food for millions across the globe. It is due to its expansive nutrient profile. In addition, breadfruit enhances different dishes, ranging from soups to pasta.
Some Health Benefits of Breadfruit
Breadfruit has a rich nutrient profile. Therefore, the health benefits are innumerable. It is abundant in fibre. It is an excellent source of proteins, essential amino acids, vitamin C, B1, B5, and minerals. These nutrients help strengthen the immune system by reducing the chances of infections. They also improve skin and hair and aid in bone growth. In addition, the nutrients regulate diabetes, lower cholesterol levels, and boost skin and hair health.
1. Improves Heart Health: Breadfruit is rich in potassium. Potassium helps in smooth blood flow through the arteries. It does so by regulating muscular contraction in the heart. It, in turn, controls your heart rate and blood pressure.
High levels of bad cholesterol result in multiple cardiovascular diseases. These diseases include atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke etc. Studies show that dietary fibre helps in reducing cholesterol. This correlation is because fibre binds with cholesterol and carries it out of the body. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids help increase good cholesterol levels.
2. Prevents and Controls Diabetes: Breadfruit is an ideal food for people with diabetes. Since they are abundant in dietary fibre and protein, they are a protein-dense, low glycemic option. A study suggested that breadfruit flour helps control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Fibre passes through the digestive tract slowly. As a result, the food takes time to get digested. Thus, blood glucose levels don’t shoot up after a meal.
3. Aids Digestion: The dietary fibre helps in improving bowel movements. Dietary fibre absorbs water in the intestines and softens the stool. As a result, the stool passes out smoothly. Thus, fibre rich foods like breadfruit prevent constipation and indigestion.
They also improve gut health by fostering good bacteria in the body. In addition, studies have suggested that they prevent infections and inflammation by improving immunity.
4. Improves Brain Function: Breadfruit is a rich source of iron, vitamin C and many other nutrients. Iron is necessary for the proper functioning of blood cells. They play a significant role in transporting oxygen to all organs. In addition, low iron levels can result in anaemia. Also, due to the lack of iron, the oxygen supply to the brain reduces.
5. Improves Reproductive Health: Breadfruit has Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Therefore, it improves both male and female fertility. A study showed that omega-3 fatty acids improve sperm motility. In addition, they help promote sperm synthesis. Order Breadfruit Tropical Box
Studies also suggest that omega-3 fatty acids improve PCOD in women. It also enhances insulin resistance. In addition, antioxidants present in breadfruit aid in preventing prostate and ovarian cancers.
6. Prevents Cancer: Antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids prevent cancer. Usually, cancer occurs due to the uncontrollable growth of cells, resulting from long-term free radical damage to the cells. As already stated, antioxidants help reduce the free radicals in the body. Thus, they prevent the growth and development of cancer. In addition, research has also demonstrated that antioxidants help destroy cancer cells.
7. Helps in Weight Management: Breadfruit fits effectively in a weight loss diet plan. Breadfruit is full of dietary fibre, essential to weight management. In addition, fibre keeps one satiated for more extended periods. As a result, the urge to snack on unhealthy foods reduces. Therefore, it helps prevent unhealthy weight gain.
Moreover, breadfruit is a dense source of protein. It contains essential amino acids. Notably, it includes leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are vital in building up muscle. In addition, studies suggest that protein boosts metabolism. Thus, consuming breadfruit can help in losing weight.
How to Include Breadfruit in Your Diet
- Use them like any vegetable. You can steam, boil, fry, bake or cook breadfruits.
- You can use breadfruits to make fritters and pancakes. Also, blend them in flour to bake loaves of bread.
- You can also use it in curries, stews, and salads.
- Mash them to make dips and hummus. Hummus is a healthy Mediterranean dip.
Expecting mothers can experience side effects from consuming breadfruit. Therefore, please inform your doctor before consuming them. Talking to a doctor or a nutritionist before incorporating anything new into the diet will help prevent any adverse effects or complications. At the same time, any change in health parameters requires paying attention to one’s diet and calorie requirements. Order Breadfruit Tropical Box