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Source: didoi/istock

Curious About Moringa? Here Are The Surprising Health Benefits

By Maria Cook

If you've been to a health foods store lately or scrolled through food blogs looking for recipe ideas, you might have seen Moringa popping up more often. Sometimes called the "horseradish tree" or the "tree of life," moringa is a green, flowering, drought-resistant tree native to the Indian subcontinent. Though the entire tree can be used as ingredients for traditional herbal medicines, the leaves are more commonly consumed.

The powerful plant is quickly becoming everyone's favorite new go to superfood and for good reason - it's filled with antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds and packs a powerful punch of health benefits. Though it's still largely unknown in the Western world, you can find moringa in powder form, making it easy to sprinkle on your salads or add to your morning smoothie. Let's take a look at a few science-backed reasons for what makes this plant so great.

Fights inflammation 

According to a study conducted by the Department of Plant Biology & Pathology at the State University of New Jersey, moringa has been found to "alleviate low-grade inflammation associated with chronic diseases." Because inflammation is a common symptom of so many chronic diseases, moringa supplements can serve as an effective tool for those with arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and other conditions. Inflammation can also lead to unnecessary pain and pressure after injuries, which means that anti-inflammatory medicines or supplements, like moringa, can be used for low-grade pain relief. 

Excellent nutritional support

Whether eaten raw or ingested in powdered supplement form, moringa is a nutrient-dense food, rich in vitamins and minerals. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of moringa contains 9 grams of protein, 51.7 milligrams of Vitamin C, and 185 milligrams of Calcium. Thus, mixing moringa powder into a morning cup of tea or even water can get your day off to a nutritious start.