Have you heard of moringa? (Not to be confused with the Dominican dance merengue or the dessert meringue.) This superfood has been used for thousands of years to treat just as many diseases. Unfortunately, people have only become aware of the many moringa health benefits over the last decade. Continue reading to find out why you should be saying “MORE MORINGA!”
Moringa: a miracle tree
Moringa leaves come from the moringa oleifera tree or “the miracle tree.” Their roots can grow in a variety of soils, including depleted soils. Because they are drought-resistant and can grow without rain water, moringa trees do particularly well in harsh and dry climates like India and Africa.
You know the saying “grows like a weed?” Well, I think “grows like a moringa tree” would be a better phrase because they grow super fast. They reach full maturity in 9 months. The moringa leaves can also be harvested in just 6-8 weeks after planting and it only takes 6-8 weeks for the leaves to grow back.
Fun fact: moringa is a distant relative to cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cabbage.
As the old saying goes, never judge a tree by its leaves. On the outside, the small emerald-colored leaves may not look like much, but they’re actually one of the most nutrient-rich plants.
Moringa leaves are 25% protein and contain all 9 essential amino acids. They’re also a great source of fiber and plant-based iron. But that’s not all! Gram for gram, moringa leaves have:
- 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
- 4 times more vitamin A than carrots
- 4 times more calcium than milk
- 3 times more potassium than bananas
- Like most superfoods, moringa leaves are packed with antioxidants. It has an ORAC value of 157,000 — that’s 6 times the antioxidants of goji berries!
A 2014 study published in “Journal of Food Science and Technology” found that consuming 1½ teaspoons of moringa powder every day for 3 months significantly increased antioxidant levels in the blood. The antioxidants in moringa leaves have been shown to prevent oxidative damage and protect against oxidative damage as well as free radicals.
6 amazing moringa benefits
1. It helps fight type 2 diabetes
High blood sugar levels is one of the main characteristics of diabetes. However, moringa may help balance those levels.
Moringa is a natural antidiabetic because it contains chlorogenic acid. This antioxidant, which is found in high amounts in coffee, slows the release of glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream after a meal.
Unfortunately, few human studies exist, but Peter Havel, a professor of nutrition and molecular biosciences at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has tested moringa on rats. His studies saw a 5-month delay in developing diabetes. For humans, that could mean a delay of 10-15 years.
2. It balances hormones
In 2014, researchers tested the effects of moringa leaves supplementation (as well as amaranth leaves) on 90 post-menopausal women between the ages of 45 and 60.
They concluded the antioxidant properties in moringa and amaranth may help prevent complications due to natural hormonal changes during post-menopause.
3. It's good for your skin
Moringa contains all of the major beauty vitamins (vitamin A, C and E). These antioxidant-rich vitamins promote your own natural collagen production, which fights signs of anti-aging by keeping skin firm and preventing fine lines and wrinkles.
Moringa is also anti-fungal and antibacterial, meaning it can help protect the skin from infections.
4. It can lower cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that’s found in your blood. Too much cholesterol can put you at risk for heart disease and stroke — the leading causes of death in the United States.
However, like all plant-based sources, moringa can help! Multiple studies have shown that moringa leaves can help reduce cholesterol levels.
5. It may help lower blood pressure
Adding to moringa’s impressive antioxidant resume is quercetin. And studies have shown this phytochemical can lower blood pressure.
6. It fights malnutrition
One of moringa’s defining superfood characteristics is its ability to fight malnutrition.
In many third-world countries, the poorest people can’t afford to buy vegetables. Instead, they live off of rice or other starch-based foods because it’s cheaper and easier to feed their large families.
Adding one spoonful of nutrient-rich moringa powder to flour or starches is an easy and affordable way to improve deficiencies.
Many NGOs (non-governmental organizations), such as the Peace Corp, are already harnessing the power of moringa.
What does moringa taste like?
Great question! High-quality moringa has a nice, earthy taste that’s slightly spicy and sharp. It’s also bitter. You can find moringa powder is in three of our mixes: Super Green, Power Matcha, and Skinny Protein. If the moringa tastes bad or off, it can ruin the entire mix.
There’s a lot of powdered moringa on the market. Unfortunately, most of the moringa we’re offered is low quality because it’s not being processed correctly or there isn’t adequate quality control. This is why we pride ourselves on having the best tasting superfoods.
Our moringa partner has a multi-stage process to ensure the moringa is of the highest quality. The first requirement is that the moringa has to be organic. Then they evaluate the color (moringa oxidizes easily), the taste (they test over 100 different moringa samples and end up using around 5%), and the granularity (it has to be the right mesh size and not contain too much stalk).
If the moringa passes all of those requirements, it’s then tested for pesticide residue, bacteria and mold (this is usually where a lot of moringa will fail), and heavy metals.
Another way to tell if you have a high-quality moringa powder is the color. High-quality moringa powder will also have a light green in colour; lower quality moringa will have a color similar to pea soup.
How to use moringa
Every part of the moringa tree is edible — leaves, pods, seeds, flowers, even its root. However, it’s most commonly found in powdered form.
All of these mixes are super easy to use. You can add them to smoothies, dips, lattes, and more!