Nutritional analysis of baobab powder has shown that it is a powerhouse when it comes to nutrients. There is a reason why the natives in Africa call the baobab tree the tree of life. This is because all the parts of the tree are either used as a source of food and drinks rich in nutrients.
The fruit pulp was used in different African cultures to make ice cream. In Sudan, the fruit is used to make a refreshing drink known as Gubdi. It is made by squeezing out the pulp and mixing it with cold water to preserve all the nutrients.
Baobab fruit, which is rich in fibre, has also been used for clothing such as for making mats and ropes and even for shelter. The baobab powder nutrients have also been traditionally used for medicinal purposes.
Arguably one of the most essential nutrients found in the baobab powder is Vitamin C. When compared to an orange; it contains about three times more vitamin C: 150-499mg/100mg in baobab powder versus 46mg/100mg in oranges.
Other reports have put this figure a tad higher, claiming it is six times greater than that of oranges. Vitamin C is easily assimilated into the diet and acts as a very potent antioxidant that protects the body’s cells from damage by harmful free radicals that roam the body. It also helps in the absorption of calcium and iron from the gut.
In addition, vitamin C is crucial for the skin, as it helps in the repair and formation of collagen in the skin’s connective tissue.
Baobab is also rich in pectin. It is estimated to contain about 56% of water-soluble pectins. The soluble fibre pectins are particularly useful in aiding digestion and in maintaining a balanced blood glycemic level. This has proved useful for those trying to lose weight, or diabetics looking to control their blood sugar level. Baobab powder has both soluble and insoluble fibre, which promotes intestinal health and maintains a healthy gut flora.
Nutritional trace element analysis of baobab powder shows that it is a great source of calcium with 100g of baobab powder yielding anywhere from 116 -370 mg of calcium (the recommended daily intake of calcium is about 500mg per day). As a matter of fact, its high calcium content is thought to be one of the primary reasons why children and pregnant women in Senegal consume baobab.
A study carried out in 1993 revealed that baobab fruit pulp, while it is still in its growth phase (from December to April) without the seeds being in the fruit, at least once a day added about 30 mg per day of calcium into the diet. The iron content in the baobab powder is about 1.7-1.9 mg per 100mg serving of baobab powder (the recommended daily intake of iron is 17mg per day). The overall sodium content is, however, low which is good for your blood vessels and general cardiovascular health.
Overall studies have shown that baobab has:
Baobab also contains zinc, manganese, essential fatty acids, phosphorus, protein and vitamin B complexes.