Breadfruit is a tropical fruit from the mulberry family, and it has a striking resemblance with a Jackfruit, but breadfruit is not a jackfruit. This fruit comes from a flowering tree scientifically known as ‘Artocarpus Altillis’.
It is a large fruit that green outside and yellow inside. Breadfruit can be used to prepare so many palatable dishes when cooked nicely. Breadfruit is also grown and widely consumed in Nigeria. It is known as ‘ukwa’, and ‘afon’ in Igbo and Yoruba languages respectively.
The nutrient-rich fruit is versatile and is packed with an excellent number of essential properties your body requires for adequate functioning, including carbohydrates, dietary fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, folates, riboflavin, copper, iron, among others.
There are so many why reasons you should start eating Breadfruit today. This article discusses the nutritional content of Breadfruit, as well as the health benefits of Breadfruit (ukwa).
Nutritional Content of Breadfruit
Breadfruit is high in complex carbohydrates, low in fat, and cholesterol has a moderate glycemic index and is gluten-free. It is made up of 71% water, 27% carbohydrates, 1% protein and negligible in fat.
The table below shows the nutritional value of Breadfruit.
|Nutrients||Nutrient Value||Percentage of Required Daily Allowance|
|Total Fat||0.20 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||4.9 g||13%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||29 mg||48%|
|Vitamin E||0.10 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||0.5 &mug||<1%|
10 Massive Health Benefits of Breadfruit (Ukwa)
1. Aids in digestion
Breadfruit is an excellent source of fibre, which plays a major role in boosting the intestine and digestive system.
To start with, fibre helps in getting rid of toxic properties from the intestine so as to ensure the proper functioning of both the intestines and bowel.
Similarly, multiple studies reveal that regular intake of breadfruit can help lower the occurrence of gastritis, constipation, bloating, heartburn, acidity, ulcer, and other digestion-related diseases. 
Due to its high fibre content, breadfruit exhibits some bowel-easing effects on the human health while it also reduces LDL “bad” cholesterol and improves HDL “good” cholesterol in the body, and thus giving the overall health a significant boost.
2. Helps in losing weight
Want to get rid of obesity or lose weight fast? Breadfruit might help you achieve that! How does breadfruit help in weight loss?
Breadfruit is an excellent source of dietary fibre, which helps in lowering food cravings, i.e. it will make you eat less, and thus preventing you from eating excesses of calories that may trigger weight gain.
Another reason to eat more breadfruit as a weight watcher is because it helps in lowering the levels of both cellulite and fat in the body so as to give you a slimmer figure.
In short, you can never go wrong by incorporating breadfruit into your Ghanaian weight loss meal plan; the result is usually impressive. 
3. Boosts cardiovascular health
As earlier said, breadfruit contains a rich amount of fiber and potassium, both of which are highly beneficial to your heart and overall health.
According to research, foods with a high content of potassium play a significant role in the heart as they help in eliminating excess sodium in the body, and thus keeping blood pressure in check.
The great news is that the potassium content of breadfruit is up to 1,078 milligrams while the fruit contains only 4.4 milligrams of sodium, making it a healthy food for you.
Having said that, the abundant fiber content in Breadfruit is also beneficial to your cardiovascular health as it prevents the blood clot from getting accumulated in the artery, and thus ensuring adequate flow of blood in the entire body.
Similarly, fibre-rich foods, such as breadfruit are proven to be effective in lowering the production of low-density lipoproteins “bad” cholesterol, one of the leading causes of hypertension, stroke and other serious heart problems. 
Would you like to give your cardiovascular health a huge boost? Increase your fibre intake by eating foods like breadfruit!
4. Promotes adequate functioning of the brain
Another health benefit of breadfruit is that it is an excellent source of numerous neurological-enhancing properties, including omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, among others.
The aforementioned are essential in overall brain function and growth development.
For instance, the potassium content in breadfruit helps in boosting blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive ability, concentration, and optimizing neural activities,
More importantly, several studies reveal that the folate in breadfruit is able to reduce the risk of brain-related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, and the likes. 
