Caribbean Breadfruit: Not Just Any Fruit
Breadfruit is unlike any other fruit you’ve eaten before. That’s because breadfruit does not have the look, feel or consistency of a typical fruit, but like its name suggests, looks much like bread. When the breadfruit is ripe it is relatively soft and the inside has a yellow, cream colored flesh that resembles bread. The flesh of the breadfruit is somewhat sweet and has a nice fragrant smell.
Breadfruit is native to the Malay Peninsula and the western Pacific islands, but has also been widely grown in tropical regions across the world. Breadfruit is a staple food, sought after for its cheap cost and it being a source of high energy.
In fact, breadfruit was first brought to the Caribbean and the Americas by Captain William Bligh in the late 18th century as a cheap high energy food source to feed and energize slaves in the new world. Breadfruit has the health benefit of providing high energy to those who eat it through its carbohydrates that the body needs for warmth and maintenance during daily activities.
Not only is breadfruit a rich source of energy, breadfruit also contains significantly high amounts of fiber. According to the American Heart Association fiber decreases bad cholesterol and triglycerides which increases heart attack risks. An increased intake of fiber lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the body, while elevating HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the body. Breadfruit protects the body against heart disease and heart attacks.
Additionally, the fiber found in breadfruit can help those with diabetes to control the disease. Research shows that fiber can control diabetes by reducing the absorption of glucose from the food we eat. Another health benefit of breadfruit is that breadfruit helps to make our intestines and bowels work properly. Fiber regulates bowel movements and clears out the buildup of junk from our intestines; eating breadfruit on a regular basis can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
Breadfruit benefits the body as it contains favorable amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids help the body and mind to develop normally. Fatty acids also stimulate skin and hair growth, regulate our metabolism, promote reproduction and stimulate bone health. In addition to these health benefits breadfruit also contains Vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron and phosphorus. Further research is being done to uncover even more health benefits of breadfruit. But in the meantime, you can start eating more breadfruit and take advantage of the many health benefits we know it has now.