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Just How Healthy Is Breadfruit?
Plus Ten Questions, Answered

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how healthy is breadfruitJamaican Breadfruit | How Healthy Is Breadfruit

So you've had breadfruit, or considering making it a part of your staple foods right?
But is it really good for you?

Just how healthy is breadfruit?

Today we'll answer that question! But we won't stop there, we'll answer 11 more popular questions asked about this popular fruit in Jamaica.


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But first, for the benefit of those new to breadfruit...

What is Breadfruit?

picking_breadfruit

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a tree from the mulberry family (Moraceae) that produces large staple fruits which is a source of food for the South Pacific and other areas or countries in the tropics. 

Breadfruit (the actual fruit of the tree) can be best described as a large green round or oval-shaped fruit when fully developed. On the inside you will find a firm, thick, creamy white, starchy flesh.

This can be used in a variety ways such as boiling, baking or frying. The entire fruit can also be baked usually in an oven or roasted over coal or fire.

But really...

How Healthy Is Breadfruit?

roasted_breadfruit_peeledPeeled Roasted Breadfruit- Jamaican Style

This might shock you but listen to this, due to its many nutritional content, breadfruit is considered to be an almost complete meal and is therefore a very healthy choice! 

And what are the health benefits of breadfruit?

  • It is high in carbohydrates and is a very good source of antioxidants, carotenoids, copper, calcium, dietary fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, niacin, omega 3, omega 6, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, vitamin C and vitamin A. 

  • It is also a very good source of energy.

  • It is a substantial source of food

  • The fiber it contains helps to control diabetes

  • Regular consumption helps to reduce the risk of colon cancer

  • It is used to process gluten-free flour and has a superior taste to other gluten-free flour on the market

  • It acts as a means of protecting the body from heart diseases and also heart attacks

  • The infusion of the leaves of the tree is beneficial in acute renal failure

Although there is no scientific evidence to prove, it is also believed in traditional medicine that breadfruit is beneficial in relieving asthma, back pains, ear infections, healing of wounds, arthritis and the flowers when toasted and rubbed on the gum are said to provide relief for toothaches!

So now you know! 

It was probably meant to feed the lowly of society but it turns out to be now a world superfood!

Go ahead and enjoy your breadfruit my friend! But everything, we say, in moderation :-)

11 Common Questions About Breadfruit

roasting_breadfruit_in_jamaicaRoasting Breadfruit In Jamaica

We could not have ignored them, oh no! And so today we'll also answer some of the most popular questions about breadfruit, starting with...


  1. Can breadfruit be eaten raw?

    Yes, breadfruit can be eaten raw but might have a purgative effect and certainly will not be tasty on its own. However, you can use your creativity and make additions for something tasty for example shakes! 

  2. What does breadfruit taste like?

    To answer this question, you could say that the taste is dependent on it’s stage of development and what you actually do with it. 

    When cooked or baked, it generally tastes like freshly-baked bread. It can also taste like potatoes.  It does convert its starch to sugars, so as it ripens you will also find that it tastes sweeter.

  3. What does roasted breadfruit taste like?

    Hmmm?  You could say this actually tastes like bread. But then again, it depends on how ripe it is when it’s roasted. I would say true roasted breadfruit is when it is roasted at a time when it is considered to be “fit”- meaning that it is fully mature but at the same time not ripe. It kind of takes a special skill to find the right one. It’s also almost pretty flavorless.

  4. What is the difference between breadfruit and jackfruit?

    Breadfruit and jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) actually belong to the same family. They have a similar outer texture in appearance but the breadfruit is much smaller than the jackfruit.

    The flesh of the jackfruit can be eaten directly when ripe. It also has a pungent flavor and is very tasty and sweet when well ripe. You could say that the main difference between the two lies within their flavor.

  5. Is breadfruit a fruit or vegetable?

    Tricky question, isn’t it? From the definition of a fruit perspective, breadfruit is definitely a fruit, though this kind of prickly oval fruit is more often consumed as a vegetable in a variety of dishes.

  6. Who brought breadfruit to Jamaica?

    Breadfruit was introduced in Jamaica by Captain William Bligh who took it from Tahiti in 1792. It later became a very important source of food for the slaves then but is still enjoyed today. 

  7. Why is breadfruit called “breadfruit?”

    When it is baked or roasted, breadfruit has a starchy and dense texture and consistency that is similar to bread or root foods such as sweet potatoes and yams.  Not only that, when roasted, it actually tastes like freshly baked bread hence the reason for its name.

  8. When is breadfruit season in Jamaica?

    I would have loved to say “all year round” for the this one, however, in Jamaica, breadfruit season is typically from May to August. We still get some varieties other times in the year though.

  9. Will breadfruit ripen after picked?

    Oh yes, a mature breadfruit that is firm will usually ripen, getting soft, at room temperature within 3 days. An immature breadfruit will not ripen after picking, it will get soft yes eventually but not ripen. 

  10. How do I store breadfruit?

    To store a mature breadfruit and to delay the ripening process, you can store it in the refrigerator.  The skin will do doubt turn brown but the edible flesh will remain firm. 

    It can also be store for a few days underwater but it has to be fully submerged under the water. In other words it has to be fully covered by the water so you might want to put a lid on it just to make sure.

    To store roast breadfruit is a breeze!  All you have to do is slice them to your liking and stick them in the freezer, done!  You can continue to enjoy them for months, that is, if you have the discipline to resist the temptation that long, lol.

  11. How much is breadfruit in Jamaica?

    In Jamaica, breadfruit is usually sold by its size, usually not weight.  At the time of this article the cost of a raw, fresh breadfruit can range from $100 - $300.  Roast breadfruit however, can range from $200 - $700 also depending on size. And yes, that's Jamaican dollars. Read more about the foreign exchange rates here.

    And here's an additional question, by me?

  12. How do you have your breadfruit?

    Me? I absolutely love breadfruit in all its forms – but especially roasted breadfruit with sides such as ackee and saltfish, escovitch and steamed fish and vegetables. 
breadfruit_on_treeMature Breadfruit On Tree

And what about you?  I'd love to hear. Be sure to comment below and share.
By the way, here's a bonus in video for you!

VIDEO! Watch Me Climb A Breadfruit Tree! And Pick Breadfruits!

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Tags: How healthy is breadfruit | How To Store Breadfruit | Breadfruit season in Jamaica

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References To How Healthy Is Breadfruit

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/breadfruit
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breadfruit
  3. https://rada.gov.jm/content/marketing-business-profile-bread-fruit-artocarpus-altilis
  4. https://www.my-island-jamaica.com/jamaican-breadfruit.html
  5. https://jamaica.loopnews.com/content/botanical-roots-why-you-should-eat-breadfruit

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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