Morninga Oleifera, Super Food?
It seems like health fads come and go with the wind. One week eggs are good for you and the next they are toxic! Avocados? Whether they are good fat or bad has changed more times than I can remember.
So, what to do?
I can't speak for anyone other than myself when I say, use your head. Does the food have vitamins and minerals needed for life? Is it natural? What are the risks versus the rewards? What is the global opinion?
Enter Moringa Oleifera. Quickly becoming a fad super food, this tree is so much more than any label. It has been used as an important food source for millennia by people around the globe, especially in South East Asia, but is only getting recent attention from the Western world. The Morninga is reported to be such an amazingly complete food, it is being introduced to areas of famine as a simple to grow life saver. Have a look at this article from The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/meet-the-moringa-tree-an-overqualified-underachieving-superfood
Moringa oleifera is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa, which is the only genus in the family Moringaceae. English common names include: moringa, drumstick tree (from the appearance of the long, slender, triangular seed-pods), horseradish tree (from the taste of the roots, which resembles horseradish), ben oil tree, or benzoil tree (from the oil which is derived from the seeds). It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree, native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India, and widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas where its young seed pods and leaves are used as vegetables. It can also be used for water purification and hand washing, and is sometimes used in herbal medicine.
How Does it Stack Up?
Moringa Oleifera leafs alone contain:
- 7X the Vitamin C of Oranges
- 4X the Vitamin A of Carrots
- 4X the Calcium of Milk
- 3X the Potassium of Bananas
- 2X the Protein of Yogurt
- MORE IRON THAN BEEF LIVER!
SOURCE: Nutritive Value of Indian Foods, by C. Gopalan MORNINGWOOD GROWERS makes no claims whatsoever of knowing anything! WARNING: BEFORE CONSUMING ANY PART OF MORINGA OLEIFERA, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR! CONSUME AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Just Google it! You will find hundreds of listings for all kinds of processed and dried Morninga supplements and pages singing the praises of this wonderful tree. Again from Wikipedia:
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
|Energy||64 kcal (270 kJ)|
|Dietary fiber||2.0 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||
Sure - But What does it Taste Like?
To me, the leafs taste like fresh sweet pea pods eaten whole. The flavor is delicate and delicious. The texture is soft, but with a gently crispness and a surprisingly refreshing water content. The roots have a flavor similar to horseradish. The beans and pods, I've not yet tasted, but I've read they have a sweet initial taste followed by a bitter aftertaste.
Whether you eat it or not, Moringa Oleifera is a wonderful tree to grow and to love. It has exquisite lime green leafs and delicate but strong branches. It grows rapidly in the right conditions but also does well grown in containers.
We have seedlings available now for purchase. These little guys are between 5 and 12" and are well rooted - seed grown. They are delicate though and require special shipping consideration. If you are near the Sarasota/Bradenton/Parrish/Tampa areas, I recommend you pick them up. You can do there here at the farm by appointment (contact me) or on Sundays at the Coquina Beach Market.