Moringa health benefits: “Moringa!” It sounds like it could be Sheldon’s newest tagline on “The Big Bang Theory,” or maybe the stage name of an up-and-coming pop star. But nope – it’s the newest buzzworthy word that’s making waves in the world of healthy eating and diet.
So what exactly is moringa?
Moringa is a plant that’s jam-packed with so many nutrients, it puts kale to shame, and it’s poised to be 2017’s newest superstar veggie superfood. Researchers discovered that moringa is overflowing with vitamin A, B, and C, has unusually high calcium content, and is brimming with iron.
But wait, there’s more – moringa is also an excellent source of protein and has nine essential amino acids.
You can pluck this nutrient-rich jewel right off a drumstick tree, also known as Moringa oleifera if you’re into all that scientific, technical stuff. So where on earth are you going to find a drumstick tree? Pack your bags and get your plane ticket – you’re heading to Africa (or Asia if you like).
The hub of moringa’s biodiversity can be found in the Horn of Africa, which is a region that includes Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. However, you can also find other species thriving in the Himalaya’s foothills.
But while moringa was once living in quietude and peace among its African and Asian natives, it’s now become the talk of the town among American health nuts.
The West is trying their darnedest to get their hands on this foreign leafy green and want to place it smack dab in the middle of our car-zooming, skyscraper-towering cities.
Is Moringa the new kale?
With 28-year-old Lisa Curtis at the helm, San Francisco-based food start-up Kuli Kuli raised a cool $4.25 million from investors to get moringa to become more accessible in grocery stores because, well, how many of you have come across moringa leaves at your local market?
My point exactly.
Curtis is on a mission to bring this protein-packed plant to more American plates. Whole Foods and other health food locations are already shelving Kuli Kuli’s products. The company has sold $1 million worth of moringa products within the first half of 2016. Cha-ching!
“We’re hoping moringa becomes the new kale,” Curtis told The New Yorker. According to the Kuli Kuli website, moringa outperforms kale two-fold in protein, four-fold in calcium, six-fold in iron, and a whopping 97-fold in vitamin B12.
Curtis inked sweet deals with farmers from West Africa, the Caribbean, and South America to acquire their moringa harvests in order to shove kale out of the way and crown moringa as the new superfood trend among diet-conscious Americans.
Moringa & Weight Loss
Where do we even start? There’s a reason why some call moringa “weight watchers dream” – drumstick leaves can help to hinder those pesky cravings that cause many to overeat. Yay for weight loss!
It’s also heralded as a powerful anti-aging agent, helps to improve sleep, and stabilizes blood sugar and blood pressure, according to Christopher Calapai, a New York-based osteopath. Researchers have also found that moringa leaves have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.
What Does Moringa Taste Like?
A book entitled “Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II” notes that moringa leaves can be compared to asparagus in taste.
But if you ask The New Yorker, on the other hand, they’ll tell you moringa leaves give off a “bold, peppery” flavor, very similar to that of arugula, which might not be pleasant for many taste buds.
However, you don’t have to yank the leaves right off the tree and start chewing. There are ways you can incorporate ‘em into your diet to make moringa more palatable.
- Featured: New $50 coupon for NutriSystem
How You Can Eat Moringa?
If you don’t have a modicum of adventure, you can simply boil moringa leaves, eat ‘em, and call it a day. But here’s a better idea: you can find fun, interesting ways to experiment with this exotic leafy green.
- Kuli Kuli: As aforementioned, the promising food start-up has recently introduced moringa-infused products to the U.S. so, if you’re a little shy, you can ease your way into this rising superfood star. This includes powders, teas, green energy shots, and bars.
- Sambar: India has been slurping moringa leaves and all of its nutritional goodness in a recipe known as ” sambhar.” It’s a lentil stew that is spiced with turmeric, red chili powder, tamarind, a slew of other yummy goodies, and of course, moringa leaves.
- Omelets: Start off your day with a healthy helping of eggs, taken up a notch with a zap of moringa leaves to awaken your palette.
- Cake: You have to wonder – who was the experimental madman who thought it was a great idea to add moringa to a cake? But we thank him or her nonetheless for giving us the opportunity to satisfy our sweet tooth while simultaneously savoring a bit of moringa.
While you can indulge on many more cooked moringa-infused dishes, some say it’s best to eat moringa leaves raw so that you’re eating it as its peak level of nutrient retention – if you dare!
Moringa for your health
Whether you’re seeking to ameliorate your diabetic symptoms, curb your appetite, or shave a few years off your perceived age, you really can’t go wrong with moringa leaves. Plucked right out of what many call to be a “miracle tree,” moringa is a health treasure for dieters everywhere – if you can ever get your hands on one.
Written by Kimberly Gedeon