The Baobab (Adansonia digitata) fruit, which largely grows in Africa is believed to poses remarkable health benefits. Owing to its medicinal and nutritional benefits, baobab has been used for the past centuries in Africa for different functions. The baobab tree is multipurpose with tender tubers, roots, seeds, twigs, leaves, fruits which are all edible. In the UK and US, the fruit was unknown until recently when evidence started emerging regarding its health benefits. The fruits had not been recognized for many years until a decade ago when the European Union and FDA Approved Baobab powder to be used as food and beverage.
This exotic fruit owes its health benefits to its exceptionally high vitamin C content. If you really think that Oranges are the best sources of Vitamin C, think again. A serving of oranges supplements your body with just a tenth of the Vitamin C provided by Baobab fruit. Various parts of the Baobab have been traditionally used for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, insect repellant, immune-stimulant and pesticidal properties. In most African communities, Baobab has been substituted for the imported western drugs, which most locals can’t afford.
Production of Baobab powder
The baobab fruits powder naturally forms inside the hard-shelled fruit of the tree. Baobab powder is produced from the Baobab fruits which are about 6 to 8 inches long. The fruit pulp bakes in sun for six months after which turns its color from green, velvet-like coating to a brown hard coconut like a shell. The fruits are handpicked or collected and taken for grinding.
Once the outer hard shell is ground, a white-ish pulp fruit jump packed with highly valuable nutrients is produced. The pulp can then be ground to form a white powdery substance that is 100 % moisture free hence the birth of Baobab powder.
Why is it a superfood?
A superfood is considered to be a food that is high in at least three key nutrients. The nutritional content of baobab claims six key nutrients as based on EU-approved Nutrient Reference Values;
It’s high in:
Vitamin C (>24mg/100)
Vitamin C Orange 50mg Medium orange 70 g 35 mg
Dietary Fiber Broccoli 2.6g 1 cup chopped (91g) 2.4 g
Iron Spinach 2.7 mg Cup (30 g) 0.8 mg
Magnesium Bananas 27 mg 1 medium banana (110g) 32 mg
Calcium Eggs 50 mg Medium egg (35 g) 17 mg
Potassium apricots 1162 mg 2 dried apricots (15 g) 174 mg
Based on the above comparisons, 10g servings of baobab powder is the equivalent to eating:
Studies have shown that this superfood contains approximately 33% of our daily Vitamin C needs. Furthermore, the powder contains a plenty of phosphorus, potassium, carbohydrates, fibers, proteins, Vitamin B, Magnesium, and antioxidants.
Baobab powder also contains high dietary fiber content than any other fruit. Due to this, most researchers have concluded that the baobab fruit pulp is made up of 50 % fiber and that its fiber is higher that of orange or apricots. Its antioxidant levels are exceptionally high, doubling its nearest competitor, Acai Berry.
You may be wondering how Baobab is pronounced….. Worry no more because we are going to teach you how it is pronounced both in the northern and southern Africa accent.
In South Africa, it is pronounced as “bay-o-bab” (they use three syllables.). In Nigeria or West Africa, it is pronounced by using two syllables “bau-bab”.
In Chinese you will say it like you were to say bow to a queen or king, you know “bow down to the queen” and say it twice in a row.
In the UK and the US, it is pronounced using two syllables as in Nigeria.
How does it taste?
The fruit has a tart taste with some bit of sour flavor. The taste of the magical powder is awesome! Baobab powder has a sweet, delicious and citrusy taste that is associated to tangy sherbet, bearing the legendary name of the tree. The refreshing taste that is slightly tart making it an excellent enhancer of flavor, if combined well with both savory and sweet recipes. Its pectin content gives baobab a thick and creamy mouth feeling making it an ideal functional ingredient in most applications and recipes from juices, smoothies, yogurts, ice-cream to nutrition bars, cereals, and baked foods.
For those who have tested tropical lemonade, the taste is closely similar.
To make the baobab drink sweeter, you may decide to add a teaspoon of honey.
