Breadfruits have excellent benefits to human health and total wellbeing. It can be consumed in cooked form, baked or fried. Either which way provides heart-friendly nutrients and other wonderful whole nutrients.
This delicious food crop provides the body with protein, essential minerals and other nutrients. This is just the preamble of the benefits of breadfruit to the health of man.
This articles provides you with the highlights and details of numerous benefits which can be gotten from eaten of breadfruits and the contents which are known to support human health.
1. Good for Digestive Health
Breadfruit is one of the top Nigerian foods that are rich in fibre content. Fibre is an essential compound that helps in binding the toxic properties in the intestine and as well helps to reduce bad cholesterol in the body.
As fibre being the major content in this food makes it very good for the digestive health and the intestine as enhances the movement of food through the digestive system thereby regulating the bowl movement.
Breadfruit contains good quantity of active fibre that flushes toxins from the intestine and helps in proper functioning of the intestines and the bowl as well as prevents other diseases associated with digestion such as gastritis, ulcer and others.
2. Helps To Fight Free Radicals
It contains adequate amount of naturally occurred antioxidants that are capable of fighting free radicals in the body. Breadfruit is a natural source of flavonoid which is contained in moderate quantity and vitamin C.
This flavoid functions in the body asantioxidant that protects the body cell from being attacked by free radicals. Vitamin C on the other hand is an ascorbic acid that also contributes in fighting against the operation of these organisms that cause damage to the body cell.
Essential vitamins and minerals are moderately contained in breadfruits as well as an adequate level of protein that nurtures growth and body development. The presence of vitamin C in breadfruit helps in the production of acertain protein known as collagen that maintains skin elasticity and all the connective tissues in the body.
3. Helps in Proper Brain Function
Breadfruit is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which play important role in brain function and growth development.
These are important fatty acids that contribute in maintaining some cellular parts of human brain; this make makes them important for keeping the brain functioning normally.
Omega 6 also helps to maintain bone health and regulate metabolism health while facilitating the communication between brain cells especially on baby's brain.
It is advisable to be eating moderate quantity of breadfruit in order to absorb these important polyunsaturated fatty acids to avoid malfunctioning of the brain.
4. Good For heart health
The presence of fibre in breadfruit helps to promote the production of good cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins which carry cholesterol from other parts of the body back to the liver.
Research has shown that the quantity of fibre contained in breadfruit is enough to elevate good cholesterol and at the same time control or rather reduce the production of low-density lipoproteins, which is the bad cholesterol which is prone to cause heart problems such as hypertension and stroke.
5. Serves As a Weight Loss Diet
Breadfruit can help in weight loss though it has a high amount of carbohydrate and calories and the presence of dietary fibre in it will help to stop food craving.
If one can possibly be adding breadfruit as a daily food menu, its fibre content will help to moderate the absorption of glucose from carbohydrate in order not to be absorbed in excess which causes weight gain.
6. Maintain Bone Health
It is a good source of potassium which plays an important role in regulating fluid balance, supporting skeletal movement and smoothening of muscles contraction as well as conserves calcium in the body thereby helping to minimize urinary calcium loss.
Others minerals include riboflavin, niacin, zinc, manganese, calcium and more. Zinc and magnesium are very essential for bone metabolism while others functions jointly or separately to enhance the bone health in general.
7. Enhances Energy in the Body
They are rich in carbohydrate which provides the body with the amount of energy needed for energetic activities as a cup of breadfruit has the content of 60g of carbohydrate.
Breadfruit is an energy boasting food rich in good quantity of carbohydrate and high calories and the same time good amount of dietary fibre which helps to balance the contents.
Therefore, consuming moderate quantity of this fruit especially the porridge one daily helps to energize the body and make one full without increasing the intake of calories in the body.
8. Repair of Body Tissues and Cell
They are excellent source of minerals such as iron which plays an essential role in blood production.Most percentage of iron found in the body exists in the red blood cells and the muscles cell.
The red blood cell, haemoglobin is very play a crucial role in transferring oxygen in human blood from the lungs to the connective tissues.
Phosphorusis also a good content helps in growth and repair of body tissues and cell.Selenium and copper that is present in breadfruit support several biochemical processes and normal cellular functions in the body.
9. Helps in Controlling Diabetes
Breadfruit is a very nice meal mostly recommended for diabetic patients by dieticians because of its function in reducing the risk of diabetes and controlling already existing conditions.
Some people may begin to wonder why or how? Due to the basic knowledge that foods rich in carbohydrate and calories are not considered good for diabetic conditions.
