You may never have heard of the word ‘baobab’. Perhaps you may even struggle with how it is pronounced but baobab (pronounced bei-oh-baeb) has found itself within good company as part of the superfood group. Originating from the dry savannas of West Africa, the baobab tree has been touted as the tree of life since it is able to live for more than half a millennium (that’s 500 years!) and towers over the land with a trunk that extends over 90 feet into the sky. In Africa, most communities are built around these majestic trees, since every part of the tree from the leaves, bark, seeds down to the fruit have been utilised as food or even for medicinal use.
To answer our title question, baobab can indeed help you with losing weight, but there is more to it than just a superfood for weight-loss. Read on to find out how the baobab tree can enrich your life further.
What Is Baobab?
What we see on the market is baobab powder and it is fascinating how that transforms into the little grains of powder we see bottled today. Something unique about the baobab is that its fruit is the one and only fruit in existence that dries on its own on the branch. Like other fruits, it starts off green and ripens as per usual. Over time, instead of falling to the ground from the weight or going rank, the baobab actually stays suspended on the branch and gets warmed in the scorching sun for months. Its soft to the touch texture actually starts transforming before it gets as hard as a coconut, with its insides all dried up. Since the fruit has been known to be nutritionally dense, its seeds are removed and sieved during the harvesting process and what we get is a lovely supplement with all of its goodness retained.
Benefits of Baobab
All of us know now that the baobab fruit is a superfood, but due to how infrequent baobab is seen in Asian countries or used in our daily lives, not many of us know of the wealth of health benefits that the fruit brings. Read on to discover more about this exotic fruit.
It Is Great For Your Skin
This would surely pique your interest since the baobab fruit has been known to contain loads of antioxidants and polyphenols. These are organic compounds that shield your cells from oxidative damage inflicted by free radicals. This, in turn, reduces inflammation throughout your body and keep acne breakouts at bay. Surprisingly, baobab has around twice the amount of antioxidants as compared to goji berries and pomegranates and has a high vitamin C content as well. This is great for those with ageing skin or stretch marks since the body’s collagen formulation is boosted and this improves the skin’s elasticity and texture while paring down the appearance of wrinkles and stretch marks.
It Helps You Lose Weight
When we talk about losing weight, the baobab fruit is a great way to do so since it is so easy to include it into our diet. Since the baobab is a great source of fibre (just a single tablespoon can give us about 4.5 grams of fibre, that’s almost a fifth of our daily fibre requirements), by adding it into our diet, it helps us curb our cravings by creating the perception of fullness in our tummies. A research study found that those who consumed a smoothie with baobab extract were less likely to overeat since they experienced a reduction in hunger. How that works is due to the way fibre advances through our digestive system — due to its slow movement, your stomach does not empty itself as fast, thus keeping you feeling contented with the same amount of food.
It Balances Your Blood Sugar Levels
Our diet often consists of rice and white bread which causes our blood sugar levels to spike at unprecedented levels. But did you know that by adding baobab to our diet, it decreases the amount of insulin required for our body to haul sugar from the blood to the tissues? Not to mention, the higher fibre content in baobab also slows down the rate in which sugar is absorbed into our bloodstream. This ensures that our blood sugar levels are stabilised over a longer stretch of time.
How Can We Introduce Baobab Into Our Diet?
Depending on the form you purchase your baobab in, there are multiple ways in which you can enjoy the health benefits of the baobab fruit. What we see mostly in organic food stores are the powdered versions that are commonly found. With this powder, you can mix them into your daily choice of drink as a supplement. Regardless if it is your fruit juices, teas, smoothies or even to water, the citrus-like flavour of the baobab fruit is will give your beverage a little flavourful punch. Likewise, the baobab can also be utilised as a topping over your baked goodies like cookies or over brownies. For those who enjoy a serving of yoghurt or oats in the morning, a light sprinkle gives your breakfast meal an antioxidant booster. It takes a little bit of creativity to work out new and unique ways to experience the baobab fruit but, believe us, your life would spice up with a little bit of baobab in it.