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Why Moringa Is Your Next Superfood

Discover the miraculous benefits of Moringa leaves and how they can elevate your health with their powerful nutrients and healing properties

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31 Jul '23
5 min read


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In the vast realm of superfoods, where cruciferous veggies, berries, leafy greens, fish, nuts, etc, always make their way into your diet plan, there’s one more nutritious powerhouse which demands attention — moringa oleifera. After all, it’s called the miracle tree for a reason. We will get to that in a bit. 

Don't let that jargon baffle you. It’s possibly part of your daily diet (think sohjne, sainjna, moringa, muluga, or nuggekayi) while growing up (depending on your roots). The versatile leafy gem, also known as the drumstick tree, or horseradish tree, traces its roots to India and East Africa. Its history goes way back to ancient times, where it found its place in phytomedicine and Ayurvedic healing practices over 4,000 years ago, as pointed out by Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, Integrative Dietitian and Founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition.

With an incredible ability to withstand drought and frost, moringa is widely cultivated worldwide. Every part of this remarkable tree is packed with high nutritive value, making it suitable for both nutritional and commercial purposes. Its leaves, in particular, are rich in minerals, vitamins, and essential phytochemicals, with extracts used to treat malnutrition and even aid lactating mothers by augmenting breast milk. It serves as an antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and antimicrobial agent. From speeding up wound healing to managing blood glucose, it has rightfully earned its title as the ‘miracle tree’. 

Now let’s delve into these incredible benefits further and explore how they can be a part of your diet:
 

Nutrition ninja

Moringa leaves are like a treasure trove of nutrients! One cup of fresh, chopped leaves (21 grams) contains, proteins, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, iron, riboflavin, Vitamin A, and magnesium—basically all the good stuff! In a study published in Ecology of Food and Nutrition, moringa leaves boast more than seven times the vitamin C found in oranges, four times the vitamin A of carrots, four times the calcium of cow's milk, and three times the potassium of bananas. We are beyond impressed. 

It doesn’t end here. They are loaded with over 16 amino acids, of which 10 are essential ones. Moringa leaves have antioxidants like quercetin and chlorogenic acid, to beat oxidative stress and inflammation. Apart from that, it’s packed with dietary fibre, omega-3 and omega-6 fats and beta-carotene.

Its rich nutritional profiles make it a natural energy booster. Its iron content helps in reducing weakness and drowsiness. So next time you feel low on energy, blend fresh moringa leaves with fruits and vegetables to create a nutrient-packed smoothie.

The immunity booster

Moringa leaves are like a superhero trio for your immune system, thanks to their vitamin, mineral and antioxidant profile (especially iron and Vitamin A). The antioxidants are like shields against nasty free radicals, keeping you safe and sound from chronic health issues. They also contain immune-boosting phytonutrients that strengthen the immune system and enable you to fight off infections. 

Its rich lectin content amps up our body's defences against illnesses. Not just that, it's got antimicrobial and anthelmintic powers and acts like a natural antibiotic.  

So all you need to do is add the leaves to the dal or saute them with other veggies (without overcooking it) and boost your immunity with its earthy yet tangy flavour. 

Saviour from inflammation 

Inflammation is your body's coping mechanism to deal with injuries and infections. But too much of it can cause a bunch of health problems. That’s where the star of this article, moringa leaves, comes in. Their anti-inflammatory properties can help with rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and other inflammation-related illness. How do they do it? They have got these bioactive compounds called isothiocyanates and flavonoids, known to defend against cardiovascular diseases and cancer. 

Now comes the taste part: Toss in fresh or dried moringa leaves to your favourite soups and stews! They will not only enhance the flavour but also increase the nutritional content.

The blood sugar whisperers

Now, the same isothiocyanates present in Moringa can aid in lowering blood pressure, ultimately reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, based on a paper published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. Also, check this out. In a study with 30 women, they discovered that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa leaf powder daily for three months reduced their blood sugar levels by an average of 13.5%! 

It can be a game-changer for diabetics or those having high blood sugar levels. It regulates blood sugar levels by helping insulin do its job better, making it a superhero at managing diabetes and keeping those sugar levels in check. 

Gut health warrior 

For your gut health, moringa leaves are your ally. They contain these natural compounds that help promote the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Moreover, they possess both soluble and insoluble fibre, which have digestive benefits. Think of it like gentle laxatives, which ensure smooth bowel movement (say bye-bye to constipation). 

Moringa leaves are true warriors, battling against harmful gut bacteria, ensuring your gut flora remains in top shape.  

These reasons are convincing enough to put moringa leaves at the top of your vegetable market list for your next grocery run! If you don't have access to fresh moringa leaves, you can try moringa leaf powder in health stores or online. However, that should be your last resort as it loses fibre and food value in commercial processes. 
 

Blend them, toss them, sauté them—do whatever it takes to elevate your health game with this versatile powerhouse!

 

Category : Health and Wellness


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Written by Madhuwanti Saha

Writer, daydreamer, procrastinator