The world is finally ready to acknowledge what Jamaicans have known for decades – that the breadfruit is a natural food source that is both healthy and delicious. High in carbohydrates due to its starch content, the breadfruit is also very rich in antioxidants. It’s also a source of calcium, carotenoids, and dietary fibre, as well as iron, magnesium, and vitamins A and C.
Did you know that breadfruit can be used to make gluten-free flour? When processed into gluten-free flour, the breadfruit not only tastes better but provides far more nutrition than other gluten-free alternatives. This can be used in recipes just like any flour, which is great news for persons allergic to gluten products.
Want to protect yourself from ChikV and Zika Virus? Make an insect repellant with breadfruit! The flower of the breadfruit plant has been used to make a repellant that is highly effective against many insects including the dreaded mosquito. This natural repellant proves to be a much safer alternative than ones containing DEET which is also good news for the environment.
Did you know that the sap of the breadfruit tree is so sticky, that it can be used as a sealant? The sap is strong enough to use on various projects around the home to create a waterproof seal as needed.
Did you know that you can wear breadfruit clothing? The bark of the tree can be harvested in thin fibres to create fabric for a wide variety of items including clothing, mosquito nets and paper. And all this can be done without killing the tree or damaging the crop.
Did you know that you can feed animals with fallen breadfruit? Ripe, semi-ripe or damaged breadfruits will quickly fall to the ground if they are not harvested. Usually, these are thrown away or left to rot under the tree. But the fallen fruit and leaves are suitable as nutritious ingredients for animal feed.
The breadfruit is indeed a very resourceful plant. So the next time you see a bountiful breadfruit tree, think about all the things you can do with this wonderful Jamaican staple.
Photo Source: Xavier Murphy