Recently there has been a lot of talk about so-called superfoods, or healthy, natural products. These include exotic plants such as spirulina, chia seeds or goji berries, as well as our own products such as flaxseed, kale, cranberries, green oats or millet groats. Superfoods undoubtedly also include the Moringa tree, which has outstanding health-promoting properties.
Table of contents
- 1 What is the Moringa tree?
- 2 Moringa leaves – antioxidant properties
- 3 Moringa – help in proper digestion, weight loss and muscle mass building
- 4 Remedy for tiredness and problems with concentration
- 5 Use in cosmetics
- 6 Irreplaceable Moringa leaves – how to use in the kitchen?
- 7 Moringa leaves – where to buy and how much to pay for them?
What is the Moringa tree?
Actually every part of it, fruits, seeds, shoots, leaves, even roots and bark, can be used for edible purposes. The horseradish tree has exceptional nutritional qualities, since it contains all essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
The moringa leaves contain vitamins A, C, K, E, B1, B2, B3 and minerals such as selenium, magnesium and zinc, as well as chlorophyll, rutin, lutein, leucine, choline, glutathione, quercetin, omega 3, 6 and 9 acids.
According to calculations, Moringa has:
- 17 times more protein than milk,
- 25 times more iron than spinach,
- 4 times more vitamin A than carrots,
- 7 times more vitamin C than oranges.
Knowing and appreciating the nutritional value of the horseradish tree, Ayurvedic medicine used it for medicinal purposes already several thousand years ago. Individual parts of the plant are used to combat and prevent many ailments, even chronic diseases. The main components of this plant have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial effects, they lower cholesterol and hypertension, regulate insulin levels and slow down aging processes, promote weight loss and supplement vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Moringa leaves – antioxidant properties
Therefore, they rank higher in the ranking of antioxidants than acai, green tea, berries goji or garlic, which are also considered to have a strong anticancer effect.
Moringa leaves, thanks to the presence of fatty acids and other important compounds, contribute to the death of cancer cells and inhibit their multiplication process.
These are not all the benefits of Moringa tree. The leaves, thanks to the antioxidants and vitamin E they contain, help maintain a youthful appearance by protecting the skin from free radical damage. The positive effect can be magnified by also applying externally to the skin an extract from the leaves or oil from Moringa seeds.
Cosmetics based on this oil are perfect for sensitive and dry skin as theyincrease the level of skin hydration and have soothing and nourishing properties. Moreover, they stimulate epidermis regeneration processes and soothe inflammation. What is more, Moringa seed oil may also be applied on hair – it will strengthen and regenerate it and help in the fight against dandruff.
Moringa – help in proper digestion, weight loss and muscle mass building
Thanks to the presence of many valuable substances, Moringa leaves have a beneficial effect on a number of processes occurring in the body. They regulate the functioning of the digestive system and have a protective effect on its mucosa, soothe digestive disorders, support liver function by speeding up toxins elimination, normalize sugar levels. In addition, they affect the better absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron or calcium, to such an extent that they are administered in cases of nutritional deficiencies or even malnutrition.
Moringa leaves are also helpful in the fight against excess weight, because they affect the optimal use of energy from food and minimize the accumulation of fat tissue. The high methionine content has a positive effect on metabolism and reduces fat accumulation in the liver.
If you are on a diet, the powder of leaves will perfectly supplement vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The complete amino acids and other valuable substances contained in Moringa leaves also help build muscle mass and support muscle regeneration after exercise, including by removing excess lactate.
Remedy for tiredness and problems with concentration
Among the many invaluable benefits of the Moringa tree, it is also worth mentioning its positive effect on increasing not only physical, but also mental performance of the body. It turns out that this plant is a kind of natural stimulator of energy needed for mental work.
A powerful dose of nutrients necessary for proper functioning causes regular use of Moringa stimulates brain activity, improving concentration, reducing fatigue and giving energy to act. Supporting the brain and nervous system means we are less vulnerable to diseases such as Alzheimer.
Use in cosmetics
While many plants classified as superfoods use only a part of the plant, such as the root or fruit, Moringa is used in a variety of applications almostin its entirety.
The shoots, leaves and fruits are eaten, the juice of the flowers is used as an analgesic, a decoction of the bark is used to treat wounds and skin infections, the root is helpful for digestive problems, but also asthma, gout and rheumatism. In some parts of Asia even the resin is used to treat many diseases.
From the seeds of the Moringa tree, in turn, oil is pressed, which is the basis for numerous body, skin and hair care cosmetics, lotions, conditioners and creams. Moringa oil contains large amounts of oleic acid, thanks to which it improves the level of skin hydration, nourishes it and soothes irritation. Additionally, it activates regenerative processes and stabilizes metabolic processes. Cosmetics containing Moringa tree oil are especially recommended for people with sensitive and dry skin. It has a similar effect on hair – it strengthens hair bulbs, regenerates and nourishes it, prevents hair loss and helps in the fight against dandruff.
Irreplaceable Moringa leaves – how to use in the kitchen?
It can be mixed with water or juice and consumed as a drink. You can also add the powder to milk, yogurt or smoothie. Ground leaves are perfect as an addition to breakfast cereals, oatmeal, bran, soups, second courses, pastes, desserts, cocktails.
On the other hand, dried whole leaves can be used to prepare a healthy tea. It is enough to pour a teaspoon of leaves into a glass of boiling water and steep it under a lid for a few minutes. However, you should not consume more than 1.5g – 3.5g per day due to the possibility of side effects.
It is definitely worth trying out dried leaves from the Moringa tree in our kitchen, adding them to hot or cold dishes, or using them as a medicinal tea drink.
Moringa leaves – where to buy and how much to pay for them?
You are unlikely to get fresh plants in Poland, but you can easily buy dried leaves, whole or ground, in online shops. You can also get extracts, seeds, oils and on foreign websites cosmetics with Moringa oil. When it comes to Moringa leaves, the price of powdered leaves ranges from 4 to 8 € for 200 grams, while dried whole leaves can be bought for 2 to 5 € for 50 grams. You can find them in most health food stores and online shops.
The leaves of the Moringa tree have been thoroughly tested for their properties and can be considered one of the most nutritionally rich plants. Their versatile, health-promoting and healing effects certainly make them deserving of good reviews.