How does it smell?
Baobab powder is often pale in color. On crushing the hard shell or opening a baobab powder container, you will be greeted by a sweet smell of freshly pressed fruits that can be described as caramel pears with a subtle tone of the grapefruits.
Why is Baobab good for you?
The benefits of Baobab powder is long and the list does not seem to end soon as scientists are continuously researching and discovering further benefits of this superfood. We are going to provide a breakdown of in-depth nutritional benefits of the baobab powder as in:
Baobab powder as an Antioxidant.
Baobab powder has also the highest antioxidant level or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) values of approximately 140,000 μ mol TE per 100g. Antioxidant helps to prevent an oxidative stress that results from free radicals which are known to cause cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and premature aging. According to Lab tests by Atacora on Essential’s product, Baobab has been found to have an integral antioxidant capacity 37 times more than that of oranges!!
Lowers blood pressure and improves blood circulation
An important mineral that is found in baobab is Potassium. It is for this reason that the powder is well known for its numerous heart health. Potassium, being a vasodilator, has the ability to ease the strain on the cardiovascular system as it is capable of dilating blood vessels and arteries and because of this, it aids to increase the rate of blood flow and prevents the overworking of heart. Another advantage of lowered blood pressure is its significance in fighting several cardiovascular afflictions like strokes, atherosclerosis and heart attacks. A recent study conducted by a researcher at the University Of Maryland shows that increasing the potassium intake serves the purpose of lowering the blood pressure for person’s deficient of the same.
Vitamin C’s role besides improving blood circulation also helps in the production of collagen and elastin. Collagen is a structural protein, that plays a significant part of the connective tissue and elastin is responsible for muscular elasticity. These proteins improve circulations and help keeps the vein toned up and healthy. Those with circulatory issues such as venous insufficiency and varicose veins can add baobab pulp powder into their smoothies, this will significantly do justice to your veins.
Based on a research by Goinheim et.al Baobab has strong cardio-protective effects against the ISP-Induced oxidative stress in rats. The rats which were treated with the baobab fruit powder were found to have no congestion in the blood cells and there were no incidences of infiltration of the heart’s inflammatory cells. Thus indicating the baobab fruit had a significant role in promoting healthy hearts and cardiovascular system.
Regulate blood sugar and helps in weight loss
Various studies have been conducted on the significance of the polyphenol content of the Baobab powder in relation to its effectiveness in reducing the glycemic index in high starch foods thus preventing any glucose spikes in the blood. This studies found out that there is a significant reduction in the rapid conversion of digestible starches into sugars in the blood when carbohydrates were consumed together with Baobab powder.
Being high in polyphenols, Baobab powder is also able to regulate the release of sugar from starchy foods into the bloodstream, thus reducing their conversion to glucose. Furthermore, it also aids in reducing the visceral fats (these are fats stored in body organs around the abdomen) and also improve blood cholesterol level. Baobab fruits promote the gradual release of glucose by slowing down starch digestion.
Besides that, a diet rich in Vitamin C increases the amount of fat burned during a workout session. Vitamin C helps in the production of Carnitine compound, which encourages the body burn more fat instead of storing it.
According to a study by Oxford Brookes University, the African fruit, baobab can help regulate the blood sugar level. Baobab being 34% rich in soluble fibers, is able to slow down the rise of blood glucose levels and thus prevent what is known as sugar spikes. A later study by the same university further reveals that baobab significantly minimizes the rate of sugar release into the bloodstream after digestion. Therefore, for those following low GI diet, or for those with type 2 diabetes, baobab is important. Meals with low glycemic index helps people lose weight by reducing cravings, increase satiety, thus keeping their insulin levels in check.
Baobab as an anti-inflammatory
Baobab powder inhibits LOX. Lipoxygenase products mediate a series of inflammatory diseases, such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, neurodegenerative disorders, and inflammatory bowel diseases. Research on baobab fruit indicates that they are exceptionally excellent at inhibiting the activities of 15-LOX8.
