What is moringa?
Moringa (technically moringa oleiferaa.k.a. malunggay, kamunggay, malungay, malangay, marango, mlonge, drumstick tree, horseradish tree, “the miracle tree,” or “the tree of life”) is a leafy plant with many healthy properties. Being a drought-resistant tree, it is native to areas in Asia, Africa, and Latin America…specifically northern India, the Philippines, Egypt, the Horn of Africa, the Mediterranean, and the West Indies. Although moringa has been around for centuries, it has only started to steadily increase in popularity since the late 2000’s/early 2010’s when it was first heralded as a “superfood.” It is rich in vitamins (specifically vitamins A, C and E), minerals, and antioxidants. In addition, it is high is calcium, potassium and protein. Health benefits associated with moringa oleifera include:
- fighting inflammation
- lowering blood sugar (used to manage & treat diabetes)
- reducing cholesterol levels
- supporting brain health and cognitive function
- protecting against liver damage
- anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
- blood clotting properties to help heal wounds
It is also known to have:
- 7× more vitamin C compared to oranges
- 36× more magnesium than eggs
- 50× more vitamin B2 than bananas
- 50× more vitamin B3 than peanuts
- 25× more iron than spinach
- 4× more calcium than milk
Moringa is typically taken as a supplement or is incorporated into different dishes. It can be used as an ingredient for both savory and sweet foods like: soups, salads, burgers, pesto, omelets, breads, muffins, smoothies and ice cream.
Not mint, green tea, nor pandan…It’s malunggay ice cream.
Where can I get it?
You can get moringa in many different forms. If you’re looking to take it as a daily supplement, you can get it as:
If you prefer to try it as a food, here are some places that serve this “exotic” leafy green a variety of ways.
Elkhart, IN: The Moringa Tree
Raleigh, NC: Raleigh Raw
Colombus, GA: Ride On Smoothie & Juice Bar
Newark, NJ (South Orange): The Dancing Blender
Tampa, FL (Zephyrhills): Living Food Bakery
How can I make it?
If you’re looking to make foods with moringa oleifera, it is recommended that you use either fresh leaves (found at your local specialty market or grown yourself from seeds), or powder (available here). Moringa is quite versatile and can be used like most herbs. So, experiment with it small amounts in soups, sauces, main dishes, smoothies and whatever your creative mind brings you to make. Enjoy your path to better health!
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Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.