5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF BAOBAB FRUIT POWDER
Very few people in the U.S. have ever even heard of the baobab fruit, but it is a superfood which is so powerful that it has been used medicinally in Africa for centuries. You will not believe how much nutrition is provided in this one single fruit. First, it is reported to have a mind boggling ten times the vitamin C found in equivalently sized oranges. But there is much, much more. It contains more iron than you will find in red meat. It also has more magnesium than spinach and more potassium than bananas. But get this, it also contains twice as much calcium as milk!
It is no wonder that the baobab tree is referred to in Africa as “The Tree of Life”
Baobab has naturally been used to treat vitamin C deficiency in Africa, but it is also thought to be an effective treatment for such widely different ailments as fevers, gastrointestinal problems and even malaria. Not surprisingly, the health benefits and nutritional value of baobab have now attracted the attention of the scientific community, and its research has drawn the interest of the general public. Retailers have now begun to stock baobab products such as pure powder made from the dried fruit and seeds from the fruit itself.
Baobab Fruit Powder Benefits:
Many of these possible benefits are due to its extremely high concentration of vitamin C. There are very few foods found in the entire world that have higher levels— mainly rose hips, camu camu, kakadu plums and acerola. It is now being used to treat conditions more likely to be found in first world countries, as well, such as heart disease, varicose veins and liver detoxifier, acne. The best part is, baobab fruit powder can be used for much more than treating ailments. The wonder fruit offers anti-aging properties to keep skin looking youthful. Plus, it can be an effective aid in weight loss efforts. We will cover all of those in just a moment.
Owing to the high levels of pectin and fiber which occur naturally in the fruit, baobab powder also makes an excellent filler in smoothies. It thickens the fluid while adding a number of incredibly healthy nutrients. The fiber also adds reliable natural laxative properties. There really seems to be no end to what this fruit is capable of helping with.
In addition to what we’ve already mentioned, and what we will cover in detail shortly, other possible health benefits of baobab may include the following:
Strengthen Immune System
Stabilize Blood Sugar
Increase Energy and Reduce Fatigue
Improve Mental Clarity
Mitigate Sleep Issues
While these, and more, are all reason enough to try baobab powder, there are a handful of other benefits that have garnered the most attention.
Baobab Superfood Benefits For the Skin
There are actually a couple of ways in which baobab benefits the skin.
- Vitamin C You already know that this fruit is super rich in Vitamin C. But did you know that Vitamin C is vital to fighting wrinkles? You see, the two proteins which contribute most to the elasticity and support of your skin are elastin and collagen. And Vitamin C helps to form them, no matter if you getting it from supplements or the food that you eat. Anyone interested in keeping wrinkles at bay should make sure they have plenty of vitamin C in their diet.
- Antioxidants Baobab fruit is extremely rich in antioxidants. In case you were not aware, let me explain that your body is under constant attack by free radicals, unstable atoms and molecules, and they are breaking your body down at the most basic cellular level. This is where all the signs of aging begin.
It is antioxidants which fight them. The richer your diet is in antioxidants, the healthier and more youthful your skin will remain. There are many foods which contain them, but let’s take a look at how they compare to baobab. Here is a list of foods with the IAC (Integral Antioxidant Capacity) levels of their pulp compared.
As you can see, even the richest in antioxidants of the other foods provide only a tiny fraction of the baobab. Since the baobab fruit contains unparalleled concentrations of two of the most important weapons in fighting wrinkles and keeping your skin in the best possible shape, it is a no brainer that you will want this in your anti-aging arsenal.
But wait! As though that was not reason enough to include baobab fruit in your diet, it has other amazing properties.
Baobab Can Help You Lose Weight
Just as many different ways Baobab can help keep your skin healthy, it can help you lose weight as well.
Many people are not aware that Vitamin C is an excellent aid to weight loss. However, a study by Arizona State University showed that people with low levels of Vitamin C in their bloodstream burned 25% less fat than those with normal levels, during an hour’s walk on a treadmill.
Now think about this for just a moment. Say you walk for an hour in the evenings in order to lose weight. Can you burn 25% more fat every single day just by making sure you have enough Vitamin C in your diet? Well, you know where to get the highest concentration in least amount of food. That’s right, baobab fruit.
But that’s not all.
Most people who have tried various dieting methods are familiar with the effect of Glycemic Response on weight loss. Quite simply, certain foods – mostly starch and sugar – raise the level of sugar in your bloodstream dramatically. This is because these simple carbohydrates are digested so easily, their sugar content hits the bloodstream all at once.
More complex carbohydrates take a while to digest, so their sugar content reaches the bloodstream in dribs and drabs, which has very little effect. But when a load of sugar enters your bloodstream all at once, it triggers the release of the hormone insulin, whose job it is to try and get those sugar levels back to normal. The problem is, insulin stores fat. So once it is triggered, your body stops burning fat and starts storing it.
That is why those who are trying to lose weight should stick to foods that are low on the Glycemic Index. Not only do they not trigger an insulin response, but they also reduce appetite and cravings. What is so fascinating about baobab, however, is not so much that it is low on the Glycemic Index, which it is. No, it is that studies have shown if baobab extract mixed with water is consumed at the same time as starches, it reduced the glycemic response of the starch.
This really is the most amazing thing ever, because it introduces the possibility that just consuming balboa or some of its byproducts at the same time as foods that would ordinarily trigger an insulin response might prevent the insulin response from occurring. Such a thing would certainly open up a whole new variety of foods to dieters, allowing them to continue to burn fat even when indulging in some of their favorite foods. And the possibility definitely exists.
Because further studies have shown that baking baobab extract into white bread at less than 2% concentration reduced the rapidly digestible starch content significantly.
