Properties and benefits of the new superfood


Introduction

I superfood they are foods of plant origin particularly rich in fundamental and numerous nutrients beneficial properties for health. The most famous are: goji berries, chia or hemp seeds, ginseng, broccoli, turmeric and green tea. Now an interesting new entry seems to have arrived to expand the family: the breadfruit.

This was revealed by a study from the Okanagan Campus of the University of British Columbia which, in addition to finding the enormous benefits of this food on people, recognized itshigh sustainability, given that cultivation and production generate minimal environmental impact. Despite the name, it clearly has nothing to do with bread, the main food of many populations around the world. To choose the type of bread suitable for your diet, it is useful to know variations, flours, yeasts and properties.

Breadfruit: What is it

Also known as Growthe breadfruit is a tropical plant of the Moraceae family, widespread especially in South-East Asia, India, Oceania and Hawaii.

Its fruit is round, similar to a melon, and has a diameter of at least ten centimeters. There rind is rough and light green in color, while the pulp internal is almost completely white and has a texture floury. What gives this unusual species its name are the floury consistency and also the taste of the pulp, much more similar to that of freshly baked bread or potatoes than to that of a juicy fruit.

Food base of Caribbean populations

For centuries, breadfruit has represented the largest part of the diet of the inhabitants of the areas where it grows abundantly but, despite its enormous diffusion in those places, no study had ever explored its properties in depth. “Until now there has been a large gap in this regard and a lack of scientific insights into the health impacts of a diet centered mainly on breadfruit in both humans and animals,” explains Susan Murch, researcher at UBC Okanagan .

British Columbia Research

To fill this gap, the team launched a project that examined the impact of eating breadfruit, starting from consequences on digestion.

«The fruit can be eaten raw when ripe, or cooked, roasted in the oven, fried or dried and ground into a flour and used in many types of dishes», explains Ying Liu, who conducted his research with colleagues from Natural Health and Food Products Research Group of the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the Breadfruit Institute-National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii.

The researchers examined the reactions of a group of mice who were given doses of this dehydrated fruit for three weeks. Then, they compared them with those of another group who, instead, were fed traditional wheat or other cereals.

A highly digestible food

The data collected during the study made it possible to establish what breadfruit proteins look like easier to digest compared to those of simple wheat. Furthermore, mice fed this type of diet had a significantly higher growth rate and body weight compared to mice fed standard foods.

The research team also noted that in animals that followed the bread diet, daily water consumption was significantly higher than in those that remained on the wheat diet. And how at the end of the study period, body composition was similar between the two groups examined.

«Our data have therefore shown that a diet based on breadfruit fruits is not at all harmful to health, in fact, exactly the opposite. We can say with certainty that these are very functional basic foods.”

There are many benefits that make breadfruit a superfood

This discovery immediately placed the new fruit alongside other superfoods and simultaneously made it a precious resource to fight world hunger, also by virtue of its high sustainability and excellent nutritional and energy intake.

It is, in fact, a food rich in gluten-free carbohydrates and low in fat, with good quantities of calcium, magnesium, iron, fibre, vitamins B1 and B3 and above all potassium. It seems, in fact, that it alone contains the equivalent of potassium present in ten bananas.

Thanks to its low glycemic index, comparable to that of many common staple foods such as wheat, cassava and potatoes, consuming it regularly fights diabetes. In addition, it offers a great contribution in terms of proteins.

According to the researchers, if a person ate approximately 189 grams of breadfruit fruit, they could satisfy up to almost 57% of their daily fiber needs, 34% of their protein needs and, at the same time, ingest vitamin C, potassium, iron, calcium and phosphorus. Furthermore, its proteins have more amino acids than those of soy, while some varieties of this plant are rich in antioxidants and carotenoids.

Introducing its use into your diet, therefore, can only bring benefits. Among other things, we must not forget that it represents a creative and original food alternative.

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