NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF AFRICAN BREADFRUIT
Breadfruit is different from breadnut.
Scientifically known as Artocarpus camansi, breadfruit is a highly sought after fruit due to its medicinal properties.
African Breadfruit is such a vasatile food with a natural delicious flavour.
This breadfruit is called ‘Ukwa’ in igbo dialect ,’afon’ in yoruba. Breadfruit farming unlike other economic trees require little attention, effort and inputs.
We should be more interested in this fruit because of their many health benefits, most importantly it’s rich nutritious and economic benefits.
Breadfruit is a tropical fruit, belonging to the Moraceae family. It is related to other exotic fruits like bread-nut, jack-fruit, figs and mulberries.
Breadfruit is a staple food in many tropical regions. The fruit can be roasted, baked, fried and even boiled before consumption.
The flesh of the breadfruit has a nice fragrance and a sweet taste.
Taking Breadfruit for health is a typical habit owing to its rich nutritional and health benefits to the body.
When properly cooked it is the palatable dish for all to consume, without the risk of getting any adverse side effects.
Breadfruit comes with lots of medicinal properties evident in containing the various Stages of Menopause & Types of acne scars.
It has so many health benefits. It’s one of those rich and expensive foods that are served in occasions especially to VIPs In southern part of Nigeria by the IGBO’s .
It can be prepared with or without ingredients especially fresh from the farm. But preparing it from the scratch is not an easy thing or for a lazy cook.
BREADFRUIT NUTRITIONAL VALUE#
Breadfruit contains moderate levels of essential vitamins and minerals. It is rich in riboflavin, iron, niacin, thiamin, iron and phosphorus.
It contains minerals like potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, selenium and phosphorus.
It also contains adequate levels of protein. 100 grams provide 7.4 grams, approximately 23% of the recommended amount.
It is low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium.
Like other tropical fruits, breadfruit also contains high amounts of calories. 100 grams of breadfruit provides 102 calories.
It contains small amounts of flavonoids and antioxidants in the form of xanthin and leutin. Breadfruit contains high amounts of Vitamin C.
1 medium breadfruit provides 29 mg of vitamin, amounting to 48% of the recommended daily allowance.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BREADFRUIT
Breadfruit is an excellent source of potassium. This heart-friendly nutrient reduces blood pressure in the body and regulates the heart rate by minimizing the effects of sodium.
It conducts electrical charges that drive muscular contraction in the skeletal system including the heart.
Dietary fiber helps reduce cholesterol by preventing its absorption in the gut.
It lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), while elevating good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. It decreases the triglyceride levels, which is one of the main causes of heart attacks.
2. Fiber In Breadfruit helps with Diabetes
Fiber in breadfruit inhibits the absorption of glucose from the food we eat, thus controlling diabetes. It contains compounds, which are needed by the pancreas for producing insulin in the body.
One of the main contents of diabetes is fiber essential in offering relief to diabetic persons.
Research on the fruit reveals regular consumption of the fruit helps not only in lowering the risk of contracting diabetes but helps mitigate its effect.
It achieves this by reducing the absorption rate of sugars from consumed food.
3. Energy booster
In addition to the fruit being rich in fiber, it is a perfect source of energy, boosting energy levels in the body. Breadfruit causes one to feel full without rising calories.
As such, a person experience heightened energy levels after eating the fruit.
Besides, it helps in lowering cholesterol in the blood thereby mitigating any heart complications in the future.
One cup of breadfruit provides 60 grams of carbohydrates, the primary source of energy in the body. It is very beneficial for athletes and gym goers.
4. Dental health
Eating toasted breadfruit flower can help relieve toothache.
Applying crushed breadfruit leaves on the tongue can also cure thrush.
5. Source of Omega 3 and 6
Breadfruit contains relatively high amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which are vital for the proper development of the mind and body.
For you to get a favorable balance of the two fatty acids, you will need to make the fruit a regular snack or part of your diet.
The two fatty acids work miracles in stimulating both brain and mind growth. Parents are advised to feed their children with the fruit for excellent brain development.
6. Bowel Health
Fiber in breadfruit flushes out the toxins from the intestine, aiding in proper functioning of the bowel and intestines.
