Health Benefits of The Little-Known Fruit Baobab
In the markets across Africa, you can find an interesting fruit from the baobab tree which has a superfood status around the world. This fruit is part of the Adansonia digitata, silk-cotton family. It is native to Africa and bears hanging in, acidic and edible fruit.
Fruit that looks like a gourd and weighs around three pounds. The bark is used to produce clothing, cloth, paper, and rope, and every single part of this tree is used.
As a matter of fact, this is the only fruit in the entire world which dries naturally on its branch after staying in the sun for 6 months. After, the large fruits are opened with a large knife to show a cream-colored, dry pulp surrounded by the seeds.
Pounding this pulp in a powder with mortars and pestles is a final step of this process. It is said that this fruit is abundant in antioxidants, phosphorus, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and calcium (1).
It has a sherbet-like taste, and it has been diversified to produce baobab salads, yogurt, butter, granola bars, cereals, smoothies, etc. But the best is the natural, raw powder which is found in some supermarkets.
Baobab Power and Its Health Benefits
The fruit pulp and the leaves have been made into medicines in order to treat anemia, malaria, diarrhea, tuberculosis, dysentery, microbial infections, and toothaches, stimulate the function of the immune system, and lower fever.
The most prominent nutrients or baobab are (2):
- Vitamin C – ten times more than in oranges
- Magnesium – five times more than in avocados
- Fiber – ten times more than in apples
- Potassium – 4 times more than in bananas
- Calcium – twice than in milk.
Baobab fruit can help lower blood pressure and thus help combat heart-related complications such as heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis.
Thanks to its magnesium and calcium content it can increase the strength of your bones, thanks to its iron content it can improve circulatory health, and last but not least thanks to its fiber content it can enhance the levels of bacteria present in the gut.
The Many Incredible Health Benefits of the Baobab Powder
This powder has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antidiarrheal, antiviral, and antioxidant properties.
Fiber – two-thirds of fiber found in baobab powder is soluble, and the rest of it is insoluble, which makes this powder a potent prebiotic. Also, it is bioavailable therefore the body can take in and use the nutrients easily and rapidly.
Antioxidants – This powder has more antioxidants than pomegranates and blueberries combined and twice than in goji berries. The visible benefit of this is lowered wrinkling, and glowing, clear skin since vitamin C leads to the production of collagen.
But when it comes to boosting immunity, antioxidants have free radical-neutralizing properties that help prevent different types of disease.
Vitamin C – Women who are expecting a baby have typically prescribed 85 mg of vitamin C on a daily basis because it helps make collagen, combats infection and fatigue, protects the cells, boosts healthy waste removal.
And has a crucial role in the structure and development of organs and bones in the baby.
The nutrients which comb flu also offers a slow release of energy over time in order to support the metabolism and lower fatigue and increased intake might help treat iron deficiency- which is one of the most common disorders in the world.
It is also beneficial as a post-exercise supplement (3).
Iron – You should know that more than 30 % of the population in the world has an iron deficiency and most of the population are unaware of it. They believe they are just tired.
Here vitamin C comes to the rescue because it helps the body absorb iron and thus increase energy.
Blood Glucose – According to a clinical trial at Oxford University the participants consuming milk with baobab powder notably lowered glucose absorption into the blood after digestion.
This is why it is believed that baobab powder is good for people on a low glycemic index diet and might be good for people who have type 2 diabetes (4).
The baobab leaves can be stored as whole leaves instead of ground leaf power to preserve the content high in vitamins. Sometimes, they are harvested because of their essential oils which are good for the skin if used topically.
According to one animal study, freeze-dried baobab seeds and fruits are actually liver protective against the damage due to a toxic solvent used in dry cleaning and fire extinguishers (5).
Below you will see a recipe for a Tropical Baobab Smoothie which is nutritious and easy.
Recipe for Tropical Baobab Smoothie
- Raw cashews – ½ cup (optional)
- Frozen chopped banana – 2 cups
- Coconut milk – 2 cups
- Chopped fresh pineapple – 1 cup
- Baobab Fruit Drink – 4 cups (recipe below)
How to Prepare It
In a blender, you need to add all the ingredients and blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth. After serve right away.
Recipe for Baobab Fruit Drink
Creamy and tropical, this is a traditional beverage produced by the rehydrated pulp of the baobab fruit.
- Baobab fruit pulp – 2 ½ cups
- Warm water – 5 cups
- Powdered stevia – 2 tsp.
How to Prepare It
In a big bowl add all ingredients and stir. You need to stir until you see that the water is thick and white. Next, you need to strain the juice into a pitcher with a fine-mesh sieve lined that has damp cheesecloth.
You need to serve it chilled and know that this recipe serves 4 people.
More About This Fruit
You should know that there are a couple of potential issues with the growing popularity of this fruit.
Although the hard shell looks like coconut and people know the many ways baobab fruit can be used, even in this age of fast-moving technologies it is of an unknown quantity.
According to one company that makes African products it is difficult to sell it to a western customer due to its look.
There are some concerns that if this fruit takes off internationally, it will become tantamount to a crop, that might threaten it as a key part of local medicines and diets and as a local resource.
Failure to regulate the export and harvest, and over-farming might affect the biodiversity of the tree as well.
There is hope that if the farmers can regulate it similar to the coffee industry has tried to, it might be a boon to the market in Africa. But until then this fruit is the best to use with consideration and care for its sourcing.
This recipe is a traditional Grandmother’s-Remedy that has been used for hundreds of years. Although there is no scientific evidence to support these claims, our Grandmothers swear by it.