What is Moringa? Asia’s Latest Superfood and How it Can Help You
Moringa is the latest buzzword in the health food world. Heard of it but don't know exactly what Moringa is or what it does? Us too! That's why we wrote this blog-- to give you the low down on this superfood and see if it's really worth all the hype.
The Moringa tree is native to northern India, but today it's found in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world. Moringa has been used for over five thousand years in Indian Ayurvedic health remedies. Lucky for us, today, it's available in almost every health food store in the West and is becoming an increasingly popular dietary supplement.
Moringa is known for being rich in protein, vitamins A, B and C, and minerals. It is a complete protein, which means it has all nine essential amino acids (yay for you vegetarians out there!). In addition to this, there is a laundry list of health benefits of regularly consuming Moringa. There are a wealth of studies which show Moringa’s ability to prevent memory loss, cancer, balance hormones, balance blood sugar levels and provide anti-inflammatory benefits if consumed in the appropriate quantity.
Moringa’s nutritional profile surpasses that of spinach, kale, collard greens... you name it! When compared side by side to kale, it has 2x the amount of protein, 3x the amount of calcium, 4x the amount of iron, and 2.5x the amount of fiber.
With this being said, it's still important to consider the level of nutrients you get from a small portion size like 1 tablespoon. While Moringa is said to have “seven times the vitamin C of oranges, twenty-five times the iron of spinach, ten times the vitamin A of carrots and three times the potassium of bananas (Tonic Toronto),” keep in mind this is a per gram measurement. You are not going to be (and probably shouldn’t be!) consuming as many grams of Moringa as you would oranges or bananas. So while Moringa does have some awesome health benefits, don’t let this gram-for-gram health food rhetoric trick you into believing you’re getting more nutrients than you actually are. Just be sure to read the nutrition label and look at the daily value (DV) percentages listed to decide if it's a good option for you. Different brands do have slightly different nutritional values, and the amount you're actually getting will vary depending on how much you consume.
A good dose to introduce into your diet to avoid digestive problems is one tablespoon per day. If taken in larger quantities, Moringa can have laxative effects. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Here's the nutritional information of our favorite brand of Moringa powder, Kuli Kuli. More information can be found on their website. They're an awesome company with a mission to empower women in developing countries-- just like Lotus and Luna!
How to Use Moringa
1. Blend it into a smoothie or smoothie bowl-- yum!! Find recipes here.
2. Take it as a supplement in a capsule. Some people dislike the taste of Moringa. (It's similar to the flavor of matcha.) By taking it as a capsule, you'll avoid the flavor and still get all of the awesome health benefits.
3. Use Moringa oil on your hair and skin. Moringa oil is extracted from the seeds of the tree. The omega-9 fatty acids, iron, and zinc in Moringa oil make it an amazing natural skin and hair moisturizer. Or, you could even use it as a carrier oil to mix with your favorite essential oil.
4. Moringa tea bags. Yes, they make them. No, we have no idea how they taste. We would guess similar to green tea? You be the judge and let us know in the comments section below!
(Step to Health)
5. Grow it yourself. If you're feeling extra ambitious, you can grow your own Moringa tree! Moringa is most potent when fresh, but isn't sold fresh in stores (at least that we know of); so growing it yourself is a great option! You can mix the leaves into your salads and smoothies. You can also eat the seed pods, which are similar in flavor to green beans, but more fibrous. Or even pop the dried seeds like popcorn!
Even if you don't have a green thumb, Moringa is easy to grow in a variety of climates. It’s also drought resistant (perfect for our dry San Diego climate!) and grows well in poor soil quality.
(Balcony Garden Web)
So what's our consensus? Definitely worth the hype! We don’t know about you, but we’ll be adding some Moringa to our diets for sure. Let us know in the comments below how you like to use Moringa and what your favorite superfoods are!