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Move over matcha - it's time to get acquainted with moringa

Even though it's been grown in South Africa for decades, the moringa plant is gaining enormous popularity for its superfood qualities.

12 Jan 2018

(image: iStock)

Matcha lattes, matcha cupcakes, matcha ice cream... had enough of matcha? So have we but there's a new green superfood that's about to rock your health world this year. 

Meet moringa!

Pronounced mor-rin-gha, the sea green substance is touted as being the next big thing. Why? It contains impressive amounts of all the good things - minerals, vitamins and the kind of nutrients that help lower blood pressure, regulate hormones and so much more. Plus, it's seen as a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids needed for the body. So it's an ideal protein source for vegans and vegetarians. Top health website, mindbodygreen shares 10 powerful benefits of drinking moringa every day.

South Africa's Faithful to Nature compares moringa's minerals to everyday foods...  

4x more Calcium than milk
36x more magnesium than eggs
3x more Potassium than bananas
25x more Iron than spinach
2x more protein than yogurt
4x more Vitamin A than carrots
7x more Vitamin C than oranges

But what is it actually? 
A medium-sized evergreen tree that was bought to South Africa 160 years ago by Indian labourers. The Durban Based Moringa 5000 project educates people how to cultivate and care for their own Moringa trees; the cost of each tree is subsidized by community and church project donations and the aim of the project is the long term upliftment of the community. Read more about the moringa movement in South Africa here.

(image: iStock)

Moringa Oleifera (its scientific name) grows wonderfully in harsh, dry conditions so it's pretty drought-resistant (perhaps farmers in the Western Cape should start looking into planting it?!). The powder is made from the leaves that have been dried and then ground up. 

What does it taste like? 
The taste is unsurprisingly spinach-y and is GREAT in smoothies. You can also use it in soups, in baked items (moringa muffins anyone?) or even as an addition to salads as a 'topping'. Just think of it in the same way you would think of a herb. Just one that's super duper powerful!

Where can you get it? 
You can find moringa powder at reputable health shops across the country. 

Have you tried moringa? If so, let us know your thoughts about it in the comments section below!

Read more on: superfoods  |  healthy recipes  |  matcha

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