WHAT IS BAOBAB
The Tree of Life, the Upside Down Tree, the Monkey Bread Tree. These are only some of the names given to the iconic baobab tree.
It only grows in Africa, Australia and the Middle East and its fruit has the unique and extraordinary characteristic of drying naturally on the branch.
Inside the hard shell, you find the fruit pulp that comes in little whitish dry chunks that are then ground into powder.
Because the baobab fruit pulp is naturally dry, it doesn’t need to undergo any heating or pasteurisation process.
Therefore, all its nutritional and medicinal properties are naturally preserved.
BAOBAB POWDER BENEFITS
Several studies have shown that the baobab fruit powder is rich in:
- Vitamin C, A, B6
- Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium
As a result, if used regularly, it can offer a series of health benefits.
In this article we have included the top 16 health benefits of baobab powder.
1 – BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Baobab powder is an immune booster powder naturally rich in vitamin C and B6.
Research shows that 2-3 teaspoons of baobab powder a day can provide more than 30% of your daily vitamin C requirements.
While vitamin B6’s main role is to transform food into energy, stabilise nerves and create red blood cells (,1), vitamin C helps you support your immune system.
This powerful antioxidant helps your immune defenses by protecting your cells from harmful free radicals and by reducing inflammation.
A recent study has demonstrated that consuming natural food rich in vitamin C and zinc may not only help relieve the symptoms of a common cold, it can also help reduce the duration of more serious respiratory tract infections like pneumonia (,2).
Our body is not able to store vitamin C. That’s why it is very important that we include food rich in vitamin C in our diet.
2 – LOWER BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
A study conducted in 2013, showed that baobab fruit can reduce starch digestion and glycemic response thanks to its high content of polyphenols (,3).
Polyphenols are micronutrients that naturally reduce and help control blood sugar levels, lowering insulin resistance.
For the purpose of the study, baobab was added to the dough of white bread and baked. The results showed a rapid reduction of digestible starch from the white bread samples (,3).
3 – REDUCE TIREDNESS AND FATIGUE
By boosting the immune system and regulating the metabolism, the baobab helps the body maintain high energy levels throughout the day.
It is also commonly used by athletes as a pre and post workout drink to help the body recover quicker after a workout thanks to its high levels of vitamin C, potassium and magnesium.
Magnesium, in particular, is commonly known for naturally improving leg strength and performance.
Studies show that vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, helps rebuild muscles and strength (,4).
4 – REGULATE THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM AND SUPPORT GUT HEALTH
Baobab powder is also praised for its richness in prebiotic fibre which helps regulate the intestines and prevent constipation (,5).
Consuming prebiotic fibres on a regular basis is recommended by nutritionists to keep your gut healthy, and of course boost your immune system.
5 – CLEANSE THE LIVER
Research indicates that baobab is an hepatoprotective, which means that it protects and restore the liver thanks to the presence of compounds such as beta-sitosterol and beta-amyrin palmitate in its pulp (6,)
6 – PROMOTE NORMAL BLOOD PRESSURE
The baobab fruit powder promotes normal blood pressure thanks to its richness in vitamin C, potassium and calcium.
A study conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests that a regular consumption of vitamin C can have a moderate effect on blood pressure which could reduce the rates of cardiovascular disease, including stroke ,(7) .
This incredible African fruit also contains four times more potassium than a banana, making it an important source of this mineral.
Potassium has the ability to reduce heart strain by widening arteries, improving blood flow and, therefore, lowering blood pressure ,(9).
Baobab powder is also extremely rich in calcium, a nutrient that the body needs not only to build strong bones, (10), but also to maintain a normal blood pressure.
7 – AID FERTILITY
Thanks to its high level of micronutrients, the baobab fruit is also recognised for its fertility benefits.
Several studies have confirmed that what you eat can affect your chances of getting pregnant.
This doesn’t just concern the future mum. Men should also pay attention to what they eat, as a poor diet can affect the quality of their sperm (,12).
A sufficient intake of folic acid, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin C and zinc is not only important to increase fertility in both men and women, it also sustains the well-being of the mother and the development of the baby throughout pregnancy.
Baobab powder is a rich source of these vital micronutrients.
8 – PROMOTE WEIGHT LOSS
Baobab is extremely rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre (almost 50%).
While insoluble fibre eases the passing of food through the stomach and the intestines, soluble fibre retains water and turns into a gel during digestion.
This process slows down the emptying of your stomach and makes you feel fuller for longer.
The sense of fullness will prevent you from eating more and will therefore contribute to a healthy weight loss (,13)
9- HELP WITH ANEMIA
The baobab fruit is not particularly rich in iron. However, its significant amounts of vitamin C, can help your body with iron absorption.
A study conducted back in 2006 on pregnant women who suffered from iron deficiency and were taking ferrous supplements, showed that those who received 100 g of baobab fruit pulp daily for 6 weeks, about 270 mg of Vitamin C, experienced a significant increase in haemoglobin and in the percentage of blood cells just in the first week (,14).
