Moringa Oleifera Trees
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Moringa oleifera is a small, fast-growing tree found in all tropical regions. Moringa tree leaves are among the world’s richest vegetables.
Moringa tree is a plantfood of high nutritional value, ecologically and economically beneficial and readily available in the countries hardest hit by the food crisis. The Moringa tree has been identified as the vegetable with the highest nutritional value among many types of food species studied. Easy to cultivate and resistant to drought, the Moringa Tree produces abundant leaves with a high concentration of proteins, vitamins, and minerals: 100 grams of fresh Moringa Tree leaves provide the same amount of protein as an egg, as much iron as a steak, as much Vitamin C as an orange, and as much calcium as a glass of milk. Moringa Tree grows throughout the developing world and has already been used by programs to reduce child malnutrition in India. Moringa Tree dried leaves, can be easily preserved and used. Eating 30 grams of Moringa Tree leaf powder a day, a child can satisfy all his daily requirement of Vitamin A, 80% of daily calcium needs, 60% of daily iron needs, and nearly 40% of protein needs.
Moringa the Miracle Tree
Often referred to as the "miracle tree" because of its uniquely diverse array of nutritional, medicinal, and purifying properties, Moringa Tree is a "superfood" treasure with incredible potential to greatly improve health and eliminate hunger around the world.
Because of its many valuable uses, and the fact that it grows so quickly and easily in semi-arid, tropical, and subtropical climates, Moringa tree is quickly becoming a go-to plant for combating malnutrition, treating inflammation, promoting healthy blood flow, and preventing infection, among other things. What is particularly unique about Moringa tree is the fact that every part of the plant, including its bark, leaves, flowers, and roots serves a unique purpose in promoting human health. Rich in amino acids - The leaves of the Moringa tree contain 18 amino acids, eight of which are essential amino acids, making them a "complete" protein - a rarity in the plant world. Indeed, Moringa tree protein content rivals that of meat, making it an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Protein is, of course, needed to build muscle, cartilage, bones, skin and blood and is also needed to produce enzymes and hormones.
Moringa tree calcium and magnesium - One serving of Moringa tree leaves provides us with approximately 125 percent of our RDI of calcium and 61 percent of our RDI of magnesium. These two trace minerals work in synergy; while calcium is needed to build strong bones and teeth, we also need magnesium to help us absorb it. Since Moringa oleifera contains generous quantities of both, it is especially good at guarding us from osteoporosis and other bone conditions. Moringa tree nourishes the skin - Due to their trace mineral content, dried and powdered Moringa tree leaves are great for nourishing the skin. Indeed, more and more cosmetic companies are starting to include Moringa tree extracts in their products for this reason. Moringa tree creams and lotions can be applied topically on the desired areas, thus allowing the nutrients to soak into, and rejuvenate, the skin.
Regularly consuming Moringa tree leaves has also been linked to lower blood pressure, improved digestion and mood, immune-boosting effects and, thanks to their high fiber levels and low fat and calorie levels, weight loss.
Moringa Tree Green Superfoods Revolution
The Moringa tree pod is cooked as a vegetable in India and exported to many countries for Indian expatriates, fresh or canned. The Moringa tree root can be used as substitute for horseradish. Moringa tree foliage is eaten as greens, boiled, fried, in soups or for seasoning. Dried Moringa tree leaf powder can be added to any kind of meal as a nutritional supplement. The Moringa tree seed can be roasted and eaten like a peanut. Moringa tree leaves are an inexpensive source of proteins, vitamins and minerals for developing countries. Dried and milled, Moringa tree leaves are easily stored and used by families who can then add the powder to their daily meals. The Moringa tree powder can also be used by food businesses to enrich their products in nutrients. Moringa tree leaves can help decrease developing countries’ dependence on imported goods, such as vitamin and mineral complexes that ward off nutritional deficiencybut are too expensive to be used in a sustainable way
“Much of the problem with nutrition is not the quantity of food but the quality of food. You need about 40 different nutrients to be healthy.” Ideally, good nutrition is assured by a varied diet rich in meat, root, grain, fruit and vegetable foods. “If you have a poor diet it makes you less able to resist disease, so the diseases come more frequently and they last longer. And when you get over your diarrhea or respiratory chest infection or your coughing or cold, if you are on a poor diet you don’t have the convalescence so you don’t regain the weight you have lost. So you stutter from infection to infection.” Micronutrient deficiencies are now recognized as an important contributor to the global burden of disease.
