The Benefits of the African Superfruit Baobab (With Recipes)
Baobab – that is the name of the mighty tree of the African savannas. Almost all parts of Baobab have been used by Africans for centuries to produce traditional medicines. The fruits of this magic tree are indeed real superfoods, rich in vitamin C, iron, antioxidative polyphenols and many other vital substances. Also, scientists have found that the intake of baobab powder is prebiotic and can thus alleviate intestinal symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome. We’ll tell you more about the fruity superstar.
Baobab – The African Magic Tree
Baobab (Adansonia digitata), is native to the tropical regions of Africa, the Comoros and Madagascar. Its name derives from the Arabic term “bu hibab” – fruit with many seeds. With a size of up to 30 meters, the baobab is not only an impressive symbol of the African savannah, but has also been appreciated for centuries because of its healing properties. Countless myths and fairy tales mention the magical pharmacy tree. The African inhabitants report that there are a lot less infectious diseases and epidemics when a baobab tree is close to them. Often an entire village moves when a baobab dies to search for a new tree of life. That shows how important and meaningful this tree can be.
Here is a short educational video about the Baobab Tree:
Baobab in traditional folk medicine
In African national medicine almost every part of the baobab is used:
- fruit powder
- seeds and
- leaves of the Baobab
are used for infections such as malaria and smallpox, asthma, fever, toothache and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
Moreover, the seeds of the baobab fruit are popular medicines for strengthening the heart and the liver. Healing powers are also associated with the blossoms, bark pieces and roots. Baobab flower essences can help, for example, with arthrosis and arthritis.
The Baobab’s foliage is reminiscent of a highly branched root system. This has contributed to the legend that the devil itself planted the baobab tree upside down.
The extremely thick trunk of the Baobab serves as a natural water store. But also large animals such as elephants can break up the bark with their buttocks and get the liquid out of the tree, until the trunk is hollow and falls down.
If this does not happen, the baobab tree can reach a biblical age of up to 3,000 years and is therefore also referred to as the tree of life.
Baobab Fruits – Antioxidants in raw food quality
The baobab fruit is rich in anti-oxidant polyphenols and is already a superfood in many regions like Europe or America. Its antioxidant content should be higher than that of acai or goji berries. Polyphenols are secondary plant substances, for example, as coloring and flavoring substances found in the plant. They have a strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effect. Therefore, the baobab fruit or its powder can contribute wonderfully to a diet and optimize your health. In contrast to many other fruits, the baobab fruit dries directly on the tree and is harvested in this dry state. In the case of high-quality baobab powders, the miracle fruit is now processed raw and without heat treatment. This is the only way to preserve all vital nutrients of the fruit.
Baobab – A Novel Food
Until a few years ago, when not many people in Europe knew the baobab and its fruits, a so-called Novel Food Authorization was required for the baobab fruit powder, which was then granted in 2009. The Novel food approval is necessary for all hitherto unknown and novel foods which are to be sold on the European market.
In the meantime, the Baobab fruit powder has also been added to our drink, milk products, pastry and chocolate. This creates the so-called functional foods. This means that they have a higher nutritional value than before thanks to the addition of the baobab powder.
Baobab Fruit – The Vitality Bomb
Apart from the above-mentioned polyphenols, the baobab fruit provides a wealth of vitamins and minerals.
Its high vitamin C content (about 280 mg per 100 g powder) is especially worth mentioning. Vitamin C not only strengthens our immune system. It supports many other functions, for example, the absorption of plant-based iron from the food.
Even with a daily portion of Baobab fruit powder (10-15 g) you can cover almost a third of the officially indicated vitamin C requirement (100 mg).
In addition, the fruit contains a considerable amount of potassium (about 2250 mg per 100 g), which plays an important role especially for muscles and nerves.
With a daily portion of Baobab fruit powder, you cover about 20 percent of the recommended daily dose (2000 mg) of potassium as well as 20 percent of the recommended daily dose (1.2-1.6 mg) of vitamin B6.
The iron content is also remarkable. Because with two large tablespoons baobab fruit powder you take almost 2 mg of iron. The daily requirement is 10 to 15 mg.
As usual with dry fruits, the baobab powder is also very rich in fiber.
Baobab – Dietary fiber for the intestine
High-quality fiber sources such as fruits, vegetables and whole foods are rarely on the menu today. The consequences are constipation, increased colon cancer risk, increasing cholesterol and blood glucose levels as well as a low sense of satiety.
According to official recommendations, the daily intake of dietary fiber should be about 30 g. In reality, it is currently only around 23 g per day for the average person.
Although the baobab powder can not replace a healthy, high-fiber diet, it can contribute in small quantities to such a diet.
Just one tablespoon of Baobab fruit powder (10 g) contains about the same amount of fiber as a slice of whole-grain bread.
And whereas conventional dry fruits may provide 10 or perhaps 18 per cent of dietary fiber, the baobab fruit powder consists of 44 per cent of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble half each). Both types of dietary fiber can help with both constipation and diarrhea.
Especially for children who are often constipated, the baobab powder represents a tasty, well-functioning, yet gentle digestion agent.
Dietary fibers do not only regulate the intestinal activity, but also bind slags, poisons, cholesterol and bile acids and dissipate them faster from the intestine.
In addition, they can slow the digestion and intake of carbohydrates, thereby reducing the increase in blood glucose levels and the insulin response after a meal.
This can help not only people with diabetes or prediabetes control their blood glucose levels, but to all those who are struggling with blood glucose fluctuations and their consequences (hot chills, mood swings, concentration problems and much more).
