Thursday, December 24, 2015

What's up-and-coming in superfoods?

Moringa is a tropical tree native to Asia and Africa, where people have eaten its long, drumstick-like seed pods for years. Nutritionally, gram-per-gram, the plant contains two times the protein of yogurt, three times the potassium of bananas, four times the vitamin A of carrots, four times the calcium of milk and seven times the vitamin C of oranges. Although traditional wisdom holds that moringa has many medicinal benefits, they have yet to be scientifically proven.

Moringa is attracting enough attention that a four-day moringa symposium in November will bring together about 300 scientists from around the world. One concern is sustainably growing the tree in a way that supports the farmers. In the U.S., New Global Energy, which believes in the potential of moringa and already uses it in fish feed, has planted trees in California, with plans to expand.

Currently, moringa is available in the U.S. mostly in supplements, from companies such as Moringa America, and in energy bars and teas, although specialty Asian and Indian markets often have fresh plants for sale.

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