Many people are recognizing the nutritional value of Moringa tree
“Green leafy vegetables and fruits supply much needed essential micronutrients like beta-carotene [vitamin A], vitamin C, folic acid, and also calcium and potassium. Moringa Tree leaves in particular are a rich, inexpensive source of micronutrients." - Dr. C. Gopalan, President, Nutrition Foundation of India "Among the wide range of Green Leafy Vegetables, Moringa Tree is the richest source of Beta-Carotene [vitamin A], apart from providing other important micronutrients. Small amounts of less than 10 gm of fresh Moringa leaves would meet the day's requirement of Beta-Carotene of preschool children." - Dr. Kamala Krishnaswamy, Director, National Institute of Nutrition, India "As a source of nutrients and vitamins, Moringa Tree leaves rank among the best of perennial tropical vegetables. It has been estimated that one glassful of fresh Moringa tree leaves contain the daily requirement of vitamin A for up to ten people, and adding two raw Moringa oleifera leaves to children's daily food intake, or mixing 2-3 teaspoons of dried Moringa Tree leaf powder into other sauces living in high-risk areas." - Church World Service "Among the leafy vegetables, one stands out as particularly good, the horseradish Moringa Tree. The Moringa Tree leaves are outstanding as a source of vitamin A and, when raw, vitamin C.
Moringa tree leaves are a good source of B vitamins and among the best plant sources of minerals. The calcium content is very high for a plant. Phosphorous is low, as it should be. The content of iron is very good (it is reportedly prescribed for anemia in the Philippines). Moringa leaves are an excellent source of protein and a very low source of fat and carbohydrates. Thus the Moringa tree leaves are one of the best plant foods that can be found." In his Edible Leaves of the Tropics he adds that the leaves are incomparable as a source of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine, which are often in short supply.
- Dr. Frank L. Martin, in Survival and Subsistence in the Tropics
According to Dr. Lowell Fuglie, the West Africa representative of the Church World Service who used the Moringa Tree as a base for a nutrition program, “for a child aged 1-3, a 100 g serving of fresh cooked Moringa Tree leaves would provide all his daily requirements of calcium, about 75% of his iron and half his protein needs, as well as important amounts of potassium, B vitamins, copper and all the essential amino acids. As little as 20 grams of Moringa tree leaves would provide a child with all the vitamins A and C he needs." "For pregnant and breast-feeding women, Moringa Tree leaves and pods can do much to preserve the mother's health and pass on strength to the fetus or nursing child. One 100 g portion of Moringa Tree leaves could provide a woman with over a third of her daily need of calcium and give her important quantities of iron, protein, copper, sulfur and B-vitamins." “One rounded tablespoon (8 g) of Moringa Tree leaf powder will satisfy about 14% of the protein, 40% of the calcium, and 23% of the iron and nearly all the vitamin A needs for a child aged 1-3. Six rounded spoonfuls of Moringa Tree leaf powder will satisfy nearly all of a woman's daily iron and calcium needs during pregnancy and breast-feeding." Would Moringa tree leaves, leaf powder and pods be visibly effective in treating malnutrition and promoting physical health and well being? "Successful treatment of malnourished children has been well-documented. Interviews with men and women who have made Moringa tree a regular part of their diets point out that they have a keen awareness of improvements in their health and energy. At one health post, the pharmacy is now selling Moringa tree leaf powder to mothers with malnourished children. " There is limited awareness of nutrition and the importance of balanced diets. Would people see the value of adding Moringa oleifera to their foods as a purely nutritional measure? "It is apparent that one does not need an education in nutrition to know whether or not one is feeling healthy. People expressed every intention of continuing to include Moringa in their diets because of the sense of physical well being it gives them. In one village, virtually every household now maintains a stock of Moringa oleifera leaf powder."
Moringa tree possesses unique nutritional qualities that hold promise to millions of impoverished communities around the world those lack in many nutritional supplements such as protein, minerals, and vitamins.
Moringa Tree leaves are an excellent source of protein that can be rarely found in any other herbs and green leafy vegetables. 100 g of fresh raw Moringa Tree leaves provide 9.8 g of protein or about 17.5% of daily-required levels. Dry, powdered Moringa oleifera indeed are a much-concentrated source of many quality amino acids.
Fresh Moringa Tree pods and seeds are a good source of oleic acid, a health-benefiting monounsaturated fat. Moringa tree as high-quality oilseed crop can be grown alternatively to improve nutrition levels of populations in many drought-prone regions of Africa and Asia.
Fresh Moringa Tree leaves and growing tips of Moringa are the richest source of vitamin A. 100 g of Moringa oleifera fresh leaves 7564 IU or 252% of daily-required levels. Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble anti-oxidant offering several benefits, including mucus membrane repair, maintenance of skin integrity, vision, and immunity.
Fresh Moringa Tree pods and leaves are excellent sources of vitamin-C. 100 g of Moringa Tree pods contain 145 µg or 235% of daily-required levels of vitamin C. 100 g of greens provide 51.7 µg or 86% of daily-recommended intake values of this vitamin. Research studies have shown that consumption of fruits/vegetables rich in vitamin C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals from the body.
The Moringa tree greens as well as pods also contain good amounts of many vital B-complex vitamins such as folates,vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin. Much of these vitamin functions as co-enzymes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.
Furthermore, Moringa tree leaves are one of the fine sources of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, manganese,zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Iron alleviates anemia. Calcium is required for bone strengthening. Zinc plays a vital role in hair-growth, spermatogenesis, and skin health.
Adoption of Moringa Tree to combat under-nutrition
Over 143 million children under the age of five in developing countries were undernourished in 2006. Food insecurity, lack of access to health care (including international food aid), and social, cultural, and economic class, all play a major role in explaining the prevalence of under-nutrition. The regions most burdened by under-nutrition, (in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean) all share the ability to grow and utilize an edible plant, Moringa oleifera, commonly referred to as “The Miracle Tree”.
For hundreds of years, traditional healers have prescribed different parts of Moringa tree for treatment of skin diseases, respiratory illnesses, ear and dental infections, hypertension, diabetes, cancer treatment, water purification, and have promoted its use as a nutrient dense food source. The leaves of Moringa tree have been reported to be a valuable source of both macro- and micronutrients and is now found growing within tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, congruent with the geographies where its nutritional benefits are most needed. Anecdotal evidence of benefits from Moringa Tree has fueled a recent increase in adoption of and attention to its many healing benefits, specifically the high nutrient composition of the plants leaves and seeds. Once the Moringa Tree leaves are harvested and cleaned, they can either be used fresh in meals or dried in the shade to be used at another time. In countries that suffer from annual drought or famine before harvest season, dried Moringa Tree leaves can be made into a powder and used throughout the year. Moringa oleifera powder is made by crushing and sifting dried leaves. There have been studies on the retention of heat sensitive vitamins, such as vitamin A, during the drying and storage of Moringa tree leaves. For many rural agricultural societies storing grains is common practice, and for many grains shade drying or blanching, is used prior to storage of the food source. Retention of total carotene, β-carotene, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) was measured following storage for 0, 1, 2, and 3 months. Leaves that were blanched and sulfited compared to blanched-only leaves initially retained more total carotenes, β-carotene, and ascorbicacid but within about 3 months β-carotenelevels were about half of original levels, with either method of drying. On the other hand, there were significant benefits of sulfiting on ascorbic acid retention.
Moringa Scientific Support
Science continues to validate the ancient traditional therapeutic uses of Moringa. The list with valuable, recent medicinal discoveries related to Moringa goes on and on. One would need hundreds of pages to mention all the discoveries and describe their content... Here some of the studies and scientific support for Moringa oleifera uses and benefits
- Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Moringa oleifera
- High quality reference genome of drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera), a potential perennial crop
- Genetic Dissection of New Genotypes of Drumstick Tree (Moringa oleifera ) Using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Marker
- Use of weeds as traditional vegetables in Shurugwi District, Zimbabwe
- An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants and traditional therapies on Batan Island, the Philippines
- Antibacterial Activity of Leaf Juice and Extracts of Moringa oleifera against Some Human Pathogenic Bacteria
- Removal of sodium lauryl sulphate by coagulation/flocculation with Moringa oleifera seed extract
- Heavy metals removal from surface water with Moringa oleifera seed extract as flocculant agent
- Moringa oleifera : Protease activity against blood coagulation cascade
- Antioxidant activity of Moringa oleifera tissue extracts
- Nutritional Importance of Some Leafy Vegetables Available in Bangladesh
- Caseinolytic and milk-clotting activities from Moringa oleifera flowers
- Characterization of Moringa oleifera Seed Oil Variety “Periyakulam 1”
- Chemical composition and characteristics of Moringa peregrina seeds and seeds oil
- A novel chitin-binding protein from Moringa oleifera seed with potential for plant disease control
- Purification of a chitin-binding protein from Moringa oleifera seeds with potential to relieve pain and inflammation
- Purification and characterization of a class II α-Mannosidase from Moringa oleifera seed kernels
- Pterygospermin; the antibacterial principle of Moringa pterygosperma, Gaertn
- Simultaneous HPLC Quantitative Analysis of Active Compounds in Leaves of Moringa oleifera Lam
- HPLC quantitative analysis of three major antioxidative components of Moringa oleifera leaf extracts
- Nootropic Activity of Moringa oleifera Leaves
- Effect of Moringa Oleifera in Experimental Model of Alzheimer's Disease : Role of Antioxidants
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