What Is Baobab?
Also known as Adansonia digitata, the magnificent Baobab tree is found most commonly in areas of Madagascar, Africa, Arabia and Australia. This ancient tree has a number of different types that you can find in each region, and some are said to date back more than 2,000 years! The tree has a large fruit that weighs around 1.5 kilograms/ 3.3 lbs and has a velvety-feeling outside shell. The citrus-flavoured fruit is additionally packed full of amazing nutrients, including Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Iron as well as useful Phytosterols.
Thanks to its high nutritional value and the fact that it is said to taste sort of like a citrusy sorbet, there are many great uses for the Baobab fruit. Firstly, it has been used as a food source by natives for centuries and the fresh fruit pulp is known to be very refreshing. They are also said to have eaten the leaves of the tree. In Angola, they use the dried fruit in juices or in a delicious type of ice cream called gelado de múcua. They also use the seeds for vegetable oils and in Tanzania, they use the dried pulp alongside sugarcane for the fermentation of local beers. What's more, in Westernised countries, you can now easily receive the benefits of Baobab as it is becoming more popular in the form of superfood supplements such as pills and powders.
Source of vitamins & minerals
One of the main reasons this exotic superfood has become so popular is because if its nutritional profile. Baobab is said to be extremely nutrient-rich, with the most important being that it is a good source of Vitamin C. It also contains minerals such as Potassium and Calcium as well as fibre, protein and micronutrients. As a result, it is a great way to add a wide variety of nutrients into your diet with ease.
Full of antioxidants
Another of the key benefits of Baobab is its super-high antioxidant content. It is said that the fruit has one of the highest amounts of antioxidants of any fruit in the World - even higher than goji berries, blueberries and pomegranates! As a result of this, it is excellent for those looking to make use of antioxidants as they can help to neutralise and protect against free-radicals that can cause damage to the body on a cellular level.
Supports the immune system
Thanks to its high levels of nutrients and antioxidants, one of the best Baobab benefits is for looking after your natural immunity. This is because it contains Vitamin C which is known to contribute to the normal function of the immune system. This can help keep you feeling healthy all year round and is excellent if you are more prone to colds and the flu or just want to keep yourself feeling strong.
Boosts glowing skin
Another amazing Baobab benefit is for the skin. This is also due to the Vitamin C content which contributes to collagen formation and is important for the strength and elasticity of healthy and youthful-looking skin. Additionally, due to the high levels of antioxidants, these can also help to protect the skin deep down as free-radical damage caused by things such as smoking, alcohol, pollution and radiation can lead to premature ageing.
Helps weight loss
One of the most popular Baobab uses is for looking after weight and helping you to drop a few pounds. When used correctly, it is said that Baobab can help to curb cravings and suppress the appetite, meaning you don’t feel as tempted to snack on sugary or high-calorie foods between meals. Another way it can help with weight loss is that many say it makes them feel fuller for longer after eating as it contains fibre that causes the stomach to empty more slowly. It is even said to help with balancing blood sugar levels!
Aids the body post-workout
If you’re a regular gym-goer or enjoy a good workout, Baobab can also be for you! When exercising, it can cause oxidative damage to the cells and muscles, so the Vitamin C and antioxidants found in the Baobab fruit can greatly help those that often suffer from muscle soreness. So, if you want a natural post-exercise recovery shake, try using Baobab powder!
We know that during workouts, your body uses glycogen, whilst muscle proteins are broken down. This depletion drives us to stack up on carbs and protein post workout, while the macronutrients are vital, we tend to forget that micronutrients are just as important! Other nutrients such as Magnesium helps with oxygen uptake and electrolyte balance, and Potassium helps with fluid balance and muscle contractions.
Promotes good digestive health
As Baobab is a good source of natural fibre, it can be a great way to look after your digestive system and keep things moving. This means it can be ideal for those with constipation, or just those that want to keep things regular. The fibre can also act as a brilliant prebiotic to feed the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, promoting healthy intestinal flora.
Despite the growing awareness of the role of fibre in improving our digestion, roughly 80% of people in the UK don’t consume enough of this in their diet. This powder contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, so it is great for your digestive system.
How To Take Baobab
Unless you can find a way to regularly add the fresh fruit to your daily routine, the easiest and most efficient way to add it to your diet is in the form of a Baobab supplement. There are plenty of Baobab pills out there if you want something more concise, but the most popular way to consume the fruit is in the form of a Baobab powder.
In powder form, it is great for adding into protein shakes or smoothies and means you can tailor it to your personal needs and taste preferences. You can also add it into different recipes for a nutritional boost! Why not try a refreshing Baobab and mango smoothie, a warming Baobab and pumpkin soup or a sweet Baobab strawberry parfait? You can also experiment by putting it into your own recipes and make something completely new!
Is Baobab Safe To Use?
As with all superfoods and their supplements, yes it is safe as long as you are using it correctly. When using a pill or powder supplement, make sure to choose one that is natural and ideally organic to reduce the risk of unwanted side effects caused by sneaky added ingredients like fillers and binders. Plus, when using any baobab food products in general, it is also recommended to check the ingredients for any personal allergens and always take as directed to make sure you are only getting the amazing health benefits.
Baobab is a true superfood ingredient and is excellent if you want to add it to your diet to receive the many health benefits. It is ideal if you are looking for a general way to boost your health and wellbeing, but can also be useful for those looking to lose weight or support their workouts. Plus, as it can be found in the form of a versatile powder, it can be the perfect addition to shakes and other recipes and a fun way to add some valuable nutrition into your diet!