"Moringa" has a nice ring to it...but what is it? Known by some as the "miracle tree," the leaves and pods of this tropical inhabitant, native to Africa, Asia and South America, rival the nutritional value of milk, yogurt and eggs. It has a long history of use in Ayurveda, an ancient healing modality practiced in India.
According to a recent segment on NPR, moringa may be the next superfood to sweep the U.S. Seemingly more popular every day, moringa leaf powder, with its slightly-bitter, arugula-like taste, is an amazing source of protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. You can find it in capsules, healthfood powders - even energy bars.
According to some analyses, moringa leaves have, ounce for ounce, four times more calcium than milk, and seven times more vitamin C than oranges. Evidence also suggests moringa has anti-diabetic and disease-prevention properties, but research is still in the preliminary stages.
A Tree for the People
In places where moringa grows best, like Asia and Africa, it's a true jack of all trades. Drought-resistant and fast-growing, the wood is used for fires, seeds are extracted for their oil, and the leaves and pods offer valuable nourishment. In fact, moringa thrives in areas of the world facing malnourishment, but is only utilized by certain regions. The pods are cooked in dishes like sambhar, a delicious lentil stew.
How to Use Moringa Powder
Moringa Powder is quite potent, so go slowly - a teaspoon to start should do it. Some may find it more palatable when mixed with juices or superfood powders; try combining it with maqui, goji, or acai berry. It can also be added to energy bars, smoothies, pasta sauce or even guacamole - the sky's the limit!