2. Where is the Baobab Tree found?
3. What is Baobab Fruit?
4. How Is Baobab Powder Made?
5. Baobab Nutrition
6. Medicinal Uses of Baobab Powder
7. How to add Baobab Powder into your Diet
8. Where can you buy Organic Baobab Powder?
One food that is very much deserving of the 'superfood' title is Baobab, an eye-catching green pod naturally found in Upper-East Ghana.
Crack the pod open and inside peaks out a powdery white fruit that is rich in all sorts of beneficial nutrients.
This powdery fruit provides up to six times more vitamin C than oranges, more antioxidants than blueberries, more potassium than that in bananas and twice the amount of calcium you get from downing a glass of milk.
This tasty and nutritious powder has a delightful citrusy and tangy flavour while it is also a powerhouse of minerals including iron and magnesium.
It also has a high fibre content, and as if that wasn’t enough, it's rich in prebiotic complexes that will leave your gut healthy and your body free of harmful bacteria.
While some people have preached about the virtues of baobab powder for decades, it’s only recently that this superfood has finally made it into the mainstream.
Now you can find this fruit in just about every country in the world and many of your favourite health foods including chocolate bars, protein balls and fruit juices.
Since the fruit is slowly making its mark in the world, we figured it’s an excellent time to tell you all about this magnificent ‘superfood.’
This ‘superfood’ comes from a tree bearing the same name. The baobab tree is also known by various names including the 'cream of tartar' and the 'monkey bread tree'.
Owing to its unique silhouette once the sun sets, which gives off the appearance of a tree that has been uprooted and then stood by its end, it is also called the 'upside-down tree'.
The Baobab tree has also been referred to as the tree of life and with good reason.
This tree has been a source of food, water shelter and clothing for animal and human inhabitants within the African savannah regions. It is truly is an icon for the Savannah residents.
Baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) is native to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Botswana.
Our very own organic baobab power comes from small-scale farmers based in the beautiful country of Ghana; more specifically Upper East Ghana.
However, as of today, this tree can be found in just about any country on the African continent.
As a matter of fact, there are nine different species of the baobab tree, which have a long lifespan of 5,000 years and more.
Besides from the one found in Africa, one of the other species (which is regarded as the oldest tree in the world, dating back to as far as 6,000 thousand years) is found in Australia; the remaining baobab tree species can be found in Madagascar.
It’s interesting to note that most of the ‘superfruits’ or any ordinary fruits and vegetables that we consume today come from plants or trees that are still relatively young.
Typically, most fruit trees do not grow beyond 100 years; even the oldest reported vines are just about 245 years old.
The older the plant or tree, the less productive it becomes and as such it is less viable from a commercial standpoint.
However, the baobab tree is unique in that it only starts to bear fruits once it is 200 years old. These trees can grow well over 1,000 years old.
It can take a baobab tree this long just to produce its very first green velvety pod-shaped brown fruit.
Related: Learn All About the Baobab Tree
The baobab tree produces thick white flowers, which are pollinated at night by fruit bats.
These fruits eventually sprout to become long green or brown fruits, which look like small gourds.
The fruits emerge from the thick showy white flowers around December, then takes about six months to mature into a superfruit that is now the rave of the world.
In early February, they are still slowly growing the fruit, and it is very green and soft inside.
The inside of the fruit remains pulpy and wet providing the right conditions for the seeds to mature.
Come May; the fruits start to dry out and one by one they drop off the baobab trees, which is the ideal time for harvesting.
Only the fruits that have fallen are harvested to protect that parent baobab tree from any damage.
One thing that is unique about the baobab fruit is that it dries out naturally, while it is still on the tree. This translates into minimal processing being required to extract its powder and refine it.
As such, all the essential nutrient values remain intact, making this an ideal ‘superfruit’ by all accounts.
Essentially the pulp of the fruit is what dries out to become the baobab powder. The pulp holds in much of the seeds of the fruit, unlike the whites of apples that are soft and juicy.
Once the fruit is fully mature and has dropped off the tree, and is now ready for harvest, the fruit is then cracked open.
Inside the small dark brown seeds are separated from the white peach tinted powdery pulp.
The powder is then finely sieved out, twice. The first sieve is to remove any remaining seeds and the second is an extreme sieve to remove fibres.
A beautiful, cream-coloured powder is what most people get on the market shelves. In our case, we fill the pure and raw organic baobab powder into kraft-paper pouches ready to send out to happy customers (you can get 10% off our baobab powder using the discount code 10OFF).
The seeds are not put to waste either; they are instead cold-pressed to produce a rich golden oil that cosmetic and skin care product specialists later sell.
Nutritional analysis of the 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, which is found in baobab powder, 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 as well as helping in the absorption of calcium and iron from the gut.
Vitamin C is also 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.
The health benefits accorded by taking baobab powder are limitless, especially in modern day society as we have already alluded in this article.
The powder is vegan-friendly, sugar-free and dairy-free. To not repeat what we have mentioned previously, we shall instead focus on some of the traditional uses of baobab powder that modern science has proven to be indeed helpful. Some of this you have may never heard of before.
1) Although baobab is viewed as relatively new to the West, reports show that this ‘superfood’ has been around since the 1900s and was used in preparing tasty tea cakes.
During World War I, the baobab fruit powder was used as a leaven for baked goods. In the US, reports show that various dispensaries recommended baobab fruit for its medicinal properties from 1860 to 1947.
2) A 1994 research showed that baobab powder had antipyretic properties as well an analgesic and anti-inflammatory attributes.
The scientists found that while baobab powder could lower high body temperature, it had no effect on normal body temperature.
Its anti-inflammatory properties made it particularly useful for treating chronic inflammatory conditions and providing supportive treatment for patients suffering from diabetes and heart disease.
3) A 1997 study compared the efficacy of a local beverage called Pain de Singe that was made from baobab powder against the WHO's recommended standard solution (was composed primarily of sugar, salt and water).
This comparison was as a treatment solution for kids having acute episodes of diarrhoea, which often resulted in mild to moderate dehydration.
The results of the study found that both solutions were equally effective in preventing dehydration in kids.
4) Various studies on animals that have ate baobab fruit powder have also shown that baobab has numerous antioxidants that protect the liver from chemical toxins. Other studies have revealed that it is an immunostimulant that guards against all sorts of infections.
All of these medicinal uses, coupled with all the health and nutritional benefits attributed to the various nutrients, minerals and vitamins found in baobab powder, has already had all food manufacturers, even the cosmetic industry, falling over themselves to incorporate the baobab powder into foods, beverages, creams, etc.
To try it for yourself, use 5-10g (1-2 teaspoons) of baobab fruit powder in water, a fruit juice or a smoothie; or you can sprinkle it onto cereal or yoghurt.
When mixing with water: add a little water to the baobab powder to create a paste, then gradually add more water while stirring.
Our super baobab recipes allow you to get creative and will give you ideas on how to incorporate it into foods.
Here at PandaVita we stock organic baobab powder at our online store and are extremely confident in the excellent quality.
Our baobab is 100% organic and natural. It is so pure there are absolutely zero added ingredients.