Booster Shots

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July 1, 2008 |  4:29 pm

Baobab trees

Move over, goji berry! Sayonara, acai! Fickle is the consumer seeking everlasting life in a bowl or smoothie glass, and we've just gotten wind of a new fad fruit -- that of the baobab tree.

The baobab has everything a superfruit should have. Unfamiliarity. A name that's hard to pronounce. The fact that it grows far away (in various countries in Africa) and that its fruit has been eaten by ancient peoples. And lord, just look at it! I mean, seriously. Something that odd-looking has got to be good for you.

Plus, it's pollinated by fruit bats.

An article in the online food trade publication FoodQualitynews.com reports that scientists in Britain have been studying use of baobab fruit pulp in smoothies and cereal bars. A spokesperson with PhytoTrade Africa, a natural products association of southern Africa, says plans are afoot to research its "health giving properties." The fruit is reportedly high in antioxidants, and stimulates growth of good bacteria in the gut.

Of course, it's a matter of debate whether a baobab -- or any of these superfruits -- are more healthful than a proletarian apple or pear would be -- as we explored in a March 10 article about superfruits.

(Still, let's take one more look at it, shall we?)

-- Rosie Mestel

photo credit: DreamWorks Animation SKG, from the animated feature "Madagascar"

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