It seems that superfoods come in strong trends. Back in the 90s it was all about blue-green algae. Then for awhile all we heard about was how amazing acai is. Then it was goji berries. Now it seems that chia seeds are in everything. So what is next?
This green tree originally found in the foothills of the Himalayas in India, has spread to similar climates throughout the world. It is grown in Africa and many tropical and sub-tropical locations. And I heard about it in Nicaragua as I am always looking for superfoods that grow in each place I travel. Then I got to taste this green powder and other parts of the plant in Baja, Mexico. The popularity of this plant is obviously growing world wide.
Moringa, from the Tamil word muringuai meaning twisted pod, offers many beneficial and edible parts; the seeds, pods, and leaves are all harvested for a variety of uses.
This leafy green tree loves sandy, dry conditions, making Baja the ideal landscape and our neighbor had planted six moringa trees in her yard. The couple originally planted these trees to add nutrients to their diet, especially in the heat of the summer, when green veggies are hard to come by in the hot desert.
As we walked through their small orchard we tasted the peppery flowers, chewed on the peanut buttery leaves, and experienced the intense multifaceted taste of the seed.
Eating the seed was quite the interesting experience to say the least. It was sweet, then bitter, then spicy, then astringent, and then all of those at once. It was good, gross, weird but most of all it was strong! It is very fitting that moringa originated in India because the experience of eating the seed reminded me of my experience India itself. An strong on-slot of all the tastes, emotions, thoughts all at once.
Yum this is good- no bad, I hate this- no I think I like it, wait, what is happening now? Ew get this out of my mouth- no it is sweet again, hmm- water please?
Literally the craziest taste experience of my life.
Later as we tasted the powder within our smoothies we made later, the experience was much more enjoyable, as the powder has a much mellower taste profile. The powder, not the seed, is the form that will most likely be found on all the health food stores shelves as it boasts many potential benefits:
- Boosts energy and reduces fatigue
- Clear, healthy skin
- Immune booster
- Adaptogyn= helps balance hormones
- Bone strength
- Antioxidant- specifically support in balancing blood sugar and lowering blood pressure
As a powder it is easily consumed in smoothies and is my go-to for consuming superfoods. The powder comes from drying the leaves and grinding it up and provides B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin K, protein (all 9 amino acids!), iron and manganese.
The pods provide vitamin c, fiber, potassium, manganese and magnesium. In India they are often boiled and added to curries or stews.
The seeds provide more vitamin c and b vitamins, but more interestingly can be used as a water purifier. They neutralize and cause particles in water to bind and therefore become easier to filter out.
Over all moringa is definitely looking like a superfood we want think about adding to our smoothies as another way of boosting nutrient density. It is also another ideal food to bring or to search out when traveling to make sure to get your greens.
- Experiment with using the powder at home in smoothies and sprinkled on salads and veggies.
- If traveling to a hot country look for moringa powder for sale to travel with and add to juices for extra nutrients.
- Bring moringa powder with you if possible when traveling anywhere that green leafys are hard to come by.
Learn more about the benefits of this superfood.