Today, baobab fruit and baobab powder is widely recognized as a superfood — and for good reasons. But its super powers are nothing new. The leaves, fruit, bark, and seeds have been used for centuries to treat many ailments, such as fever, microbial infections, diarrhea, and anemia.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait to get sick to reap the many health benefits baobab fruit and baobab powder can provide.
It Boosts the Immune System
Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting benefits. Research shows that vitamin C “contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system.” And as an antioxidant, vitamin C fights free radicals in the body, which can delay or prevent certain cancers and diseases.
Because humans do not produce vitamin C in the body, we have to get it through food. Oranges have always been a go-to source for vitamin C. However, the pulp of baobab fruit contains as much as 10 times more vitamin C than oranges.
It Increases Iron Absorption
Not only is vitamin C important for a healthy immune system, it also enhances non-heme (plant-based) iron absorption. Baobab contains both vitamin C and iron, making it a great source for both nutrients.
It Improves Digestive Health
Baobab, especially baobab powder, is a good source of dietary fiber. In fact, baobab powder is nearly 50% fiber.
Here’s a not so super fact: less than 3% of Americans get the recommended minimum adequate intake of fiber. Why does that matter? Fiber, which is only found in plant foods, not only aids in digestion, but it also makes you feel full and it feeds the good bacteria in your gut (prebiotics).
It Regulates Blood Sugar
Eating baobab may also help regulate blood sugar. According to one study, baking white bread with baobab fruit extract reduced glycemic response and starch digestion.
Another small study showed that white bread infused with baobab fruit extract “reduced the amount of insulin needed for a given blood glucose response.”
Because baobab is high in fiber, it can also slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream and control blood sugar levels.
It Reduces Inflammation
Thanks to the high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols, baobab can reduce inflammation.
Why does that matter? Because chronic inflammation has been linked to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer — just to name a few.
Although more research is needed, one animal study found baobab fruit pulp to reduce inflammation and protect the heart from damage. Another study showed that in addition to reducing inflammation, baobab extract also reduced oxidative damage to cells.
It’s Great for Your Skin
The high vitamin C and antioxidant content in baobab is beneficial for your skin and hair.
When it comes to your skin, vitamin C protects against UV damage caused by free radicals. It also regulates the synthesis of collagen, a structural protein that keeps skin firm and prevents wrinkles.