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FSNH: Nutritional and Health Benefits of ‘Tree Of Life’ Explained

Ghanaians have been advised to educate themselves on the need to value local food resources and grow more food. This if done rightly is expected to serve as source of nutrients and employment and income generation and refrain from the practice of importing foods into the country.

The call was made by the Team Leader of Mila Tribe, Mr. Mawuli Kofi Sikanku when he appeared as guest on Rite FM’s food safety, nutrition and hygiene show with Nana Ama Sarfo on Tuesday.

He was speaking on the nutritional values of the Baobab tree.

baobab is any of the nine species of deciduous tree found in arid regions of Madagascar, mainland AfricaArabia, and Australia.

It is also described as the fruit of Africa’s trees of life, the only fruit in the world that dries naturally on the branch. It is also 100% natural which is rich in nutrients. In Twi, it is called Sale Dua.

Mr. Mawuli Kofi Sikanku who extolled the nutritional values of the baobab tree described it as a very large tree which is found in the Savannah areas, especially in Africa, adding that there are about nine different species of the tree around Africa.

According to him, every part of the tree is important.

Every part of the baobab is important, said Mr. Sikanku. “The leaves, seeds, bark, pod, fruits etc. The baobab is a universal tree. The fruit has a lot of nutritional values because it like cocoa which has a pod. It mostly dries on the tree before it plucks down.

“The fruits of the baobab tree is very good for human consumption as it has six times the amount of vitamin C and six times the amount of potassium derived from eating bananas and six times the amount of antioxidants in blueberries. Additionally, the seeds, leaves and the bark also have various health benefits,” he asserted.

He said the baobab fruit which is free of additives, does not need any special processing before use.

“The baobab fruits does not need any processing into baobab powder which comes as another benefit. Baobab powder is 100% raw with no additives,” he asserted. “It can be found in the Volta region, Upper East and Upper West regions as well as some parts of the Eastern and Greater Accra regions and the tree needs a lot of space to grow well,” he added.

The Team Leader of Mila Tribe said baobab fruit is also processed into powder and oil where the powder can be mixed with porridge, tea, stew and mixed with water and honey, adding that Ghanaians need to consume more nutrients.

“In Ghana, our consumption of important nutrients is very low such as vitamins, proteins, calcium. Many Ghanaians are putting on a lot of weight which is due to too much intake of carbohydrates and fatty foods which can be burnt down through the consumption of a lot of fruits,” he stressed.

Baobab is an edible fruits like mango, pawpaw, orange, etc. which can be eaten raw. It has high nutritional profile and has medicinal values against pains from the bones, building of strong muscles, and provision of a good immune system and also has calcium which helps strong teeth, glows the skin and strengthens the hair.

Source: Nana Ama Sarfo/www.ritefmonline.org/ama297@gmail.com

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