It prevents digestion-related diseases like heartburn, acidity, ulcer and gastritis, eliminating toxic compounds from the gut.
Breadfruit protects the colon’s mucous membrane by warding off cancer-causing chemicals from the colon.
Moreover, children that regularly take the fruit experience less bowel complication and bed wetting end early.
Intestine functioning is optimized by the fruit as it aids in passing stool and getting rid of toxins from the digestive system.
7. Weight Loss
Breadfruit is a whole food recommended for weight loss.
Women struggling with weight gain challenges during their various menopause stages are advised to take the fruit regularly.
It not only tastes great but its low-calorie properties prevent one from gaining more pounds.
The fiber in the fruit is a multi-tasker, as it also helps in fighting body fats.
8. Excellent for Expectant Women
Nearly all the elements contained in the fruit/vegetable are perfect for pregnant mothers. The low-calorie factor and capacity to boost energy levels are vital during pregnancy especially in preventing excessive weight.
Cholesterol and diabetes are kept at bay since sugar absorption and break down of harmful fats by omega three fatty acids are facilitated.
Besides, both omega 3 and fatty acids help the fetus optimally. As such, pregnant women are strongly advised to consume the fruit in their diet to keep all their health concerns in check.
9. Immune System Booster
Compared to other fruits, breadfruit is rich in vitamin C which is very vital in keeping your body free from uncomplicated infections.
The fruit achieves this in the body by boosting your immunity. A plate of the highly nutritious fruit is critical in fighting flu and colds and better absorption of minerals from foods eaten.
If you do not like it cooked, you can consider taking the fruit in juice and blend it orange juice or lemon tea.
10. High concentration of Antioxidants
You will need the right amount of antioxidants in the body if you are serious about living a healthy life without necessarily taking any medication.
Though antioxidants are commonly added to the body by taking artificial supplements, you can opt for a breadfruit a day for better benefits.
The natural elements in the fruit help the body in fighting free radicals for better skin health, getting rid of various types of acne especially for women in their menopause days.
Besides, the fruits help in fighting other skin conditions like cellulite through proper weight loss, and skin inflammation.
11. Breadfruit Skin benefits
Prevents Excessive Skin Inflammation:
Fresh breadfruit extracts may help to reduce unwanted inflammation.
It inhibits the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes and prevents the overproduction of nitric oxides, thus preventing excessive inflammation.
The latex of the breadfruit tree is applied on skin surfaces affected by skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis and inflammation.
Drinking breadfruit juice helps to even out the skin tone and firm the skin by rejuvenating its appearance.
The high amount of Vitamin C in breadfruit helps in the production of collagen, a protein which provides elasticity to the skin.
Keeping Age Related Complications at Bay
Free radicals are the main ingredients that accelerate age-related complications. You will notice in our current environment; it is very difficult to fight free radicals.
As a result, it is vital you get extra protection from the radicals. You will never get better protection as you get from the fruit since it does not pose any dangers to your skin in the future.
Elements in the fruit are critical in empowering the body fight free radicals.
Breadfruit contains one of the highest concentration of the anti-oxidant aspects;
this is to mean every day you take the fruit, you empower the body naturally without any future risks.
Encourages New Cell Growth:
The antioxidants in breadfruit provide an effective shield against sun rays and sun damage. It also encourages the growth of new cells to make the damaged skin appear smooth and young.
Cures Skin Infections:
Ashes of the breadfruit leaves are useful for curing skin infections.
12. Breadfruit Hair benefits
Breadfruit contains several hair-friendly nutrients, which are required for maintaining the health of the hair. Vitamin C in breadfruit facilitates the absorption of minerals and provides nourishment to the hair.
Treats Dandruff, Itchiness & Hair Breakage:
Breadfruit is a good source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which naturally condition the hair, reducing hair breakage.
The fatty acids present in breadfruit regulate the sebum production in the scalp, reducing dandruff and itchiness. It also inhibits scalp inflammation and cell death, preventing hair loss.
Promotes Hair Growth:
The moderate amounts of iron in breadfruit improve blood circulation in the scalp, stimulating the hair follicles to promote hair growth.