The mighty baobab tree stands alone in the African desert, towering up to thirty meters high and growing up to 11 meters in diameter. These proud but strange-looking trees play an important role by providing food and by supporting the life of myriad species, effectively creating their own little ecosystems. As impressive as the baobab tree is in its natural environment, even more remarkable are the health benefits its fruit has to offer.
What is Baobab Powder?
The baobab tree is one of the largest and oldest trees in the world - carbon dating indicates that these trees can live 3,000 years or more. In addition to providing food and shelter, the fruit, leaves, and bark of the mighty tree have been used medicinally for centuries in natural remedies for everything from fever to digestive issues. The fruit of the tree resembles a large mango or coconut measuring up to 18cm long and weighing around 1.4kg. It consists of a hard outer shell filled with pulp that dehydrates naturally as the fruit matures. When the pulp of this fruit is ground into powder it is known simply as baobab powder. This substance contains a powerhouse of nutrients including vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and an assortment of antioxidants.
What are the Health Benefits?
Though this healthy powder contains a variety of essential minerals, its most impressive nutritional benefit comes from its vitamin C content. A 100-gram serving of fruit pulp contains as much as 500mg of vitamin C – that’s almost ten times the content in a 100-gram serving of fresh oranges. This powder also contains nearly 50% fiber (both soluble and insoluble) and it possesses more antioxidants than any other fruit. Here are some of the top benefits baobab powder has to offer:
1. Heart Health
The mineral content of this powder has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve circulation, two things that will help to prevent heart disease and stroke.
2. Digestive Health
Because this powder contains both soluble and insoluble fiber it is great for your digestive system. In addition to regulating your digestion, this powder may help to reduce gut inflammation to improve nutrient uptake.
3. Immune Health
This powder is packed with antioxidants which can protect your cells against free radical damage. The vitamin C content is very beneficial for your immune health and it also helps to support tissue growth and repair.
4. Skin Health
The vitamin C content of this powder helps to increase the production of collagen and elastin in your skin, the proteins that help to keep your skin supple and wrinkle-free.
5. Weight Loss
Studies have shown that the vitamin C content of a person’s diet could impact their fat-burning abilities. This vitamin C-rich powder may help you burn more fat and lose more weight than following a healthy diet alone.
6. Bone Health
Two of the minerals found in this powder – calcium and magnesium – play an important role in supporting bone health, especially as we age.
This supplement has been shown to improve liver function which, in turn, helps to support your body’s natural detoxification ability.
In addition to being loaded with health benefits, this fruit has a nice citrus flavor with the perfect blend of sweetness and tanginess. In fact, you can use the powder as a nutritional supplement or as an ingredient in your favorite recipes.
Tips for Using Baobab Powder
Though this nutritious powder and the fruit from which it is derived are fairly common in other parts of the world, it is still relatively new in many western countries. Look for this powder at health food stores or try shopping for it online. When shopping for this powder, be sure to choose a product that is certified organic and free from artificial additives. You can stir a serving of baobab powder into your preferred beverage or use it in your favorite recipes - get creative! You really only need two to three teaspoons per day to reap the benefits of this powerful supplement.
Whether you need a boost of vitamin C in your diet or you want to enjoy some health benefits, this nutrient-rich powder is the way to go. Just be sure to follow the dosing instructions carefully to ensure that you gain the maximum benefit without going overboard on certain nutrients.