The miracle of Moringa
Moringa oleifera, also known as the drumstick or horseradish tree, is native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in north-western India but has made its way all around the globe thanks to its many benefits. The fruits and leaves can be consumed and the oil is often used as the base for beauty and hair products.
By far the most nutritious part is the leaves, which are a source of vitamins B and C, provitamin A, vitamin K, manganese and protein. Its protein content is considered even better than soy. In fact, it has the highest protein content of any plant so far identified, making it an ideal source for vegetarians and vegans.
If you're keen to incorporate the leaves into your meals, they are often cooked and used in the same way as spinach. But it can be hard to get your hands on fresh moringa, so powdered variants are popular. These powders can be consumed as soups and sauces but also make a great addition to smoothies. Simply blend with some of your favourite fruit and veg and a little low-fat yoghurt and you'll have a breakfast that packs a punch.
You can also eat moringa seeds as a snack. They are removed from pods and roasted like nuts, providing the body with vitamin C, some vitamin B and dietary minerals.
If all the promises of nutrients weren't enough, more and more studies are hailing moringa a really magical ingredient. One suggests it supports breastfeeding mothers by increasing their volume of milk. The small study showed hopeful results when new mums ingested moringa capsules.
It could also help fight cancer because it's rich in antioxidants. The leaf and bark boast antimalignant properties that could help when creating new drugs.