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Superfood powders have seen a huge explosion in popularity over the last 10 years. From celebrities to nutritionists to health enthusiasts, it seems almost everyone is mixing some sort of powder into their water, coffee or smoothie each day.
I myself am no stranger to dabbling with superfoods – I think they can be a fantastic help in incorporating more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants into your diet. However, I think it’s really important to recognise that powders are not the makings of a healthy diet or lifestyle and can never be an adequate replacement for real, unprocessed, whole plant foods.
If you’re looking to achieve maximum health and wellness, then eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses, grains, nuts and seeds is going to be your main starting point – and truthfully, that really is all you need. The main reason you’d consider adding a superfood powder to your diet would be if you don’t like certain foods, struggle getting a certain vitamin or nutrient or simply want to pack even more nutrients into your meals.
Getting started with superfoods
There can be lots of conflicting information about superfoods – what kinds to use, where to get them from and how to use them.
I’ll be writing a whole guide to superfood powders here soon, so be sure to stay tuned for that. For now though, I’ll just quickly say that superfoods should always be purchased organically where possible, and if relevant, fair trade (especially when it comes to cacao powder).
Some of the main superfood powders I love to use are spirulina, cacao, maca, chlorella, ashwaganda and – you guessed it – baobab, which is what this post is all about!
Baobab is what I like to call ‘the beginner’s superfood’ – it packs in so many health benefits, is easy to find and quite possibly has the best flavour. So you’ll never need worry about how you’re going to get it in, or about it ruining the taste of your meals.
What is Baobab Powder?
Baobab powder is extracted from the pod of the baobab, an African fruit found naturally in upper East Ghana. The food is a staple in African homes and has been found to have some impressive nutritional value. Not only does baobab have six times more Vitamin C than oranges, it also contains more antioxidants than blueberries, more potassium than a banana and twice the amount of calcium than milk!
Baobab also has a high fibre content and is rich in prebiotic complexes, all of which aid in keeping your gut healthy. And on top of that, it also delivers substantial helpings of iron, zinc and magnesium too.
The beauty of the baobab is that it dries out naturally, whilst still on the tree. This means very minimal processing is required to extract the powder.
The pulp inside is dry and sinewy. Once it’s matured, the fruit drops off the tree and the powder is sieved out through a careful and steady process. Baobab seeds are later made into oil for cosmetics and skincare.
Benefits of Baobab Powder
According to both studies and anecdotal evidence. the benefits of consuming baobab on a regular basis are numerous.
- Increased energy levels
- Enhanced mood
- Boosted immunity, due to high vitamin C content
- Brighter and more youthful skin, due to antioxidants
- Naturally detoxing and liver cleansing
- Stronger nails and teeth and, over time, increased bone strength.
Two studies in 2013 and 2016 respectively found that baobab also helped to reduce the amount of insulin needed to manage blood glucose response. Therefore, with more research, baobab could be useful for those with diabetes or insulin sensitivity.
In Africa, baobab was also used as a herbal remedy for years, treating fevers and high temperatures by consuming a mash containing dried baobab bark.
You can find tons more information about the benefits of baobab and its uses over on the Aduna blog.
My Experience with Baobab
One of the main benefits I noticed after having baobab powder in my smoothies for some time was an increase in sustained energy. For me this is always going to be something I value; my days are filled with so many tasks, activities and things I want to achieve hat I welcome all the help I can get! Plus it made workouts after work seem not so daunting; I actually felt like I still had ample energy to comfortably work out rather than dipping into my reserves after a long day.
Secondly, probably thanks to the high Vit C content of the baobab, I noticed definite improved immunity and dare I say it, recovery after exercise. There were one or two times when I felt a bit of a sniffle coming on; one teaspoon of baobab in my morning smoothie and I felt alright again by later in the day.
If you’re new to superfood powders and looking to incorporate one or two into your diet, baobab is a fantastic place to start. On its own the taste is pleasant – citrusy and almost sherbety (MUCH less scary than those green powders). When added to other foods it’s neutral enough both in colour and flavour to be at best complimentary and at worst undetectable.
Another thing I love is its versatility. Again, thanks to its mild taste baobab can be added to pretty much anything without spoiling or diluting other flavours.
I was recently gifted this can of baobab powder from Aduna, although I’m a regular consumer of baobab anyway and have purchased other brands in the past.
Aduna are one of the largest suppliers of organic baobab powder and personally a brand that I’m proud to stand by. If you’re looking to try out some baobab for yourself, I highly recommend Aduna because:
- All of their products are 100% natural, vegan and certified organic
- They support rural small-scale producers in Africa, helping to provide a sustainable income for rural households
- They work to agree fair pricing with producers and work directly with the women to harvest and collect their fruits
- They have received a number of awards for their social business model from the sustainable community.
Baobab Powder Uses
Incorporating this magical powder into your daily life is easy thanks to its myriad of uses.
- Drink as a tonic, simply 2 tsp with water
- Scatter over porridge, cereal or overnight oats
- Add 1-2 tsp to smoothies (my favourite way!)
- Add 1-2 tbsp to any baked good recipe. It’ll hardly affect the flavour and will add a boost of nutrition. Plus, baobab also makes a great binding agent thanks to its high levels of pectin.
- Add to salad dressings and marinades.
- Add a pinch to savoury dishes whilst cooking, much like you would salt or other seasoning.
Baobab & Blueberry Smoothie Recipe
This super nutritious blueberry smoothie is the easiest way to get in your baobab for the day (and get a healthy breakfast).
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 handful frozen blueberries
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 cup plant based milk (or water)
- 1 tbsp flax or chia seeds, or pecan nuts/walnuts
- 1-2 tsp baobab powder
- Place all of the ingredients into a high powdered blender. Add the seeds and baobab powder last so they don’t clump together.
- Blend until smooth.