The mighty desert tree, Baobab or adansonia digitata, is one of the producers of healthy food products in the market. It’s known as the ‘Tree of Life’ because of its numerous health advantages. What are the health benefits of Baobab fruit?
The top benefits of a Baobab fruit include boosting immunity, preventing chronic diseases, promoting growth and repair, strengthening bones, and lowering blood pressure. Baobab is a ‘pool of nutrients’ including iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and various antioxidants.
This article explores the various nutritional benefits of the Baobab and its side effects. It highlights recipes and cuisines in which you can add Baobab (fresh or powdered). Let’s get started.
What is Baobab Fruit?
Baobab is a large, greenish-brown, oval-shaped fruit that grows in certain parts of Africa, Australia, Arabia, and Madagascar. It contains many vitamins and minerals that provide remarkable healthy benefits to your body. Fresh and powdered Baobab are both rich in these nutrients.
The fruit’s dry and powdery pulp can make nutritious snacks, juice, and porridge. You can dehydrate the pulp into Baobab flour. Baobab seeds and leaves are also edible.
What Are the Health Benefits of Baobab Fruit?
Baobab fruit has many health benefits, including the following:
- Providing vitamins and minerals
- Boosting immunity
- Preventing chronic diseases
- Aiding weight loss
- Lowering blood pressure
- Balancing blood sugar
- Optimizing digestive health
- Promoting healthy skin
- Flavoring food
- Aiding fertility
- Enhancing nervous system functionality
- Stabilizing hormonal imbalance
- Reducing tiredness and fatigue
- Relieving nausea
- Preventing anemia
- Reducing fever
- Relieving diarrhea and dysentery
- Strengthening bones
- Cleansing the liver
Read on as we look at the above benefits of the fruit of the Baobab tree hereunder:
Providing Vitamins and Minerals
On top of the health benefits of Baobab is the nutritional content that varies depending on its geographical location the plant’s part.
Below are the present nutrients:
- Seeds: Loaded with micronutrients (iron, calcium, and thiamine), fiber, and fat.
- Pulp: Rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
- Leaves: High in top-notch, easily digestible proteins and calcium.
The Baobab fruit powder has many nutrients but is rich in potassium, niacin, vitamins C and B6, and iron.
Baobab contains high levels of vitamin C, making it an excellent immune booster. A robust immune system protects your body against diseases, infections, viruses, and other conditions. Also, vitamin C has antioxidant properties that fight your body’s free radicals to prevent certain diseases like cancer.
Thankfully, the Baobab fruit pulp contains 10 times more vitamin C than oranges, the primary source of vitamin C.
Preventing Chronic Diseases
One of the health benefits of Baobab is its anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants and polyphenols in Baobab prevent cell oxidation and reduce inflammation of body parts. For instance, vitamin C neutralizes free radicals that cause tissue and cell damage.
Chronic inflammations can result in many health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and autoimmune disorders.
Aiding Weight Loss
The seeds of Baobab are a good source of dietary fiber that can boost your satiety. Fiber absorbs water in the gastrointestinal tract, increasing the food matter volume in your stomach. That keeps hunger away.
Also, fiber-rich foods pass slowly through the gastrointestinal tract, allowing you to stay full for a long time. Thus, such food can aid in healthy weight loss, weight management, and hunger control on busy schedules.
Lowering Blood Pressure
Richness in vitamin C, potassium, and calcium is one of the health benefits of Baobab. The nutrients are essential in promoting normal blood pressure.
Sufficient vitamin C moderates your blood pressure, reducing the rate of cardiovascular diseases like stroke. Baobab provides about 58% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C.
Potassium reduces heart strain by dilating arteries. That improves blood flow and consequently lowers blood pressure. Adequate calcium minimizes the risk of high blood pressure.
Balancing Blood Sugar
Baobab fruit slows blood sugar increase and reduces the insulin needed to control blood sugar levels. It’s high polyphenol content that reduces starch digestion and glycemic response is among the impressive health benefits of Baobab.
The fruit’s high fiber content delays sugar absorption into the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. Also, fiber stabilizes blood glucose levels.
Optimizing Digestive Health
Prebiotic fiber is one of Baobab’s primary components, in large amounts, that prevents constipation and regulates the intestines. Ten grams of Baobab powder fiber contains up to 18% of the RDA.
Fiber promotes digestive health by moving through the gastrointestinal tract undigested. It helps in curbing constipation by increasing stool frequency.
Also, fiber supports the gut’s beneficial bacteria, optimizing the gut’s microbiome health. An increased fiber intake can protect you from health conditions such as hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, and intestinal ulcers.
Promoting Healthy Skin
The antioxidant richness in a Baobab fruit is higher than any other fruit, giving you healthy and glowing skin. Also, it has vitamin C, which aids in forming collagen (the protein that enhances skin elasticity), giving you radiant, glowing skin and preventing wrinkles.
Calcium improves skin barrier function, enhancing moisture retention and maintaining hydrated skin. Hence, calcium-rich food is a recommended remedy for skin dryness.
The pleasant, mild, citrus-flavored Baobab is an ideal nutritious addition to your diet. You can enjoy the fresh Baobab fruit or add flavor to your smoothies, desserts, soups, and stew.
Also, you can mix the powdered fruit with your drinks, such as juice, water, smoothies, or tea. It’s a quick and convenient way of gaining the fantastic health benefits of Baobab.
Additionally, you can add Baobab powder to bakes or sprinkle over oatmeal or yogurt to boost the antioxidant content.
Your fertility greatly depends on what you eat. Baobab’s micronutrient richness addresses your nutrition needs appropriately by providing essential vitamins and minerals. They include vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, iron, calcium, and zinc, which increases fertility (in men and women).
Also, the nutrients aid in pregnancy by sustaining the mother and promoting the baby’s normal development.
Enhancing Nervous System Functionality
Baobab fruit is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B complex, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The essential nutrients aid the functioning of the nervous system. Hence, increasing your Baobab intake reduces the chances of suffering from oxidative stress, insomnia, mood swings, and depression.
For instance, a cup of Baobab tea before bedtime can give you good sleep.
Stabilizing Hormonal Imbalance
Balanced hormones are one of the great health benefits of Baobab fruit. Niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin C significantly boost progesterone and clearance of excess estrogen by the liver. Low progesterone levels can lead to irregular or missed menses, reduced sex drive, miscarriages, bloating, heat flashes, and mood swings.
Since fresh or powdered Baobab is rich in these nutrients, it makes a good remedy for hormonal imbalance challenges.
Reducing Tiredness and Fatigue
Baobab slows energy release, maintaining high energy levels in your body all day long. The high vitamin C content regulates metabolism and boosts the immune system, producing standard energy release. As a result, the fruit reduces tiredness and fatigue and supports a normal energy-yielding metabolism necessary for all body functions.
Baobab fruit is a commonly used African traditional medicine to relieve nausea due to its vitamin C content. It’s more effective if you combine it with vitamin K. Adding a teaspoon of its powder and 5 grams of vitamin K to a glass of water knocks out nausea and keeps you hydrated.
In addition to being a good source of iron, Baobab fruit supports iron absorption. Its high vitamin C content helps your body absorb iron from your meals. As a result, hemoglobin and blood levels increase, minimizing the risk of iron deficiency-related conditions like anemia.
A rise in temperatures above normal is an alarm of unwellness. You can use Baobab to normalize your body temperatures if you experience fever. Mixing 1 teaspoon of Baobab powder, lemon juice, and honey can fix the condition.
Relieving Diarrhea and Dysentery
Potassium-rich foods can reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhea and dysentery. Since the nutrient is present in Baobab, it can make an excellent remedy for the condition. Also, the Baobab fruit’s pulp is rich in astringent, a compound that regulates the gastrointestinal tract.
Our bodies need enough calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Baobab has twice the amount of calcium as milk, one of the primary nutrient sources. Therefore, Baobab fruit is a suitable plant-based source of calcium if you don’t get along with dairy products.
Cleansing the Liver
A well-functioning liver is vital for a healthy body as it regulates the blood’s chemical levels. Beta-sitosterol and beta-amyrin palmitate in Baobab’s pulp makes the fruit hepatoprotective. They protect the liver against damage and can also restore it.
Are There Side Effects of Baobab?
Yes, there are a few side effects of Baobab, including the following:
- Antinutrients (oxalic acid, phytates, and tannins) in the Baobab seeds and pulp can slow nutrient absorption and availability. However, the amount is insignificant, and it won’t harm you if you eat a balanced diet rich in healthy whole foods.
- Cyclopropenoid fatty acids in Baobab oil can cause health problems due to their interference with fatty acids.
Luckily, the harmful compounds significantly reduce during processing and are unlikely to harm you. However, there’s limited nutrition research on the effect of Baobab fruit in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
In your efforts to ensure that your body stays fit, Baobab can put your search to an end. The fruit is rich in minerals and vitamins that keep your health in check.
Our article lists the impressive health benefits of Baobab, which are good for your health. They include excellent immunity, controlled weight, balanced blood sugar, proper body part functionality, normal hormonal balance, and increased fertility. Also, the fruit has medicinal properties, making it remedial to many health conditions.
Fortunately, powdered Baobab is readily available and versatile; thus, it is easy to have your daily dose.