What's In a Fruit? The Mystery of Baobab

Featured Article, Healthy Living, Natural Remedies
on October 27, 2015

The Magical Baobab

Here’s a new superfood that’s got everyone talking: baobab! An indigenous fruit from Africa and Australia, baobab is emerging as a nutrient-packed addition to a healthy diet. We’re taking an in-depth look at this mysterious fruit and its purported health benefits.

Dried Baobab fruit pulp

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A History of Baobab

Baobab (pronounced BAY-oh-bab) is a newcomer to the world of superfoods. This fruit hails from the Adansonia tree family, which is native to parts of Africa and Australia. Also known as the “upside-down” tree, its wide branchless trunk makes it quite distinctive. The fruit of the baobab tree has been eaten by elephants, monkeys and other native animals for thousands of years.

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Thinkstock

Baobab also has an extensive history of use by humans. The fruit, also called “monkeyfruit” or “breadfruit” has been used to provide a citrusy flavor to a variety of dishes with a flavor somewhere between a grapefruit and a pear. Indigenous peoples have also used baobab as a cure for a variety of ailments and common illnesses.

Health Benefits of Baobab

Baobab is renowned for its high nutrient content. Studies have shown that baobab has an extraordinarily high vitamin C  and calcium content and a wealth of antioxidants. Vitamin C is a wonderful immune system booster and is great for heart, skin, and eye health. Most adults don’t get enough calcium, which is critical to bone health and structural support. And antioxidant properties are continually being researched for their positive impact on preventing health problems. With these things in mind, baobab seems like a great supplement to a healthy diet.

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Thinkstock

Should You Try It?

Baobab can be consumed in a variety of ways, most common of which are powder and dried pulp. It is becoming more widely available in the U.S. and other Western countries.

Although no one food should be attributed as a cure-all, the demonstrated nutrient content of baobab can’t be denied. All things considered, it may be a worthwhile addition to your diet for an extra health boost.