That being said, it will interest you to know that breadfruit also contains a significant amount of vitamin B6 and magnesium, which equally improves brain function by boosting your emotional stability and lowering the occurrence of depression, insomnia as well as nausea.
5. Strengthens the bones
Breadfruit is one of the fruits you should be taking if you desire a stronger and healthier bone. This is because the fruit is an excellent source of potassium and other essential minerals like riboflavin, niacin, zinc, manganese, calcium, etc. – all of which aid bone growth and development.
To be specific, some of the significance of potassium to your bone is that it ensures fluid balance, supports the skeletal movement, conserves calcium, and also smoothens muscles contraction.
Similarly, zinc, magnesium, and other minerals are beneficial to the bone in the sense that they aid bone metabolism and overall growth.
Again, numerous studies opine that moderate breadfruit intake can help lower your risk of developing bone-related conditions, such as osteoporosis. 
6. Nourishes the skin
Basically, almost every fruit has a way of benefiting the human skin one way or the other. But you will be pleased to know that breadfruit offers a wide variety of benefits to your skin and overall health than you could imagine.
Firstly, breadfruit acts as a “collagen-booster.” What is collage, and how important is it to your skin?
Well, collagen is one of the essential compounds your skin needs to look supple, charming, and admirable, and part of the things that stimulate the production of this compound is vitamin C. 
However, breadfruit is super rich in vitamin C, which increases the amount of collagen in your body and thus giving you a glowing, younger and healthier skin.
Also, when there is adequate collagen in your system, it will help combat certain ageing signs and make it free from wrinkles.
Apart from the above, breadfruit is also proven to be effective in combating certain skin conditions, including inflammation, eczema, rashes, wrinkles, etc.
7. Aids pregnancy
Breadfruit has a lot of health benefits for pregnant women as it contains an excellent amount of carbohydrate, fiber, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids – all of which promotes a healthy pregnancy.
To begin with, the polyunsaturated fatty acids [omega 3 and 6] in breadfruit play a significant role in ensuring that the fetus and brain of the unborn baby develop adequately.
Again, the abundant carbohydrate and calories in this fruit will provide the pregnant mother with the required energy during the period, not forgetting that its fiber content also helps in keeping the cholesterol levels in check, and thus lowering the risk of gestational diabetes. 
8. Strengthens the immune system
This is yet one of the health benefits of breadfruit that will amaze you: the ability to strengthen your immune system. Breadfruit exhibits some immune-boosting characteristics, and this is majorly due to its high vitamin C content, which strengthens and improves the immune system so as to shield you against certain illnesses, diseases or infections.
Some studies also reveal that having a moderate amount of vitamin C in your system can help combat carcinogenic radicals in the body, making you healthier. 
9. Good for the hair
The health benefits of breadfruit don’t just stop here, it is also good for the hair. When you consume Breadfruit regularly, your hair roots are strengthened, and hair growth will be stimulated. This healthy fruit is a good option for those looking for healthy and thick hair. Breadfruit helps you avoid hair disorders such as dandruff and hair thinning. 
10. Great for managing diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic but manageable disease whereby the body finds it difficult to control the levels of blood sugar. To manage diabetes, you need to eat the right food.
Many health professionals and dietitians will always recommend breadfruit for diabetes patients.
Breadfruit is exceptionally rich in fibre, which plays a special role in stopping the absorption of excess intake of glucose from carbohydrates. 
How to Add Breadfruit to Your Diet
There are so many easy recipes for Breadfruit in Nigeria. It can be eaten as lunch or dinner. Breadfruit can also be roasted or fried. One common way to enjoy Breadfruit is with corn, and it is called mashed Ukwa & Corn.
As you can see, the health benefits of Breadfruit are manifold. Breadfruit is packed with many powerful nutrients and minerals. It is great from the skin, good for the brain, aids digestion and strengthens the bones. You should definitely add Breadfruit to your diet today!
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