10 Jun 2024

Baobab benefits and side effects: six must-know facts

author Ashley Owen
Wonderfully citrusy, convenient to use, and jam-packed with nutrients, there’s a lot to love about baobab powder. Although not yet a common sight in our supermarkets, we think it’s high time this wellness-supporting fruit took centre stage. So, in this article, we’re exploring six key facts about how baobab benefits our health and wellbeing. We’ve also got some top suggestions for how to add this delectable golden powder to your diet. Because, trust us, you’re going to want to try it by the time you get to the end of the post!

What is baobab?

You’re probably eager to dive straight into the many ways that baobab benefits our wellbeing. However, first it’s worth going into a bit more detail about this fascinating plant.

The baobab is a tree native to mainland Africa, Madagascar, and Australia, which can grow up to an astonishing thirty metres tall. It has a distinctive appearance, featuring a broad, bottle-like trunk topped with short, spindly branches. The shape of its branches rather resembles tree roots, which is why people sometimes refer to baobabs as ‘upside-down trees’. But it’s the plant’s other nickname that hints at the many ways baobab benefits our wellbeing: the Tree of Life.

Baobab acquired this moniker as a result of the key role it plays in the local ecosystem and indigenous communities. The tree features in several mythical stories, and has become a symbol of the African continent. More practically, individual baobab trees have served as chapels, post offices, and even pubs! And then there’s the ways in which baobab benefits human health.

The baobab tree produces large, oval fruits that dangle from its branches encased in hard and downy shells. After harvesting, you can dry and grind the fruit into powder, or soak the pulp before blending it into juice. The tree’s leaves are also edible, and it’s even possible to roast the seeds like coffee beans.

Regardless of how you consume it, there are a wealth of potential ways in which baobab fruit benefits our health. But for the majority of us, baobab powder is the most convenient method of adding it to our diet. So, with that in mind, here are six must-know facts about how baobab powder benefits wellness.

1. Baobab powder is bursting with nutrients

Several of the reasons powdered baobab benefits our health are thanks to its high levels of key vitamins and minerals. Most notably, baobab powder is chock-full of vitamin C.(1) This nutrient has numerous crucial roles to play in keeping us fit and well. These include supporting the immune system, assisting with wound healing, and improving the absorption of iron from plant-based sources. That’s especially good news for vegetarians and vegans.

Vitamin C is also necessary for the body to produce collagen, a protein found in our bones, tendons, and cartilage. Collagen additionally helps to keep our skin youthful and elastic, meaning baobab benefits your complexion too.

In addition to vitamin C, baobab is a fantastic source of B vitamins like niacin and B6. These assist with all kinds of functions in the body, such as converting the food we eat into energy. Our bodies can’t produce vitamin B6 by themselves, so we need to obtain it through our diet. And baobab is a great choice for doing so.

Turning to minerals, the fruit is particularly rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure, and calcium is famously important for the health of our teeth and bones. Meanwhile, magnesium assists over 300 enzymes in carrying out chemical reactions, and iron is vital for maintaining healthy blood. So, as you can see, consuming baobab benefits us in all sorts of ways simply by upping our nutrient intake. Even if you’re not concerned about specific deficiencies, this is a positive thing.

2. Baobab powder is full of fibre

A number of baobab benefits are due to the fruit’s high insoluble and soluble fibre content. For example, increasing the amount of fibre in your diet helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. This may then curb your appetite, aiding with weight loss and healthy weight management. In fact, one study found that adding baobab to a smoothie significantly reduced participants’ hunger compared to the control group.(2)

And that’s not the only reason that eating more fibre is good for you. Fibre also acts as a prebiotic, nourishing the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Having a flourishing and diverse gut microbiome is advantageous in several ways. It can support the functioning of the immune system and heart, and even have a positive effect on mental health. In addition, eating more fibre may help to reduce digestive troubles such as constipation and inflammatory bowel disease. As such, we can say that baobab benefits digestive health too.

Finally, evidence indicates that eating more fibre may help to reduce our cholesterol levels by a small amount. This could have a beneficial impact on our cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of conditions like heart attack and stroke.

3. Baobab powder is rich in potent antioxidants

In addition to vitamins and minerals, baobab is bursting with powerful plant compounds that can enhance our wellbeing. These include polyphenols that act as antioxidants, helping to protect our cells against oxidative stress and inflammation. Indeed, studies have found that the fruit decreases markers of inflammation as well as damage caused by free radicals.(3)

This is hugely advantageous because experts have linked both oxidative stress and chronic inflammation to several harmful health conditions. That includes heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders. They can additionally have detrimental effects on the condition of your skin. That means it’s possible baobab benefits our whole body through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, further study is necessary in order to clarify the precise impact of this on human health.

Similarly, research suggests that certain flavonoids and saponins in the fruit mean that baobab benefits the immune system too.(4) Studies have found that it possesses antiviral, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties, in line with its traditional use in treating conditions like fever and malaria.(5) Again, further investigation is required to confirm the fruit’s usefulness in this regard.

4. Baobab powder benefits blood sugar control

One specific area that has received a lot of attention is how baobab benefits blood glucose management. For example, studies have found that the fruit helps to lower the amount by which blood sugar rises after eating.(6) It might also decrease the amount of insulin needed to keep blood glucose levels under control. This may be thanks to its high fibre content, as this slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Moreover, baobab contains potent polyphenols that might be able to reduce starch breakdown and the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose.(7)

Such findings are useful because hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) can result in damage to the eyes, kidneys, heart, and nerves. While these baobab benefits will be of particular relevance to those with diabetes or insulin sensitivity, we all have an interest in keeping our blood sugar levels in the healthy range. So, in addition to being active, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of sleep, consider adding baobab powder to your diet!


3.2 oz (45 servings)

Organic Baobab Powder

3.2 oz (15 servings)

Organic Chia Seed Powder

3.2 oz (45 servings)

Organic Lucuma Powder

3.2 oz (45 servings)

Organic Maca Powder