6 wonderful health benefits of breadfruit (Ukwa)

Photo of Breadfruit (Ukwa)

The Igbos call it ‘ukwa’; the Yorubas know it as ‘afon’. African Breadfruit seeds are small and often cowrie-like grains sourced from the oval pods of a wild but domesticated tree of the mulberry family.

As expected, the highly versatile, fibrous and protein-packed kernels are one of the very few Nigerian delicacies that many readily grapple at─ whether prepared plainly with potash, as porridge or roasted to be eaten with coconut and palm kernels.

Breadfruit seeds are also endowed with an abundance of nutritional values and health benefits, among which are the following.

Optimizes Cognitive Functioning

The potassium, folate and wide variety of antioxidants packed into breadfruit seeds are known to endow consumers with neurological benefits best suited for tackling age-related decline in mental dexterity.

While folate has been shown to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, potassium has been found to be associated with an increase in blood flow to the brain; amplify neural activities and enhance concentration.

Also, the vitamin B6 component of breadfruit seeds is also associated with curtailing mood swings and enhancing overall emotional stability as the magnesium content regulates sleep and reduces insomnia.

Great for Cardiovascular Health

With a cup of breadfruit containing about 1,078 milligrams of potassium in comparison with just 4.4 milligrams of sodium, the food helps the blood vessels relax, thereby maintaining a stable blood pressure.

Studies have also shown that people who consumed 4,069 mg of potassium per day had 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart diseases compared to those who consumed less than 1,000 mg per day.

The high fibre content of breadfruit makes its absorption into the bloodstream proceed slowly and this also reduces cholesterol, regulates blood sugar and contributes immensely to overall cardiovascular health.

Strengthens the Immune System

Packed with an abundance of vitamin C and antioxidants required by human body, breadfruit could aid the immune system in developing resistance to infections as well as in eliminating carcinogenic radicals in the body.

Aids Digestive Health

The bowel-easing property of breadfruit seeds is attributed to the food’s high fibre content. It also helps prevent constipation and bloating and reduces cholesterol absorption in the gut.

Breadfruit seeds also help in the stimulation of peristaltic motion and gastric juices which protect the body from colorectal cancer.

Allows for Healthy Bones

Asides the cognitive benefits derived from them, breadfruits also play an important role in supporting skeletal movement and smoothening muscle contraction because of their potassium content.

Breadfruit seeds are also known to possess vital nutrients that help conserve calcium in the body. Their riboflavin, zinc, and manganese components are also essential for bone metabolism and overall bone health.

Includes Other Benefits

The Collagen-producing property of breadfruits coupled with of high concentration of vitamin C means the delicacy might indeed offer certain anti-aging benefits following that collagen keeps the skin glowing and free from wrinkles.

Breadfruits also contain sufficient amounts omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, two vital polyunsaturated acids that support foetal growth and are important for a foetus’ retina and neuron development.

The Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in breadfruits also help regulate sebum production in the scalp, reduces hair breakage, promote hair growth, and aid overall mind & body development

Ikechukwu Anyanwu
PROFILE OF IKECHUKWU ANYANWU Ikechukwu Anyanwu is an Imo State born Nigerian. An Author, Public Speaker, Humanitarian, Blogger, Media Guru and Start-up Coach. He has inspired millions through Arise Africa Network Platform He Is Into Education, Media, Entertainment, Showbiz and Hospitality Industry. Having calved a nitche for himself as a leadership expert, human capital development and management consultant. He is currently the Chairman, Online Media practitioners Association of Nigeria, Imo State Chapter. Ceo Arise Africa Magazine, Founder Arise Africa Network – a non-profit organization. Face of Arise Africa, Managing Consultant GCFN Consult. Member, Imo State Bloggers Association. Ag National President, Association of Pageant CEO’s of Nigeria Human Resource Specialist and Leadership Coach with astute impact on many seeking to maximize their skills, intellectuals and innate potentials He has a track record of reproducing leaders and helping them to gain dominance within their nitch. Mr Anyanwu after a rich career that spanned for 18 years having worked as Human Resources Manger, Outlet Manager Rennys Foods Limited from 2004 – 2019, Management Consultant for various Quick Service Restaurants in Abuja, Enugu, Rivers State, Abia, Ebonyi, Kogi and Imo State is now focusing on helping young people to discover, develop their talents. He has built lots of platforms for young people of Africa to express their talents. He is passionate about writing, consulting, coaching and training. He blogs regularly via www.ariseafrika.com and has a thriving social media followership. He is a graduate of Sociology/Anthropology, Imo State University whose passion is to impart knowledge by educating, equipping and empowering young minds for the future. He is an alumni of Living Word Training Center He is also the West African Representative of All African Media Networks He is married to Mrs Carol Anyanwu and blessed with 3 sons.


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