Superfood Spotlight: Moringa
Moringa is often referred to as ‘the miracle tree’ and for good reason. Native to India, this plant has been used for thousands of years in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as an impressive herbal supplement. What makes it unique? Unlike most plants, almost every part of the tree can be used in some way and offers their own unique benefits. For the purpose of this post, we’ll be focusing on the benefits of dried and ground moringa leaves.
Benefits of Moringa:
First of all, gram for gram moringa contains: two times the amount of protein of yogurt, four times the amount of vitamin A as carrots, three times the amount of potassium as bananas, four times the amount of calcium as cow’s milk AND seven times the amount of vitamin C as oranges. Need more convincing that you could benefit from moringa? Check out these benefits:
Moringa is packed with a number of different antioxidant compounds including vitamin C (yes, vitamin C is an antioxidant!) and beta-carotene. It also contains quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that has shown to help in lowering blood pressure and chlorogenic acid, a compound that can help manage blood sugar levels. Moringa also packs a protein punch - it contains a mix of essential amino acids which are the building blocks of protein.
Moringa has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to prevent and treat: candida overgrowth, digestive issues and infections, fungal infections, liver disease, stomach ulcers and more. Specifically, moringa oil has shown to help boost liver function which if you didn’t know, is our body’s very own built in detoxifier. A happy liver = a detoxified body.
Balances Blood Sugar Levels:
Studies on moringa have shown that it may help in preventing blood sugar spikes after meals while also helping to reduce fasting blood sugar levels. Balanced blood sugar levels are connected to reducing inflammation and is possible thanks to certain antioxidant compounds found in moringa which help prevent insulin-producing cells from oxidative stress.
Mood and Brain Support:
It’s hard to come by plants that offer protein in their profile. Moringa is a high-protein food (for being a plant) and is a rich source of tryptophan - an amino acid that supports neurotransmitter functions including the production of serotonin, that feel-good hormone. In the same way that exercising has shown to help your brain release serotonin, the tryptophan in moringa can have the same effect. Serotonin is also associated with mood, memory and how your body responds to stress.
Fun Fact: Moringa has shown to help with the production of breast milk! It’s recommended for new mothers who are not only looking for a lactation enhancer but also to help replenish lost nutrients (thanks to its unique nutritional profile), boost hair growth and balance hormones.
How To Use Moringa:
Of course you could add moringa to your smoothie but instead why not opt for a caffeine free moringa latte?! We’ve seen this referred to as a caffeine free matcha latte and we didn’t believe it until we tried it. Check out the recipe here and see for yourself!