Baobab – The Superfruit from Africa
The fruit of the African monkey bread tree (Baobab) has been an integral part of the diet on the African continent for many millennia. The increasing interest in healthy and sustainable nutrition, as well as globalization and modern transport options, have helped the baobab fruit to an unprecedented upswing in recent decades. As a superfood, baobab is as versatile as few foods. In powdered or solid form, the fruit can be used for desserts and salt dishes of all kinds. It is also rich in important vitamins, minerals and nutrients. In short: Baobab is the ideal and cheap solution if you are looking for a high-quality ingredient for a varied diet.
Where does the baobab fruit come from? The history from then to the present
How long the monkey bread tree has been growing in Africa is unknown in detail. However, based on local stories and legends, it can be assumed that the monkey bread tree has been an important source of food for humans and animals for thousands of years. The baobab, that is the original name for the monkey bread tree, convinces not only with its healthy fruits. One can also marvel at its vegetative features. It grows where there are usually no trees growing and is more than sufficient. It’s not going to be very big. Usually no more than two, or three meters. Rather, the trunk goes into width over time. It is not uncommon to come across trees that have a trunk diameter between two and five meters. The age of the trees is also exceptional. There are still existing trees, which have already been mentioned in the legends of the tribes of the region. The highest age ever measured by a baobab is 400 years. The legend of its creation is closely related to the legend of the devil. Because of its crown, which resembles a root, the natural peoples of the region assumed for a long time that the tree was planted by the devil in reverse. The name Monkey Bread Tree derives from the fact that monkeys in African legends are often the helpers of the devil, or the personification of the devil. The baobab is a tree that has more than enough time. Due to its strong structure and unpretentiousness, it survives the periods of drought, bushfires and other natural events. Even long periods of drought do not seem to cause lasting damage to the trees. For this, however, one has to make significant cuts in the harvest. The baobab usually blooms only once in a period of eight to ten years. Accordingly, it is difficult not to regard the fruits of the baobab as a kind of delicacy. It is true that there are now professional farmers who have dedicated themselves to raising the baobab. But it can be a long time before the tree is ready to give up its fruit. So you need a lot of patience if you want to raise a baobab yourself. In the case even the time of several generations.
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The baobab stores up to 140,000 litres of water
The periods of drought are quite pronounced in Africa. There are areas where it rains only once a year. The baobab, however, uses the phase of the rainy season in great detail. Due to its structure of the trunk, it is able to store up to 140,000 liters. As a result, it is also able to withstand very long dry periods. This resilience is astonishing, as the African landscape is partly one of the most hostile areas on earth. The environment is also used for its dissemination, at least if it is to remain within the natural framework. Animals such as monkeys, elephants and other mammals eat the fruit of the tree. The seeds of the fruit are preserved in the intestines of the animals and are then excreted again. The fruit uses the feces of the animals and the new patch of soil on which it is then located directly for growth. The seeds of the baobab fruit can remain active for many years and are also very robust. This has ensured that the monkey bread tree is still widespread throughout the African continent today. There are certainly regional differences. These can be seen in the growth, but also in the flowering times of the trees. Especially in less dry areas, the baobab seems to feel much more homely, although due to its robustness it does not have to be particularly picky. Now that the tree has been looked at in detail, it goes directly to the fruit. After all, this is the superfood that is highly sought after all over the world.
What exactly is the baobab fruit?
There are different types of baobab fruit. The Adansonia digitata is preferred for superfood. This has a high prevalence, is very large and therefore particularly profitable. This baobab fruit is about 25 cm to 40 cm long. The shell is very stable with up to 15 mm. Except for the size and thickness of the shell, the fruits of the baobab differ only slightly. When you open it you immediately see a white flesh in which the approximately 1 cm large baobab seeds are embedded. Outwardly, a ripe baobab fruit looks like a coconut, with the colour in green and no hair on the outer shell. Baobab fruit has always been a popular food in Africa. This is mainly due to the many possibilities and uses that can be drawn from it. Except for the peel, all components of the baobab fruit can be used for the production of food. The pulp is particularly high in fat and can be dried. The seeds are usually processed into oil, or also into flour. However, the flour of the seeds tastes much more bitter, which is why it is also often used for cosmetics. Drying the pulp is also very popular. The dried pulp is then crushed and can be processed into various foods. The basic taste is slightly sweet, which is why the dried pulp can be used mainly for the production of desserts. But even salty dishes can be prepared without any problems, as the own taste of the baobab fruit is not very strong. The baobab fruit can also be prepared as a drink with the help of adding liquid. For example, it likes to serve as a substitute for cream. Simply add dried baobab fruit meat to the milk and then stir the milk until cream is produced. This tastes very similar to the cream known in the West, only a little sweeter.
Why is the fruit of baobab a superfood?
