The Food Every Healthy Woman Swears By

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We’re already well versed in the nutritional nuances of superfoods like kale and chia seeds, but we’re always on the hunt for the next big thing in wellness. So we turned to Vanessa Packer, holistic nutritionist and founder of modelFIT, to give us the scoop on the food every healthy woman swears by. Her answer: moringa. Keep reading to find out why you should incorporate it into your diet ASAP.

Get To Know Moringa

Moringa oleifera (moringa for short) is a plant that's been used for centuries as alternative medicine. It's native to India, Pakistan and Nepal. The leaves are the most common way to reap the benefits of the plant, though other parts, like the flowers and seeds, can be consumed. "Always consult with your doctor to ensure it fits into your healthcare regimen, and make sure to start small," advises Vanessa. "Also, always see how your body adjusts to new supplements like moringa."

"It’s a powerful antioxidant and nutritional supplement," says Vanessa. "It helps reduce joint inflammation and stabilizes blood sugar levels." Studies have found it can help protect your liver from damage (cheers to that!). It's also full of essential amino acids (which are the building blocks of protein).

"I love adding ground up moringa seeds to my smoothie as an alternative to typical chia seeds or flaxseeds," says Vanessa. (She also uses moringa oil as a moisturizer.) If you want to get fancy with minimal effort, try this recipe from Bonberi, a health and wellness site Vanessa cofounded.

Aloe Moringa Elixir

Ingredients: 1 glass of water 2 inch piece of aloe gel (cut straight from aloe plant) or 2 caps of raw AloeForce juice 2 Tbsp neem honey 2 tsp moringa powder Juice of one lime

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a glass. Stir gently and drink.