Moringa has been revered among Ayurvedic circles for hundreds of years, but it's currently poised to become the hot superfood of 2016. Nearly every part of the moringa oleifera, or drumstick tree, is edible and packed with vitamin C, protein, iron, and calcium. If you can't get your hands on the fresh greens yet - not to worry - you can readily take a supplement or toss a powdered version into a smoothie to reap its benefits. Here's why it's worth a try:
It's a nutritional powerhouse: Moringa has been named a superfood for good reason. It has three times the potassium of a banana, three times the calcium of milk, and two times the protein of yoghurt - three grams per tablespoon! Any vegan eaters who have a tough time getting enough protein can benefit from the introduction of moringa into their diet.
It supports breastfeeding: In one study, researchers found mothers of premature babies increase their volume of breast milk after ingesting moringa capsules. While the study was small, the results are promising.
It may be used to fight cancer: In addition to being potent in antioxidants, one study found that both the leaf and bark of the moringa plant have antimalignant properties that could be beneficial when developing new cancer drugs.
- Additional reporting by Michele Foley