It’s not called the “miracle tree” for nothing.
OK, we admit it. It seems like every time you scroll through Instagram, there’s a new superfood everyone else seems to be obsessed with. Kale, swiss chard, chia seeds, goji berries, cacao nibs—the list goes on and on. (And now, a moment of silence for all the superfoods that are no longer in the limelight.)
Despite their fleeting fame, all these foods are still really good for you—whether they’re en vogue or not. And guess what? We have one more to add to the list: moringa. Before you write this one off as “just another superfood headline,” hear us out—because this one is definitely worth trying.
Moringa oleifera is a nutrient-dense, edible tree that hails from the tropics of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. It’s been coined the “miracle tree” for its wide variety of uses that may be, well, nothing short of miracles.
Here are four key facts about moringa, the latest superfood you’ve never heard of:
1. Moringa is incredibly nourishing. It has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, and its leaves are are rich in protein, vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, and potassium. Just one cup of leaves has close to one-third of your daily recommended value of vitamin A, and triple the amount of protein that’s in the same amount of kale.
2. Moringa is used for healing. Moringa has been sought after by doctors and healers for hundreds of years for its medicinal properties. It’s been used to treat malnourishment, fight infections, and ward off diseases.
3. Moringa is totally edible. All parts of the moringa tree—bark, pods, leaves, nuts, seeds, tubers, roots, and flowers—are edible. The leaves, roots, and immature pods can be eaten as a veggie (some say it tastes like green beans, but sweeter!). You can also use moringa oil to cook or topically, and you can sprinkle moringa as a powder in smoothies or green tea.
4. Moringa feeds people in need. Alongside its abilities to nourish the malnourished, the moringa plant is widely cultivated, grows fast, and is drought-tolerant. It produces leaves during the dry season and times of drought, and is an excellent source of healthy produce when other food might not be available.
A miracle tree? We sure agree.
Adoption of Moringa oleifera to combat under-nutrition viewed through the lens of the “Diffusion of Innovations” theory. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Human Nutrition, 2009. (Accessed on February 1, 2018 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2679503)
Moringa. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (Accessed on February 1, 2018 at http://www.fao.org/traditional-crops/moringa/en)