Eat Local: Breadfruit
What looks like a fruit, tastes kinda like bread and is ridiculously high in nutritional value?: Breadfruit!
Breadfruit is definitely a staple Grenadian local food! If you don't have a breadfruit tree in your yard, check your neighbours, they probably do; that's how easy it is to find breadfruit in Grenada. There are so many ways to prepare this nutrient packed fruit. You can bake, boil, fry and roast it and its used in the creation of some of the most delicious cuisines ever! Even the national dish of Grenada, Oil down is incomplete without some breadfruit!
Scientifically known as Artocarpus camansi, breadfruit is a tropical fruit, belonging to the Moraceae family. It is related to other exotic fruits like breadnut, jackfruit, figs and mulberries. Not only is Breadfruit delicious and ridiculously versatile, it is also highly sought after due to its medicinal properties. Breadfruit is high in carbohydrates and a good source of antioxidants, calcium, carotenoids, copper, dietary fiber, energy, iron, magnesium, niacin, omega 3, omega 6, phosphorus, potassium, protein, thiamine, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Cardiovascular health: Breadfruit is an excellent source of potassium. This heart-friendly nutrient reduces blood pressure in the body and regulates the heart rate by minimizing the effects of sodium. Dietary fiber helps reduce cholesterol by preventing its absorption in the gut. It lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), while elevating good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. It decreases the triglyceride levels, which is one of the main causes of heart attacks.
Resistance against infections: Breadfruit contains good amounts of antioxidants, which help the body to develop resistance against infectious agents. It also scavenges harmful free radicals from the body that lead to aging and other age-related diseases.
Aids digestion: Fiber in breadfruit flushes out the toxins from the intestine, aiding in proper functioning of the bowel and intestines. It prevents digestion-related diseases like heartburn, acidity, ulcer and gastritis, eliminating toxic compounds from the gut. Breadfruit protects the colon’s mucous membrane by warding off cancer-causing chemicals from the colon.
Source of Energy: One cup of breadfruit provides 60 grams of carbohydrates, the primary source of energy in the body. It is very beneficial for athletes and gym goers.
the breadfruit tree Surpisingly has many other beneficial uses:
- Flour: Breadfruit can be processed into a gluten-free flour, far superior in taste, nutrition and structure to any other GF flour alternative.
- Insect Repellant: In addition to being a safer alternative to DEET, the male breadfruit flower is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes and other insects.
- Latex: The sap excreted from the breadfruit can be used as a waterproof caulking for watercrafts and homes, as well as chewing gum.
- Fabric: Fibers from the bark of the breadfruit tree can be harvested without killing the crop and used to make mosquito nets, clothing, accessories, artwork and even paper.
- Animal Feed: Fallen fruits, as well as the leaves of the tree, can be used as nutritious animal feed.