Moringa is a tree native to India and it is grown in south Asia, Africa, South America, Caribbean and Arabia.
All of the tree is edible including the leaves, pods and seeds. It has been used for centuries in multiple ways such as cooking and medicine. Its seeds can be used to make oil which can be used for cooking instead of olive oil.
The moringa tree has all of the 9 essential amino acids needed by the human body and it also contains the following vitamins and minerals:
· Vitamin A (10x more than carrots)
· Vitamin C (7x more than oranges)
· B1 Thiamine
· B2 Riboflavin
· B3 Niacin
· Calcium (17x more than milk)
· Potassium (15x more than bananas)
· Iron (25x more than spinach)
Moringa also has 9 times more protein that yoghurt.
The moringa oil can be used topically for the skin and is good for the nourishment and care of both skin and hair. The moringa tree also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for years to treat and prevent the following issues:
· Joint pain
· Poor eyesight
· Healing of wounds and reducing scars
· Aiding digestion and constipation relief
· Stomach problems
· Fights bacteria
· Mental health such as stress, anxiety and depression
· Kidney disorder
· Cancer prevention and treatment, it contains glucosinolates which fight cancer
· Asthma, prevents frequent attacks
· Diabetes, by reducing blood sugar levels
The moringa tree also:
· Reduces high blood pressure
· Improves immunity
· Improves libido and sexual health
· Improves energy levels
· Supports bone health
· Helps to control weight
Moringa leaves can also be used in cooking which make it easy for the body to digest rather than just having it raw. Cooked or fermented moringa leaves and sprouted pods reduce the antinutrient called phytate which increases the bioavailability of the nutrients. So basically cook or ferment the moringa so that your body absorbs as many nutrients from it as possible.
Moringa comes in capsule form if you want to take it as a supplement. It can also be drunk as tea, energy drinks or added to smoothies. As I’ve mentioned before the oil from the seeds can be used in cooking. Like olive oil, moringa oil also contains oleic acid and is sometimes called Ben oil.
Moringa has been used for centuries and has no known side effects. However, if you are already taking medication it would be worth talking to your doctor if you are thinking of talking moringa capsules as this will have a more concentrated amount of nutrients. You don’t want to take something that could possibly react with your prescription drugs.
On the other hand if you just include morning in your diet it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you have it in moderation. Moringa does have a lot of iron in it so eating it in excess could possibly lead to constipation if your iron intake is very high, so be moderate and adjust your intake accordingly.
How I use moringa leaves
At the moment I have only used moringa leaves to make tea. Its really nice. I boil it in some water with a chunk of ginger. I let it simmer in the pan for a while until the water has picked up some of the colour and then I strain it into a cup. You can add honey to sweeten it if you want. Its so delicious like that.
I think that moringa should definitely be part of any diet in order to improve and maintain optimal health. When we eat a balanced diet and stay active we can reap the multiple benefits that each food has to offer us.
Have you been using moringa in your diet? If so let me know in what ways and if you feel that it has benefitted you.