According to a research by Oxford Brookes University, the polyphenol-rich baobab fruit helps to reduce glycemic response and digestion problems exhibited by other anti-inflammatory agents. Baobab also possesses characteristic resembling a string anti-inflammatory, phenylbutazone. Every use of 800mg per 1 kg weight body of an extract of Baobab pulp fruit has a similar effect to 15 mg per 1 kg of phenylbutazone.
Baobab powder also acts as an analgesic or simply pain relieving element. It can be compared to Aspirin due to its high levels of sterols, saponins, and triterpenes.
Help in digestion
As mentioned previously, the Baobab Fruit powder contains 50% of fiber. A report by National Health Service (NHS) dated 2012, indicates that despite a growing consumption of fiber diet in the world, over 80 percent of people in Europe do not have enough of it. Baobab contains both Soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers or mucilage dissolves in water and enters the digestive system to help reduce the fat Cholesterol levels. The insoluble fibers are also known as cellulose fibers plays a key role in helping ease digestion of food. It also reduces constipation, as traditionally used by ancient African communities to reduce diarrhea.
Baobab as prebiotics
Baobab has notably high content of dietary fibers. Half of the fiber content is soluble, making it an effective pre-biotic. The mucilage fibers (soluble fiber) in Baobab pulp fruits provides a suitable environment that stimulates the growth of useful prebiotic bacteria’s namely; lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the intestinal tract. This improves digestion, allowing a person to absorb more nutrients from the ingested foods.
Baobab powder contains the highest antioxidant levels than any other fruit in the world. According to a famous international skin and facial expert and blogger, Abigail James, antioxidants help to maintain a smooth and a young skin by preventing the overproduction of free radicals by our bodies.
Free radicals damage collagen in the facial skin leading to a dry skin characterized by wrinkles and premature aging. In the ancient African cultures, parents removed rushes and maintain a smooth skin of their children by bathing them in water mixed with Baobab roots.
Additionally, Baobab oil which is obtained from Baobab fruit seeds has Vitamin C (6X that of orange) and this helps to maintain skin elasticity. It also has an additional Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids that are responsible for maintaining skin membrane texture.
When it comes to nutrient-rich foods to incorporate into your diet during the pregnancy period, then Baobab powder should never miss in your diet. Baobab powder has supernatural supplements and nutrients that are not only good for pregnant mothers but also promotes a healthy development of the fetus.
The high vitamin C contents in the powder play a vital role in immune-boosting of both the mother and baby which is crucial during the nine months period. Vitamin C also aids in making of collagens which are used to replenish dead skin and hold the joints and tendons together. Collagen is the largest protein found in our bodies.
Vitamin C in Baobabs plays a crucial role in dealing with nausea that is experienced during morning sickness by about 70% of women while pregnant. In a research by ( Merkel, 1952), women were given a 25mg of vitamin C combined with 5mg of Vitamin K per day and a marvelous result were obtained as women reported a great improvement in the symptoms of morning sickness after three days. Other women reported a total disappearance of these symptoms.
Australian Aboriginal women used the bark from baobab trees with the aim of enlarging their birth canals, thus reducing pain during delivery. In some cases, the powdered baobab stimulates lactation. A study done by Antika and Obizoba in 1994, shows that baobab treats milk allergies and galactosemia. Baobab contains more protein content than cow’s or human milk, thus proves that it is highly nutritious.
Baobab fruit pulp significantly improves the iron status of individuals with low blood levels.Baobab is an excellent source of Vitamin C which significantly enhances iron absorption, thus the presence of Vitamin C in baobab makes it an excellent source of bio-available iron.
Boosts the Immune Functions
Vitamin C boosts our immune systems and prevents our body against illness. Approximately, 2-3 teaspoons of Baobab powder contributes to 33% of our daily Vitamin C needs!!…isn’t it amazing? Baobab powder has been found to have the highest concentration Vitamin C for up to 300mg per 100 gram. We human beings, unlike other animals, do not generate or store Vitamin C and thus we need a regular intake to retain the minimum body requirements. Baobab is a rich source of vitamin C which our body cannot easily produce for itself. Vitamin C significantly supports the immune system, keeping you healthy strong by boosting the defenses against any infections and diseases.
