SUPERFOODS

What is Moringa & What are Moringa Benefits?

MORINGA (Moringa Oleifera)


Superfood Hunting Moringa in Mexico

Holding a baby moringa tree in Mexico. The moringa family grows in several variations, from tiny plants to massive trees.

If you find yourself saying, “What is moringa?” you aren’t alone. It is a relative newcomer to the mainstream health community, but I have been studying it for a long time! Many years ago when it was still unknown to the western world, I heard something good about the moringa tree. I hopped on a plane and went to see moringa benefits for myself. It is originally native to the foothills of the Himalayas in India, but today it is grown around the world in most tropical, subtropical, and semi-arid regions. I wasn’t disappointed by what I found.

Moringa is an incredible nutrient-dense superfood! It has seven times the amount of vitamin C in oranges, four times as much calcium and double the amount of protein in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots, and three times the potassium in bananas! In fact, moringa tree leaves registered a higher ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score (157,000!) than most anitoxidant superfoods that are traditionally talked about, including Acai berries, green tea, blueberries, dark chocolate, garlic, goji berries, pomegranates and red wine! In places where no one can afford fancy pharmaceuticals, moringa trees keep people healthy. One nickname for it is “vitamin tree” – with good reason! It is not uncommon to see people reaching up and pulling the young leaves off moringa tress and chewing on them. Getting a fresh burst of vitamins and nutrients in the single handful.

The moringa family actually has 13 species found in tropical and subtropical climates. They all look very different, ranging from tiny plants to tall trees. The most widely cultivated species is Moringa oleifera.

I have visited many locations, including India, the Philippines, Mexico, Cambodia, and Sengal. My testing of soil and environmental conditions shows that Senegal is the best place to grow the most nutritious moringa.


 OTHER NAMES


 Miracle Moringa, The Never Die Tree, Tree of Life, the Vitamin Tree


MORINGA BENEFITS


  • This tiny leaf has been used medicinally (and as food) for at least 4,000 years. It is lives up to its nickname as “Miracle Moringa.”
  • It contains glucose-modifying, anti-diabetic properties that can fight Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Tests have shown moringa leaves effectively lower blood sugar levels.
  • It is a known agent for preventing hypercholesterolemia and hyperglycemia.
  • The leaves have a high iron content and help prevent anemia.
  • The leaves help protect your liver and promote cleansing of the body.
  • Early studies have shown moringa to have anti-cancer properties.
  • It is nutrient packed, full of protein, essential amino acids, antioxidants, and more.
  • Moringa contains 18 of 20 amino acids with all 9 essential amino acids present, making it a great protein source.
  • MOMtE (Methanolic extract of M. oleifera ) produces a significant reduction in serum glucose and nitric oxide with concomitant increase in serum insulin and protein levels.
  • Moringa has a strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effect , so it helps fight skin infections or scurvy, as well as providing healing and relief for wounds or insect bites. It helps stop bleeding as well.
  • It also is an anti-bacterial and cardio protective agent, providing antibiotic activity against H. Pylori.
  • Moringa flowers are boiled in water and made into a tea, which is believed to fight colds.

TRADITIONAL USES


Known as the tree of life, because every part of the tree is used. Seriously! The seeds, pods, flowers, are leaves are used as food, while the bark, roots, stems, and the rest of the tree are used for making tools or as folk medicine. Ayurvedic medicine uses part of the tree for treating various ailments. The leaves are eaten raw in salads, blended into drinks,  or steamed.

WHERE TO HUNT IT DOWN


The hard part with moringa is getting it processed right. You’re probably finally seeing websites and health personalities (including Dr. Oz , Dr. Mercola, and more) talking about the incredible health benefits of moringa. The reason it is not huge is that is takes time and effort to process it correctly.

It needs to be processed intelligently and with care to retain its goodness. The tiny leaves need to be handpicked , washed, and dried in the shade and then be pulverized as soon as possible to retain the nutrients and antioxidants. Doing it right costs more and takes more time. But if you buy cheap moringa from a commercial company, you might not be getting all the power and nutrient-density you think you are.

Moringa is very popular in capsule form. But do your research. You need to buy from a company that does not use fillers. Also look for capsules made with veggie or vegetable cellulose. Look for companies that have been tested for purity and quality. Powder form or teas is a good way to regularly include moringa in your SuperLife diet.

You can get your daily dose of superfoods, including moringa, in a special creation I developed for Beachbody called Shakeology, a superfood formula that includes more than 50 superfoods, which has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

One superfood missing from the formula, however, is a nutrient-dense supernut I recently discovered called Barukas (premium baru nuts from Brazil). You may not have heard of them, but Barukas are simply the most nutritious nut on the market. Learn more here.

Benefits of Moringa

Sources:

1. Combating Malnutrition with Moringa. Fuglie L. J. Church World Service, Bureau Régional d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Rue 8 Quart de Brie, Amitié 3, BP 5338, Dakar – Fann, (Senegal)

2. Moringa oleifera: A Review of the Medical Evidence for Its Nutritional, Therapeutic, and Prophylactic Properties. Part 1. Jed W. Fahey, Sc.D. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Cancer Chemoprotection Center, 725 N. Wolfe Street, 406 WBSB, Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21205-218

Comments

  1. Todd Grosrkeutz

    Darin,
    I have acquired a organic, powered Moringa here in Costa Rica. How much is a good daily dose? (thinking 1/2 teaspoon or so) ?

    Pura Vida

    Reply
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