What is baobab powder?
Baobab powder is the powder of the baobab fruit that grows in the baobab tree. Traditionally all parts of the baobab tree and fruit can be used like the leaves, fruit pulp and seeds. The tree is native to Africa, Australia and the Middle East. Most baobab powders come from the fruit pulp although you can get powdered baobab seeds and leaves as well. The baobab fruit is very nutritious and is known mostly for its high vitamin c content. I use this baobab powder from DHOW Nature Foods
Why is nutrition important for PMS?
Several studies have shown that nutrition plays a key role in PMS. Although nutrition is not the only factor, it can play a crucial role in the severity of symptoms experienced at that “time of the month.” The right nutrients can help stabilise the luteal phase of the cycle and boost progesterone levels leading to a reduction in PMS symptoms. Although we commonly think of progesterone as the hormone that helps women get pregnant, low progesterone is responsible for a lot more than our fertility. Progesterone is only secreted once ovulation has occurred in the second part of the menstrual cycle called the luteal phase. Low progesterone is often identified as the prime reason for symptoms of PMS.
- Progesterone works on the GABA neurotransmitter network to help us stay calm. A lack of progesterone can lead to irritability, anger, anxiety and panic attacks.
- Adequate progesterone is needed to achieve sound sleep; low progesterone is often associated with bouts of insomnia in perimenopausal women as well as poor quality sleep in the luteal phase of cycling women.
- Progesterone is needed for adequate energy, it helps give women energy by stimulating the thyroid and increasing metabolism.
- Progesterone is needed to help stabilise the uterine lining leading to less heavy menstrual periods.
- Progesterone helps build strong bones by stimulation osteoblast cells.
Why is baobab powder good for boosting progesterone and alleviating PMS.
Baobab powder is high in many nutrients but is especially high in three main nutrients, vitamin c, vitamin b6 and vitamin b3 or niacin. these nutrients have a direct role in boosting progesterone, clearing out excess estrogen and alleviating PMS. They also work to help stabilise the stress response by working with different neurotransmitters and the adrenal glands.
- Baobab powder is a very high source of vitamin C. Two tablespoons of baobab powder can give you almost 60% of all the vitamin c you need in a day. Vitamin c is important for our immunity but it is also important for increasing progesterone levels. In fact, vitamin c supplementation had the ability to raise progesterone levels by 77% in a study conducted on women with luteal phase defect (1)
- Baobab powder is a very high plant source of vitamin B6. Two tablespoons of baobab powder can provide you with a quarter of the vitamin b6 needed in a day. Vitamin B6 has been shown to help boost progesterone levels. Research has shown that women with elevated B6 levels have half the miscarriage rates of women with low vitamin b6 levels (2). This is likely due to the action of b6 in increasing progesterone which is crucial for maintaining pregnancy. Vitamin b6 plays an important role in mood regulation. This is because vitamin b6 is needed in the synthesis of most of our neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and GABA. As hormones drop near the end of the menstrual cycle our neurotransmitters drop with them leading to feelings of depression, irritability, fatigue and anxiety. This is why vitamin B6 has been shown most effective in relieving mood-related PMS type symptoms, especially when combined with magnesium. (3)
- Baobab powder is a good source of niacin or vitamin b3. Two Tablespoons of baobab powder will give you about 20% of all the niacin you need in a day. Although there isn’t much data to show a direct relationship between niacin and PMS or boosting progesterone, we know that very powerful at lowering triglycerides and increasing good cholesterol this is thought to be due to the way niacin works to assist normal liver function (4). There is an association between high cholesterol levels and a more severe type of PMS called PMDD (5). Indirectly niacin may help the body to detoxify from excess estrogen in the body due to the way it helps the liver perform its function. Many women have heard that the balance between estrogen and progesterone is critical in treating PMS. Although many women can produce adequate levels of progesterone, they have a compromised ability to clear excess estrogen from the liver leading symptoms of PMS. This has nothing to do with how much estrogen is produced in the ovaries in comparison to progesterone but rather with the ability of the liver and gut to process the estrogen and eliminate it out of the body. Niacin is just one of the nutrients that are needed in helping the liver detoxify of estrogen that can help speed up the detoxification process
How to use baobab powder
Baobab powder is a pleasant mild citrusy taste. It is not strong or overpowering and can easily be incorporated into juices, smoothies, baked treats or raw treats. It can even be added to savoury dishes like curries for a nutritional boost. I personally like to add baobab in my smoothies or juices during the luteal phase of my cycle to help boost progesterone. I also like to give it to my family when we are fighting off a cold to help boost immunity. The recipe I am sharing is for a no-bake vegan peanut butter raspberry slice with baobab. The combination of peanut butter, raspberries and baobab make is a very high source of vitamin c as well as vitamin b6. Peanut butter is also a high source of b6. It is fairly easy to make and really delicious.
|Baobab Fruit Powder for Natural PMS Relief with Vegan Peanut Butter Raspberry Boabab Cheesecake Slice|| |
- 1 cup pecans
- 1½ cups pitted dates
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 TBSP cacao powder
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 15 mins in boiling water)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
- 3-4 TBSP baobab powder
- ¾ cup raspberries
- In a food processor, process all the base ingredients until sticky. Press down into the base of a lined square baking tin. I used a 10cm tin. Set aside.
- Add the filling ingredients into the food processor (or you can use a blender) and process until smooth and creamy. Pour over the base and smooth out with a spatula. Press down a few raspberries into the filling and scatter some more raspberries onto the top.
- Place in the freezer to set for about 4 hours.
- Slice and enjoy