Joining the ranks of sea buckthorn and acai, is a superfood you might not be familiar with: moringa. Preliminary research shows the plant (which has been a traditional resource in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years) may have some anti-cancer properties and could help regulate blood glucose levels while lowering cholesterol. It also contains a plethora of nutrients: When compared to 100 grams of the following foods, the same amount of moringa has the seven times the amount of vitamin C of an orange, four times the calcium of milk, and four times the beta-carotene of carrots, according to C Gopalan, Ph.D., a nutrition researcher based in New Delhi, India.
Eaten fresh, the leaves have a spicy flavor like other mustard-oil plants, including radishes and mustard greens, says Mark Olson, Ph.D., a professor of evolutionary biology at the National Autonomous University in Mexico. It’s sometimes referred to as “the horseradish tree” since it has a similar piquant taste. Blanche it for 30 seconds and you’re left with a slightly meaty flavor that’s less tough than kale but not as soft as spinach.
Fresh stalks and cans of the plant's crunchy pods can be found at speciality health stores. The former can be used in soups while the latter can be eaten raw or sautéed with spices and grated coconut. However, you’re more likely to see moringa as a grassy-hued powder supplement with an earthy flavor. One serving of the powder contains 35 calories coming from three grams of protein, three grams of fiber, five grams of carbs, and no fat. Try adding it to your next cup of tea, smoothie, or juice.