Move over spirulina .... we have a new favorite superfood for our smoothies.
It’s called moringa. It comes in powder form, teas, smoothie mixes and as an oil. The powder is loaded with antioxidants, it also packs a punch of protein and fiber. Basically, it contains everything you need to start your day or recover from your workouts—and it may even help you lose weight.
Moringa powder is actually ground leaves from the tropical moringa tree, namely the moringa oleifera species.
According to research from Food Science and Human Wellness; because it grows fast and survives with very little water, the drumstick tree, as it’s also commonly known, has moved beyond its native Himalayas and is often grown in tropical and subtropical areas, like southeast Asia, South America, Africa, and the Caribbean, where natives have been grounding the leaves into a medicinal and nutritional powder for centuries.
Moringa powder has two huge perks: It’s ridiculously nutritious and packed with antioxidants, so it offers a ton of disease protection.
According to the USDA, one cup of fresh, chopped moringa leaves contains two grams of protein, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B2, vitamin A, and magnesium. Compared to kale; moringa powder can have twice the amount of protein, four times more calcium, six times more iron, 1.5 times more fiber, 97 times more B2, and five times more B3.
It can be especially helpful for women who tend to need more iron and calcium. Further research shows moringa has such high levels of minerals that the powder could help reduce micronutrient deficiencies in malnourished populations.
Another study in Phytotherapy Research reports that it is high in antioxidants such as polyphenols, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, moringa leaf extract can help protect tissue, including the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs, act as a pain reliever, protect against ulcers, protect against hypertension, and boost immune function.
Consuming moringa may actually help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism due to it’s high levels of B vitamins. B vitamins act as co-enzymes, so they help foster a more efficient metabolism. A more efficient metabolism burns more calories, which can in turn help with weight loss.
HOW TO USE IT
Moringa comes packaged in a few different ways. It is in powder form, as teas, smoothie mixes or as an oil which can be used on the body. Moringa oil is extremely stable so it doesn't lose its antioxidant capacity after sitting on the shelf like other good-for-you oils.
The other most accessible form is a moringa leaf powder. Research shows extracts from this part of the plant exhibit the greatest antioxidant activity. The best way to add moringa powder into your diet is by adding it into your smoothies or drinking it as a tea.
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Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !