Moringa Tree Of Life
We Are What We Eat
Modern food processing and farming methods have robbed much of our food of the nutritive qualities that make it healthy for our bodies. With the advent of big agribusiness (mega-corporate farming), the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers have significantly increased crop yields, but this heavy use of chemicals has produced fruits and vegetables that are not as high in nutrients as they have been historically.
The fact that our food is less nutritious is made worse when you consider what happens to food once it leaves the farm. For convenience, safety and marketing purposes, food is subjected to all kinds of preserving, irradiating, heating and treating that changes the nature of food from its natural state. Most major food companies pay more attention to packaging and marketing than the preservation of the nutritional content of the food.
We believe that through the growing of Moringa along with other organic foods, one can achieve nutritional freedom and return to an era when the food we eat is pure and unadulterated. Moringa may be the closest thing to a multi-vitamin in a single plant source, helping to fill in any gaps that may exist in one's normal diet, thus helping to provide one with all of the nutrition one needs to live a long and healthy life. And it is relatively maintenance free.
Moringa Oleifera leaves and pods contain 90+ nutrients, 46 antioxidants, and 36 anti-inflammatory compounds. Researchers are calling it the most nutrient rich plant on earth.
Here are a few of the many nutritional benefits of Moringa Oleifera, the Miracle Tree:
PROTEIN: Moringa leaves are about 40% protein, with all of the 9 essential amino acids present in various amounts (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine). Moringa is considered to have the highest protein ratio of any plant so far studied on earth. Moringa has protein quality and quantity similar to soy beans, but there are no reports of Moringa triggered allergies so it can be used for baby nutrition replacing soy. Moringa is not genetically modified or altered by humans.
VITAMINS: Moringa is a vitamin treasure trove. The amounts of beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E found in Moringa exceed those amounts commonly found in most other plants.
Beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A): Moringa leaves contain more beta-carotene than carrots, about three to five times more, ounce per ounce. There is about 7-8 mg of beta-carotene in 100g (about 3 oz). The daily recommended value is about 1 mg. The body produces Vitamin A from beta-carotene. It is believed that Vitamin A is the most important vitamin for immune protection against all kinds of infections. It is involved in healing and bone development. Beta-carotene guards against heart disease and can keep harmful lipoproteins containing cholesterol from damaging the heart and coronary arteries. It also helps prevent certain types of cancers and stroke. To provide the best anti-cancer protection, beta-carotene should be present with Vitamin C and Vitamin E, and Selenium. Moringa has them all.
Vitamin C: Just one ounce of Moringa leaves contains the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C (60 mg). In fact, it is so rich in Vitamin C that, ounce per ounce, it contains 6 – 7 times that found in orange juice. Vitamin C strengthens our immune system and fights infectious diseases including colds and flu.
Vitamin E: Moringa contains large amounts of Vitamin E, at 113 mg per 100 g (about 3 oz) of the dried leaf powder. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin E is 10 mg. Vitamin E is a potent anti-oxidant that helps prevent premature aging and degenerative diseases including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer. It also protects the body from pollution, increases stamina and reduces or prevents hot flashes in menopause. It promotes young-looking skin, as well as healing and reducing scar tissue from forming.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): Moringa leaves contain high amounts of Vitamin B1 even compared with the best sources already known. It is higher than green peas, black beans (boiled) and corn (boiled). Vitamin B1 is vital for the production of energy in each cell and it plays an essential role in the metabolism of various carbohydrates.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Moringa leaves compare with broccoli and spinach in Vitamin B2 content. Vitamin B2 is required for the production of energy, proper use of oxygen and the metabolism of amino acids, fats and carbohydrates. It is needed to activate vitamin B6 and assist the adrenal glands. It is important for red blood cell formation, antibody production and growth. And it is required for healthy mucus membranes, skin, and for the absorption of iron and certain vitamins.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Moringa leaves and pods contain about 0.5 – 0.8 mg of Vitamin B3 per 100 grams (about 3 ounces). Recommended daily intake is 18 mg. Vitamin B3 is important for energy production and metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates. It supports the function of the digestive system and promotes healthy skin and nerves. Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 work synergistically.
Choline: Moringa leaves and pods contain about 423 mg of Choline per 100 g (3 oz). Diet recommendations call for about 400-550 mg/day. Choline is critical for normal membrane structure and cellular function. It is used by the kidneys to maintain water balance and by the liver for synthesis of various compounds. It is used to produce the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It is also vital for the developing fetus and infant.
Type your paragraph here.
More on conversions . . .
This is a nutritional chart one often finds online showing the nutritional value of Moringa oleifera, broken down for pods, fresh (raw) leaves and dried leaf powder. The values shown are for 100 grams of edible portions. Source: The Miracle Tree, edited by Lowell Fuglie.
Fresh and Dried Leaves
The fresh and dried leaves make a tasty addition to any salad and are a suitable substitute for any spinach dish. Leaves can be mixed with other vegetables to make goulash or vegetarian casseroles or cooked like collard greens with some vegan butter and a little vinegar. You can also use the dried leaves as a substitute for dried parsley as a seasoning or garnish. Moringa is very potent. Eat raw / dried sparingly
I’ve never heard of any culture traditionally using Moringa leaves raw in dishes. If you are cooking with the fresh leaves, you could cook several cups of leaves for the whole dish, so each person gets a good helping of moringa. When cooking Moringa, some of the nutrients will be lost, but cooking is also known to make some nutrients in foods more bioavailable which may also be the case with Moringa. So if you have an abundance of Moringa, you could consume some in your cooking as well as some of the raw powder.
To give an idea of the conversion of fresh leaves to dried leaves / powder:
I measured 1 cup of washed leaves, and it weighted 1.5 oz. I then put them in our Excalibur dehydrator for several hours at 110 degrees so the leaves would remain raw and retain their full nutritional profile. The dried leaves weighed .36 oz (10 g), and were a little less than ¼ c. dried leaves (just scrunched up in a Ziploc bag). This means that the fresh leaves reduced to approximately 1/4 their amount and weight.
Then I put the dried leaves in our Vitamix and got 5 ½ tsp powder, which means that each tsp is approximately 2 g powder. The general recommendation is to take 1 tsp (2 g) powder once or twice a day. I have also seen Moringa tea bags contain 2 g powder, which would be the same amount. So roughly 1 cup of washed fresh Moringa leaves will make 5 tsp Moringa powder.
Moringa Oleifera Seeds
Our high germination rate seeds are from Africa. When planted, we normally see them poke through the ground in a week or two, depending on temperatures and conditions. We also love eating these seeds.
This is how our farmer friends in Africa like to eat mature Moringa seeds. The seeds are crushed and added to their food for added nutrition. The outer fibrous covers are removed from the seeds (much like you would do with sunflower seeds) and the inner kernals are pounded into powder. Some of the ways they eat the seeds include adding 2 teaspoons of the seed powder to a porridge that they make from rice, corn, beans and cassava. (which equals approximately ½ tsp seed powder per person). They add the powder to the food while hot, right before serving. They also add the seeds powder to hot tea, banana juice and mango juice.
In addition, 3 months before rainy season, they consume the seeds in order to prevent them from getting malaria. They eat up to 7 seeds in the morning after eating something first, as one can get a stomach ache if the seeds are eaten on an empty stomach. They remove the outer covering, then chew on the seed kernals, and then drink 16 oz of water. They do this for 7 days straight. One farmer reports, “And whoever did that the person would not get malaria sickness for the whole rainy season or even 1 year sometimes. I myself do it every year with my family and i see its benefits. Eating the 7 seeds would not stop mosquitoes from biting you, but no matter they bite you cannot get malaria.” They also eat the seeds throughout the entire rainy season, and some people eat one seed kernel per day in this way throughout the year for good health.
These people eat the seeds for many different health purposes, such as poor vision, low sperm count, insomnia, for quicker weight-loss and quicker headache relief. Some people peel off the outer layer and eat 2 or 3 seeds a day. They say it helps their diabetic condition. They never eat the seeds on an empty stomach. And eating too many seeds can cause a laxative effect, so if one chooses to eat moringa seeds for long term health reasons, it is recommended not to exceed 3 or 4 seeds per day.
Moringa seeds are very high in oleic acid, which is linked to reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease through its ability to lower cholesterol levels and reduce atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It also helps to regulate blood glucose levels, so the seeds are said to be great for diabetics. The seeds also contain omega 3 and omega 6 EFA’s, and are a rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and iron. The seeds are also shown to have an antibacterial effect.
People have told me that eating moringa seeds gives them energy and helps to curb their appetite. I also notice a calm alertness and sense of wellbeing from eating the seeds. Combined with Moringa leaves, these two are a treasure trove of nutrients, possibly the closest thing to a multivitamin in a single whole food source.
One note on eating Moringa Oleifera seeds – unless you harvest your own, do not eat any without first finding out where they are from to ensure they have not been grown with chemicals or have been sprayed. Ours seeds from Africa are all-natural and have not been sprayed or treated with any chemicals.
· One half cup of cooked leaves will meet your daily recommendation for Vitamins A and C.
. One half cup of pods (raw) will supply your Vitamin C requirement for a day
· One ounce of raw leaves contains the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C
· Ounce per ounce it contains 6 to 7 times the amount of Vitamin C in orange juice
· Moringa leaves contain 3 to 5 times more beta-carotene than carrots
· 3 oz of moringa powder contains more than 10 times the recommended daily amount of Vitamin E
· Ounce per ounce Moringa leaves contain over 3 times the iron as found in spinach or roast beef
· Moringa leaves contain 3 times the amount of potassium as bananas
· Ounce per ounce Moringa leaves contain 4 times the amount of calcium found in milk
I've had people ask me what 100 g of fresh Moringa leaves equals in terms of volume, and what the equivalent amount in powder would be.
I found that approximately 3 cups of fresh unwashed leaves equals 100 g. (I washed them and reweighed them while still wet, and they weighed 173 g.) I placed them in my Excalibur Dehydrator for about 6 hours. I then removed the dried leaves and crumbled them, and they amounted to a little less than 2/3 cup dried leaves, weighing about 1 oz, or 27 g. I then put them in my Vitamix blender and they reduced to 1/3 cup powder, which equals approximately 5 1/4 tbsp. or 16 tsp. So approximately 16 tsp powder equals 100 g of fresh Moringa leaves.
The powder can be used to make traditional sauces as they do in Africa. Powder is also a powerful addition to those blended drinks and shakes that have become popular for health conscious people in the United States and elsewhere. Powder can also be added to soups and vegetable dishes to provide additional sources of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Simply pick the leaves and spread on a tray or screen to dry, or if you have a dehydrator, that works great. (I recommend the Excalibur Dehydrator because it has a fan and thermostat for quick drying and drying at low temperatures to retain full nutrition) When leaves are completely dry, crush into powder or put in a coffee grinder or blender / Vitamix to pulverize. Moringa is very potent. Start out slowly with raw and dried Moringa.
Calcium: Ounce per ounce, Moringa leaves contain far higher amounts of calcium than most plants, and 4 times the amount of calcium found in milk. Calcium builds strong bones and teeth and helps prevent osteoporosis.
Iron: Ounce per ounce, Moringa leaves contain over three times the amount of iron found in roast beef, and three times that found in spinach. Iron is necessary for many functions in the body including formation of hemoglobin, brain development and function, regulation of body temperature and muscle activity. Iron is essential for binding oxygen to the blood cells. The central function of iron is oxygen transport and cell respiration.
Potassium: Bananas are an excellent source of potassium but ounce per ounce, Moringa leaves contain three times the potassium of bananas. Potassium is essential for the brain and nerves.
Other minerals that Moringa contains include selenium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and sulfur.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: Moringa oleifera leaves and seeds contain beneficial essential fatty acids (EFA’s). Moringa seeds contain between 30-42% oil, with 13% saturated fats and 82% unsaturated fatty acids. Oleifera is the Latin term for “oil containing.” About 73% of the Moringa oil is oleic acid, while in most beneficial plant oils, oleic acid only contributes up to 40%. Olive oil is about 75% oleic acid, and sunflower is about 20%. Oleic acid is linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, artherosclerosis, infections, and certain types of cancer, and it helps to regulate blood glucose levels.
OTHER NUTRIENTS FOUND IN MORINGA:
CHLOROPHYLL: Moringa is one of the few foods that contain chlorophyll together with so many other nutrients. Chlorophyll is often referred to as the ‘blood of plants.” Studies have shown that it supports liver function and detoxification of the body.
BETA-SITOSTEROL: Beta-sitosterol is a specific plant sterol which has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels and also improve other blood lipid levels, bringing them to a more normal range. Plant sterols like beta-sitosterol are also proven to be very beneficial in preventing and treating prostate enlargement due to aging, and have been found to reduce the growth of prostate and colon cancer cells. Beta-sitosterol also boosts the immune system, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps normalize blood sugar, supports the pancreas, helps to heal ulcers and can alleviate cramps.
ZEATIN: Biochemical analysis has revealed that the Moringa leaves and leaf powder contain unusually high amounts of plant hormones named cytokinins, such as zeatin and the related dihyrozeatin. Scientists have found zeatin in very low concentrations in plants, with zeatin concentrations varying between .00002 mcg/g material to .02 mcg/g. The zeatin concentration in Moringa leaves gathered from various parts of the world was found to be very high, between 5 mcg and 200 mcg/g material, or thousands of times more concentrated than most plants studied so far.
Cytokinins function as plant hormones, which are naturally occurring growth promoters and factors that delay the process of aging in many plants. In cultured human cells, cytokinins have proven to delay biochemical modifications associated with aging. Zeatin has potent antioxidant properties, and has been shown to protect the skin and increase the activity of known anti-oxidant enzymes that naturally fight aging. It has also been shown to protect animals against neuronal toxicity induced by age specific factors, and in the laboratory setting, to inhibit cancer cell growth and induce their differentiation back into normal cells.
LUTEIN: Moringa has extraordinary amounts of lutein. 100 g of leaves contain more than 70 mg, while the recommended daily amount for the best protective antioxidant activity is 5 – 20 mg for an adult. Lutein promotes healthy eyes by reducing the risk of macular degeneration.
CAFFEOYLQUINIC ACIDS: Moringa leaves contain 0.5 – 1% caffeoylquinic acids, coming very close to the content that makes artichokes famous. Caffeoylquinic acids are antioxidants considered to be choleretic (bile increasing which helps to digest dietary fats), hepatoprotective (effective against hepatitis and other liver diseases), cholesterol-reducing, and diuretic.
NOTE: Complex mixtures of naturally occurring antioxidants from plants are the most effective and beneficial protectors against oxidation and aging. Moringa contains many other antioxidants including alpha carotene, xanthins, kaempferol, quercetin, and rutin.