Seriously, this fruit is looking not so much like a superfood as a miracle food. And there are more beneficial qualities to come.While losing weight can certainly improve your health, there are other serious and stubborn conditions which may also be helped by baobab products.
Using Baobab to Prevent Heart Disease and Varicose Veins
The rich concentration of Vitamin C in baobab can be extremely useful in preventing heart disease. First you have to understand how risk of heart disease is measured. In the past, the correlation between cholesterol and heart disease resulted in many looking to cholesterol levels for a clue about the level of risk for heart disease. But in recent years, this premise has been brought into question. Now it is believed that C-reactive proteins, or CRP, can be a very accurate barometer of a person’s risk for heart disease. Scientists from the University of California studied participants who were given a 500 milligram supplement of Vitamin C and found that their CRP levels dropped 24% in just two months!
Quite frankly, to have such a dramatic effect in such a short period of time is nothing less than mind boggling. It is solid evidence that adding sufficient quantities of Vitamin C to a diet, whether with food or supplements, is vital to keeping your heart and entire cardiovascular system healthy. Besides heart disease, other cardiovascular problems include varicose veins and venous insufficiency. You may recall that we mentioned Vitamin C played an important part in the manufacture of elastin and collagen, which was vital to fighting anti-aging symptoms of the skin. Well, elastin and collagen are also the connective tissue which strengthens veins.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that low levels of Vitamin C have come to be associated with varicose veins. In this case, however, it is believe that the beneficial effects of Vitamin C are intensified if combined with Vitamin E. So if you are suffering from varicose veins or venous insufficiency, it would be wise to make sure you are getting maximum benefit by including foods or supplements rich in Vitamin E.
Baobab Fruit – A Natural Liver Cleanser and Detoxifier
Do you know what your liver is? It’s a filter for your body. Just like an air condition filter captures dust and dirt, to keep it from contaminating the air you breathe, so does the liver process all the toxins that pass through your body.
Alcohol, cigarette smoke, chemicals, they all get filtered through your liver. And if you’ve ever seen an air condition filter that was overdue to be changed, you should know how important it is to keep your liver healthy. Because, if the liver becomes damaged, or even just overworked, its ability to filter out toxins will decrease, which means all of those dangerous substances will be free to spread throughout your body. And that is bad news. Really, really bad news.
The good news, however, is that there are many foods and supplements that can help your liver stay healthy. Scientists refer to these as being hepatoprotective. In one study, researchers found that water-based baobab extract was significantly effective in preventing liver damage in rats. Many people may not be interested in the scientific details, but for those who want to be sure of the fact based evidence, it is believed that the properties in baobab pulp responsible for this effect are: ursolic acid, triterpenoids, beta-amyrin palmitate and beta-sitosterol.
Keeping your liver functioning at peak efficiency is one of the most important factors in maintaining your overall health. If you were considering using baobab for any other reason, but just weren’t quite sure you were ready to try it, then this extra benefit should surely add significant weight to your decision. It’s virtually enough of a reason all by itself to begin adding baobab to your diet one way or another.
Baobab is an Excellent Source of Minerals
It is hard to dispute that the best way to consume vitamins and minerals is through the food we eat. A balanced, nutritious diet has such a positive effect on all aspects of your health. Unfortunately, most people find it difficult, if not downright impossible, to get all of their daily requirement of vitamins and minerals in their diet alone. And it is even more difficult to do so when consuming a restricted number of calories while trying to lose weight.
This is why many of us choose to use supplements. And though we usually tend to think in terms of vitamins, you will notice that all of the daily multivitamins on the market also include minerals.
We don’t hear most minerals talked about much, but they are obviously of great importance, or they wouldn’t be included. And some are coming so much more into the public eye that they are available separately, like magnesium. Others, like iron, have been considered important for a very long time already.
You already know the amazing amount of Vitamin C contained in baobab fruit, and we hinted early on at some of the others. But let’s take a look now at the concentration of minerals found in just 3.5 ounces of fresh baobab pulp, and their percentage of your minimum daily requirement.
- Iron: 9.3 mg (52% of DV)
- Potassium: 1240 mg (35% of DV)
- Calcium: 295 mg (or 30% of DV)
- Magnesium: 90 mg (or 23% of DV)
- Zinc:8 mg (or 12% of DV)
There is actually more, but those are the big ones. Over half of the amount of iron you need every day, a third or more of the daily requirement for potassium and calcium, plus almost a quarter of your magnesium needs—-that is really an incredible collection of minerals for just one small 3.5 ounce serving of fruit. You would be hard pressed to find that concentration elsewhere.
So let’s just recap here for a second. This one fruit, which so few people outside of Africa have even heard of, has ten times the Vitamin C found in oranges, is filled with antioxidants that help skin remain more youthful longer and properties that affect glycemic response which will aid in weight loss. It can also help prevent heart disease, varicose veins and liver damage, as well as provide a rich source of important minerals.
This is why it’s called a super food and you are probably wondering where you can find it. Well, the reason you probably haven’t heard much about it before is that it is native to Africa and probably isn’t available at your neighborhood grocery. You will have a much better chance at finding the powder. And here is another way the baobab fruit is different from so many other products. It takes much less processing to turn baobab fruit into powder, because the inside of the fruit is already powdery!
This is extremely important, because processing often removes many of the beneficial properties of the original substance. So, in this case, you are left with more vitamins and nutrients than might otherwise be the case. Still, you will want to be careful that you are receiving high quality powder. And since baobab fruit is still such a relatively new discovery, it may even be difficult to find the powder in a lot of health food stores in the U.S. or the U.K., particularly if you want organic quality.
If you not successful in locating baobab powder in your area, or you simply prefer to shop online anyway, you are in luck. Because Amazon has an excellent choice of baobab powders. If you are in the U.K., there is also a decent choice of baobab powders on Amazon.co.uk.