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You’ve probably been consuming breadfruit as a delicious meal with little knowledge of the many benefits it encapsulates.

African breadfruit, known as ukwa in Igbo, is a fruit with powerful nutritional value and medicinal properties. It is an exotic traditional delicacy often boiled and eaten as a main dish. It can also be baked, fried or roasted and relished with coconut or palm kernel fruit, a combination known as aki na ukwa.

The seeds can also be pressed to extract the oil which is used to make flavour for alcoholic drink, and they can also be processed to flour.

And while many consume it because of the sweet natural taste, some are unaware of the wealth of benefits it has to offer.

Nutritional Value

Breadfruit contains essential vitamins, minerals (potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, selenium and phosphorus), proteins and other nutrients the body needs to function properly. It is rich in riboflavin, iron, niacin, thiamin, and iron, and low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium.

Also, it contains high amounts of calories and vitamin C and small amounts of flavonoids and antioxidants (xanthin and leutin).

Breadfruit chips.

Health Benefits

  1. Breadfruit is heart-friendly. The potassium present in it regulates the heart rate and reduces blood pressure. Also, it contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which are healthy for the heart. Furthermore, the dietary fibre helps to lower bad cholesterol.
  2. It contains antioxidants in which protect the body against ageing and age-related diseases and helps to develop resistance against infectious agents.
  3. It is good for dieting and weight loss and helps to control diabetes because of its rich fibre content.
  4. Taking breadfruit regularly helps in proper bowel movement. Its fibre prevents constipation and helps digestion. It also prevents heartburn, ulcer and digestion-related issues which some experience with beans.
  5. It is a great source of energy.
  6. Consuming toasted breadfruit flower helps dental health and can help relieve a toothache.

Skin Benefits

Breadfruit contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are beneficial to the skin and high amount of vitamin C which helps collagen production. The antioxidants help to protect against sun rays and damage and help in cell regeneration.

Drinking breadfruit juice helps to give the skin an even tone, make it firm and rejuvenate the appearance. The latex from breadfruit is applied topically to treat skin diseases like eczema, inflammation and psoriasis.

Hair Benefits

Consuming breadfruit generally nourishes the hair, prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth. The Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids it contains naturally condition the hair, reduces dandruff, itching, and hair breakage.

It also contains iron which improves blood circulation in the scalp and promotes hair growth by stimulating the hair follicles.


Sources: Guardian, StyleCraze

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This article was first published on 19th November 2018


An Environment Resource Management graduate of Abia State University with her Masters in-view, Chinwe is also a Columnist, an OAP, a sought-after motivational speaker and writer with special interest in food and the balance of diet.

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