Well, to clarify readers in this case, it's good to let you know that the fibre that is contained in the fruit play a special role of hindering the absorption of excess intake of glucose from carbohydrate.
Again, the carbohydrate that is obtained through the consumption of bread fruit are turned into fructose and sucrose instead of glucose which fibre also inhibits the excess of these smaller compounds too.
10. Nourishes the Skin
Breadfruit as a food and a fruit plays very important role on which is not just limited to human health, but also contributes in maintaining beautiful skin.
There is an important compound that is skin needs to keep glowing which is present in this fruit.
It is known as collagen; the production all types of collagen largely depends on vitamin C which is contained in large quantity in breadfruit.
Collagen provides a healthy skin with the help of high concentration of vitamin C. Therefore, eating moderate quantity of breadfruit produces good amount of collagen which keeps the skin glowing and free from wrinkles.
11. Good for Pregnancy
This fruit contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid in good amount which play vital role i pregnancy.
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acidfatty are known as polyunsaturated fatty acids that provide support for foetal growth; they are the main building block for foetal retina and neuron development of the foetus.
12. Improves the Immune System
Breadfruit is referred to as immune boosting diet because it has enough content of vitamin C required by human body.
No matter the form which by is been consumed, the health benefits are still there.
It is extremely rich in important dietary fibre that flushes all compounds that could cause harm to the intestine and on the other enhance healthy metabolism.
The nutritional profile of this fruit also counts in fighting the compounds that cause cancerous illnesses because of its richness in antioxidants.
This vitamin C provides all the support and boosting which the immune system needs to defend the body system against certain illnesses or infections.
13. Fight against Colon Cancer
Breadfruit (ukwa) is becoming one of the most consumed fruit especially in its roasted form together with coconut.
14. Reduces Blood Sugar & Inflammation
Breadfruit, whether cooked or roasted, is good for the body, not only is the fruit beneficial to health. The leaves are also medicinal.
Breadfruit leaves are used to relieve inflammation, reduce blood sugar and other related health issues such as hepatitis, enlarged spleen,liver disease, kidney and heart related illnesses.
This is true because the leaves are rich in flavoniod content which is a vital compound that helps to reduce the cholesterol in the blood and treats related illnesses.
People always ask if breadfruit is a fruit or vegetable. According to research, breadfruit is a fruit that have culinary uses both in its ripped and unripe form but is referred to as vegetable in its ripped form. It causes argument when people say that breadfruit is just a fruit because of the presence of seed which is not a feature in vegetable.
Breadfruit under-ripe is a vegetable which can be cooked and eat; when it is ripped it is known to be a fruit.
The Nutritional values of Breadfruit
Protein (g) 4.0
Carbohydrate (g) 31.9
Fiber (g) 5.4
Phosphorus (mg) 43.1
Potassium (mg) 376.7
Calcium (mg) 16.8
Magnesium (mg) 34.3
Sodium (mg) 19.4
Iron (mg) 0.5
Zinc (mg) 0.1
Vitamin C (mg) 2.4
Thiamin (mg) 0.1
Riboflavin (mg) 0.0
Niacin (mg) 0.9 1
Vitamin A (µg) 1.4
Lutein (µg) 96.3
B-Carotene (µg) 15.1
Side Effects of Breadfruit
Breadfruit can be eaten regularly without any side effect due to its high nutritional content. But we should all know that too much everything is bad. Even a good thing when abused turns to bad.
So it shouldn’t be eaten in excess as it may cause certain allergies and bleeding disorder in pregnant women when eaten excessively.
Breadfruit popularly known as Ukwa is grown in Nigeria and mostly eaten by the south-east; it is highly sought after and is a little pricey because it is a seasonal food. It is grown in various species throughout the areas where it is cultivated and the species grown in Nigeria is most times referred to as African Breadfruit.
In as much as it is more expensive than some other food crops which can be found in the Nigerian market, it is still among the best foods enjoyed by many.
It is mainly cooked with dry or fresh fish, with or without vegetable and the rest, but whatever way it is cooked or served it is always delicious. Breadfruit or Ukwa can also be roasted and taken along with palm kernel nut which most people uses as snacks.
Breadfruit is a nutritious and protein giving food, it naturally contains lots of essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the body; some of the nutritional benefits obtained from breadfruits that contribute to human health are highlighted as follows to be discussed in other sections:
Eating of breadfruits is very good for digestive health, helps to fight free radicals in human body, good for proper functioning g of the brain, good for heart health, serves as a weight loss diet, maintain bone health, enhance energy in the body, repair of body tissues and cell, helps in controlling diabetes, nourishes the skin, good for pregnancy, improves the immune system, fight against colon cancer.