Firstly, before getting into the many health benefits of breadfruit, let us investigate some of the histories of this food. The breadfruit became a part of history as the trigger that led to the mutiny on the Bounty. In 1792, this British ship carried one thousand breadfruit trees from Tahiti to the British colonies in the Caribbean, where the hope was that they would provide abundant fruit to feed the enslaved people.
The Captain of the Bounty, Bligh, found it necessary to ration the crew’s water to provide fresh water for the freshwater needs of the trees. This fact provoked the famous mutiny that ended in the South Pacific on the solitary island of Pitcairn.
Breadfruit Scientific Facts
- Scientific name – Artocarpus communis Forst.
- Related species – Arctocarpus heterophylla Lam. (jackfruit).
- Other names – Breadnut, Sukun.
- French – Fruit de l’arbre â pain.
- Spanish – Fruto del pan, frutapán.
- German – Brotfrucht.
- Description – The fruit of the breadfruit, a tree of the botanical family Moraceae, reaches a height of 20 meters.
- Environment – This tree grows wild and is cultivated in all the Caribbean islands, although it is originally from Southeast Asia. It is cultivated in the Polynesian islands, as well.
Health Benefits of Breadfruit
The pulp of the fresh breadfruit is approximately seventy percent water, but once dried, its composition is like wheat flour. Wheat flour contains more protein but less fat, minerals, and vitamins than breadfruit. The case, then, is that this fruit may be used as a substitute for wheat flour in tropical regions where there is a lack of bread-producing grains.
It cannot be said that breadfruit is a complete food such as beans or other legumes; breadfruit is a critical component in the diets of tropical countries. Breadfruit’s most abundant component is STARCH, which makes up most of its carbohydrates, as is the case with wheat flour. Throughout digestion, starch is slowly converted into glucose, the essential energy source for the body’s cells.
How to use and Prepare Breadfruit
- PULP – Breadfruit is juicy and filled with fine threads. Its taste is mild and relatively neutral. It may be eaten raw or cooked, roasted, or fried.
- SEEDS – The fruit of certain breadfruit varieties contain numerous sources that are eaten roasted as if they were chestnuts.
- FLOUR – This is prepared from dried breadfruit. It is mixed with grain flour and used to make bread.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 295. Print.[health benefits of breadfruit]