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.
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.
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.
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 research, 33(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 Research, 36(2), 193-200.
Namratha, V., & Sahithi, P. (2015). Baobab: A review about “The Tree of Life”. International Journal of Advanced Herbal Science and Technology, 1(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 & Ther, 1(3), 1011.
It is a necessity to have a proper diet to always stay healthy, as it is said you are what you eat. The type of diet we use and the kind of food we consume impacts on our bodies. The kind of food you consume plays a significant role in the amount of energy your body burns since dietary –induced thermogenesis accounts for almost ten percent of the energy in our foods. The diet struggle is real for those who intend to lose some weight. Well, worry no more, because superfoods are here to help you get your desired weight. Superfoods are the current in-thing in natural health, and for an excellent reason. They are nutrient dense foods which are the nature’s answers to the present distortions in the modern western diets. According to Adams, M, Superfoods are the nutritional heart and powerhouses which load the human body with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins that fires up the rate of metabolism, pilling up the protein building nutrients which trades fat for muscle gain.
Although there is no definitive description of superfoods, we can refer to them as those foods that are rich in nutrients and have significant benefits to our body system including slowing down the aging process, boost our physical ability and reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Superfoods are the foods that have been elevated and are recommended to individuals on a diet. But with recent elevation of some foods, the question has been can they be approved as part of the weight loss diet? We can examine evidence illustrating the importance of some super foods when weight loss is concerned. Examples of superfoods we’ll discuss in detail regarding their advantage in a weight loss diet are the Spirulina and Chlorella.
According to Spirulina World Website, Spirulina is one of the earliest life forms of the planet earth, single-celled, microscopic blue, green algae. It is regarded as a superfood because of its massive array of nutrients, essential fatty acids, Chlorophyll, Proteins, Vitamins B, C, and E. Spirulina is usually consumed in the form of a tablets, capsules or powdered way, and can be used as a significant part of the weight loss program. However, Spirulina should be taken by the manufacturer’s instructions, and you should consult your physician before including the superfood as part of your weight loss struggle.
If harvested in the right way from pond or water bodies that are not contaminated, it makes up one of the best sources of nutrients available. Some of the reasons why it has been classified as a superfood and an essential aspect for a healthy, weight loss diet include;
Based on Capelli, B and Cysewski, G. research study in 2011,Spirulina is a nutrient-dense type of food since it is rich in proteins (with a utilization rate of about 55 percent), thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, folic acid, iron, minerals and dietary fibers which makes it an excellent weight loss supplement. These vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers and enzymes help in metabolism, digestions, removal of toxins, and also prevents absorption of fat.
Whenever you feel hungry your body mechanism is creating this effect so as to fill its needs for nutrients. Thus when you continually feed your body with poor quality foods, your brains triggers appetite in an effort to satisfy what it wants. Based on studies from Spirulina World Website, Spirulina increases the concentrations of the nutrients in the body, thus reducing cravings and hunger in the process. It also suppresses appetite due to its composition of amino acid, Phenylalanine which help stimulate the secretions of cholecystokinin, the scientifically proven appetite suppressant.
When it comes to losing weight, a high protein and low carb diet is necessary. Regular intake of Spirulina is ideal for muscle buildings and low carbohydrate diet because of the high content of protein. It contains up to seventy percent of the protein, as well as all the essentials amino acids. According to Moorhead, K., Capelli, B., & Cysewski, G. R. (2011), the rate of digestive absorption of the protein contained in Spirulina is four times much more than that of a typical beef. An easily digestible protein in combination with a suitable exercise plan helps build the lean body mass, thus helping the body burn more calories through the day.
As compared to beef, Spirulina contains only 3.9 calories in each protein gram, supplying a total of 65 calories for each equivalent protein gram. A 500mg spirulina tablet contains two calories. Because of its chemical compositions, Spirulina enhances the energy performance index since they act by unlocking sugars from the body cells since it provides you with right proportions of daily nutritional needs, without any significant caloric deficiencies.
According to Boone, L. (2013), Spirulina is a rich source of the Omega-3 fatty acids and Gamma Linolenic acid, GLA. The GLA regulates the blood sugar levels thus controlling the level of insulin in the human body, eventually minimizing the binging of carbohydrate, helping you lose weight efficiently.
Spirulina has both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties which nullifies the harmful oxygen radical, hence preventing the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. Eventually, it avoids inflammations and the state of stress, which are regarded as the world’s leading factors of weight gains. Another main reason of the importance of Spirulina in weight loss is its ability to increase fat burning during an exercise session. The high oxidant content makes it beneficial in decreasing exercise-induced oxidation that results in muscle fatigue.
Though it might not have an appealing taste, Spirulina can be consumed as a capsule or by mixing it with water . The only limitation of Spirulina is that it is costly when compared to the other types of superfoods used for a weight loss diet. Spirulina and Chlorella share some similarities, but they also have differences.
Chlorella is a single-celled microscopic, blue-green algae, often revered as an essential superfood. It is closely related to Spirulina. However, they share slight differences. Unlike the Spirulina, Chlorella can be categorized as either Chlorella Vulgaris or Chlorella pyrenoidosa. The hard outer shell may make it seem not edible but what is important is what is on the inside. Chlorella is primarily composed of a nucleus and a vast array of bioavailable chlorophyll, an excellent substance which counteracts the toxins available in the foods, Besides that, it has B, C and E vitamins, peptides, amino acids, nucleic acids (DNA and RNA ), proteins and polysaccharides. Chlorella has so many health benefits to the human body, and it’s a weight loss superfood due to the following;
Chlorella is mainly can be consumed as a capsule, powder mixed with water or directly after extraction from the hard shell. Though it is viewed as a relative to the Spirulina, some notable differences include: the Spirulina is much larger than the Chlorella. The Spirulina is a blue-green type of algae while the Chlorella is a green type of algae, Chlorella has got a more substantial amount of nucleic acids compared to Spirulina, the Spirulina is easily consumable after harvest, unlike Chlorella which has a hard outer cell. Lastly, Spirulina has got a higher mineral content compared to Chlorella.
For any individual on a diet, superfoods are the foods to consider for your diet, and the Chlorella and Spirulina are the types of superfoods not to leave out. Chlorella and Spirulina need not be taken alone but can be used as supplements to the already available foods. What makes superfoods essential for diet is because they have a dense concentration of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and also because of the healthy properties provided. The ability of most superfoods to lower the body cholesterol levels and increase body metabolism make them essential to be included in a weight loss diet.
Recent trends have illustrated how people have adapted superfoods to their diet. Although it may seem tedious adding superfoods to an already set diet plan, the outcome may be well worth it. Superfoods are satisfying hunger-curbing foods and one advantage compared to other food types is that you can eat more but still lose weight. Chlorella and Spirulina are super foods that we need to tap into for even more and better results. Your diet begins with you and as such consider superfoods for you to have a healthy diet.
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Moorhead, K., Capelli, B., & Cysewski, G. R. (2011). Spirulina: Nature’s Superfood. Cyanotech Corporation.
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