With all the listed benefits, you can personally conclude what it means when we say this fruit qualifies as a superfood. It is recommended that you can incorporate Baobab powder by adding at least 2 teaspoons of the powder to your daily meals. You can either sprinkle it into porridge, Fruits or yogurt. Alternatively, bake it into cakes or bread or even blend it with ice creams.
Our Baobab is 100% organic. No food color, No additives, No preservatives or fillers. Our product is harvested, ground, sieved and packed for sale.
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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.
Baobab is an organic and 100% natural superfruit that comes from Africa. It has the remarkable property of drying right on the branch, so it’s easy to process into a nutritious powder supplement. Also, baobab is used for a variety of health and beauty applications. It’s a rich source of vitamin C, which in turn may help the immune system and assist in the critical process of energy release. Baobab is nearly 50% fibre and contains more antioxidants than any other whole fruit. Here are a few more reasons to add baobab to your healthy lifestyle.
Some people don’t like dosing themselves with vitamins in manufactured pills. If you’re one of them, then know that baobab is a natural source of vitamins and nutrients, which means that they’re easier to absorb. Wondering how it tastes? Then know that baobab is delicious. It has a citrus flavour and tastes sweet, so you’re certain to like the way it tastes.
Did you know that the human body cannot make vitamin C? That makes it important to get the requisite amount from our diet. A serving of baobab powder (2 to 3 teaspoons) contains about 33% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Adequate vitamin C intake is essential for collagen formation. In turn, collagen supports healthy bones, blood vessels, teeth, gums and skin. Vitamin C helps the body release energy and reduces fatigue and tiredness. It’s also necessary for the correct functioning of the nervous system. Proponents of baobab tell us that it’s a critical component for healthy psychological function. Further, baobab works to protect cells from oxidative stress.
Very few people in the UK have an adequate intake of fibre. An easy way to add fibre to your diet is to use baobab, because it’s nearly 50% fibre. Your body needs two distinct types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is important because research indicates that it helps to curtail the release of sugar in the blood stream. The result? Fewer jittery energy spikes. In addition, fibre benefits the digestive system, including bowel regularity. If you’re watching your weight or trying to lose weight, this superfood is considered effective for helping you feel fuller longer.
Research has shown that baobab has an antioxidant content higher than any fruit. Baobab powder contains twice the antioxidants of goji berries, when compared gram per gram. Even fresh fruits like pomegranates and blueberries have fewer antioxidants, even when taken together. Baobab powder has twice the antioxidants gram per gram of goji berries and more than blueberries and pomegranates combined. Besides the benefits mentioned earlier, antioxidants are important because they work to counteract the harm caused by free radicals, which are molecules that damage the skin’s collagen. This can result in premature ageing, fine lines, wrinkles and dryness. Baobab supports collagen formation, which in turn can give the skin a radiant glow.
Baobab is considered effective in protecting the body from major illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Research indicates that is also can help with conditions that are inflammation-related. Such diseases include allergies and arthritis. Another report cites the fact that baobab fruit contains significant levels of key minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium. Potassium is an important component of baobab and is known to have heart health benefits. It works as a vasodilator to reduce strain and increase blood flow, keeping the heart from working too hard. Lowering the blood pressure in this way is considered effective for fighting cardiovascular conditions like heart attacks and atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty deposits known as plaque form on the inner lining of the arteries. Finally, the magnesium and calcium found in baobab are key minerals for maintaining healthy bones.
An Easy Baobab Recipe
2 teaspoons baobab superfruit powder
1 teaspoon organic honey
¾ cup purified or spring water
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Mix together, making sure sure honey is mixed throughout. Take this along with your morning smoothie to get the benefits of baobab in an easy and delicious way.
With so much to recommend it, isn’t it worth adding this remarkable superfood to your health regimen?