Moringa (M. oleifera)

At times we seek more healthful ways to better our nutritional needs. Here’s one you need to place in your pantry and I will explain why. Instead of buying a pills with fillers that need to be reviewed get closer to nature itself and this is when Moringa, a “superfood”, comes into light. You might ask, so what does Moringa nutritionally bring to the table.  Well here is the breakdown. 

The Leaf

The Leaf is stellar in it’s nutritional value.  Fresh or dried, Moringa has a wealth of important nutrients including a wide array of B vitamins plus vitamins K, E, D, C and A.  Mineral wise, Moringa brings manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, potassium, sodium and calcium, as well as a striking amount of necessary compounds like protein and amino acids. So is fresh better than dried?

Gram for Gram:

Fresh Moringa leaf contains: 

  • Calcium: 4 times milk.
  • Vitamin C: 7 times oranges.
  • Protein: 2 times yogurt.
  • Vitamin A: 4 times carrots.
  • Iron: almost equal to spinach.

Dried Moringa Leaf contains: 

  • 15 times potassium of a banana.
  • 10 times vitamin A as a carrot.
  • 9 times protein in yogurt.
  • 17 times calcium in milk
  • 25 times amount of iron in spinach.

The drying process loses the vitamin C but other benefits are gained by the drying process.

  • Chlorophyll concentrated to 4 times wheatgrass. 
  • 9 essential amino acids necessary for health. Rare to find all in one.
  • Zeatin, a plant hormone, shown to stimulate new human skin cells and is therefore used in cosmetic anti-ageing products. 
THE Root

Roots are used for cooking and flavor can resemble horseradish as a spicy flavor.  

Chemistry moments:

Plants have an inherent intelligence for their survival. As the Rose bush has thorns, Moringa, at its roots, has it’s own defense.

The root synthesizes a group of compounds known as glucosinolates or simply it’s defense system that sits inactive inside the plant cells. When a cell is breached or damaged these compounds separate from an enzyme called myrosinase. Myrosinase, the defense system, breaks down the glucosinolates producing isothiocyanate or as is well known as as “mustard oil”.

This chemical protection wards off pests and foragers because should they bite into it and damage a cell they get that burny flavor of spice, that mustard oil effect. 

These volatile compounds are used to give zing to spices such as horseradish, mustard, wasabi and capers and are found in lesser amounts in such foods as cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and radish.

These isothiocyanates have been solidly established as having activity against a wide range of harmful bacteria and fungi, and have proven anti-inflammatory action. If you’re like me you have got to love those isothiocyanates. 

Caution: if you’re pregnant or seeking to start a family please note that the ROOT ONLY is used in the West Bengal province in India by women, especially prostitutes, as a permanent contraception as it has been shown to totally inactivate or suppress the reproductive system.

However, as nature can plays two sides of a coin at times, the Moringa root has studies that show promise for  post-menopausal women fighting ovarian cancer

Again, remember.. this pertains only to the ROOT and the ROOT Bark.

The Seed Some interesting studies on the Moringa seeds extract have shown their ability to reduce inflammation in the colons of rats which may have implications in gastro-intestinal conditions such as IBS, or Crohn’s.

 

In an interesting study show Moringa seeds ability to help protect the liver in lab setting. Rats were given varying levels of arsenic in their drinking water to create a liver toxicity effect.  Then these rats were given Moringa seed extract with their poison water, and the result was that the rat’s livers could handle the toxin much better.  The moringa extract protected the liver and also protected the rat’s DNA from fragmentation by the oxidative stress. 

 

Check out the posting of the benefits of Moringa.

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