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Breadfruits - Nutrition, Uses, and Health Benefits

Published on Mar 23, 2023   -  4 min read


Breadfruit is a versatile fruit containing rich nutrients and immense health benefits. Read the article below to know more.

What Are Bread Fruits?

Breadfruit or Artocarpus altilis is a fruit obtained from the breadfruit tree. For many decades, it was believed to be a vegetable and was consumed even before it is fully ripe. This fruit hails from the same family as that jackfruit and mulberry fruits. Breadfruit is a major staple crop in the islands of Oceania. In Seychelles, it has been used as a staple substitute for rice. In southeast Asia and India, the fritters of breadfruit are vegetarian local delicacies, especially in the coastal regions of Karnataka and Kerala states.

What Is the Nutritional Content of Bread Fruit?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has enlisted the below nutritional content for one cup or approximately 220 grams (g) of breadfruit:

  • Carbohydrates: 59.6 g (grams).

  • Fiber: 10.8 g.

  • Sugars: 24.2 g.

  • Protein: 2.35 g.

  • Potassium: 1080 mg (milligrams).

  • Vitamin C: 63.8 mg.

  • Calcium: 37.4 mg.

  • Iron: 1.19 mg.

  • Fat: 0.5 g.

  • Sodium: 4.4 mg.

  • Magnesium: 55 mg.

  • Thiamin (B1): 0.2 mg.

  • Vitamin B6: 0.22 mg.

  • Folate: 30.8 mcg (micrograms).

  • Calories: 227.

The protein content in breadfruit includes the presence of essential amino acids (that are not produced in the body and need to be obtained through diet). Despite its high carbohydrate content, this fruit is ranked a low-to-moderate food on the glycemic index which makes it a good add-on to diabetic diets. The small amount of fat content in the fruit is because of healthy polyunsaturated fat that usually lowers LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol and may possess cardioprotective properties.

How Should Breadfruits Be Stored and Handled?

As breadfruits are available in limited stock globally, they can be purchased usually during the season when they are imported worldwide. As these fruits bruise easily, the soft spots or dents must be checked which indicates that it would be damaged. The breadfruit can be stored ideally in cold water or alternatively refrigerated until it is used to prevent bruising. The baked breadfruit may be kept for a maximum of one to two days without refrigeration.

To handle the breadfruit properly, the stem must be removed and the fruit must be washed thoroughly. The fruit can be divided into quarters and then the core is separated. The skin should be peeled ideally before cooking.

What Are the Culinary Uses of Bread Fruit?

The taste is very similar to bananas or plantains, wherein the breadfruit can be enjoyed in two ways; ripe as a rather sweet tinged fruit, or when it is underripe, it tastes like a less-sweet-containing vegetable. The interesting fact about breadfruit is that it can be consumed both ways. There are various ways to cook breadfruit;

  • Breadfruits can be baked, steamed, fried, or easily sauteed.

  • As a vegetable, it can be either boiled or roasted. Traditionally these are cooked in an underground oven with hot rocks to roast the veggie.

  • Culinary experts also stuff it as a vegetable with coconut and then slice it into pieces and roast or fry it in palm sugar or syrup until they turn crisp and brown. It can have as a salad or can be cooked as a curry.

  • Breadfruit cooked in coconut cream is a south-Asian delicacy. Other popular dishes globally are fruit flan, breadfruit beverages, and even breadfruit chips. They can also be used additionally in dishes like soups and stews.

Who Should Not Consume Breadfruit?

Breadfruits must not be consumed by individuals who are allergic to figs, mulberries, or birch pollen as they may be allergic to breadfruit as well. If any allergic symptoms are noticed, they must be reported to a healthcare provider. Individuals with 5-alpha reductase inhibiting substances (drugs used in the treatment of enlarged prostate and hair loss in males), anticoagulant and antifungal treatments may have interfering effects from breadfruit consumption.

What Are the Health Benefits of Bread Fruit?

  • Breadfruit is an excellent source of prenylated phenolic compounds namely stilbenoids, flavonoids, coumarins, xanthones, etc. Research suggests that these compounds would be certainly useful in treating both rheumatic and muscular pains. These prenylated phenolic compounds are good antioxidants that can boost immunity and prevent the risk of chronic diseases in our bodies.

  • Research demonstrates that breadfruit has good anti-diabetic properties, and can also potentially prevent obesity. It is cardioprotective, provides neuroprotection, and also boosts the metabolism process.

  • Breadfruit is a gluten-free fruit. The flour hence is an excellent gut-friendly alternative for individuals suffering from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity or other digestive issues. Nutrition experts recommend breadfruit flour which is more easily digestible than wheat flour.

  • According to recent research, breadfruit extracts also contain ethyl acetate or the methanol compounds that have profound antibacterial activity against bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans and Pseudomonas aeruginosa which are responsible for causing various infections. Hence consumption of this fruit can be beneficial.

  • Breadfruit is also very rich in carotenoids which are potent vitamin A precursors and can be useful in promoting eye health.


Breadfruit is a rich source of several nutrients such as vitamin B, potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants, etc. It is a highly starchy food and can be substituted for rice. It has essential amino acids and possesses antibacterial properties, thus providing health benefits. Despite of high carbohydrate content, it is rich in fiber, low in fat, and hence can be included in healthy diet plans.

Last reviewed at:
23 Mar 2023  -  4 min read




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