Right before moving from Ohio, I got an email from a sweet online acquaintance of mine, Karen. She told me about a plant I have never heard of before–moringa, and about all of the health and nutrition benefits that come packed in it. I am always up for learning something new, so, I spent a little time reading about it. While I do not believe in any magic plants (all plant foods are quite amazing), any whole plant food is worth investigating, and moringa seemed like a magic plant after all.
Interestingly, as with all new things, ever since having heard of moringa, all of a sudden I saw it popping up everywhere–health food stores, online, and even at the Vegan Conference held in Portland this year.
What I learned (and what I am about to share with you), intrigued me, so, Karen sent me a package of Moringa Leaf Powder to try.
I had tried moringa a few different ways and finally settled on one that I find most palatable. I am going to share the recipe with you in just a few moments, for but now I want to tell you what I learned about the plant and what I pesonally think about it.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free sample of moringa, but have no vested financial interest in promoting it–I get no financial reimbursement from any of the organizations or companies mentioned in this post. As you will see from the text below, my opinion is quiet uninfluenced and you will get my totally honest opinion about the product and the results of the research I performed on this plant. This post is done purely for educational purposes of Vegalicious readers, as everything else that I do on this blog.
Moringa, aka moringa oleifera, is used in a lot of developing countries for nutrition. It loves heat and grows in inhospitably dry tropical soils.
According to Trees for Life International, a nonprofit organization that helps developing areas of the world, moringa leaves are full of essential disease-preventing nutrients:
At a glance, here is how Moringa stalks up against some of more common foods:
It seems that pretty much all parts of the tree can be used–the roots, bark, seeds, and the leaves–for nourishment, medicinal purposes and even to purity water.
Moringa has been studied for safety and, according to UNESCO, it has been found to be non-toxic, easily digestible source of nutrition.
A lot of very trustworthy sources claim that the nutrition profile of moringa is so amazing, that it could virtually wipe out malnutrition in the developing world.
According to www.moringatrees.org:
If one rounded tablespoon of Moringa oleifera powder is added to an infant’s food, three times daily, the 25g of Moringa oleifera leaf powder will give him roughly the following
- Protein: 42%
- Calcium: 125%
- Magnesium: 61%
- Potassium: 41%
- Iron: 71%
- Vitamin A: 272%
- Vitamin C: 22%
During periods of pregnancy and breast-feeding, women are most at risk of suffering from nutritional deficiences. If a woman consumed six rounded tablespoons of Moringa tree leaf powder per day during these times, she would receive roughly the following in terms of RDA:
- Protein: 21%
- Calcium: 84%
- Magnesium: 54%
- Potassium: 22%
- Iron: 94%
- Vitamin A: 143%
- Vitamin C: 9%
Moringa also boasts a healthful profile of amino acids and numerous vitamins and minerals.
By all accounts, it seems that morigna truly is a wonder tree, and is in a class of its own.
Interestingly, the tree grows mostly in the undeveloped countries, as if placed there by the Divine will. With the help of science, local populations are learning more and more about the tree’s benefits and are better equipped to take advantage of it.
I personally love the nutrition profile of the plant, but my reservation in giving it too much attention, as with a lot of oversold “miracle” foods, is that it is not yet readily available in the States and a lot of other countries (especially those with colder climates). With information about moringa pouring in on the world wide web, and making headlines, this, perhaps, will change, as people become more aware of it. I think that those who live in warmer clients, will be able to easily plant moringa trees in their own yards, and include it into their daily food fare.
Having tried moringa, I can tell you that much like some of the dark green leafy plants, it has a peculiar taste. However, if you can stomach the taste of maca, spirulina or chlorella, the taste of moringa will not bother you at all. I personally tried it in green smoothies–with a dash of cinnamon it becomes barely detectable, and I made into a delicious bar that brims with nutrition, which comes not only from moringa, but from all other handpicked ingredients I placed into it.
I think that a lot of things are worth trying at least once. However, if you are on a budget, and have other plant foods accessible, spend your money there. After all, one plant food, no matter how great it is, cannot solve all of our health issues, if the rest of our diet is horrible. If your diet is based on whole plant foods, trying moringa will be fun–you will get all of the benefits I just discussed. If you live in warmer climate, you might even end up planting a moringa tree in your own backyard!
There is one population that I would recommend moringa to specifically–athletes who think that they have to supplement with protein, and so they spend crazy money on buying extracted protein supplements. Since moringa is a whole food source of protein, I would recommend it above any protein shakes any time of day.
This recipe is going to knock you out with all of its goodness. Here are just a few of the amazing nutrients and vitamins you will get with each bite:
yields 4 protein bars
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