The Baobab fruit, which grows in Africa, is believed to have remarkable health benefits. This tangy fruit with citrus flavour has high Vitamin C content, which makes it suitable for treatment of conditions caused due to Vitamin C deficiency. Practitioners of traditional medicine have used it for centuries to treat a range of illnesses including fevers, malaria and gastric problems.
In the US and UK, the baobab fruit was largely unknown until recent scientific research showed it to be nothing less than a superfood. As evidence regarding the nutritional and health benefits of this emerging superfood mounts, products derived from it like baobab fruit powder and baobab seeds are beginning to grab attention all over the world. Baobab fruit products are now available in health stores across the US and UK.
This exotic fruit owes most of its health benefits to its high Vitamin C content. If you thought that oranges were the best sources of Vitamin C, think again. A serving of fresh orange contains only about one tenth of the Vitamin C provided by an equivalent serving of baobab fruit pulp. Very few foods like kakadu plums, acerola, rosehips, and camu camu can beat the baobab when it comes to Vitamin C content. It is definitely one of the best natural sources of Vitamin C. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of this upcoming superfood and we will also tell you the best place to get it.
Baobab Helps Keep Your Skin Young, Healthy And Wrinkle-Free
Anti ageing diets and supplements contain generous doses of Vitamin C because it helps the body synthesize elastin and collagen. These proteins are critical for maintaining the elasticity and health of the skin. Besides containing large amounts of Vitamin C, the baobab fruit is also rich in antioxidants, which helps prevent tissue damage.
Our body regularly produces free radicals, the highly reactive and unstable molecules that can damage cells. Free radicals increase the risk of degenerative diseases and contribute to the aging process. Many signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines become worse if excess free radicals are present. Antioxidants combine with free radicals and neutralize them. Most fruits have antioxidants, but the baobab fruit is a class apart.
In terms of Integral Antioxidant Capacity (IAC), a measure of the antioxidant potential of a substance, baobab fruit is 11.11. Compare this with other common fruits like strawberry (0.91), kiwi (0.34), apple (0.16) and orange (0.10) and you will see that they don’t even come close.
It Promotes Fat Loss And Helps Keep Blood Sugar Levels Stable
A diet that is rich in Vitamin C can make a huge difference to the amount of fat burned during a workout. Researchers from Arizona State University found that people with inadequate blood Vitamin C levels burned 25% less fat compared to those without the deficiency during the same workout session.
Vitamin C is required for the production of a compound called carnitine, which encourages the body to burn fat instead of storing it. The higher carnitine levels could be the reason for the superior fat burning ability of people without Vitamin C deficiency. If you currently have Vitamin C deficiency, supplementing your diet with baobab fruit powder or fresh baobab fruits could be an excellent way of boosting the effectiveness of your workouts.
Baobab fruit promotes gradual release of glucose by slowing down the digestion of starch. Thus, it prevents high glycemic foods from causing glucose spikes in your blood. The November 2013 edition of the Nutrition Research journal published the results of a study on the impact of baobab extract on digestion. Researchers discovered that adding baobab extract at a concentration of 1.88% while baking significantly reduced the amount of easy to digest starch contained in white bread. This is an important discovery because it means that baobab fruit can help fight obesity by making it more difficult for people to gain weight.
Meals with low glycemic index (GI meals) help people lose weight by making them feel full longer, reducing their cravings and keeping insulin levels in check. It has been shown in a study that both low doses (18.5 g) and high doses (37g) of baobab fruit extract taken in 250 ml of water along with white bread reduces the glycemic response of the meal significantly.
Baobab Fruit Can Prevent Heart And Circulatory Diseases
Foods such as baobab fruit products that are rich in Vitamin C are a good defence against heart, cardiovascular and circulatory problems. A University of California study found a 24% reduction in the plasma levels of C-reactive protein (CRP levels) of the participants. They took a 500 mg Vitamin C supplement every day during a two-month period. Recent research suggests that compared to cholesterol levels, plasma CRP levels are possibly a far superior measure of a person’s risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Vitamin C, besides improving circulation, is also necessary for producing elastin and collagen. Collagen, a structural protein, is the main component of connective tissue and elastin gives it elasticity. These proteins, besides improving circulation, are necessary to keep veins healthy and toned. It is, therefore, not surprising that deficiency of Vitamin C is associated with an increased risk of varicose veins.
Adding Vitamin C rich foods like baobab fruit products into the diet can also help cure circulatory issues such as varicose veins and venous insufficiency. The benefits to veins are believed to be much higher when Vitamin C is taken in combination with Vitamin E. Add a rich source of Vitamin E like ground walnut (an acknowledged superfood) along with baobab pulp powder to your smoothie and you will do a lot of good to your veins.
Baobab Fruit May Help Cleanse And Detoxify The Liver Naturally
A healthy liver is essential for good health. Liver is a critical organ of the body and besides many other functions, it is responsible for destroying toxins and neutralising harmful metabolic wastes in the blood so that they can be safely excreted.
Exposure to toxic substances such as alcohol, cigarette smoke, pesticides, prescription medicines and other harmful chemicals can gradually damage the liver and impair its function. Fortunately, your liver has the ability to bounce back and many foods and supplements help speed up its recovery. They are called hepatoprotective substances and baobab fruit is one of them.
Researchers studying the hepatoprotective effects of baobab fruit found that it provided significant protection against liver injury in rats. Water based baobab extract was used for this study. Researchers believe that the liver protecting ability of baobab fruit could be due to the presence of chemicals such as triterpenoids, ursolic acid, beta-sitosterol and beta-amyrin palmitate in its pulp.
Baobab Fruit Is Packed With Minerals
Like vitamins, minerals are also important for the body and mineral deficiencies can lead to health problems. To ensure adequate supply of minerals, just use fresh baobab pulp in cooking or add concentrated baobab fruit powder to your dishes. It provides your body with a cocktail of the most important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, iron and zinc. They have essential roles to play in numerous body functions.
Superfoods provide multiple benefits to the body and baobab fruit is one of the best superfoods that you can get. Baobab products are easily available in stores. You will be doing yourself and your family a great favour by adding them to your diet. Check out our range of Baobab products below.