At the time we write this (6/20/2013) it is highly unlikely you have heard of the Baobab Fruit. In fact, it was just a few weeks ago when we learned how to pronounce it – “Bey-Oh-bab” for the record. So, why are we writing about the Baobab Fruit, the hard to pronounce fruit that no one has ever heard of? Well, at first we thought if you say Baobab three times fast a genie will grant you three wishes, but turns that was just some Disney channel induced dream we had. However, after doing some research we did find out that the Baobab Fruit has more antioxidants than Acai, Pomegranate or Blueberries, 6 times the vitamin C of oranges and ounce for ounce, more potassium and magnesium than Bananas or Coconut Water. Interested in learning more now?
Dad Does Nutrition Spotlight on Baobab Fruit
As we discussed in this post on Supplement and Nutrition Reviews, we have decided to offer a new section where we look at some of the health and nutrition ingredients in the news and give you the 411 on the ingredient. These are not the formal reviews we normally do at Dad Does, these are just meant to highlight some of the ingredients that we believe could make a real impact for tired and stressed parents…AKA, every single parent we have ever met.
We are going to give you basic background and information on the ingredients in the spotlight, so you can be more informed about the pros and cons of the ingredients. Use these Nutrition Spotlights as a starting point in your research on health, nutrition and supplements. We promise to keep things honest, hype free and hopefully even humorous.
What Is Baobab Fruit?
Photo By CiFOR
The Baobab Fruit is about the size and shape of a small, elongated coconut and grows on the Baobab Tree. Fine, if you want to get all technical about things I just lied. The technical name for the Baobab Tree is Adansonia Digitata. Fine, that is a partial lie. What is wrong with me? There are actually 8 different species in the Adansonia Genus, but the one we will focus on is the Adansonia Digitata which grows in Africa. Don’t like sounding like a fool trying to pronounce Adansonia Digitata? Me neither, that is why we say The Monkey Bread Tree, The Tree of Life, The Upside Down Tree or The Bottle tree – all alternative names for the Baobab Tree.
Photo by Derek Keats
Back to the Baobab Fruit…it has a hard shell, which when cracked open reveals the Baobab pulp. The pulp is solid, much like the flesh of a coconut. This is not just a fun piece of trivia, we will explain later why the solid baobab fruit pulp is important to your health.
Why In The World Would I Care About Baobab Fruit?
If I had a nickel for every fruit that claimed to be the next great SuperFruit, I could finally buy that Superman cape I have been eyeing. I don’t even know how you define a Superfruit, but I do know that the Baobab fruit is packed with some serious nutrients…
- More Antioxidants Than Acai, Goji Berries or Blueberries – by a huge amount!
- 50% of Baobab Fruit is Healthy Dietary Fiber
- Gram for Gram, 6 Times The Potassium of Bananas
- Gram for Gram, 6 Times The Vitamin C of Oranges
- Gram for Gram, More Magnesium and Potassium Than Coconut Water
- Gram for Gram, More Magnesium than Bananas, Apricots, Peaches and Apples
- One of the Few Plant Sources of Calcium
- Highly Alkaline Food with a 52 PRAL rating (more on this later)
- Low In Sodium, Sugar and Calories
- Organic Baobab Fruit is Available – no nasty pesticides!
Great, But What Do All Those Nutrients Do For Me?
Make you a super parent? Maybe not, but they can help you stay healthy, increase energy levels and reduce the effects of stress. Anything that keeps inflammation in check is a great thing and antioxidants do just that.
Numerous studies have linked chronic inflammation with countless diseases and health issues. Simply put, unchecked inflammation in the body is a very bad thing. How do you keep inflammation in check? By eating a diet rich in antioxidants. The antioxidant levels (measure in something called ORAC) are off the charts for Baobab fruit pulp. Add in the fact that eating Baobab fruit pulp gives you fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium and Vitamin C and you start to see how any tired and stressed Mom or Dad could really benefit from getting a little Baobab fruit in their diet.
Can You Buy Baobab Fruit At The Local Supermarket?
Sure…if you happen to live in one of the 31 countries of Africa where the Baobab tree grows. Don’t live in Africa? Well you should go visit, the Baobab Trees are incredible. The trees can be over 1,000 years old and they are huge. Some have a girth of over 75 feet and animals (and sometimes people) can be found living in the trunks of these incredible trees. The Baobab Tree is called the Upside Down Tree because it looks like it is growing upside down with the roots on top.
