When it comes to your health, we all know that it's what you put into your body that really matters. The food you eat can influence every part of your health in both a negative and positive way. Therefore it is important to ensure you maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Heading into the new year, it could be the right time to add something to your diet in order to work towards improving your health. Baobab could be the perfect addition, not only when it comes to boosting your immune system during the winter but also for keeping you happy and healthy throughout 2014.

Baobab is a fruit that is native to Africa. It grows from, what has been called, the Tree of Life, which is an amazing plant in that every part of the tree can be used for food, medicine, drinks and for fibre that can be used in construction.

The fruit itself contains high amounts of vitamin C, which studies have found to be between three and six times higher than the levels found in oranges. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and can help to maintain the immune system, allowing it to better fight off illness. It is also a powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce cell damage.

High levels of vitamin C are important for maintaining clear and youthful looking skin as the nutrient is vital in the formation of collagen. This forms in the connective tissue of the skin and helps to keep your complexion plump and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. 

Not only is eating the fruit beneficial for the skin, but you can also use the oil to cleanse and moisturise the skin. This provides your skin with vitamin C as well as vitamins A and E, which are also essential to a healthy complexion.

But it isn't just the immune system and skin that can be aided by this superfruit. The pulp of baobab contains around 56 per cent water soluble pectins. These help the digestive system, ensuring it is working to the max, which can reduce indigestion and other common complaints.

Pectins are also important when it comes to balancing your blood sugar. This means you may be less likely to suffer from sugar highs and the inevitable crashes that follow, keeping your energy levels even and improving things like concentration.

There are several ways that you can use baobab in your everyday life in order to reap the benefits. You can eat the pulp of the fruit, which can be made into drinks, desserts or eaten fresh - which tastes like a cross between melon and pineapple, or take it in powder form. Powder can also be added to food and drink, although it loses some of its goodness during the drying process.

The oil can be used as a beauty treatment for both the skin and the hair. Not only does it help keep the signs of ageing at bay, but baobab oil is highly moisturising without being greasy, making it perfect for dry skin and people that suffer from conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. 

Baobab oil is also fantastic at reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks, meaning it is a great choice for during and after pregnancy. All you have to do is massage it regularly - a little goes a long way - and marks, scars and stretch marks will fade.

It can also be applied to the hair - although it best to only use it on the ends and lengths - to provide moisture, protection and shine.

If you are going to make one change for the new year, try adding this superfruit into your life, whether it's as a food or a beauty product.