Moringa - the Humble Superfood

Posted By Healthy Buddha on Tuesday 16th March 2021
In 2010, when Haiti, reeling from destruction caused by a massive earthquake, was hit with an outbreak of cholera and a widespread hunger problem, Cuban leader Fidel Castro wanted to help. He sent an emissary to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra to study the cultivation of Moringa, and bring seeds back to Cuba.
He had learned that Moringa, originating in India, was the only plant that contained every kind of amino acid, was packed with nutrients, and had dozens of medicinal properties. Moreover, the plantcould adapt to many climatic conditions, was draught resistant and required very little water to grow.
So enamoured was he by Moringa that he cultivated the seeds in his own garden, and his home in Cuba was lush with drumsticks!

While you may not agree with Fidel’s ideologies and methods as a leader, you most definitely should take a leaf out of his book when it comes to his adulation for the Moringa or Drumstick tree. Here’s why –

Every part of the Moringa tree is a treasure trove in itself


Moringa



The humble Moringa tree, also known as the Drumstick tree, Horseradish tree, Ben tree and even the Miracle tree, requires very little effort in terms of cultivation. It can be easily grown from seeds or cuttings, needs less water, is a resilient tree, and blooms just 8 months after planting.
Yet, every part of it – leaves, seeds, pods, flowers and root, packs a punch, and can be consumed for their numerous health benefits. Soil is an important factor that determines the nutrient content and strength of the tree, and hence organically grown Moringa is most beneficial for you.

Moringa leaves


The tiny, dark green Moringa leaf has been in use medicinally, and as food, for thousands of years. It is rich in - 
-          Minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, copper, zinc and magnesium
-          Vitamins C, D, E, Beta-carotene of Vitamin A, and Folic acid in Vitamin B
-          Phytochemicals, Anti-oxidants, Proteins and essential Amino acids

Studies have found that, compared gram to gram, Moringa has –
-          Twice the amount of protein in yogurt
-          Thrice the amount of potassium in banana
-          Four times more Vitamin A than found in carrots
-          Seven times more Vitamin C than that found in oranges
-          Four times the calcium found in milk

How can you include Moringa or Drumstick leaves in your diet?


The leaves can be consumed fresh in a variety of ways. Chop them up and addin dal, parathas, soups or sambar, or simply prepare a delicious stir fry.
An easier way to consume moringa is in the form of Moringa leaf powder, made from dried moringa leaves. You can add the powder to pretty much anything. Sprinkle on salads, pasta and roasted veggies, blend in to chutneys, smoothies, juices, and ice creams, add while baking savoury items, or simply stir into soups, curries or dips.


Moringa


It is interesting to note that drying the leaves and storing moringa in powdered form helps increase its shelf life without the loss of nutrients.

Moringa Pods or Drumstick


Long, slender and dark green with a triangular shape, the pods of the Moringa tree, often known as Drumsticks, are exceptionally rich in Vitamin C.
They also contain high amounts of calcium and iron, proteins, Vitamin A and B Vitamins such as thiamine, niacin and riboflavin, and amino acids. They are also a natural antibacterial agent and help keep the gut healthy by cleansing it.

Moringa


Drumsticks are commonly used in south Indian cooking; cut into smaller sticks of approx. 1.5”, the pods are added to sambar and curries, giving them a subtle, fragrant flavour. The flesh alone is sucked out and the outer skin is discarded.
We’ve added Moringa recipes at the end of this article, which will help you in including the superfood in your diet. But, before that, there’s more you need to know about the many benefits of Moringa for your health.

Why is Moringa worthy of being a superfood?

Moringa has earned the title of ‘The Miracle Tree’ owing to the numerous health benefits it offers. From helping balance hormones, boosting immunity, to nourishing skin and hair, keeping the heart healthy, and even aiding in the treatment of anaemia and asthma, the list goes on and on. Here are a few of its many health benefits –
1)      Heart health: Organic moringa leaf powder helps regulate blood pressure, prevents the formation of plaque in the arteries, and helps keep cholesterol levels in check. Niaziminin and Isothiocyanate, 2 compounds found in moringa, help prevent thickening of arteries, a condition which can cause blood pressure to rise.
2)      Immunity booster: Moringa has super immunity boosting powers as it is a rich source of iron, essential amino acids, and vitamins A and C, all of which are essential for a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that Moringa can even help prevent certain types of cancers due to the presence of phenolic compounds, kaempferol and quercetin. 
3)      Strong bones:Vitamin K, calcium and phosphorous in Moringa, help keep your bones healthy and strong. Moringa leaves extract, with its anti-inflammatory properties, can also help treat arthritis and help heal damaged bones.
4)      Anti-diabetic: Moringacontains chlorogenic acid and isothiocyanates that regulate the amount of glucose in blood. It also helps reduce oxidative stress, thereby protecting against cell damage in diabetic patients.
5)      Anti-ageing:Moringa leaves contain high levels of vitamins A and E, and antioxidants, all of which help keep the skin healthy. Vitamin E protects cells against oxidative stress, which helps fight the signs of ageing. Antioxidants, apart from doing the same, also help fight against free radicals that cause premature ageing by damaging collagen, which causes skin dryness, and formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
6)      Stress reliever: Moringa is part of a unique set of plants and herbs that are classified as adaptogens. These are plants that help the body achieve homeostasis (a state of perfect harmony and balance) by combating physical, chemical and biological stress. Used in Ayurvedic medicines for centuries, Moringa leaves help keep the body’s adrenal system healthy. The adrenal system is what manages the body’s hormonal response in the face of stress.
These and several other benefits are why Moringa has risen to the status of a superfood. It’s therefore time to start including fresh organic moringa leaves, drumsticks and moringa leaf powder in your diet. You can shop for all of these at healthybuddha.in.

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Tags: moringa, super foods, drumstick