10 – RELIEF NAUSEA
In African traditional medicine, baobab fruit is also commonly used as a natural and simple remedy to ease nausea thanks to its richness in vitamin C.
In his report, Merkel (1952) explains that combining vitamin C with vitamin K can be an effective way of relieving feelings of nausea such as morning sickness during pregnancy (15).
Therefore, sipping a glass of a baobab drink made with water and a teaspoon of baobab powder and combined with 5 mg of vitamin K (,16), can help you ease the sense of nausea and keep you hydrated.
11 – HELP REDUCE FEVER
In case of fever, consuming baobab fruit powder, can help reduce the temperature of your body.
In fact, in several African countries, the baobab is commonly used as a natural anti-pyretic (,17).
Preparing a hot drink with lemon juice, honey and 1 tsp of baobab powder, can therefore assist in the treatment of fever.
12 – RELIEVES DIARRHOEA AND DYSENTERY
In West Africa, the baobab fruit is not just a simple ingredient used in sauces, porridges, and juices, it is a source of medicine for conditions such as diarrhoea and dysentery (,18).
This is because the pulp of the baobab fruit is rich in astringent compounds that help regulate gastrointestinal tracts (,19).
A study conducted back in 1985 on Sudanese children with persistent diarrhoea, showed that the frequency and severity of diarrhoea and vomiting was reduced when the children were given food rich in potassium like sorghum and baobab to eat ,(20).
13 – HELP WITH STRESS, MOOD SWINGS AND INSOMNIA
Baobab powder is a rich source of B complex vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
All these vitamins and minerals play an important role for the functioning of your nervous system. A lack of them could lead to insomnia, stress, mood swings and even depression (,21).
Scientists have proven that a deficiency in magnesium, for example, could enhance your level of stress and expose you to stress-related diseases such as high blood pressure and heart attack (,22).
That’s why it is important to include them in your healthy diet.
For example, having a glass of baobab tea at bedtime could be the trick to get a good night’s sleep.
You might wonder how much baobab powder you should have a day, so here is some useful information published on the NHS website.
The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 300mg for men and 270mg for women between the age of 19 to 64 years (,23).
100g of baobab offers about 150 mg of magnesium (,24).
14 – HELP STABILISE HORMONES IMBALANCE
As we have previously mentioned, the baobab superfood is a rich source of three vital nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin B6 and niacin.
Recent research has found that these 3 nutrients play an important role in boosting progesterone and help the liver clear out excess estrogens (,25).
Low level of progesterone can cause all sorts of issues – from irregular or missed periods to decrease in sex drive, heat flashes, bloating, mood swings or worst miscarriage (,26)
Increasing progesterone level through diet doesn’t need to be complicated.
In fact, there are several types of food that you could include in your balanced and varied diet to boost your progesterone naturally, ie: nuts, green leafy vegetables, oats, cruciferous vegetables, pumpkin seeds and more.
Baobab fruit powder is certainly part of the hormone balancing foods list.
15 – PROMOTE HEALTHY SKIN
The high levels of antioxidants present in the baobab can also help you keep your skin healthy and radiant.
Vitamin C not only helps you protect your skin from damages caused by UV, it also boosts collagen production, the protein responsible for skin elasticity (,27).
Calcium also plays an important role in improving skin barrier function, enhancing therefore the skin’s ability to retain moisture and stay hydrated for longer.
This is one of the reasons why nutritionists recommend a calcium-rich diet to those who tend to suffer from dry skin (,28).
If you decide to include baobab powder into your beauty regimen, you should know that you can use it both as a natural ingredient to add to your healthy diet, and externally as a face mask.
Just blend 1 tbsp of baobab powder with 1 tsp of honey and 1-2 tsp of water.
Apply on your face avoiding the eyes and the lips and massage for a few seconds.
Wait for 15 – 20 minutes and rinse with warm water and a soft cloth.
Complete your skin care routine by applying your regular moisturiser.
16 – PROMOTE HEALTHY BONES
Baobab powder has twice the amount of calcium than in milk (,8), a nutrient that the body needs to build and maintain strong bones.
Because of its richness in calcium, it represents a valuable plant based alternative for those who don’t consume dairy products due to lactose intolerance or simply because they follow a vegan diet.
WHERE CAN I BUY BAOBAB POWDER
Nowadays, finding ,baobab powder for sale in the UK it’s certainly easier than buying the whole baobab fruit – which is most commonly found in the country of origins, ie: Ivory Coast, Senegal, Gambia, etc…
Learning different baobab powder uses can be great fun for the whole family too.
We have prepared a selection of ,baobab recipe ideas which will show you how to use baobab powder.
BAOBAB BENEFITS: TOP 16 BENEFITS OF BAOBAB POWDER was first seen on SACO Super Foods