Baobab: The wonder fruit

Hailed for centuries as a source of natural wellbeing, Baobab is really starting to make its mark on the health food scene.

Making its way into all manner of foods, including some chocolate bars and smoothies, Baobab is a great source of energy-boosting nutrients. Here's all you need to know about this sub-Saharan superfruit that packs quite the punch.

What is it?

Pronounced Bey-Oh-Bab, Baobab is the common name for a species of tree in the Adansonia family, which is native to Madagascar, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Australia. The fruit has a velvety shell and is about the size of a coconut, weighing 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms). It has an acidic, tart flavour, described as "somewhere between grapefruit, pear, and vanilla". It dries naturally on the branch, and is harvested, with the seeds removed before being made into a powder.

What are some of the health benefits?

Anti-ageing food and fitness nutritionist Rick Hay insisted Baobab is a great source of vitamin C, as well as calcium, potassium, thiamine, fibre, and vitamin B6.

"The vitamin C levels help with energy production at a cellular level whilst also helping to keep adrenal stress down and the immune system up which is of import when we exercise or are training hard," he shared.

Baobab is also excellent at improving alertness and energy levels, supporting the immune system, maintaining a healthy nervous system and boosting your iron levels. Accordingly, it's a good idea to have some Baobab before or after a workout, with the easiest way being adding two teaspoons to a bottle of water or a healthy smoothie.

"This makes it a good source of natural energy when taken in a smoothie or juice prior to your workout and because of the fibre content that energy lasts longer and is more sustainable," explained Rick. "I love whole food sources of vitamins and minerals as I believe they are a more complete choice for increasing nutrient intake."

What are some other ways to add Baobab to my diet?

As well as adding to juice or smoothies, one or two teaspoons can be added into porridge or sprinkled onto your morning bowl of cereal. It can also be added to fruit salads, mixed into yoghurt, jam, homemade bread, healthy baking, overnight oats or chia puddings. Or simply add to a warm glass of water for a fizzy Baobab drink.