Moringa – The new superfood

Heard of Moringa before? You might want to go and get some after reading this….

Moringa (moringa oleifera) is also known as the Ben Oil Tree, Drumstick Tree, or Indian Horseradish. Moringa is a fastgrowing
tree typically cultivated in India, tropical Asia, Africa and Latin America, yielding long seed pods that resemble
drumsticks, hence the name Drumstick Tree.

Moringa has long been used in eastern medicine to treat many ailments such as low energy, adrenal fatigue and helps to
naturally detox the liver just to name a few. As a dietary supplement, Moringa is high in protein, Vitamins A, B and C and
contains minerals such as calcium and iron.

It is also rich in flavonoid, a class of compounds found in plants that contribute to essential plant functions. According to
the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Moringa products have antibiotic, antitrypanosomal,
hypotensive, antispasmodic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic, and hypoglycemic properties”. In
essence, this makes Moringa a new superfood that is nutritious and medicinal.

Moringa is particularly mentioned in Ayurvedic treatments as the most nutritious tree in India. In traditional Indian
Ayurvedic treatments, moringa is used as a natural and safe detox, often used as a regular tonic of the body. Apart from
wellness from within, moringa leaves and barks can be processed into a balm for external application, alleviating joint
pains and rheumatism as the plant has a mild analgesic effect. It’s no wonder the Moringa plant is now being hailed as
the latest superfood.

In the western world, Moringa products come in various forms, with the most convenient and widely-available form
being Moringa powder ground from dried leaves and taken as a supplement in pill form.

Here are just some of the wonderful health benefits:

1.It’s nutrient-packed – vitamins A, C, and E; calcium; potassium; and protein.

2.It fights free radicals – molecules that cause oxidative stress and cell damage

3.It fights inflammation – helping to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, respiratory problems, cardiovascular
disease, arthritis, and obesity

4.Reduces diabetes symptoms – reducing lipid and glucose levels

5.Protects cardiovascular system – prevents plaque formation and reduces cholesterol levels

6.Protects the liver – with high concentrations of polyphenols

7.Has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties – to fight infections

Here is your guide to taking Moringa in all it’s forms so you can start benefiting from this wondrous superfood.

In Pill Form

Due to different manufacturing styles and ways to process the plant, the dosage can be varied. Always check the label for
recommended dosage given they have different concentration of active ingredients. Usually it’s one pill per day.

In Powder Form

For Moringa leaf powder, it is typically sold in packets or jars. For the most effective health benefits, it’s best taken raw, as
heat may destroy some of the useful and healthful compounds. The general instructions for various brands seem to
suggest starting off slow and adding more powder day by day in order for the body to get used to the detoxifying
qualities of Moringa. Start off with a quarter teaspoon added to your smoothies, iced tea, water or sprinkled on your
breakfast such as yoghurt or overnight chia pudding and slowly build up to 1 tablespoons a day.

Seeds and Leaves

You might come across roasted whole Moringa seeds or even whole leaves. These are usually hard to come by so if you
want to use these, it’s best to check your local health food store, Asian markets or Traditional Chinese Medicine
practitioners. The seeds are typically bitter and astringent though; how much you use will depend on personal taste. To
use Moringa seeds, remove the shell and chew five to ten seeds a day if possible, or grind them into powder and sprinkle
on your food.

When it comes to cooking Moringa leaves and seeds, the spices used in Indian cooking, such as cumin and turmeric,
complement the anti-inflammatory effect of Moringa. If eaten raw, start off with a quarter cup of leaves per day, and
build up to half cup a day.

No matter how you choose to have your Moringa for its therapeutic effect, the key is moderation and consuming it in line
with you and your body. For some that means being able to handle more at first, for you it might be to only take a
quarter of the recommended dosage.

Being a superfood, it’s important to remember that Moringa is ultimately not medication but a nutrient-rich food that
supports a healthy diet and lifestyle. It’s not meant to be a superfood that gives you everything you need or a cure for all
your ailments.

If you are pregnant, never consume Moringa tree bark or root as it could cause early labor or uterine contractions. If you
are menstruating, it can cause excessive bleeding due to the detoxifying nature.

As always, consult your doctor before incorporating Moringa into your daily diet.

2 Comments

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