There’s no doubt that 2014 was the year of the superfoods, with people consuming massive quantities of kale, as well as weird sounding foods like spirulina and freekeh. Well, the health craze continues.
Superfoods continue to be a hot topic in 2015, and for good reason. Not only do they pack a powerful nutritional punch, they also (usually) taste delicious and help keep you in shape.
There’s always the search for the next “superfood,” and after listening to Nutrition Diva’s podcast about moringa, I’m pretty sure I’ve found it.
Only a month after the podcast, I’ve already seen moringa in various juice shops, right alongside spirulina and wheatgrass as an add-in to your green juice. But before you drop everything and run to Whole Foods for a container of moringa, take the time to learn a little bit more about this so-called superfood.
So what is moringa?
Basically, it’s dried leaf powder from Africa. Gross, I know. But considering spirulina is essentially green-colored bacteria, I think we all know how far we’ll go for health.
The health claims for moringa sound way too good to be true. It’s reported to contain 20 types of amino acids and 46 antioxidants in addition to having more potassium than bananas and more calcium than milk.
It’s also supposed to give you an instant energy boost and is sometimes used (not by doctors but as a type of traditional medicine) to treat a variety of diseases from arthritis to cancer. You can find it in its powdered form, or in supplements or teabags.
The question is — should you be spending your money on this new superfood?
Well, let’s take a look at the health claims. Yes, powdered moringa has a ton of nutrients, but remember that nutrients are always more concentrated when in powdered form. So if you dried up bananas and ground it up into powder, it’d actually have way more potassium than moringa does.
The most important benefit of moringa may be that it helps out small-scale farmers. Since moringa is imported from developing countries in Africa and occasionally Thailand and India, if moringa does become an uber-popular superfood it will definitely boost these countries’ economies.
So the bottom line is — before moringa becomes the next kale and people start adding it to everything, just remember that this “superfood” may have some health benefits, you should maybe only purchase it if you want to help out the global economy.
Because in the end, it’s more important to eat whole, fresh foods rather than depend on supplements or powders to get your daily nutrients. Since it’s commonly used to treat malnutrition Africa and India, you don’t really need it because let’s be honest, you’re not malnourished.
Seriously, you’ll go broke trying to keep up with all these “superfood” trends. So save your money and spend it on some wine instead — because hey, it has antioxidants too…
Plus, do you really want to be eating dried leaf powder?
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Try these other superfoods that are much more appetizing: