More Than a Delicious Fruit
Botanical name: Adansonia digitata
Baobab: More Than a Delicious Fruit
Baobab is a curious name and it may be new for most of us, but it is not something to run away from. Rather, this name should become part of you day-to-day if you want to be healthy. For centuries, this fruit has been part of African culture, and there are plenty of reasons why!
What in The World Is Baobab?
You’re right not to know. Until very recently, Baobab was just common to those in Africa and nearby regions. However, this name is becoming more and more influential. Baobab refers to the family of trees native to the tropical regions of Africa. There are different species of Baobab trees, found especially in Madagascar, Africa, Australia and South Asia.
These trees can exceed the 50 feet in height and can store large amounts of water in their trunks, allowing them to survive very dry conditions.
When referring to health benefits, we speak of the Baobab fruit. Today, it is harvested for most of these medicinal purposes. African tribes have consumed the fruit as part of daily diet intake as well as for its medicinal properties, but it has now been used to make alternative medicinal supplements in other parts of the world.
What is So Good About the Baobab Fruit?
This fruit is high in several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. One serving of baobab can give you 33 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. Baobab is also 50 percent fiber.
The dried fruit powder of baobab has pectin, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and phytosterols, and low amounts of protein and fats. Baobab has been classified as a whole food and prebiotic, which means it is a fruit full of vitamins and minerals beneficial to everyone.
Keep in mind this fruit is also a vegan a gluten free whole food, with a mild flavor that allows it to use as an ingredient in many recipes.
Baobab and Your Brain!
- Neuroprotection: the antioxidants in Baobab are 20 times more powerful than those in green tea or blueberries. These are great protectors of your brain and prevent degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia from happening. Free radicals in the environment, and in what you eat, attack your brain and brain cells, but eating Baobab can deter them.
- Brain development: for our brain cells to get enough oxygen and develop strong neural connections we need good levels of iron. Baobab has the right amount to help our brains become stronger, especially for kids.
- Anxiety: baobab is also a great source of the correct minerals for relaxing our nervous system. Consuming this fruit can help maintain healthy levels of neurotransmitters and prevent release of hormones that can create more stress and anxiety.
- Energy: the several minerals in this fruit can provide a boost of energy to your body and brain. Better oxygenation and reduced inflammation can help you feel more rested and energized.
- Headaches: the pressure and pain related to brain inflammation often leads to migraines or bad headaches, but consuming baobab can reduce inflammation and thus diminish pain from headaches.
Baobab and Your Body!
All the wonderful nutrients in baobab don’t only aid your brain, but they clearly make your body stronger and healthier. Here are some of the benefits of introducing this fruit to your daily diet:
- Blood Pressure: the high amounts of potassium in baobab contribute to a better heart health by acting as a vasodilator, which means it dilates the blood vessels and arteries. This process is essential in maintaining lower blood pressure and preventing your heart from working too hard.
- Gastrointestinal Health: for several generations in Africa, baobab has been used as a gastrointestinal aid. It is its amount of soluble and insoluble fiber that makes it such a great medicine for your gut. This dietary fiber optimizes the digestive process and reduces inflammation, while also regulating the amount of toxins and bacteria present in your gut.
The prebiotic properties of this fruit help regulate and even increase the “good” bacteria in your bowels, which can help solve problems like diarrhea or constipation.
- Immune System Health: all the nutrients in baobab make it a great boost for your autoimmune system. The high content of vitamin C especially is an immune-boosting nutrient that along the other nutrients in this fruit can help increase the number of white blood cells in your body and fight off foreign pathogens.
- Arthritis: most types of arthritis lead to a high amount of pain due to inflammation of the joints. Consuming baobab can reduce the inflammation in your joints and thus reduce pain. This fruit is also a great way to help improve movement and flexibility.
- Bone Strength: with a high amount of calcium, baobab is another important source of this mineral that can strengthen your bones. But it is also magnesium—another mineral—that can help slow down bone density loss at older ages and help keep strong bones to prevent injury.
- Cardiovascular Health: not only can baobab reduce pressure on your heart from high blood pressure, but it can also reduce levels of cholesterol, which is one of the main causes for heart disease and heart attack today. Consuming this fruit will provide a better balance and reduce the amount of work your heart has to do.
How Can I Eat This Fruit?
As with any other medicinal herbs and foods today, many are selling supplements and powders. Be careful with the ones you choose, make sure they have the right amount of nutrients and no other food or chemical involved.
The most common way to eat this fruit is to buy baobab powder, which can then be mixed into smoothies, juices, with tea or water, or simply added to foods. Though oil form is also sold, it is much more concentrated and should be consumed with extra care.
Baobab is My New Favorite Fruit
If you’re more than ready to get your health on the right track, then why not try this wonderful fruit? Add it to your morning smoothie, or your afternoon tea, and you’ll notice the effects soon. Let us know what you think!