ARE SOME FOODS ‘SUPER’? – Baobab powder

In the second post about so-called ‘super foods’ I’ll be looking to see if there are any benefits to adding baobab powder to your diet.

 

The baobab tree is found naturally in dry areas of Africa, with its products having various food and medicinal uses.

Baobab powder that is sold in the UK in health food shops tends to be from the fruit pulp, but the leaves and seeds are also edible. It has a slightly sherbet-y flavour and you may see it recommended to be added to smoothies and porridge.

It is fairly high in vitamin C, with average reported values of 283mg/100g (1). This would equate to 2.8mg/10g serving. The reference nutrient intake for the average adult is 40mg per day (2). But an orange normally provides about 52mg of vitamin C (3) so it is unlikely that you need to supplement your vitamin C intake with baobab powder.

There are claims that baobab is high in calcium. It contains 30mg calcium per 10g serving (1), which adds to your calcium intake for the day, but should not be seen as a substantial contribution to it. (The average adult should consume 700mg calcium per day (2)).

The bottom line is; feel free to add baobab if you like it – I’ve tried it in smoothies and it’s pretty good – but don’t feel that you have to go out and stock up – it’s not an essential. You’re probably better off just eating some more fruit and veg!

 

Sources

1. Chadare F, Linnemann A, Hounhouigan J, Nout M, Van Boekel M. Baobab Food Products: A Review on their Composition and Nutritional Value. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2008;49(3):254-274.

2. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom (1991). Department of Health.

3. McCance & Widowson’s Composition of Foods (2015). Public Health England.

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