To avoid misunderstandings: The fruit of the baobab is also often called baobab. So it is not wrong to speak of the fruit as much as of the tree. The baobab pulp and the seeds can be called superfoods, they owe on the one hand to their versatility. You can use the baobab pulp without any problems for many dishes. From saladto porridge or as an ingredient for salty and sweet dishes and drinks, a lot is really conceivable. There are already numerous recipes that include baobab as an ingredient. But what makes baobab a real superfruit are its ingredients. The baobab fruit has a very, very high vitamin C content. Even in the dried state, the content of vitamin C in the baobab is significantly higher than for oranges or other fruits with a high proportion of the vitamin. In addition, the pulp is very rich in antioxidants, calcium, iron and fiber. There are a number of studies that show that the diet with baobab brings a number of benefits to the body. On the one hand, the risk of type 2 diabetes decreases. This can be achieved by taking a certain amount of baobab liquid. The antioxidant effect is also very well documented. The antioxidants in the pulp prevent aging of the cells and prevent various diseases. The high proportion of vitamin C ensures, especially in the cold months of the year, that the body is able to deal with the usual winter diseases on its own. In short, as a superfood, baobab fear quite rightly has an excellent reputation.
How to get to Baobab?
Baobab is still difficult to obtain and not exactly cheap. This is also due to the rarity of the fruits. Since the baobab tree can only be harvested rarely, it is of course difficult to get enough fruit in good quality. That’s why you can currently buy Baobab almost only on the Internet. There are a number of suppliers that can deliver appropriate quality. But it’s not cheap, at least not if you want to eat baobab regularly. Dried baobab fruit is approved as a foodstuff within the US and the EU. This does not apply to whole fruits. These can be purchased as decorative items, but not as food. Since baobab fruits usually do not have a high shelf life, the purchase is quite expensive. One has to take into account the delivery time, as well as the goodness of the fruits. It is possible to allow the fruits to continue to ripen during the transport time. However, due to the small number available, this procedure is often time-consuming. That’s why the fruits are particularly expensive and are only offered by a few specialist retailers. On the other hand, it is much easier to get the dried pulp. The import of baobab oil is not yet possible as a foodstuff. However, Baobab oil is approved as an alternative medicine. This produced oil should not be used for the production of food. Flavourings and other additives that are not suitable for human consumption have often been added here.
The use of baobab in nutrition and medicine
The baobab has long had a permanent place in the natural medicine of the African tribes. Almost all components of the tree are used. From wood to fruits, leaves and branches, almost all components can be used in natural medicine. A real healing effect has been demonstrated above all to the fruit of the baobab. This has a particularly preventive effect. When it comes to preventing diabetes or inhibiting inflammation, oil from baobab or dried fear meat is a good solution. The anti-inflammatory effect is especially valid for external use, and for use in the oral area. Especially with inflamed gums, the oil of the baobab fruit can make a successful treatment possible. In the case of major illnesses and inflammations, you should of course continue to consult a doctor and rely on conventional medicine. Any improvement or preventive effect compared to the various cancers could only be proven to a limited extent. Relief of cancer with the baobab fruit, or other components of the baobab tree is basically not possible. However, due to the antioxidant effect, it is quite possible that various cancers can be avoided. However, deeper and serious studies on this are not yet meaningful in the long term. Baobab can be used in many ways in the field of nutrition. As already described, the dried pulp is so versatile that it can be used in many recipes for dishes and drinks. It is digestible, has a health-promoting effect and tastes slightly sweet. The baobab fruit is considered very popular among chefs, as it allows you to prepare a variety of different dishes. In the traditional cuisine of the African continent, the fruit of the baobab has its permanent place and is considered an important delicacy.
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Well-founded scientific knowledge about the Baobab fruit
The dried flesh of the baobab tree can develop positive effects in various ways. However, it is important to take it regularly, as well as to refrain from taking harmful foods. Especially when it comes to the prevention of diabetes, the dried pulp of the baobab fruit is an ideal solution. In the best case, you can take a drink for this. 250 millilitres of liquid mixed with the dried pulp once a day ensure that the diabetes can be effectively prevented. Of course, you should continue to move sufficiently and do something good for your body in other ways to fight the disease even more effectively. In particular, it is well known that the absence of sugar in the diet is most effective in preventing diabetes and other sugar canines. Baobab fruit has also proven itself in the fight against ageing. However, it is a common fallacy that it must be taken for this purpose. Also as a cream, or as an ointment or mask, the baobab fruit can work successfully in the fight against wrinkles and other signs of aging of the skin. In order to keep toxins out of the body, the dried pulp of the baobab fruit is also ideally suited. As a rule, it is imported without any further additives and can thus optimally unfold its full effect. The high content of iron, vitamin C and fiber is a good solution, especially with diets, if you are looking for a healthy alternative to dietary supplements in order to supply the body with sufficient nutrients. Since the proportion of vitamin C is extremely high, consumption should be restricted a little. Excessive intake can lead to an extreme vitamin C excess. Some people, especially from the northern parts of the world, are often allergic to it. However, consuming several hundred grams a day is possible without any problems and without a risk to human health.