Eat seasonal: Breadfruit is rich in nutrients which are essential for the body, skin and hair
I just received my breadfruit from a friend’s farm. That’s nothing alien to us as it’s grown in various Southern part of India. It is called Artocarpusaltilis in South India, Neer Phanas in Goa and Rottepandu in Andhra Pradesh. It’s local to a few of us who savour it, but do we know about the health benefits of this mighty fruit? The nutritional value of breadfruit can hardly be overstated as it is a good source of antioxidants, calcium, carotenoids, copper, dietary fibre, energy, iron, magnesium, niacin, Omega 3, Omega 6, phosphorus, potassium, protein, thiamine, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The amount of Vitamin C in this fruit is almost equivalent or even more to our daily dietary recommendation, which says it all!
Individuals who eat diets rich in food containing Vitamin C have a reduced risk of heart issues, other diseases and cancer as Vitamin C is one of the antioxidants that keeps the body away from oxidative stress, keeping it healthy and fit.
Breadfruit contains an array of essential amino acids and is especially rich in phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine and valine. These amino acids create the structure of your body’s cells, work to transport nutrients and support the functioning of all our major bodily systems, and that’s why they are referred to
as building blocks.This suggests that breadfruit also helps to maintain the functioning of the body system. Breadfruit also helps in boosting the immune system, the presence of anti-inflammatory bioflavonoids in breadfruit is especially important to reduce our risk of disease by reducing inflammation in the body, as we know inflammation is the root cause of all disease. So ,if that’s taken care of, the immune system starts functioning well.
It also contains a fairly large quantity of thiamine or Vitamin B1. Thiamine plays a part in our body functions to maintain muscle tone along the walls of the digestive tract, where the majority of the immunity is located. It also assists in the secretion of hydrochloric acid or stomach acids, helping your
body fully digest food and absorb the highest amount of nutrients possible. Together, these features make thiamine a valuable nutrient in maintaining a healthy immune system and gut function. When both these things are in check, we fall ill less often, and our body gets the strength to ward off all disease and infection.
Breadfruit is also a very good source of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It’s beneficial for skin and hair, and these two essential fatty acids are quite good for maintaining good heart health as well. Omega 3 fatty acid is also essential for the growth of the brain and mind. Several other components of breadfruit, such as potassium, folate and various antioxidants are also known to provide neurological benefits, keeping your brain and heart’s health in check. It’s a good source of fibre too, helping maintain digestive heath, avoiding constipation and also, keeping sugar levels in range.
Let’s savour this local fruit when it’s in season and gather the most possible health benefits!
(Deepika Rathod is Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho, Holistic Healing Systems. She is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.)