Move over, kale salads and acai bowls. There’s a new superfood in town and it’s here to stay.
Called moringa - a.k.a. the “miracle tree” or “tree of life” - it’s a plant that grows exceptionally fast in hostile environments where most others can’t survive. Think dry, semi-arid places like Darfur and Senegal, in addition to tropical climates (the tree is native to North India).
Below is a breakdown of why moringa is the new superfood that you should definitely keep a lookout for:
It trumps other nutritious food
A small serving of moringa leaves has seven times the amount of vitamin C found in an orange, four times the calcium of milk, and four times the vitamin A found in carrots, according to nutrition researcher C. Gopalan’s Nutritive Value of Indian Foods.
Moringa is also a rare plant that contains all nine essential amino acids (which is typically only found in animal foods) – making it an incredible source of protein.
Every part of the tree is edible
Moringa has a remarkable nutritional profile, and every part of the tree is edible: The leaves are similar to spinach, the pods taste like string beans, the seeds have a peanut-y flavour, and the roots are reminiscent of horseradish.
Its oil has anti-ageing properties
Moringa oil contains a high level of anti-oxidants, and is also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. It can be used as a moisturiser as well, and in fact, in Japan and Korea, many use moringa oil as a facial cleanser - it’s believed to be able to gently remove dirt and pollution from the skin, while leaving a healthy glow on your face.
It can purify water
This is perhaps the most amazing quality of the superfood. Researchers in Uganda have found that they can purify H2O by dropping crushed moringa seeds in a bucket of dirty water - and have it safe for drinking within an hour.
“Moringa seed powder can remove 80-90 per cent of dirtiness in water,” says researcher Robert Natumanya, from Uganda’s Makerere University. Now if that’s not super, what is?
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