People love getting hyped on "superfoods." No one bats an eyelash at shelling out nearly 10 bucks for maple water, and some go so far as crowning themselves with health laurels for eating donuts made out of ube.
So what's the next nutritional powerhouse worthy of your attention? Meet breadfruit, the world hunger-curbing hidden gem from the tropics. Here's what you need to know.
Is it a carb? Is it a fruit?
Breadfruit, part of the jackfruit family, is a species of flowering tree that originated in the South Pacific, grown today in some 90 countries. The name comes from the texture of the fruit after it's cooked, which is similar to freshly baked bread. Weird. But also cool. A large breadfruit can provide the carbohydrate portion of a meal for a family of five, though you probably won't be seeing it as part of a fast-food advertising campaign anytime soon.
It's a surprisingly great protein source
If you got super freaked out by the news that bacon causes cancer, breadfruit is a significant source of plant-based, high-quality protein. It carries a full range of essential amino acids, in a higher proportion than soy -- which is a big deal considering all the hype soy protein gets. The fruit can be ground into flour which, in a study that compared its properties to boring old wheat flour, reigned supreme in protein, fat, and ash contents. You're going to LOVE that ash content, for real. Seriously, though, that ash content is just a pleasant (kidding, really horrible), science-y way of saying breadfruit has a bunch of minerals in it. As an added bonus, it's gluten-free!
You'll load up on nutrients
Speaking of minerals and ash contents, if you're out of Flintstones gummies and in need of a healthy dose of vitamins, breadfruit's got you covered. You'll get antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber -- the health benefits are huge.