The Tree Of Life
The Tree Of Life
Why the baobab tree is a nutritional giant!
The mighty baobab tree isn’t just a magnificent specimen reaching up to 30 metres (almost 100ft) tall. It is also a giant in nutritional terms.
This exotic dried fruit could be a powerful ally in the fight for fitness due to it’s high fibre content and ability to convey the feeling of being full up, which Oxford Brooks University researchers say can in turn help maintain a healthy bodyweight.
Native to regions of Africa, Arabia, Australia and Madagascar, this distinctive tree produces a large fruit known for it’s delicious citrus-flavour. And it is the only fruit in the world which dries naturally on the branch, meaning there is no need for processing or drying.
While the baobab doesn’t grow here, the UK and other parts of the world commonly use powdered baobab in recipes. With the pulp of the fruit rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and key minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc, and the leaves boasting calcium and easily digested proteins, the baobab really is a secret weapon in any diet.
And as if that wasn’t enough the seeds and kernel of the fruit are packed with fibre, fat and nutrients like calcium, thiamine and iron. Coupled with its distinct advantage of promoting a feeling of fullness and helping provide a highly nutritious addition to any diet this exotic fruit is a nutritional winner.
Here are five more facts worth knowing about the mighty baobab:
- May promote that full-up feeling: Research has shown that adding baobab can curb cravings for food helping you eat less. Baobab has a high fibre content, which can help slow the emptying of the stomach. Researchers from the Functional Food Centre, Oxford Brookes University, said: “Our research has positive implications for the use of baobab for reducing hunger, possibly having a positive effect on weight maintenance.”
- Helping balance blood sugar: Studies have also shown that the inclusion of baobab in your diet can slow down the amount of rapidly ingested starch and reduce the increase in blood sugar levels in the body. Its high fibre content may also slow the absorption of sugar and reduce insulin needed to keep your blood sugar levels from crashing.
- Reduce inflammation: Packed with antioxidants and polyphenols which protect the body’s cells from damage, experts suggest that baobab can reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been shown to impact health conditions such as heart disease, cancer and auto-immune conditions. Further research though is needed into this interesting area.
- Improved digestive health: Blessed with a high fibre content the baobab can aid digestive health and assist with intestinal ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease and constipation.
- Fresh or powdered? Powdered is more readily available in the UK, is stocked in our stores and packs a real nutritional punch.
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- High in vitamin C and antioxidants
- High in fibre (50%)
- Source of micronutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and electrolytes
- Probiotic and prebiotic effect
- Regulates and stabilises blood sugar levels.
How can I take my daily dose of baobab?
This delicious powder can be added to anything from desserts to stews, soups, and smoothies. But to get your daily dose of baobab consider its citrus flavour and mix it into your favourite drink.
A sprinkle of baobab powder in water, juice, tea, and smoothies can give any beverage a lift. And it can also be sprinkled over yoghurt or oatmeal for a tasty snack or breakfast.
The bottom line with the mighty baobab is that it delivers a number of impressive health benefits and making sure you get enough is as easy as just adding a sprinkle.