While you are on your trip to Africa, you can then pick the Baobab fruit, smash open the outer shell and then scoop out the Baobab fruit pulp and enjoy by itself or mixed into a drink or recipe. Oh wait, there is an easier way to get Baobab Fruit pulp if you do NOT live in Africa…
Organic Baobab Fruit Powder Saves You a Trip To Africa
Remember how earlier in this article we stated that the Baobab Fruit pulp is solid, like coconut flesh and that was important. Don’t worry, I don’t really remember either and I wrote it. Anyway, the very cool thing about Baobab fruit is that it dehydrates naturally in its shell. To turn Baobab Fruit into a powder that can be exported to the US, all you need to do is crack open the shell, remove the Baobab seeds and then mill up (crush) the Baobab fruit pulp. Here is the key – you then end up with a Baobab fruit powder that is 100% the same as the Baobab fruit pulp and absolutely no heat is used to process the powder.
Photo by Ton Rulkens
There are a few companies that make Organic Baobab Fruit powder, which has all the nutrients of the actual Baobab Fruit. This Organic powder can then be mixed into juice, water or a smoothie to give you all the nutrients and taste of the Baobab fruit…without needing to go to Africa!
Are All Baobab Fruit Supplements The Same?
Nope! We will probably do a whole new article once we have done more research on the various brands, but we have already learned a few important things…
- Make Sure Your Baobab Fruit Supplement is Organic
Baobab fruit is harvested in many different countries in Africa and the pureness and nutrient density can vary greatly from place to place. Look for a Baobab supplement that is certified Organic, this will ensure there are no harmful pesticides in your supplement.
- Get Raw, Whole Food, Unprocessed Baobab Fruit Powder
As we stated, Baobab fruit powder can be produced without any heat or the need to extract anything…unfortunately some companies will take shortcuts. You want to make sure the Baobab fruit supplement you purchase is Raw, Whole Food Baobab that was not exposed to any heat or processed in any way, Remember, the more it is processed, the less nutrients you will get
- Words Are Cheap, Ask to See The Documents
Unfortunately, in the world of supplements, companies lie. A customer representative may say “Yes” to anything you ask, but do they have the documents to back things up? Always ask to see the documents that back up claims of being Organic and testing to show their Baobab Supplement contains the claimed nutrients.
CONCLUSION: Baobab Fruit
Baobab fruit has definitely peaked our interest. Most SuperFruits are pure hype and you can’t open a magazine without seeing another story on how the new super fruit will change your life. Baobab fruit on the other hand has kept a low profile in the media. You will not see endless stories about the Baobab fruit, and to be honest, we are not sure why.
The Baobab fruit is the rare fruit that can be turned into a powdered supplement without any heat or processing. This means we can all have access to the full nutritional profile of the Baobab fruit, without having to travel to Africa. More research needs to be done on finding the best Baobab fruit supplements, but we do believe parents should have Baobab fruit on their radar!
UPDATE: When you want something done right, you need to do it yourself. We have now created a 100% Certified Organic Baobab Fruit product. Click here to learn more!
We leave you with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on Baobab Fruit…
Baobab Fruit – The Good….
The recommended amount of antioxidants you should get each day from all the food you eat – 3,000 – 5,000 ORAC value. A single serving of Organic Baobab Fruit powder has 8,400 ORAC! That is some awesome Antioxidant power.
Baobab Fruit – The Bad…
Due to the fact that Baobab fruit must be picked in Africa and then milled into a powder without the use of high speed machines, Baobab Fruit products can be a little pricey.
Baobab Fruit – The Ugly…
Anytime you have a fruit with significant health properties, that is being sold as a supplement, scams are never far away. Be wary of Baobab deals and claims that “look too good to be true”. Do your research and only buy from reputable companies.
More About the Baobab Fruit from Wikipedia
Information on Organic Baobab Fruit
Great Photo Book of Beautiful Baobab Trees
Watch Our Video Review of the Limitless Baobab Fruit Powder -
Have Baobab Fruit In Your Diet? Let Us Know How You Feel!