Vitamins And Minerals In Breadfruit And Their Benefits


Breadfruit, known botanically as Artocarpus altilis, is a tropical tree fruit native to the Pacific Islands and has long been a staple in the diets of various cultures across the globe as far back as 3000 years ago. 

Breadfruit is recognised not only for being a versatile cooking ingredient with a satisfying taste and starchy texture due to the polysaccharide it contains but also for its nutritional value. 

Breadfruit is rich in both macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are nutrients you need in large amounts to maintain your body and provide it with energy – these include carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are important for maintaining bodily functions but are only required in minute quantities. These micronutrients support various bodily functions, from boosting the immune system to influencing how the body uses energy. 

This article aims to shed light on the rich vitamin and mineral composition of this tropical fruit to reveal its potential benefits for overall health. 

Nutritional composition of breadfruit

Breadfruit is rich in carbohydrates, fibre, and protein and is low in fat and gluten-free. It is particularly rich in potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, and folate as well as bioactive components, such as polyphenols and carotenoids, especially β-carotene and lutein.1 All of these are beneficial to the function of a number of the body systems and organs, such as the cardiovascular system, digestive system, skin and eyes.

Although breadfruit is high in complex sugars, it has a low to moderate glycaemic index due to its high fibre content, meaning the release of sugar into the bloodstream is gradual which makes breadfruit a useful food in assisting blood sugar control in individuals with diabetes.5

Breadfruit can be eaten at any stage of its maturity adding further to its versatility. There are seedless breadfruit and varieties with seeds. Those with seeds contain a vitamin A precursor called β-carotene, which is involved in eye health

The quantities of macronutrients and micronutrients present in breadfruit will be discussed in the following paragraphs based on a 100g serving.3


  • Carbohydrates: breadfruit is a good source of carbohydrates as it is high in complex sugars – a 100g serving of seeded and seedless breadfruit has about 40.1g and 27.1g of carbohydrates, respectively. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our diet and are broken down into their simplest form, glucose, by the body’s metabolic processes
  • Fibre: one of the most significant bioactive ingredients in breadfruit is dietary fibre. Approximately 5 and 6 g of dietary fibre are present in a 100 g serving of roasted seeded breadfruit and raw, unseeded breadfruit, respectively. This provides about 20% and 24%, respectively, of the daily fibre allowance that the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends for healthy adult men and women who consume a diet of 2,000 calories. Fibre helps to prevent constipation and keeps your digestive system healthy
  • Protein: breadfruit contains about 1.1g and 6.2g of protein in 100g of seedless raw breadfruit and seeded roasted breadfruit, respectively. Proteins are the building blocks of our body cells. Protein is essential for the development and maintenance of bodily tissues, and it is vital for strong, healthy muscles and bones in children

Micronutrients: vitamins and minerals

100g servings of raw seedless or roasted seeded breadfruit contain the following quantities of vitamins and minerals:

Raw seedlessRoasted seeded
Vitamin C 29mg 7.6mg
Vitamin A 0.0IU 294IU
Vitamin B10.1mg0.4mg
Vitamin B2 Small amount0.2mg
Vitamin B3 0.9mg 7.4mg
Vitamin B50.5mg1mg
Vitamin B60.1mg 0.4mg
Phosphorus30mg 175mg
Copper 0.1mg 1.3mg
Iron 0.5mg 0.9mg
Calcium 17mg 86mg

The benefits of vitamins in breadfruit

Vitamin C  

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has many benefits. It helps to boost the immune system by assisting the production and function of white blood cells, which help to defend the body from infections. Its antioxidant properties help to combat free radicals that cause oxidative stress, contributing to chronic illnesses and ageing. 

Vitamin C also assists collagen production. Collagen is a type of protein that helps to maintain the structure of the skin, hair, bone, and connective tissues. Adequate production of collagen is essential for maintaining the elasticity of the skin. 

It also enhances the absorption of nonheme iron (plant-based iron) from the digestive tract. Non-heme iron is present in plant sources as opposed to heme iron, which is present in animal flesh. Therefore, vitamin C is particularly beneficial to vegetarians and vegans, and incorporating breadfruit into their diet may help raise vitamin C intake and promote overall well-being.1,3

Vitamin A

Breadfruit is also rich in vitamin A, which is involved in the growth and differentiation of various cells and tissues in the body, including the eyes, lungs, and heart. Thus, it helps in maintaining healthy eyesight, especially vision in low-light conditions. It also contributes to the skin's health by promoting its growth and repair as well as preventing skin dryness.

Because vitamin A is involved in the development of sperm and also plays a role in the development and growth of the foetus during pregnancy, it can be said that consuming breadfruit also potentially contributes to maintaining healthy reproductive processes.

Including breadfruit in your diet is a delicious and inexpensive way to increase your vitamin A intake, thereby supporting healthy skin, eyesight, immunity, and cell growth and contributing to overall health.1,3

Vitamin B complex

Breadfruit contains various types of vitamin B that are collectively part of the vitamin B complex and have been listed above. This group of vitamins plays an essential role in the breakdown of macronutrients, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. A deficiency in any of these vitamins can lead to a disruption in the metabolic processing of these macronutrients. 

Vitamin B complex helps to promote nerve health and supports the synthesis of neurotransmitters which helps to regulate mood. It plays an important role in the synthesis of DNA and maintains the overall health and integrity of genetic material. Vitamin B7 helps to maintain healthy skin, nails and hair. 

