Moringa- Try This New Superfood Today
Moringa- Try This New Superfood Today
Ever heard of the Miracle Tree?
As you know by now, I love superfoods and always try to find new ways to learn more about them and smartly add them to my diet! Moringa tea (powder) (also named the miracle tree) is my newest favorite and I combined some details on it in this post. If you’re interested in health and learning how foods can affect your wellbeing, keep reading!
What is Moringa?
Moringa oleifera is a tree that grows in several countries, native to tropical and subtropical regions of South Asia (very popular in India). It’s sometimes called a drumstick tree, horseradish tree or ben oil tree. It is fast-growing and drought-resistant tree, and its leaves and pods are widely used in herbal medicine. Actually, moringa has been extensively used in some traditional practices like Ayurveda for thousands of years!
Here’s a quick rundown of research-backed benefits and properties of moringa.
Leaves and pods of the tree contain many healthy compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols (the latter is an organic chemical compound found in many fruits and veggies).
To give you an idea, ½ cup of chopped leaves (10 grams) contains approximately 1 g protein, 10g vitamin B6, 6g vitamin C, 5g of iron and 4g of each vitamin A and magnesium.
As Moringa is a relatively new superfood (in scientific research terms), only a few of its many health benefits have been studied to date.
For now, this is what we know:
good for the heart – consuming moringa leaves (powder/tea/ supplement) may support reduction in blood sugar and hence help with many health problems like heart disease.
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects –antioxidants are compounds that act against free radicals in your body. Basically: they’re substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. There are a lot of types of antioxidants out there (like vitamin C, E or betacarotene), and Moringa contains a few of those, and they are believed to help with lowering blood sugars and act as inflammatory agents.
lowering cholesterol- like some other foods (e.g. oats, legumes or flaxseed) it shows that moringa may have cholesterol lowering effects.
antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties – some studies show that moringa extract may be as beneficial as some antibiotics or anti-fungal herbal medicine and may help to fight off some infections.
may supports regulation of thyroid hormones- a study showed that moringa my be beneficial with regulating hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), especially in women.
How to use Moringa
In India, its leaves, fruit, flowers, seeds and roots are medicinal, especially as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer medicines and widely used.
The easiest way to consume moringa is as tea – either in leaves or in powder form. The powder is usually more concentrated and hence provide more nutritional value per serving (approximately 3kg of leaves makes 0.5kg of powder).
Since the research is still new on this superfood, you’ll find mix opinions on recommended serving. It is also a recommended supplement, and not a necessary nutrient we must consume daily. Mostly we see the suggested dose as ½- 1.5 tsp of powder (start with ¼ tsp and increase gradually). If you use powder, you can prep it pretty much as matcha tea – mix the powder with warm water or plant based milk for a frothy warm drink. Some people also add moringa to smoothies or cooked/ baked foods, but I’ve only experimented a little with it for now (seems like you could easily use in place of spirulina or chlorella powders). See below or check here for a couple of recipes I’ve been using!
Well, it’s characteristic :) I’m not going to lie to you, it doesn’t taste pleasant! Some people say it taste like horseradish or more bitter green tea. For me, it seems to taste peppery and earthy (weirdly similar to rocket leaves) with a sweeter after-note. It’s almost like matcha tea with black pepper and earthier/ more powdery flavor. Though, like with some other green leafy veggies, I think the benefits are worth it and outweigh the taste!
Difference between Matcha and Moringa
Both available in leafy or powder form, both of vibrant green color and packed with goodness. So what is different?
They both have a few things in common, like presence of antioxidants, fighting aging of cells, support heart health. In terms of differences, moringa seem to have more fiber, protein (surprisingly), vitamins C and A than matcha. Matcha tea on the other hand contains many antioxidants and high concentration of a specific potent antioxidant EGCG, that is good for a healthy brain.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS
As with many ‘new’ supplements or foods, there has been not enough research done to confirm if moringa is safe or not for pregnant women. But there’s some older evidence showing that some natural chemicals present in the plant may cause contractions of uterus and thus complications during pregnancy. Pregnant women or women trying to conceive are therefore advised not to consume moringa and consult with a functional medicine doctor for more personalized advice.