What is it?
Baobab is a powder sourced from the fruit of the Baobab Tree. Baobab fruits are highly nutritious and are thought to be a “superfood” as they contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
The Baobab tree, sometimes referred to as the “Tree of Life” is native to Africa and adapts to survive in extreme heat and dry weather by absorbing water in its trunk during the rainy season. Due to the enormous circumference of the trunk they are often used to provide shelter.
The wonderful thing about Baobab is that is requires so little processing. The dry climate of Africa dries the fruit on the branches, which eradicates the need the preservatives.
What does it do?
Baobab powder contains 6 times more Vitamin C than oranges, 6 times more potassium that broccoli and 8 times more fibre than broccoli. It is low in sodium and fat and have help with a variety of things.
- Baobab is nearly 50% fibre, a mix of soluble and insoluble fibre. A study concluded that the soluble fibre and polyphenols present in Baobab can assist with weight management by keeping you feeling fuller for longer due to being slowly digested.
- Soluble fibre binds to cholesterol helping to slow the absorption into the blood, reducing energy spikes and regulating blood sugar levels. This is particularly important for diabetics and can help protect against heart disease.
- The insoluble fibre passes through the gut undissolved and helps with movement of material through your digestive system to assist with regular bowel movements.
- Baobab is a prebiotic. Prebiotics increase populations of healthy bacteria in the gut, which can in turn aid digestion.
- Baobab contains high levels of Vitamin C which can boost energy levels, reducing fatigue and tiredness.
- Vitamin C is required by the body to produce L-Carnitine, which helps burn fat for energy.
- Baobab contains high levels of antioxidants (more so than goji berries and blueberries) and Vitamin C.
- Antioxidants defend our bodies and skin by neutralising free radicals reducing the damage taken. Free radicals are molecules produced from environmental toxins like cigarette smoke, pollution and chemicals.
- As well as being a potent antioxidant, Vitamin C is also vital for the production of collagen. Collagen gives structure to skin and can improve wrinkles, hydration and elasticity of the skin.
- Some evidence suggests that Baobab can detoxify and protect the liver due to its hepatoprotective activity.
- Hepatoprotective activity is the ability to prevent damage to the liver and keep it working effectively to metabolise and detoxify. Studies have found that plant extracts can be the best source of antioxidants and assist with hepatoprotective activity.
- The Vitamin C present in Baobab powder can boost and improve the immune system, helping to treat colds and more serious conditions such as pneumonia.
- Our bodies can struggle to absorb Iron, which can lead to iron-deficiencies. Vitamin C has shown to improve iron absorption, which is why Baobab can be useful for sufferers of anaemia.
Pre and Post Workout
- Vitamin C is beneficial for reducing muscle soreness and fatigue after exercise as well as providing an energy boost to make the most out of your workout.
Why supplement with it?
It can be difficult to obtain all the vitamins, minerals and fibre needed daily to support a healthy lifestyle through food alone. Adding Baobab powder to your daily routine will provide added Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron, Antioxidants, Fibre, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and protein.
There are currently no know contraindications, side effects or interactions from supplementing with Baobab.
There are no specific guidelines for dosage, but generally up to 30g daily should be beneficial.
Baobab is quite versatile. It can be added to water, juice, smoothie or added to a protein drink. It can also be added to cooking to include in protein bars, cookies, soups etc.
This superfood has shown to be beneficial for a variety of things but in particular, can boost those much-needed vitamins and minerals. Supplementing for digestive issues will also be beneficial due to the fibre content and its prebiotic properties.