Breadfruit is a curious type of food, as it looks like a fruit but tastes like bread. And breadfruit health benefits cannot easily be overstated. For example, breadfruit has earned a lot of attention for its impact on cancer, heart disease and inflammation. Furthermore, you can use it as an insect repellent, and it’s better than many of the commercialized bug sprays available. Find out what else this powerful fruit can do for your health!
Here are 5 noteworthy breadfruit health benefits:
1. Rich in Amino Acids
Breadfruit health benefits start with amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of your body. They create the structure of your body’s cells, work to transport nutrients and keep your bodily systems running smoothly.
In fact, according to the University of British Columbia, breadfruit contains “a full spectrum of the essential amino acids and are especially rich in phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine and valine.” (1)
It can be hard to maintain proper nutrition. The westernized diet as well as toxins in the food we eat can take a good portion of the blame for that. As such, it’s important to supplement your diet with a wide variety of amino acids. This will help your body maintain the highest level of functioning possible.
2. Prevents and Reverses Oxidative Stress
Breadfruit health benefits continue with the ability to prevent and reverse damage from free radicals. This is because of the antioxidants present in breadfruit. In fact, all edible parts of the fruit of contain an impressive amount of antioxidants. (2)
One study examined breadfruit health benefits regarding antioxidant activity. Specifically, the study focused on breadfruit as it related to the toxicity of cadmium, a common environmental toxin and endocrine disruptor. Researchers found that breadfruit treatment lead to a significant improvement in sperm count, motility, as well as hormone levels. (3)
Furthermore, breadfruit contains vitamin C, another important antioxidant. Those who eat diets rich in fruits and vegetables containing plenty of vitamin C have a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. (4)
3. Keeps Your Heart Healthy and Strong
Breadfruit health benefits extend to heart health, too. It’s been found, in fact, that breadfruit contains phytochemicals. These protect the heart against a particular kind of heart disease called atherosclerosis. In 2006, breadfruit was listed as a viable option to use as prevention against this common disease. (5)
Another way breadfruit health benefits help your heart is by the ability to fight high cholesterol. In one rat study, a methanol extract from breadfruit helped improve blood levels and symptoms associated with high cholesterol. (6) This makes it a potentially good cholesterol-lowering food.
Breadfruit, additionally, is high in fiber. A diet high in fiber is associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors.
Lastly, breadfruit is high in potassium as well as magnesium. This also protects the heart, in particular, from congestive heart failure. (7)
4. Boosts the Body’s Immunity
Breadfruit health benefits continue with the ability to keep your immune system functioning properly. For example, as inflammation is at the root of many diseases, the anti-inflammatory properties in breadfruit plays a major role in reducing your risk of developing a disease. (8)
Moreover, breadfruit contains a large amount of thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. This vitamin helps maintain the muscle tone along the walls of the digestive tract, where a lot of your immune system is located. It also helps trigger the secretion of hydrochloric acid, which helps your body digest foods and absorb nutrients. These two items make thiamine, and breadfruit, an excellent component to immune system health.
5. May Help Protect Against Certain Cancers
Breadfruit health benefits also include the capability to fight cancer. In one study, an extract from this fruit, when applied directly to the skin, decreased the number, size and malignancy of skin tumors. (9) While this evidence is preliminary, it has the potential to be groundbreaking regarding skin cancer treatment.
Pancreatic cancer is another area in which breadfruit health benefits come into play. This type of cancer is different than other cancers because it doesn’t respond to nutrient starvation as a means of treatment. However, an extract from breadfruit leaves has shown to disrupt this result, making it a potentially good option for fighting pancreatic cancer. (10)
Breadfruit health benefits extend to liver cancer treatment, as well. A study published by the American Journal of Chinese Medicine saw that liver cancer cells, when exposed to breadfruit plant extract, reacted in a profound way. Instead of outright killing the cells, the extract caused an autophagic death. This process occurs naturally in the body and is a more effective way of treating cancer. (11)