January 11, 2018 7:01 am Leave your thoughts
It’s the fruit of the ‘tree of life’, no less! The baobab tree has this nickname in parts of the hottest and remotest areas of Africa, where it grows. Baobabs are funny-looking trees, with thick trunks and truncated branches – they look rather as if they’d been planted upside-down. The trees grow to enormous sizes (some have been used for habitation) and survive for thousands of years. Their trunks store huge amounts of water, in what is one of the driest parts of the world.
The fruit of the baobab tree is equally intriguing: it starts off green, prickly and velvety, then dries naturally on the branch into something that resembles a coconut. The tough shells hang down from the branches in clusters that resemble – rather spookily – bats. Once hammered open, the interior white pulp of the fruit, which is completely dry, forms the baobab powder we sell at Naturally Good Food.
Why do we sell this powder?
The fruit of the baobab has long been considered an amazing foodstuff in Africa and we’re delighted to stock it now, as part of our ‘superfood’ and ‘supernutrient’ range. Its health benefits are extremely impressive!
Baobab powder is an incredibly rich source of vitamin C: a vitamin that’s vital for healthy immune function and for the proper absorption of iron in our diets. If you’re suffering from constant colds and sniffles, you could do worse than give baobab a try. And if you’re currently taking iron supplements, or worried about iron levels in your diet, remember that you need vitamin C as well – why not include baobab powder as part of an iron-rich diet?
Vitamin C also promotes the formation of collagen, giving us healthy, ‘glowing’ skin and preventing wrinkles.
We also like baobab because it’s such a good provider of fibre. It’s almost 50% fibre itself, half of which is soluble and half insoluble. Soluble fibre dissolves in the digestive system, slowing the release of sugar into the bloodstream, controlling our blood glucose levels and lowering cholesterol levels. The soluble fibre in baobab powder is a ‘prebiotic’, stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria (research has shown that native African people that eat lots of baobab have levels of gut flora around 40% higher than we do in the West). The insoluble fibre, meanwhile, keeps everything moving along in our digestive systems, maintaining good bowel health too.
Baobab powder is a fantastic source of antioxidants too, rich in elements that prevent the oxidation of molecules (‘free radicals’) that would damage the body. Baobabs contain more antioxidants than any other whole fruit.
Is it tasty?
Yes, it is. It’s got a lovely sweet, citrussy flavour, a little like a mixture of grapefruit and pear, with overtones of caramel and vanilla. If you like sherbert, you’ll like baobab!
How do you take your baobab?
Baobab powder makes a great addition to smoothies or shakes. It can be sprinkled over muesli, yoghurt or porridge – or dissolved in water and served with a slice of lemon.
Beware of lions!
One quick word of warning. African myth has it that if you pick a flower from a baobab tree, you will be eaten by a lion. We’d advise playing it safe. Stick to the powder.Tags: baobab, powder, superfood, supernutrient, supplement
This post was written by Yzanne