His name is spiced with a lot of literature, poetry, and legend. From The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who recognized it as his main fear, to various ancient legends endow it with a special magic. One such story tells that from complaining about its rounded shape and rough elephant-like skin the baobab was dug up by God and planted upside down, so it could never see itself or complain again.
Although it is on the list of living beings threatened with extinction, the baobab is called the tree of life and it is extremely important for the communities that have it as a generous neighbor in Africa, Australia and the Middle East, as it provides food, medicinal compounds and raw material for everyday life. In Madagascar, they even use it as a cistern, to conserve water for a long time; and today it has become the fashionable food in many parts of the world.
In social networks we often see that powdered fruit is included in healthy breakfasts, and is an ingredient in many products dedicated to beauty and well-being: facial oils, shampoo bars and lotions, body creams, hair masks, immune-boosting dietary supplements and chewy candies, to name just a few.
The baobab is today the focus of attention, firstly because according to research by the United States Department of Agriculture, there is a growing concern for its conservation, and secondly, because its properties have spread, recognizing it as a superfood, that classification originated in the marketing pointing to some fruits and vegetables that contain many beneficial properties.
The fresh leaves, fruits and seeds have been responsible for carrying the good name of the baobab everywhere. According to an article by Medical News TodayBoth the fruit and its seeds contain vitamin C, potassium, calcium, carbohydrates and phosphorus, and although more scientific support is needed, it is considered that their properties could be very beneficial for health.
Some research shows that this fruit has antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant properties and in its places of origin, it has been used for many years as a treatment for almost any disease including anemia, dysentery, diarrhea, malaria and tuberculosis. While its anti-inflammatory properties point it out as a possible ally against arthritis and diabetes.
Its high content of calcium and magnesium is attributed benefits for bone health, which is why it could become a fundamental ingredient in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.
In addition, a study conducted by Oxford Brookes University, cited by nutritionist Megan Ware, found that baobab fruit extract is rich in polyphenols and when administered as part of a baked bread recipe reduced starch digestion and glycemic response in humans. Additionally, the large amount of soluble fiber it contains makes it a prebiotic food, that is, it acts by improving the balance of the gut microbiota.
According to the nutritional figures of the baobab fruit, it has ten times the fiber of an apple; six times more vitamin C than an orange; twice the antioxidants of açai berries, four times more potassium than a banana and five times more magnesium than an avocado. Which explains the recent rage for these baobab products.
In an investigation titled Baobab food products: a review on their composition and nutritional value published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, it is specified that the pulp of the fruit is especially rich in vitamin C, concluding that the consumption of 40 grams of fruit covers 84 to more than 100% of the daily intake.
The biologist and health coach Sarah El Ashuh | For his part, he admits that although he has not studied the benefits of baobab, he considers that although we still do not have enough information on its properties, it is always appropriate to incorporate fruits into the daily diet, as long as they are natural and without chemical additives.
However, being difficult to find in other regions where it is not grown, the powdered version has become very popular. In fact, Ware in his note in Medical News Today, recommends incorporating it into smoothies, fruit juices, cereals, yogurts and other dairy products.
A study published in 2018, contained in the National Library of Medicine of the United States, found that both the pulp of the fruit and the leaves of baobab contain abundant flavonoids, which are known for their antioxidant action.
It is perhaps this antioxidant power that makes it the fashionable ingredient in products dedicated to skin care, the delay of aging and the protection of hair fibers, since it is attributed benefits in terms of the protection of skin structures . The oils contained in the seeds are given regenerative properties that contribute to the recovery of the elasticity of the skin and its anti-inflammatory power is attributed to the prevention of stretch marks and dryness.
Finally, it is worth noting that the baobab fruit was certified in 2009 as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but since there are not enough studies to support the claims of beneficial properties, it should be noted that There could be related risks that have not yet been reported.
There is still a long way to go to determine in depth the properties of the tree of life. In the meantime, let us continue to enjoy their contribution to the cultural and popular imaginary with total security. This will never have contraindications.