Moringa seeds are making all the right noises in the nutrition world and have almost achieved super food status now. The reason why they are being hailed as a superfood is because of their high nutritious profile and the fact that they are anti-oxidant-rich and also full of anti-inflammatory properties make them an extremely sought-after natural supplement.
But what is the Moringa seed or Moringa Olivera (scientific name), also called horseradish tree, ben tree, or drumstick tree? It originates from south-Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and Nepal, and has been used for generations in these countries for its disease-preventing properties. It can prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, anemia, heart disease, liver disease, arthritis, as well as respiratory, skin, and other digestive disorders.
Moringa is a powerful leaf powder supplement, but the pods, bark, roots, flowers, seeds and the fruits of the plant are also edible.
It has been used as a traditional cure for a host of ailments since decades, but scientific evidence has also backed the claims, stating that it is indeed all that and more! That’s why it’s called a nutritional wonder.
- It is packed with nutrition- Moringa powder’s nutritional profile is astounding, to say the least. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and also amino acids. It is chock-a-block with vitamins like A, C, and E; and minerals like calcium, potassium, and protein.
- It fights free radicals- The body’s response to injuries is inflammation. It is the only way that the body heals itself, but chronic inflammation is probably the result of damage caused by free radicals, and this affects the Metabolic system adversely. Heart ailments and metabolic disorders like diabetes and insulin resistance are the results of chronic inflammation.
The Moringa plant, with its anti-inflammatory properties, can help ward off such diseases. Antioxidants combat free radicals which cause oxidative stress, molecular cell damage, and inflammation. Moringa contains a long list of antioxidants called flavonoids, ascorbic acid, and polyphenols in the seeds, leaves and flowers.
- It helps reduce some diabetes symptoms- The Moringa leaf is a nutritional powerhouse because it contains insane quantities of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, and protein. As it is rich in vitamin A, Moringa can prevent diabetic retinopathy. Research backed with evidence has proven that vitamin A supports eye health, prevents inflammation and strengthens the corneas.
- This is a very significant fact and most patients with diabetes develop diabetic retinopathy later in their lives. Moringa is full of vitamin C. When vitamin C is combined with insulin, vitamin C has the power to stop blood vessel damage in people suffering from Type 1 diabetes, plus it also decreases their risk of chest pain, strokes, and heart attacks.
Moringa leaf powder has been effective in alleviating lipid and glucose levels and also regulates oxidative damage in diabetic patients, which in a nutshell means that it reduces sudden spikes in blood sugar.
- It protects the cardiovascular system- Because Moringa contains a variety of antioxidants; it is an excellent way to protect heart health. Antioxidants are instrumental in keeping your blood vessels strong and flexible.
There is a way in which you can know whether the antioxidants are working fine. All you have to do is measure the level of homocysteine in your blood. What is homocysteine, you ask? It is actually an amino acid which is caused by oxidative stress in the body. Normal levels of this amino acid do not cause any harm, but if the body does not get enough antioxidants, there will be an abrupt rise in homocysteine levels.
This can lead to a steady deterioration of artery walls, resulting in inflammation and plaque build-up. This causes blood flow to the heart to be severely restricted, as blood vessels fail to dilate. This is the very reason why should you choose moringa, because it contains B-vitamins and antioxidants, the two main weapons to combat homocysteine.
- It supports brain health- Human brains require good nutrition to pass various messages throughout the body. When we lack adequate nutrition and the requisite water intake, energy levels come crashing down. Some plants provide the right nutrition to boost brain power, and moringa figures right up on that list.
Antioxidants, folic acid, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E are the best components for perfect brain food. Since moringa leaves are saturated with these essential compounds, they must be made part of your diet. Moringa leaves have Quercetin and kaempferol, which are potent anti-oxidants.
As moringa enhances brain health and cognitive function because of its antioxidant properties and neuron-enhancer activities, it has been used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, the initial results of which have been promising.
- It protects the liver- Moringa has surprisingly high concentrations of polyphenols in its leaves and flowers, which shield the liver against oxidative damage and toxicity.
Moringa can help in reduction of liver damage and fibrosis, and can stall reverse oxidation in the liver. Moringa oil has the power to increase liver enzymes and mitigate oxidative stress to a great extent by increasing the protein component of the liver.
The liver is largely responsible for bile production, fat metabolism, the processing of nutrients and fructose metabolism; it can only function at the optimal level with the help of liver enzymes. Even if there is the slightest dip in enzyme levels, the liver will be unable to undergo the blood filtration process.
- It enhances the wound healing process- Each part of the moringa plant, right from its leaves, roots, and seeds, helps in blood clotting and quickly healing scratches, cuts or wounds to stop bleeding.
- It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties- If you are regularly fighting bacterial and fungal infections, you can boost your immunity with the help of moringa leaf. It effectively fights fungal infections which affect the skin and is also responsible for keeping urine infections and digestive problems at bay.
How to Consume Moringa
Now that we know about the miracle plant moringa, we should also know how we can make it part of our daily diet. Here’s what you can do:
- Salad: Moringa can be easily combined with a salad. It can blend in easily with any salad as it does not have a very distinctive taste.
- Soups and Stews: Moringa can be a part of soups and stews, but it has to be noted that too much heat can destroy the nutritive content of the plant, so you can add it last, after you have removed it from heat.
- Smoothies: You can add it to smoothies, the easiest way to combine nutritious vegetables and fruits. Since it is raw, it helps in the assimilation of maximum nutrients.
