Moringa oleifera has started making waves as the new superfood.
The likes of kale and matcha have ruled the super greens for a long time but now this has started making waves as the new healthier alternative.
Moringa is also known as horseradish tree and bears a pungent and bitter flavor of the roots. This is a tree native to parts of India, Nepal, and Pakistan. You might have heard its name in several juices, booster shots, and smoothies, popping up as a common ingredient.
Moringa Might Be The Next Big Supergreen
The name might be surprising for some Americans but this plant is packed with essential nutrients and had been used in Ayurveda for centuries.
The moringa trees grow like weeds, growing approximately 20 ft in a year and producing flowers every 6 months. The leaves of this nutritious plant are quite fragile and can be eaten whole or ground into a velvety powder after being dried.
The powder of this leaf smells like green tea, just a bit more “pepper-ish”, and greens up everything it is mixed with. When you add this to water, the powder quickly dissolves and produces a green flavor, which is slightly sweet and bitter at the same time. You can also sprinkle the dried moringa leaf powder into yogurts, juices, and smoothies as per your taste.
These leaves are rich in calcium, vitamin C, amino acids, and potassium. They also contain chlorogenic acid, which balances your blood sugar, and quercetin, which stabilizes the production of histamine.
Studies Based On Moringa
A recent study found Moringa leaves to contain 4x times the vitamin A of carrots, 7x times the Vitamin C of oranges, 3x times the potassium of bananas, and 4x times the calcium from the milk of a cow. They are caffeine-free but are great energy boosters, naturally.
A study from Phytochemistry suggested that the moringa plant contains isothiocyanate, which helps to build up resistance against cancer and also regulates sugar levels in the blood.
Blood sugar stabilization has the additional benefit of balancing mood swings, reducing inflammation, and controlling cravings.
Another paper from Molecular Nutrition & Food Research found out, that these substances present in Moringa can help in reducing blood pressure levels, which in turn reduces the risk of you having strokes or cardiac diseases.
These trees are also drought-resistant which makes them an important source of nutrition in drought-prone regions affected by climatic changes.
How Can These Leaves Solve Protein-Energy Malnutrition?
Protein-energy malnutrition is a massive problem in several countries in Latin America, Africa, and Southern Asia. WHO has estimated that this problem affects more than 1 child out of 3 in developing countries. This happens especially where the residents face food insecurities.
You can clearly observe how this plant outweighs kale and matcha, here. You will be able to make it out yourself how moringa is far greater than your local juice counter.
“What is really exciting about Moringa is that it provides needed nutrition and ‘nutraceutical’ effects for people in places where these things are really needed,” says Olson. Mark Olson is a professor of evolutionary biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and has studied the Moringa tree for more than 20 years.
Many Americans in the current world are overfed but suffer from undernourishment and also from micronutrient deficiency. Moringa, in such cases, can be used as a supplement in countries where calories are available, to supply essential nutrients.
The Moringa is currently climbing the ranks as a popular super green. It is a nutrient-dense and convenient food that can be used to supplement diets that otherwise lack proper nutrition.
Instead of turning Moringa into yet another fleeting diet fad that is here today and gone tomorrow, we might find the most benefits from it if we resolve to view Moringa as a vital resource in feeding the world first and a trendy super green second.