What is Baobab ?
Baobab is a tree that grows in Africa, Australia, and the Middle East. Every part of the tree has traditionally been used as food, as medicine, or as the basis of clothing or household items.
Baobab fruit is edible, and baobab seed powder is used in foods because of its nutrients, possible health benefits, and as a natural preservative.
What are baobab seeds used for?
Traditionally, baobab leaves, bark, and seeds have been used to treat “almost any disease,” including malaria, tuberculosis, fever, microbial infections, diarrhea, anemia, toothache, and dysentery.
The leaves and fruit pulp have been used to reduce fever and stimulate the immune system.
The health benefits of baobab are said to include:
- improving digestive health
- supporting the immune system
- general hydration and skin health
The pulp of the baobab fruit contains:
- vitamin C
The pulp can be used to add flavor to dishes and in juices.
The seeds contain:
A teaspoon of baobab powder, weighing around 4.4 grams, containsTrusted Source:
- 10 calories
- 3 g of carbohydrate, of which 1 g is sugar
- 2 g of fiber
- 136.4 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
- 0.352 mg of thiamin
- 0.227 mg of vitamin B6
- 10 mg of calcium
According to a study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, baobab pulp is rich in vitamin C, with 40 g providing from 84 percentTrusted Source to more than 100 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI).
The vitamin C level is said to be 10 times that of oranges.
Baobab leaves are also rich in calcium. The seeds and kernels of baobab fruit have a high-fat content while the pulp and leaves have antioxidant properties.
One promoter of baobab products claims it has 10 times the fiber of apples, six times the vitamin C of oranges, two times the antioxidants of acai berries, two times the calcium of milk, four times the potassium of bananas, and five times the magnesium of avocados.
Dietary tips of Baobab
In the regions where it grows, baobab is a staple food. In central Africa, the leaves are harvested and dried. They can be used in a similar way to spinach, or used as the basis of a sauce for adding to gruels, rice, and porridge.
The fruit pulp can be dissolved in water or milk and used as a drink, a sauce for food, as a fermenting agent in brewing, or in baking, similar to cream of tartar.
Baobab is most commonly available as a powder in regions where the fruit is not grown. It is hard to find fresh baobab fruit outside the regions where it grows.
Baobab powder may be used in bodybuilding and fitness supplements as well as in vitamins and mineral formulas.
It can also be incorporated into smoothies, fruit juices, cereals, granola bars, yogurts and dairy products.
Baobab fruit powder typically has a shelf life of 24 months, but researchers have called for more investigationTrusted Source into how storage and processing affects the nutrients.
Try this healthy and delicious recipe developed by a registered dietitian.