If you're not from Africa or have never been there to experience their own variety of fruits and vegetables, you're probably not too familiar with baobab. What is being touted as an up-and-coming superfruit is derived from the baobab tree, which is native to specific areas of Africa. It contains high levels of nutrients and antioxidants that may put it on par with fruits like oranges and others in the citrus family. Let's take a closer look at some of the possible uses and benefits of baobab.
While not much scientific research has been conducted on the health benefits of baobab, it still has many inherent properties that make it a force to be reckoned with in the fruit family. Baobab contains significant quantities of many minerals, including calcium, magnesium and potassium. In addition, a study in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition illustrates that consuming 40 grams of baobab pulp measures out to 85-100 percent of the recommended vitamin C intake for pregnant women—who need more vitamin C than what is typically recommended for adults. Forbes magazine reports that another benefit of baobab is that it has a high soluble fiber content, which contributes to laxative-like properties and may be able to benefit your digestion.
In addition to boosting your vitamin C and antioxidant levels when consumed, baobab has been used for many different purposes throughout its history in Africa. According to scientists at Oxford Brookes University, baobab may be able to provide benefits for those with type 2 diabetes, as its abundant polyphenol content has been shown to lower the glycemic response. Another popular use for baobab is in hair care, skin care and body products. Cathy Wong, ND, an alternative medicine specialist, explains that the essential fatty acids found in baobab oil can provide benefits for improving the health of your skin. In addition, it might be able to aid with reducing symptoms of eczema and asthma.
This superfruit has a watermelon-like appearance, though it is longer and thinner, and it provides a deliciously sweet and tangy flavor when consumed. While it may be difficult to find whole baobab fruits at your local grocery store, there are other forms of baobab that you can find at natural food stores. When consumed in powder form, the vitamin C content is at its highest and most potent, according to the British Nutrition Foundation. Stirring baobab powder into water to make a juice is a great way to reap its vitamin C benefits. In addition, you can sprinkle baobab powder onto plain yogurt, cereal or oatmeal for a light and refreshing flavor. Baobab bites and baobab juice are also becoming popular items sold in stores.
While there is still not sufficient research to determine whether baobab can provide any significant, long-term health benefits, it is still a good option to try if you are looking for a fruit to boost your vitamin C levels and enhance your antioxidant protection. Don't attempt to consume baobab or use it for medicinal purposes without first consulting your doctor.
Have a great day, and come back tomorrow for more health news!