Eating breadfruit regularly will allow you to increase the amount of essential B vitamins in your diet.1,3

Benefits of minerals in breadfruit

The benefits of some of the minerals found in breadfruit are discussed below.


Potassium plays a vital role in the cardiovascular system, helping to regulate blood pressure by counteracting the effect of excess sodium, thereby reducing the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension). It works with sodium to aid proper muscle contraction and maintain electrolyte balance within the body.

Potassium aids in the excretion of waste products and the ultrafiltration process of blood in the kidney, thereby reducing the risk of developing kidney stones.

Potassium also helps maintain fluid balance within the cells and tissues, prevents the development of oedema, and helps maintain proper hydration levels in the body. It also helps bone health by playing a role in maintaining bone density and reducing the loss of calcium through the urine.

Magnesium, calcium and phosphorus

Calcium, which is the main component of bones and teeth, works synergistically with phosphorus in maintaining bone density and preventing the development of conditions such as osteoporosis. 

Calcium also plays a vital role in the nervous and cardiovascular systems. It supports the transmission of nerve impulses and helps to maintain the integrity of the nervous system as well as lowering blood pressure by influencing the relaxation and contraction of blood vessels. It also plays an essential role in muscle contraction and the blood clotting process, reducing excessive bleeding.

Magnesium acts with enzymes involved in the metabolic pathways that break down food, releasing energy. It also helps in the regulation of neurotransmitters and helps to improve the overall health of the nervous system. Additionally, it helps maintain normal muscular contraction and relaxation. It is also involved in blood clotting. Low intakes of magnesium as well as abnormalities in its level within cells have been linked to an increased risk for the development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and other cardiovascular diseases.4 

Phosphorus has an important role in the synthesis of DNA and RNA, contributes to cellular growth and repair, and is involved in energy metabolism. It is also one of the major components of bones and teeth and works synergistically with calcium to maintain their structure and strength.

You can obtain these vital minerals by including breadfruit in your diet, thereby promoting general health and well-being.1,3

The culinary versatility of breadfruit

Breadfruit is highly versatile and can be used for making many different kinds of savoury and sweet dishes. It can also serve as a great substitute for potatoes. 

Breadfruit can be prepared and eaten in many ways: 

  • Boiled, steamed, baked, roasted or fried
  • Cooked with coconut cream
  • Prepared as food for infants from about six months of age
  • As a bread made from fermented breadfruit
  • As a sweet snack made from its preserved paste
  • Cooked breadfruit seeds can be eaten as a snack or as part of a main meal
  • It can be dried and made into flour, which can then be used in place of wheat flour3,5

Considerations and precautions

Although breadfruit can be eaten at any point in its maturation, it is important to bear in mind that raw, unripe breadfruit should never be consumed uncooked; only fully ripened breadfruit can be eaten uncooked. Those who are allergic to latex should not eat it and should also be cautious when handling raw breadfruit as its skin exudes copious amounts of latex.2

Overindulgence is also advised against. Moderation is key. You should not go overboard with the consumption of breadfruit despite it containing large amounts of beneficial vitamins and minerals.

If you are taking medication, it is important to also check with your health provider if it is okay for you to incorporate breadfruit into your diet to avoid drug reactions.


Breadfruit is a tropical fruit rich in vitamins and minerals that help to support and maintain bodily functions. It contains vitamin C, which supports the immune system, vitamin A for vision and skin health, and vitamin B complex, which is involved in metabolising the macronutrients into energy and supporting nervous system function.

Potassium in breadfruit aids in maintaining electrolyte balance, regulating blood pressure, and supporting heart health.

Additionally, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus contribute to muscle function, bone and teeth health, and overall well-being.

When incorporating breadfruit into your diet, consider potential latex allergies, consume it in moderation, and use a variety of cooking methods to retain its nutrients.

 Individuals with medication or health concerns should seek advice from healthcare professionals before incorporating it into their diet for the first time.


  1. Bawa, Sa'Eed. (2016). Nutritional and health effects of the consumption of breadfruit. Tropical Agriculture.
  2. Siti-Balqis Z, Rosma A. Serine protease from Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit) latex. IOP Conf Ser: Earth Environ Sci [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2024 Jan 27]; 411(1):012014. Available from:
  3. Mehta KA, Quek YCR, Henry CJ. Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis): Processing, nutritional quality, and food applications. Front Nutr [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2024 Jan 28]; 10:1156155. Available from:
  4. Barbagallo M, Dominguez LJ. Magnesium and type 2 diabetes. World J Diabetes. 2015 Aug 25;6(10):1152–7.
  5. Ojimelukwe PC, Ugwuona FU. The traditional and medicinal use of African breadfruit (Treculia africana Decne): an underutilized ethnic food of the Ibo tribe of South East, Nigeria. Journal of Ethnic Foods [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2024 Jan 28]; 8(1):21. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Waliyat Lasisi Olaide

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Studies, Adult Health Nurse/Nursing, University of Derby

Conscientious Registered Nurse with diverse experience in clinical and occupational health settings. Currently serving in the NHS as a bedside nurse. Passionate about health education and advocacy, adept at communicating complex medical concepts effectively. Dedicated to promoting wellness and empowering individuals to lead healthier lives. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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