What has 17x the calcium of milk, 4x the protein of eggs, 10x the Vitamin A of carrots, 15x the potassium of bananas, 7x the Vitamin C of oranges and 15x the iron of spinach? I’ll provide you with a guess…actually, best I just let you know ‘else we may be here all year.
What exactly is it?
Moringa oleifera, also referred to as the “Miracle tree”, is a tree that grows in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India. It is a multi purpose plant, whereby every part of the Moringa plant – the gum, fruit, leaves, bark, root, seed and seed oil can be utilised.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the Moringa is that it has such incredible health advantages over a wide-range of health concerns. Throughout history Moringa has been used to treat diseases which range from cardiovascular and gastrointestinal to inflammation – Journal of Phytotherapy Research 2007.
How come it’s good for you?
From what I gather, the possibilities are almost endless. However, here are the most commonly reported benefits:
1. Increased and longer lasting physical energy
2. Emotional and mental balance
3. Faster recovery post workout
4. Nutrient dense mothers milk – in cultures across Africa, Moringa is known as ‘Mother’s Best Friend’ in that the iron, potassium, Vitamins A, B, C and E together with other essential nutrients are readily absorbed from the Moringa and transferred from the mother’s milk to the growing newborn.
5. Stabilises blood sugar levels
Additionally, benefits of Moringa also include increased flexibility, improved sensory perception, better sleep cycles, decreased depression and anxiety and improved memory. It has been used to assist those with diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and even cancer. Additionally, Moringa is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and works effectively on wounds or fungal skin complaints.
How do we eat it?
Moringa is most readily available in powder form. Precisely why dried leaf powder is preferred over fresh leaves is that the nutrition is preserved (and concentrated), a single serve can contain up to ten times more specific nutrients in comparison to fresh Moringa leaves. This soft fluffy powder has no unwanted effects and is easy to store. Moringa has a nutty earthy taste which is quite strong and being water soluble can be added to soups, stews or smoothies. Peanut and lemon seem to work well with the flavour profile of Moringa.
If you can get hold of fresh Moringa leaves, pods or seeds, they can be eaten in many ways; in salads, rice or quinoa dishes, steamed or even fried in a little coconut oil. Half a cup of cooked leaves will meet your day’s needs for Vitamin A & C.
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