Moringa, also known as Malunggay or the Horseradish tree is a member of the Mustard family. I had never tried Moringa until I moved to the Philippines. Now I couldn’t imagine not eating it. After being introduced to Moringa I became curious and decided to do a little research. What I have learned is mind boggling. I am so happy; I was introduced to this miracle tree that I just have to share the benefits of Moringa with everyone.
Benefits of Moringa
Moringa or Malunggay is a nutritional dynamo. It is hard to believe that one plant carries such a high nutritional value but Moringa does. Take a look at this information from the Earth News website. Moringa contains:
- · 7 Times the vitamin C of Oranges
- · 4 Times the vitamin A (carotene) of Carrots
- · 4 Times the Calcium of milk
- · 3 Times the Potassium of Bananas
- · 2 Times the Protein of Yogurt
Other vitamins and Minerals contained in Moringa are:
- · B1,B2, B3
- · Chromium
- · Copper
- · Iron
- · Magnesium
- · Manganese
- · Phosphorus
- · Zinc
- · Protein
Unusual for a plant source Moringa is also a good source of Essential Amino Acids. This could make it a true life saver in draught stricken areas where traditional protein sources (meat and fish) are scarce. All of this in a low fat leaf that taste great besides.
You can buy Moringa in capsules, teas, and powders but the best way to use Moringa leaves is just the way it comes from the tree. My wife and I are lucky enough to have a Moringa tree in our front yard. This gives us the advantage of having fresh Malunggay any time we want it. I would say from branch to mouth qualifies as fresh. We use the leaves in soups, salads, and even baked bread and our breakfast eggs. A note of caution here; if you add Moringa Leaves to soups or eggs, do so as you are serving. The taste and benefits of Malunggay are at their best when not over cooked.
The Moringa leaves may be the most exciting part of the Moringa Tree but the rest of the plant shouldn’t be ignored. Almost the entire Tree has at least one if not more uses.
- · The bark makes an excellent tea with a slightly spicy flavor.
- · The root is the reason the Brits nicknamed Moringa “The Horseradish Tree” It can be pealed crushed and used as a substitute for Horseradish in most dishes.
- · The seed pods can be boiled and eaten like nuts. This is one of my favorite snacks. I love boiled peanuts but they are expensive where I live.
A tree that can supply nutrition from the tips of its leaves to the tips of its roots definitely fits my description of Whole Food. People know I am a whole food fanatic, that I preach Whole foods, Natural foods, and Organic foods. I won’t say Moringa is my favorite food but if I had to choose one food to be trapped on a desert island with. Moringa would be my pick. The versatility and nutrient value of Moringa could sustain me like no other food.