Moringa on the mind

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | HARSHITA DILAWRI
Published Aug 8, 2019, 12:04 am IST
Updated Aug 8, 2019, 12:04 am IST
After being crazy about chia and coconut oil, people are now discovering moringa.
Harshita Dilawri, Nutritionist and Diabetic Educator, tells you why it’s fast becoming the new superfood.
 Harshita Dilawri, Nutritionist and Diabetic Educator, tells you why it’s fast becoming the new superfood.

This ‘new’ ingredient is surfacing everywhere. On the menus of trendy restaurants, on the shelves of upmarket grocery stores, in recipes by culinary bloggers… If you’re wondering what this exotic-sounding stylish superfood is, it’s good ol’ powdered leaves of what is commonly called the drumstick tree! Technically, moringa is not at all new for us, since it’s been native to North West India. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat skin diseases, diabetes, and infections for thousands of years. Additionally, it’s thought to offer weight-loss benefits. It’s termed as a miracle tree due to its multi-purpose benefits. No wonder that other tropical regions in the world such as those in Africa, Central and South America as well as in Indonesia are all growing moringa too.

It’s fascinating to know that all the parts of the tree can be consumed or used as traditional herbal medicine. The pods are most commonly used. But oil extracted from the dried seeds can be used too. This is known as Ben oil or Behen oil, and is a good source of Behanic acid, which is high in nutritional value.

 

The beautiful white flowers are decorative as well as edible and they are a rich source of both calcium and potassium. The main leafy part is highly nutritious and tastes just like spinach. These leaves contain almost 90 nutrients, 40 different types of antioxidants, 23 percent proteins and about 24 percent fibre. Dried moringa leaves are super nutritious. Research indicates that they contain:

9 times more protein than curd
15 times more potassium than bananas
3 times more Vitamin A than carrots
12 times more Vitamin C than oranges

These days, you can easily find moringa in capsule as well as powdered form. Due to its versatility, moringa-leaf powder is a popular option. It’s said to have a bitter and slightly sweet taste. You can easily add the powder to shakes, smoothies, and yogurt to boost your nutritional intake. An average recommended serving size of moringa powder is between two and six grams a day.

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