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Moringa is known as 'The Miracle Tree,' and its powers are spreading worldwide.

Put it on a salad or drink it in a cocktail. Moringa is about to be everywhere.

Moringa is known as 'The Miracle Tree,' and its powers are spreading worldwide.
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Gates Foundation: The Story of Food

Would you know if you had treasure in your own backyard?

What if it grew right in front of you?

For some farmers, that's the moringa tree, which is anything but ordinary. Those who utilize it don't call it "The Miracle Tree" and "Mother's Best Friend" for nothin'.


No ordinary leaf: Moringa tree leaves are said to be full of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and amino acids.

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, January 5, 2017

The moringa tree is an exciting and tasty solution to ending global hunger and poverty.

"We've helped farmers in Ghana earn over $350,000 worth in income from what was just a backyard tree called moringa," says Kwami Williams, from the organization MoringaConnect.

The reason why? Its leaves are ridiculously amazing. They are tiny but pack a punch, containing more vitamin A than carrots, more protein than eggs, more calcium than milk, and more iron than spinach.

Move over, kale.

Handfuls of moringa leaves. All images via Upworthy.

Moringa has a bitter taste, similar to green tea, and it's a good source of energy. While the benefits of the plant are still being studied, advocates say it has potential as an anti-inflammatory and that it can help diabetic patients lower their glucose levels. It can also help new moms with milk production, and its seeds are said to produce one of nature’s finest cosmetic oils for hair and skin care. The list of its benefits goes on.

Moringa smoothie time.

While moringa, native to parts of Africa and Asia, has been utilized as food and medicine for thousands of years, its true impact has barely scratched the surface. And that has researchers excited.

It's being considered a "superfood" for those who consume it and also for those that grow and sell it. The fast-growing and drought-resistant tree thrives in the exact locations that have high malnutrition and poverty rates in parts of western Africa, southern Asia, and South America. The thinking is that by encouraging more local consumption and sustainably spreading it globally, it might be the way out for many struggling families.

Hannah Mensah, a single mother of three, can send her kids to school because of her moringa trees.

Hannah with her children.

She is one of 2,000 local farmers working with MoringaConnect, a young organization tapping into the true potential of the plant. By growing and selling it with the group, she'll be able to put her kids through secondary education with the money she makes and invest more in equipment to keep her farm running for the long term.

So far, MoringaConnect has worked with local farmers, like Mensah, to plant over 250,000 moringa trees in Ghana, which has helped farmers multiply their incomes by 10. And that's just one group.

Be on the lookout for moringa near you.

You can use the leaf powder to make a marinade or put it in a smoothie; the sky is really the limit on this one. In the United States, energy bars, supplements, and powder made from moringa are starting to pop up on shelves and on new trend lists.  With all the hype surrounding the plant, odds are you're about to see it a lot more.

And if you do try it, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that moringa isn't just good for your health, it might also be good for the entire world.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."