Baobab Fruit Nutrition
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.
Nutritional analysis of Baobab Fruit:
EU Nutrition Claims
Potential EU nutrition claims with Baobab Fruit:
Comparisons with Other High Nutrient Foods
A 15g serving of Baobab Fruit Powder is the equivalent to:
As much Fibre as 3 cups of broccoli
As much Vitamin C as 1 orange
As much Calcium as 3 eggs
As much Potassium as 4 dried apricots
As much Magnesium as nearly 1 banana
Health & Functional Attributes of Baobab Fruit
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.