But especially the attacks of ravenous hunger or the high insulin values often associated with blood sugar fluctuations make weight loss tough. Here again, the baobab fruit can help with this problem.
Baobab helps with losing weight
Many top models and Hollywood stars already swear by Baobab capsules when it comes to staying slim or losing weight. In particular, the capsules are intended to help to alleviate the feeling of hunger and to be sated faster.
Already 1 tablespoon of fruit powder – which only contains 12 calories – keeps the body full for several hours.
Capsules do not have to be taken for this effect. The pure Baobab fruit powder can be used much more pleasantly and also in higher doses.
However, fiber is not just making you full. They also maintain the intestine and have healing effects on the digestive system.
Baobab – Helps with irritable bowel
In a study conducted by the Italian University of Ferrara, patients with various disorders of the digestive system have been treated with baobab.
The results showed that 64% of all study participants who suffered from constipation or irritable bowel syndrome were completely symptom-free after the 14-day intake of the fruit powder.
Even months after taking Baobab, the participants reported that their intestine was much better.
That way, the scientists have proved that baobab promotes the growth of different bifidobacteria and lactobacilli and not only works wonders in constipation, but generally contributes to improved bowel health.
Therefore, baobab is a perfect dietary supplement for the stomach and intestines.
Baobab alleviates diarrhea
A further study was conducted with African small children at the University of Padua. The studies showed that baobab also had a similar positive effect in diarrhea.
In addition, the scientists found that baobab has a faster and better effect on the diarrheal diseases of small children than the preparations recommended by the World Health Organization.
Since children also often suffer from fever, the baobab powder is all the more helpful here, because it seems to be antipyretic.
Baobab has antipyretic effects
In an animal study at the same university, it was found that a daily dose of baobab has the same antipyretic effect as 500 mg paracetamol (a common reliever of pain and fever).
Of course, after the intake of the baobab fruit powder no side effects were observed, which can not be said about Paracetamol.
Baobab – No side effects
No side effects or incompatibilities are known about Baobab fruit powder, even when large quantities are consumed.
Baobab powder is also gluten-free and is suitable for all, from the pregnant to the infant to the old man. It can also be consumed by diabetics, because it also lowers the blood sugar level.
Baobab lowers blood glucose levels
Scientists at the Oxford Brookes University in the UK and the Monash University in Australia found that the consumption of the baobab fruit pulp reduces the increase in blood glucose levels after a meal.
The effect was determined as soon as the baobab powder was consumed along with carbohydrate-rich food or high-glycemic foods. (High glycemic foods with a high glycemic index GI )
The GI is a parameter that measures how fast and how high the blood glucose level increases after eating something.
Pure glucose has the highest GI of 100. Also white bread is with 70 to 85 far up and thus increases the blood glucose rapidly.
Whole grain products, on the other hand, have a low GI of 40. Those products only allow the blood glucose level to rise slowly and hardly affect the pancreas.
If the baobab fruit powder is then added to a meal of high-GI foods, the powder can stop the sudden increase in blood glucose.
This effect can also be helpful for people with skin problems (impure skin, acne, etc.), since blood glucose fluctuations can often worsen the skin.
Baobab – Tips and recipes
The baobab powder can be included in the daily diet in a variety of ways. It has a fruity-tart, slightly sweet-sour taste and can be mixed with water or natural fruit juices.
A glass of water, for example, mixed with a tablespoon of fruit powder and some lemon is a great energy booster for in-between, which can boost your performance and concentration in a healthy way.
The baobab powder can also be mixed in portions of up to 10% in cakes and pastry dough to increase its dietary fiber content and health. Or you can stir it in yoghurts, soups, smoothies or dressings. Even for the refining of desserts the powder is used.
Important: When buying Baobab, make sure that the powder has undergone no heat treatment. This would result in a loss of vitamins. Therefore, the powder should not be stirred into boiling water. Do not use it for hot food until it has cooled down.
Delicious and healthy recipes with baobab fruit powder
We wish you a good appetite with the following Baobab recipes:
Baobab Mango Smoothie
For 4 people
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 ripe mango
- 300 g of ripe pineapple
- 200 ml almond milk
- 2 tbsp of baobab powder
- Ginger, cinnamon or cardamom for the last touch
Pour all the ingredients into a blender and puree for 1 minute. Add some ginger, cinnamon or cardamom at will. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Maple-Syrup-Mustard Dressing with baobab
For 4 people
- 3 tablespoons baobab fruit powder
- 50 ml cold pressed olive oil
- 2 tsp mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper
- chili powder
Put all ingredients into a small bowl and mix them to a creamy salad dressing. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, the dressing can be refined with some chili powder.
Baobab-Date-Muesli With Fresh Raspberries
For 1 person
- 1 tbsp of Baobab fruit powder
- 25 g oatmeal
- 30 g of dates, cut into small pieces
- 100 ml of hot water
- 1 small handful of dried mulberries
- 1 handful of fresh raspberries
Mix fruit powder, oatmeal, dates and mulberries together. Then pour the hot water over and let the muesli cool in the refrigerator for several hours, preferably overnight. Just before serving, add the fresh raspberries.
For 2 people
- 1 liter of water
- 50 g of ginger
- 1-2 tablespoons baobab fruit powder
- 1 bunch of soup green
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 teaspoon vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons of whipped cream or white almond
Add water, vegetables and vegetable broth to the cooking pot. Boil until the vegetables have softened. Mix the soup with the blender. Stir the soy yoghurt just before serving. The soup also tastes cold very delicious.The baobab powder can also be spread over freshly cooked porridge, fresh fruit, compote or over a salad.
This article will be continued …