Beauty Superfruits: Baobab
Commonly found in tropical regions of Africa, the baobab fruit has long been a source of natural well-being for the women of the region, who have used the fruit to benefit their general health, as well as their skin, hair and overall beauty. Inside the baobab’s hard, velvety shell, which is roughly the size of a coconut, are oil-rich seeds coated with a dry, ivory-colored powder that serves as the pulp of the fruit.
What does it taste like?
African locals have compared the fruit’s taste to that of a pear, with a slightly sweet, tangy flavor. Others have said it resembles the acidic, tart essence of a grapefruit, and many prefer to mix baobab powder with orange juice because it seems to complement citrus elements very well.
Did You Know:
One of the largest trees in the world that can live for up to 1,000 years, the baobab is also known as the “Tree of Life” due to the many resources it provides including shelter, clothing, food and water.
Baobab is a key source of thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin C and vitamin B6, which all contribute to the processes that harvest energy in the body, increase metabolism and reduce fatigue.
Helps to Manage Stress
“Baobab is said to contribute to normalizing blood pressure and managing digestive enzyme secretion, both of which are negatively affected when stress levels are high,” adds celebrity nutritionist Paula Simpson.
Promotes Weight Management
Baobab has a very high fiber content (about five grams in every 100 grams of baobab), which helps manage cravings and proper digestion—two significant factors in healthy weight management.
Fights Off Infection
In Africa, the omega-3 fatty acid–rich baobab is commonly used to treat fevers, malaria, gastric problems and vitamin C deficiency, as well as heart, brain and eye health. “Products made with baobab fruit can also help protect against inflammatory-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, arthritis and even allergies,” says nutritionist Franci Cohen.
Maintains Healthy Skin
Baobab’s antioxidant capacity is one of the highest of any fruit in the world, allowing it to help protect the skin’s cells from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress.
“The fruit’s abundance of vitamin C aids in the growth of cells and blood vessels and gives skin its firmness and strength by contributing to the normal production and function of collagen,” says Simpson.
Vitamin C assists in the regeneration of vitamin E, which helps repair damage from the sun, pollution and other environmental aggressors that cause dryness, fine lines, wrinkles and more.
Delivers Intense Moisture
Moisture-rich, golden baobab oil, extracted from the fruit’s cold-pressed seeds, is ideal for treating dry, damaged skin and hair, as well as conditions like eczema due to its profusion of omega-3, -6 and -9.
Used in African skin care for centuries, rich baobab oil is the highlight in the Indaba Spa’s 80-minute Baobab Awakening Facial ritual treatment, which gives the skin a youthful glow while improving elasticity, boosting skin cell regeneration and smoothing wrinkles. visitinnisbrook.com
A soothing, anti-aging body treatment, the Prickly Pear Butter Wrap features a gentle body polish and calming massage using fresh fruits including pomegranate extract and prickly pear butter to help achieve smooth, totally rejuvenated skin. miiamo.com
All-natural Lina Hanson Global Face Serum uses baobab oil to help reduce skin irritation, as well as the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. $85, linahanson.com
An ultrarich yet lightweight oil for both hair and body, Phyto Specific Baobab Oil hydrates and softens even the driest of strands. $40, ulta.com