Move over quinoa, Malaysia has Moringa!
What in the world is Moringa??
Moringa is scientifically known as Moringa Oleifera or more commonly known in Malaysia as “the drumstick tree”. Yes, you read that right, drumstick. No, not your chicken drumstick nor the thing you use to hit drums! It gets its name from its fruit that has a long and slender shape. These fruits, aka “drumsticks” are commonly used in curries at your favourite mamak restaurants, which can often be mistaken for lady fingers or “bendi”.
Moringa is a great food source because of its capability to grow and survive in a variety of climates, especially subtropical climates.
Carrie Waterman, a product chemist at the University of California, Davis, refers to the Moringa plant as one of the few plants that would help feed the world over the next hundred years! Apart from the “drumsticks” themselves, every part of the tree is edible – from its leaves to even its root.
And we’re in luck! The Moringa tree is abundant in Malaysia!
Can this superfood give me superpowers?
Yes and no. No, it will not give you the ability to shoot laser beams out of your eyes like Superman or spider web out of your wrists like Spiderman BUT it does have plenty of amazing nutritional benefits for you!
The same properties that make Moringa beneficial in fighting malnourishment lead many to believe that this plant is beneficial for everyone.
The Moringa leaves are thought to be the most nutritious part of the plant. However, every part of the tree can be consumed as health supplements in many different forms – from tea to capsules.
The following are some of the health benefits of consuming Moringa:
- High Nutrition Content
The leaves of the Moringa plant are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the leaves contain a significant amount of protein, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Iron, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin A, Magnesium and Antioxidants (now that’s a lot of goodness!!)
- Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
According to the National Diabetes Institute (NADI), Malaysia has the highest rate of diabetes in Asia (2.5 million people above the age of 18) and this number is expected to grow significantly. Interestingly, moringa can help regulate blood sugar levels helping to reduce some diabetic symptoms.
Grounded moringa leaves are successful at reducing lipid and glucose levels and regulating oxidative stress in diabetic patients, which means it lowers blood sugar and cholesterol and improves protection against cell damage.
- Reduces joint pain
Moringa is beneficial for maintaining healthy bones and helping to heal bone ailments as it contains essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and Vitamin K. As moringa also possess anti-inflammatory properties – which helps in reducing inflammation, pain and swelling – it has been used to reduce the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Natural Source of Energy!
Forget coffee! Moringa contains some of the most beneficial and natural sources of long lasting energy. The leaves of Moringa contain high amounts of Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. Compared to peanuts, there is fifty times more Vitamin B3 found in Moringa. This helps your body use protein, fat and carbohydrates to make energy. It also has 25 times more iron than spinach and is an essential element in supplying the body with energy. This high iron content, is also ideal for those suffering from anemia, while the Vitamin C found in Moringa supports the metabolism of iron, ensuring a greater uptake.
- Promotes Healthy Hair and Skin
Moringa has been proven to help promote healthier hair and skin. The 47 anti-oxidants found in Moringa helps to prevent free radicals from damaging important living cells and tissues. With a high content of Vitamins, A, C, E and selenium found in Moringa, the cells will be protected from oxidative stress, leaving you with clearer, more youthful looking skin!
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