Organic Baobab Fruit Powder
Health & Functional Attributes of Baobab Fruit
Baobabs are almost unique in that their fruit occurs naturally as a dry powder - the fruit pods dehydrating and hardening on the branch throughout the dry season. It is thought that this process of dehydration naturally concentrates the nutrients in the pods producing one of the most nutrient-dense fruits on the planet.
This means that Baobab Fruit Powder is actually a completely raw fruit, having undergone no heat treatment, irradiation, spray-drying or freeze-drying. It is also non-GMO, preservative-free and additive-free.
Baobab Fruit Powder is categorized as a superfood or superfruit due to its outstanding nutritional characteristics. It is sold in healthfood stores across Europe, North America and Australia as a superfood powder alongside similar products such as Spirulina. In food production, Baobab is used as an ingredient in a wide range of products such as smoothies, health bars, breakfast cereals, beverages, ice creams, yoghurts, baking products, chocolates and confectionery.
Baobab is naturally bursting with essential minerals, antioxidants, electrolytes and prebiotic dietary fibre. The fruit has a subtle lemon sherbet-like flavour which combines perfectly with other fruits, providing multiple opportunities for food innovation. It is being increasingly adopted by food and beverage brands.
Baobab: "Tree Of Life"
Prebiotic Activity and Digestive Health
Baobab has a notably high dietary fibre content (around 55%). Roughly half of this fibre content is soluble fibres, and it is this soluble fibre that has been found in studies to have a good Prebiotic effect. It has been shown that the growth of intestinal microflora necessary for good digestion, in particular lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, is stimulated in the presence of the soluble fibre. This means that digestion is improved, allowing us to absorb more of the nutrients from our foods. The insoluble portion of Baobab Fruit Powder is also important, as this provides the roughage necessary for facilitating the movement through our gastrointestinal tracts.
Glycemic Index and Blood Sugar Levels
Studies conducted by the Oxford Brookes University found Baobab significantly lowered the glycemic response of simple carbohydrates such as white bread. Put simply, when subjects ate just white bread, their blood sugar spiked. However when subjects ate white bread with Baobab (either when baked into the baking mix, or ingested separately as a smoothie), they showed much lower blood sugar spikes. This stabilizing effect is of much interest as a potential tool for managing blood sugar levels in people who suffer from Type II Diabetes and also followers of low GI diets.
A 2012 review published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that balancing your body’s pH through an alkaline diet can be helpful in reducing morbidity and mortality from numerous chronic diseases and ailments — such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, vitamin D deficiency, and low bone density. The PRAL rating (potential renal acid load) is a measure of the alkalising properties of foods. With a PRAL rating of -52, Baobab Fruit Powder is one of the most alkalising foods on the planet.
Muscle Recovery and Immune-Boosting
Baobab is rich in Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that our body is unable to produce for itself. Vitamin C is known for its ability to support the immune system, keeping you strong, healthy and boosting your defences against disease and infection. Vitamin C also aids muscle recovery. A 2006 study conducted by the University of North Carolina found that subjects taking doses of vitamin C before exercise and for 4 days after reported less muscle sourness compared to the control group. Another study by the University of Birmingham found that subjects who took vitamin C exhibited 75% more post exercise recovery than those who consumed vitamin E or a placebo.
Iron-deficiency is one of the world’s most common nutritional disorders. Iron-deficiency causes anemia, which occurs when the body has decreased levels of haemoglobin in its red blood cells. This hinders the body’s ability to access oxygen, leading to fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath. Iron deficiency anemia is especially common in women of childbearing age. Although there are many natural sources of iron, including Baobab, our body is unfortunately not always able to absorb it. Vitamin C is known to enhance the absorption of iron, and the presence of both Vitamin C and Iron in Baobab makes this an exceptionally rich source of bio-available iron.
A healthy liver is essential to human wellness. In a 2016 study published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Baobab Fruit was found to have a very strong hepatoprotective activity in rats, suggesting that regular consumption of Baobab could protect liver functioning in humans.
Research has shown that Baobab Fruit has a very strong cardio-protective effect against ISP-induced oxidative stress in rats. Specifically the rats treated with Baobab Fruit Powder were found to have no infiltration of their hearts’ inflammatory cells and no congestion in the blood cells. This would imply that Baobab Fruit have an important role to play in promoting healthy hearts.
The lipoxygenase (LOX) products have been identified as mediators of a series of inflammatory diseases, namely rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, allergic rhinitis, atherosclerosis, kidney, skin and allergic diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer and metabolic syndrome and certain types of cancer. Research on Baobab Fruit has found that they are exceptionally good at inhibiting the activity of 15-LOX8.
Baobab trees (Adansonia digitata) are an unmistakable icon of the African savannah with a long history of use amongst local communities. The tree itself is unusual in that it is able to survive long periods of drought by absorbing and storing water in its vast trunk. Baobab trees grow in 32 African countries and regularly live for over 1,000 years growing up to 30 metres in height and 15 metres in diameter.
The Baobab tree is known in Africa as "The Tree of Life" because there are many traditional uses for every part of it, from the leaves to the roots. The fruit powder is commonly mixed with water and sugar to make a popular and refreshing sherbet-like drink. The powder is also used for porridge, sauces and other dishes and as a substitute for cream of tartar in baking, and a fermenting agent in traditional brews. Medicinally, Baobab Fruit Powder has many applications. It is taken to treat fevers, gastric complaints (perhaps due to its high magnesium content), malaria, haemoptysis (the coughing of blood from the lungs) and Vitamin C deficiency. The fruit powder is also used as a general health tonic, particularly among children, pregnant women and the elderly, perhaps due to its high calcium content. Traditionally African people also eat the leaves of the Baobab, which can be pounded to make a relish, and use the fibrous bark to make ropes, baskets and fishing nets.
Nutrition Claims & Comparisons
Baobab fruit (Adansonia digitata) is recognised as a “superfruit” for its high nutrient and polyphenol content. Its slightly tart and refreshing taste makes it an excellent flavour enhancer, and it combines well with both sweet and savoury recipes. Its high pectin content (around 25%), giving it a thick and creamy mouth-feel, makes it an ideal and functional ingredient in many applications from smoothies, juices, ice-creams, yoghurts and sauces to nutrition bars, baked goods and cereals.
US Nutrition Claims
EU Nutrition Claims
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Fiber and Vitamin C comparisons with other similar products