Breadfruit: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information

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An adaptable and nutrient-rich staple food in many tropical and subtropical areas, particularly in the Pacific islands, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean, is breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis). Breadfruit is a member of the Moraceae family. Although traditionally underutilized, breadfruit is now at the forefront of study as a nutritional supplement due to the increased interest in sustainable agriculture and plant-based nutrition. In order to utilize breadfruit responsibly, it is important to understand its nature, health advantages, ideal dosage, side effects, and potential drug interactions.

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Breadfruit: Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions, and Other Important Information is an original (NootropicsPlanet) article.

Nature of Breadfruit

A breadfruit tree can grow to a height of 20 to 25 meters and is an enormous, quickly propagating, evergreen tree. Its name comes from the ripe fruit’s texture, which when cooked resembles fresh bread. The fruit is a syncarp, a fleshy fruit with a rounded, oval, or oblong shape and a diameter of 10 to 30 centimeters that is produced from a cluster of flowers. When unripe, the skin is green; as it ripens, it turns yellow or brown. The starchy, white interior of breadfruits is made up of a close-knit web of fibers that contain several seeds. The seeds resemble chestnuts in flavor and texture when cooked or roasted.

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Health Benefits of Breadfruit

  1. Cardiovascular health: By balancing the effects of sodium, breadfruit’s high potassium content helps control blood pressure. Additionally, breadfruit’s dietary fiber lowers LDL cholesterol levels and in turn, lowers the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
  2. Digestive health: The dietary fiber in breadfruit improves digestion, avoids constipation, and promotes regular bowel movements. Additionally, its prebiotic qualities promote the development of healthy bacteria in the gut microbiota.
  3. Support for the immune system: The vitamin C in breadfruit strengthens the immune system by improving the formation of white blood cells and their capacity to fight infections.
  4. Anticancer qualities: Flavonoids and phenolic compounds are two of the phytochemicals found in breadfruit that have anticancer potential. These substances have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may prevent the growth and spread of some malignancies.
  5. Neuroprotection: Vitamins E and C, which are known for their neuroprotective qualities, are abundant in breadfruit. By lowering oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, these vitamins can help prevent neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  6. Weight management: Breadfruit’s high fiber content makes people feel fuller for longer, which helps them eat less overall and control their weight. Its low glycemic index also aids in controlling blood sugar levels, reducing insulin peaks and crashes.
HDL cholesterol.

Chemistry of Breadfruit

Nutrients such as carbs, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals are abundant in breadfruit. About 70% of the dry weight of the fruit is made up of carbohydrates, mostly in the form of starch. It is an excellent staple food because the starch content offers a consistent source of energy.

Dietary fiber, which aids in blood sugar regulation, digestion promotion, and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, is present in good amounts too. Although in smaller amounts as compared to other plant-based foods, the fruit also has protein. However, it has a protein quality that is generally high and a balanced amino acid profile.

Additionally, breadfruit is an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, and E. Additionally, it is rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc minerals.

Physiological Mechanism of Action of Breadfruit

The variety of phytochemicals in breadfruit is what gives it its health advantages. Bioactive substances such as flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and phytosterols are present in breadfruit. The fruit’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties are a result of the synergistic action of these substances.

Flavonoids, one type of antioxidant in breadfruit, work to scavenge free radicals, lowering oxidative stress and averting cellular damage. Breadfruit’s phenolic chemicals reduce the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines and prevent the activation of inflammatory enzymes like cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).

Breadfruit slices.

Optimal Dosage of Breadfruit

Breadfruit does not have a set dosage that is advised for use as a whole food. To benefit from its health advantages it must be included in a balanced diet. A daily serving of 150–250 grams of cooked breadfruit can be a suitable supplement to a meal plan depending on personal nutritional needs. A serving of 30 to 50 gm of breadfruit flour can also be used in recipes in place of regular flour.

Consuming breadfruit is generally harmless, and there are no known serious health hazards. On the other hand, due to its high fiber content, some people may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort or bloating, especially when consuming large amounts of it. These effects can be reduced by incorporating breadfruit gradually into one’s diet and staying well-hydrated.

Side Effects of Breadfruit

The majority of people do not now know of any known serious health hazards associated with breadfruit eating. Possible negative effects include:

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  1. Digestive discomfort: People who aren’t used to eating fiber-rich foods may experience bloating, gas, or abdominal discomfort as a result of breadfruit’s high fiber content.
  2. Allergic reactions: Although uncommon, some people can become allergic to breadfruit. Skin rashes, itching, swelling, breathing difficulties, and digestive problems are possible symptoms. You should stop eating breadfruit and seek medical advice if you think you might be allergic to it.

It is advised to gradually include breadfruit into one’s diet to reduce the possibility of negative effects and to make sure they are well-hydrated to support healthy digestion. A healthcare practitioner should be consulted to decide the best course of action if side symptoms linger or get worse.

Skin allergy.

Potential Substance Interactions with Breadfruit

There are no documented serious interactions between medicines or other drugs and breadfruit. The potassium level in breadfruit may have a synergistic effect on blood pressure reduction, so anyone taking blood pressure medication should regularly monitor their blood pressure. Before including breadfruit in the diet of people with chronic health concerns or taking prescription medications, it is advisable that they speak with a healthcare expert.

Responsible Use of Breadfruit as a Nutritional Supplement

The following recommendations are to be kept in mind when using breadfruit as a dietary supplement:

  1. Include breadfruit in a balanced diet while taking individual dietary needs and constraints into consideration.
  2. Add breadfruit to your diet as a supplemental item rather than a sole source of nutrients. Make sure to consume enough additional nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and sources of protein.
  3. Select organic and sustainably grown breadfruit to reduce your exposure to pesticides and to help the environment.
  4. To keep breadfruit fresh and avoid spoiling, store it properly. Once mature, breadfruit should be kept in the refrigerator after a few days at room temperature. To increase the shelf life of breadfruit, it can also be frozen, dehydrated, or turned into flour.

Breadfruit:

Conclusion

Breadfruit is a staple food full of nutrients in tropical or subtropical areas native to the Pacific Islands. Breadfruit is believed to enhance cardiovascular health and digestive health. It contains loads of dietary fiber that lowers your cholesterol levels and promotes bowel movements. It also boasts a high amount of vitamin E and C which have neuroprotective qualities. Some people may develop mild allergic reactions although uncommon, hence, always ask a healthcare professional for medical advice before including breadfruit in your diet.

Vitamin E sources.

References:

  1. Breadfruit as a Traditional Staple Food in the Tropics. Retrieved from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2019.01046/full
  2. Breadfruit (Artocarpus Altilis): A Source of High-Quality Protein for Food Security and Novel Food Products. Retrieved from:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25588988/
  3. Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis): Processing, nutritional quality, and food applications. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37006932/
  4. Breadfruit Flour is A Healthy Option for Modern Foods and Food Security. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32702056/
  5. Complex Origins of Breadfruit (Artocarpus Altilis, Moraceae): Implications for Human Migrations in Oceania. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21653430/

Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.

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Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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