Ukwa "African Breadfruit Seeds" a best friend for a person with Diabetes

By Bloom Nwa - April 03, 2012

Well some of you may be wondering what exactly is ukwa. Ukwa is a a very nutrition food commonly eaten in southeastern Nigeria primarily by Igbo people. It is also called afon in Yoruba; ize in Benin, Jekri and Sobo; izea in Ijaw; and ediang in Efik. Ukwa is the seed of the African Breadfruit "  Treculia Africana " similar to the Breadfruit eaten in the Caribbean and South Pacific, but still quite different. The African counter part is much larger growing as large as watermelons and weighing 10 or more pounds.  Also it is not sought after for its "meat" but rather for its seeds.

To extract the seeds from the fruit, the fruits are allowed to ripen and fall from the large trees in which they grow on. The fruits are then allowed to rot, and machetes are use to crack open the fruit or sometimes the fruit is even thrown on large rocks . There is a long lengthy process before the seeds that are eaten are fully extracted.  The seeds are typically roasted and eaten or can be boiled to soften them making a sort of porridge.




Now we are more informed about ukwa, the question to answer is why should ukwa be a diabetics best friend?

According to Researchers at the Departments of Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, who conducted a study using a breadfruit seed diet on rats, ukwa significantly lowered blood lipid levels and blood glucose levels in these rats compared to rats fed  a normal diet. It was hypothesized that breadfruit seeds probably contain an agent that reduces blood glucose, total cholesterol, VLDLs.

In a 100g serving  or 3.5oz there ukwa is composed of about 10% fat primarily unsaturated fat (the good fat), 12-15% protein, 25% carbohydrates with 2% fiber. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene, vitamin c, and folic acid (folate). With only about 240 kcal in this serving amount, it is a good option for individuals with diabetes. Check out Naija Recipes for a recipe on how to cook ukwa!

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27 Comments

  1. Absolutely fascinating.....I (until now) thought ukwa had much more protein! It has been and still is my best food.thanks for sharing.

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  2. Very interesting. I would love to try this breadfruit but I don't know where to get any of the seeds. Can they be purchased online?

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  3. Up until now I thought ukwa is rich in cholesterol therefore unsuitable for diabetics. I am happy to note its diabetes friendly

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  9. No references. How can one cite a statement of fact here?

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  10. Greetings! I can't even imagine that this breadfruit seeds that called ukwa can be best for the peoples with diabets. Thanks for sharing with us such actual information. I like the way you write. I hope you will continue your searching and sharing with us this awesome stuff.

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  12. guzomalearnerscience:
    Thanks for shearing this informative article on ukwa.

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  13. Great food. Ukwa

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  14. I deal on Breadfruit dehulling. I am located in Anambra State,Nigeria. I process fresh or Dried breadfruit (Ukwa) in large quantity for customers, I can as well serve people in the diaspora provided that their relatives will send it across to them.

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  15. I deal on Breadfruit dehulling. I am located in Anambra State,Nigeria. I process fresh or Dried breadfruit (Ukwa) in large quantity for customers, I can as well serve people in the diaspora provided that their relatives will send it across to them. Call +2348066054247

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  16. Dose ukwa contain vitamin k?

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  18. My appreciation to you Ms Blossom. From your platform I have got two customers. One completely served and we are in the process of serving the second from UK. We await her commitment and hope to serve her as best as we can. Once again To anyone in Nigeria or Diaspora who may need breadfruit fresh/Dried in large quantity, we specialize in Dehulling and supplying of breadfruit (Ukwa). We are base in Nigeria, Anambra state.
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  23. Are thinking of where to source for well processed Dried Raw or Roasted Ukwa, look no further as KAOTHAR FOODS offers a range of various sizes of Ukwa here in Lagos, Nigeria at affordable fees.
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