Baobab fruit (Adansonia digitata) on white background, pulp and powder, superfood

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports, over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, way up from the previous 2010 reports that had an estimate of 26 million people. Aside from that, almost 86 million of adults, that is one in four adults, have pre-diabetes whereby their blood glucose or sugar levels are higher than the normal levels, but not really enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. It is predicted that within five years a further 30 percent of people without physical activity and weight loss programs, will eventually develop type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is associated with high blood glucose levels, due to inadequate insulin production or their body cells cannot respond to the insulin, or in some instance, both phenomena occur.90 percent of diabetic patients have Type 2 diabetes whereby their bodies don’t produce adequate insulin as compared with the Type 1 diabetes whereby the body cannot produce insulin. Diabetes is prevalent amongst all age groups and is often linked to obesity, family history, high sugar diets, and poor physical activities.

Recent studies classify baobab as a natural whole, sweet superfood, the source of natural medicines that can treat the blood sugar related diseases making it more ideal for persons with hypoglycemia and diabetes. Thus supplementing your diet with baobab powder has the potential of controlling and stabilizing the blood sugar levels. Research done by various Centre’s suggest that baobab is helpful in the management of the Type 2 diabetes. Maintenance of a healthy diet, exercise, and consumption of the baobab is crucial for the prevention and regulation of diabetes. Baobab fruit manages the levels of blood sugar levels by actually counteracting any negative sugar levels spike that arises from eating foods high in carbohydrates.

Fruit of baobab - fruit with seeds on a silhouette of baobab tree. Botanical image.
Fruit of baobab – fruit with seeds on a silhouette of baobab tree. Botanical image.


Baobab Fruit Products and Diabetes

Dr.Shelly Coe of the Oxford Brooke University Centre for Health and Nutrition points out that Baobab’s richness in fiber slows down blood glucose rise thus preventing any occurrence of sugar spikes. This is because the dietary fiber in baobab slows down the process of digestion and the carbohydrate intake, thus reducing the increased blood glucose levels and the response of the insulin after consumption of the meal. This greatly helps people with diabetes or even pre-diabetes or those people with fluctuating blood glucose levels and their consequences such mood swings and hot chills. When the attacks of the insatiable hunger pangs or the high insulin values mainly associated with the blood sugar or glucose fluctuations make the loss of weight tough, Baobab fruit comes in to alleviate the problem.

Besides that, numerous studies have done at the center, thus consistently proving that baobab powder has an immense stabilizing effect on the blood glucose levels. According to Dr.Shelly, baobab is a high content of polyphenols which helps effect sugar release from the dietary carbohydrates into the bloodstreams, eventually reducing glucose conversion and glycemic response.

This effect was proven and determined as soon as the baobab powder was ingested alongside the high-glycemic foods (carbohydrate-rich foods).The Glycemic Index measures how high or how fast the blood glucose level increases as soon something is consumed. According to the study done by Oxford and Monash Universities in the United Kingdom and Australia respectively, when the baobab fruit powder is added to any meal of high Glycemic Index, the blood glucose levels suddenly stops.

Researchers from Australian Monash University, provide evidence that the high content of polyphenols in the baobab interferes with certain activities of the digestive enzymes, thus preventing the starch breakdown. The high sugar levels are slowly released into the bloodstreams, making baobab idea for dieters and weight loss program.

The baobab powder is a nutritionally rich super food product that has a variety of minerals and vitamins. The baobab fruit is high in Vitamin C, Calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin A and B6, Zinc, bioflavonoids and thiamin. Particularly Baobab is rich in Vitamin C, with 40g covering more than the Recommended Daily Intake. The kernels and the seeds of the baobab fruit has a high content of lipid and exhibit high properties of antioxidants. For instance, it said that it contains six times levels of Vitamin C as in oranges, twice as much calcium’s as contained in milk and more iron than in the red meat. It also contains Four times the levels of potassium in bananas and five more times magnesium quantities of avocados. Its fruit pulp is rich in both soluble and non-soluble fibers than in any other fruits. The soluble fibers exert the prebiotic effects hence promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the alimentary canal.

Baobab Fruit and powder, powerful superfood
Baobab Fruit and powder, powerful superfood


Usage of Baobab

Since baobab is mostly found in the form of powder, it can easily be used in sauces, smoothies, baked goods and soups. For any post works drink, stir one tablespoon of the baobab powder in a glass of water so as to replenish the lost electrolytes during the work out sessions. Baobab powder is good for the vegetarian diet as they significantly aid in the absorption of iron from various foods.

Baobab fruit powder potential risk and side effects

The Baobab fruit was certified and recognized as safe by the United States Foods and Drug Administrations in the year 2009. However, caution should be taken in nursing and pregnant women, children, and persons with medical conditions. There are no known safety concerns and toxicity with the consumptions and intake of the products of the baobab fruit. No cases or evidence have been proven yet about the allergic effects that may be caused by the direct consumption of the baobab.

Sources

Coe, S. A., Clegg, M., Armengol, M., & Ryan, L. (2013). The polyphenol-rich baobab fruit (Adansonia digitata L.) reduces starch digestion and glycemic response in humans. Nutrition research33(11), 888-896.

Coe, S., & Ryan, L. (2016). White bread enriched with polyphenol extracts shows no effect on glycemic response or satiety, yet may increase postprandial insulin economy in healthy participants. Nutrition Research36(2), 193-200.

Namratha, V., & Sahithi, P. (2015). Baobab: A review about “The Tree of Life”. International Journal of Advanced Herbal Science and Technology1(1), pp-20.

Zahra’u, B., Mohammed, A. S., Ghazali, H. M., & Karim, R. (2014). Baobab Tree (Adansonia digitata L) Parts: Nutrition, Applications in Food and Uses in Ethno-medicine–A Review. Ann Nutr Disord & Ther1(3), 1011.