Baobab fruit powder is a completely natural raw wholefood composed of high levels of antioxidants and dietary fiber. Research has shown that when consumed with simple carbohydrates, it will slow their glycemic response. Baobab essentially lowers the GI of high GI foods such as white bread!
By slowing the glycemic response of simple carbohydrates, the findings indicate that baobab fruit powder could potentially help in the management of obesity and type 2 diabetes. It is thought that specific groups of antioxidants called polyphenols contained in baobab fruit powder are responsible for this effect.
Glycemic Index (GI)
Our body’s “glycemic” response to a food is the measure of the effect it has on our blood sugar levels after eating. Persistent fluctuations in blood sugar levels can lead to serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately when the body receives more glucose than it can use, it stores the excess sugar which it is unable to metabolize as fat. That is why eating foods which promote rapid and elevated blood sugar levels such as white bread, confectionery and white rice can often lead to weight gain.
This has resulted in the development of the glycemic index (GI). Foods classified as low GI typically release glucose slowly into the bloodstream leading to only moderate level increases in blood sugar levels. Higher GI foods such as simple carbohydrates will result in a more rapid rise in blood sugar levels. However, the GI of a food is different when eaten alone than when combined with other foods. When eating a high GI food, you can combine it with specific GI-lowering foods to balance out the effect on blood glucose levels (source: American Diabetes Association).
In a 2013 clinical study, researchers at Oxford Brookes University in England discovered that drinking a mix of baobab fruit powder and water significantly slowed the rise of blood sugar levels 20-60 minutes after eating high GI white bread. (SA Coe et al. “The polyphenol-rich baobab fruit reduces starch digestion and glycemic response in humans”. Nutrition Research. 2013 Nov; 33:888-96)
Subjects were given drinks containing either (1) 18.5g of baobab fruit powder in 250ml of water or (2) 37g of baobab fruit powder in 250ml of water. Both groups recorded lower and slower blood sugar increases after eating high GI white bread compared to the group that was given just plain water. It is thought that specific groups of antioxidants called polyphenols contained in baobab fruit powder are responsible for this effect.
In addition, the same subjects were separately fed either standard white bread or white bread where baobab fruit powder had been added to the mix prior to baking. Researchers found that by adding baobab fruit powder to the baking mix, it actually lowered the GI of white bread. They trialed different percentages of baobab fruit powder in the baking mix (1.25%, 1.88%, 2.50%, 3.13% and 3.75%) and even the lowest amount proved effective in lowering the GI.
Dr. Shelly Coe from Functional Food Centre of Oxford Brookes University made the following observation:
“We have carried out a number of studies on Baobab Fruit at our Centre and the results have consistently demonstrated that baobab can have a stabilising effect on blood glucose. Baobab is rich in fibre which can slow down the rise in blood glucose, helping prevent sugar spikes. It is also high in polyphenols which have been shown to effect the release of sugars from carbohydrates into the blood stream, reducing their conversion into glucose. Our studies have shown that along with a good diet and exercise, consuming Baobab could help regulate your blood sugar.”
Prebiotic Gut Health
Baobab contains soluble Prebiotic Dietary Fiber.
Adaptogenic properties of baobab.