- Pizza: You can make your pizzas slightly more nutritious by adding more moringa leaves.
- Eggs: You can add moringa leaves to your omelets or scrambled eggs, a healthy twist to your everyday eggs.
- Sautéed: A little bit of sautéed moringa along with onion, tomatoes, and pepper can really taste divine. Have it as part of a salad, and you will be sorted for lunch!
- Vegetable dishes: Moringa leaves can easily blend in with vegetables. But remember, in order to retain its nutrition value, it should be added last.
- Fried Rice: You can add it along with fried rice to give it a different taste.
Moringa is not called a miracle tree for nothing! It has all the nutrients to maintain a healthy body and mind. The fact that you can make it a part of your daily meals is definitely a plus. Just use your imagination to concoct the yummiest recipes. It is a versatile plant that can be added to a multitude of dishes. These moringa recipes are delicious and very healthy.
1. Berry and Moringa Green Smoothie Recipe
We are all aware of the antioxidant properties of berries and when you add moringa to it, it becomes an antioxidant powerhouse. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which improve your heart and overall health. Bananas contain several nutrients which are beneficial for digestion, heart health, and weight loss. Bananas up the fiber content of the smoothie considerably. Add to that cinnamon, which, apart from its anti-oxidant properties, also has fat-burning properties. The almond milk adds to the protein content of the smoothie along with its calcium content.
- 1/2 cup of blackberries
- ½ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 banana, peeled
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (you can skip this if you want)
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 10 grams of moringa powder
- 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
- Just blend it all together, and you will get a smooth, thick and delicious smoothie.
2. Kale and Moringa Green Smoothie
Kale is really low on calories, high on fiber and has almost no fat. It is great for your digestive system and aids in the elimination of all toxins with its super high fiber content. It’s also full of many nutrients like vitamins, folate, and magnesium. Make the smoothie rich in fiber and potassium with the addition of banana. Almond butter lends its delicious, crunchy texture to the smoothie. The good fats keep you satiated for long hours. The cacao powder and the moringa leaf make it a storehouse of antioxidants. Dates lend a natural sweetness to the smoothie, giving it a boost of iron and potassium; and coconut water replenishes your body with all the right electrolytes. This smoothie is just the sort of nutrition that your body screams for.
- 2-4 leaves of kale or chard
- 1 banana
- 1 Tbsp. of almond butter
- 1 date
- ½ – ¾ cups of coconut water
- 1 Tbsp. of cacao powder
- ½ tsp. of moringa leaf
- 1 cup ice
- Place all smoothie ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a large cup, and sip on!
3. Moringa Ice Drink
Replace all your regular intake of caffeine with this super concoction. Ginger has a warming effect and stimulates circulation and is great for your digestive system. Lemon alkalizes your body, balancing the pH levels, and raw honey is a natural elixir as it helps preserve all the natural enzymes, vitamins, phytonutrients and other nutritional elements. This drink is invigorating, and just the thing your body needs in the morning.
- Dried Moringa leaves
- Warm water
- Measure the quantity of dried leaves that you would like to make in a pot, depending on how strong it is. Add warm water.
- Halfway through steeping, after approximately 5 minutes, add lemon slices and ginger wedges and allow to steep some more.
- Strain the tea, add the honey.
- Pour into a glass, add ice cubes and garnish with a slice of lemon and fresh mint leaves.
- You can make this in large quantities and keep it in the fridge.
4. Moringa Veggie Curry
This is a nutritious curry that has the protein from the lentil, good fats from the coconut oil and spices to add to the antioxidant quotient. It teases your palate with the amalgamation of exotic flavors. A nourishing and fulfilling recipe, have it with white or brown rice to enjoy a complete meal.
- 280 grams bunch of Moringa Leaves
- 1/3 Cup of Moong Dal (Mung Beans)
- 1/4 tsp. of Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp. of Coconut Oil
- 1/2 tsp. of Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp. of Urad Dal (split Black gram)
- 1-2 Red Chilli
- 1/2 tsp. of Cumin Seeds
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Lemon Juice to taste
- Soak the moong dal in a small amount of water overnight or at least 1-2 hours. This step is optional, but soaking helps in digestion and also reduces the cooking time considerably. If you are short on time, you can start cooking immediately without soaking as well.
- Drain the lentils and add this to a saucepan. Add adequate water (about a cup) along with turmeric.
- Cook on a mid-high flame, allow it to boil and check if it is soft; only then remove from heat.
- It must not be too mushy. If you have soaked the lentils, then check around the 6-8 minute mark. Take a cooked moong dal and press it. Check with your fingers, it should be pliant.
- Now, remove the cooked moong dal from flame and drain. Preserve any leftover water.
- Chop the moringa leaves- roughly.
- Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add split Urad dal and broken red chili, and fry them till the dal turns golden brown. Add cumin and wait for the aroma to waft out.
- Add the chopped leaves along the salt and mix well.
- Combine about 1/2 cup of retained dal water. You can also use water separately and allow the leaves to be cooked completely. The leaves should not be too mushy.
- Lower the heat and then add cooked dal.
- Blend it well and season with additional salt if needed, and add lots of pepper powder.
- Stir to combine, remove from heat and extract some fresh lemon juice to taste. Serve hot.
Moringa seeds have innumerable health benefits, and can improve your skin and hair as well. Just make sure you add some good fats to moringa, for the bioavailability of nutrients. Start consuming moringa now as part of your diet, it really is a boon to mankind!