The Health Benefits of Moringa (Malunggay)

Updated on July 26, 2017
The nutrient-rich Moringa leaves.
The nutrient-rich Moringa leaves. | Source

Why Moringa Should Be an Integral Part of Your Diet

When I was a child, growing up in a poor village in the Philippines, Moringa was a part of our daily diet. In fact, we called it “day-by-day,” so when someone says his dinner tonight is “day-by-day,” you know they're referring to Moringa.

Little did I know then that this “miracle tree,” as it has been dubbed by many scientists, is packed with myriad nutrients and has amazing health benefits. And take note, every part of Moringa, not only its chlorophyll-rich leaves, is used for nutritional and medicinal purpose.

Nutritional Benefits

Based on scientific studies, Moringa (or Malunggay in Tagalog) contains:

1. Seven times the amount of Vitamin C in oranges

2. Four times the calcium in milk

3. Four times the vitamin A in carrots

4. Two times the protein in milk

5. Three times the potassium found in bananas

It also contains several other vitamins and minerals that your body needs. These include, magnesium, zinc and iron, among others.

Medicinal Benefits

Here are some of the amazing medicinal benefits of Moringa:

  • It helps in balancing the cholesterol in the body.
  • It has anti-cancer and anti-ulcer properties.
  • It stimulates metabolism.
  • It is also said to balance sugar levels; hence, it is good for diabetic patients.
  • It boosts the immune system.
  • Supports digestion and is a natural laxative.
  • Recommended for breast-feeding moms as it increases the quantity of breast milk.
  • It protects the liver and the kidneys.
  • Famous for its antibacterial properties.
  • It is used to treat and prevent malnutrition in nursing mothers and infants.

For more information on the various health and nutritional benefits of Moringa, you can visit: www.webmd.com and www.miracletrees.org.

Malunggay, whose scientific name is Moringa oleifera, is easy to cultivate. As a matter of fact, Moringa trees can be grown even in arid regions, like here in Saudi Arabia.

I want to share with you two recipes that I always cook with Moringa leaves. It is very easy to prepare and if the original ingredients are not available in the supermarkets, you can always do some modifications, which can prove to be equally as sumptuous as mother’s recipe.

Luscious squash with Moringa in rich coconut milk.
Luscious squash with Moringa in rich coconut milk. | Source

1. Spicy Chicken with Moringa in Rich Coconut Milk

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams of boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 medium-sized sliced onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, cut into strips
  • 2 pieces of chili pepper or red chili powder.
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil.
  • 1 cup of Moringa leaves.

How to Cook:

  1. In a saucepan, sauté the garlic, onion and ginger.
  2. Add the chicken and cook until tender.
  3. Season to taste.
  4. Add the coconut milk and simmer till the sauce thickens.
  5. Add the chili.
  6. Add the Moringa leaves, mix and remove from heat
  7. Serve hot and enjoy.

A spicy blend of chicken with Moringa in rich coconut milk sauce.
A spicy blend of chicken with Moringa in rich coconut milk sauce. | Source

2. Modified Chicken Soup with Moringa

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams chicken
  • 1 medium-sized sliced onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 thumb-sized ginger, cut into strips
  • Black pepper seed or powder.
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil.
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass
  • 1 piece chili.
  • 250 grams of upo or zuchini, instead of Chayote of Papaya.
  • 2 cups Moringa leaves, instead of Pepper leaves.

How to cook:

  1. In a saucepan, sauté the garlic, onion, ginger and lemon grass
  2. Add the chicken, mix until it turns lightly brown.
  3. Add 500 mL of water.
  4. Cook until tender and season to taste.
  5. Add the upo or zucchini and simmer for 2 minutes
  6. Add the Moringa leaves, mix and remove from heat
  7. Serve hot and enjoy.

A hot, sumptuous modified chicken soup (tinola) with Moringa leaves.
A hot, sumptuous modified chicken soup (tinola) with Moringa leaves. | Source
A Moringa tree growing in a pavement beside our beverage plant  in Jeddah, KSA.
A Moringa tree growing in a pavement beside our beverage plant in Jeddah, KSA. | Source

Comments

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    • profile image

      Anton 

      2 months ago

      Our house keeper planted some of these trees along our road. She just stuck thick sticks of it (truncheons) into the ground which grew. I assumed it was for the flowers. However yesterday I saw her picking the leaves and putting them carefully in a basket. I asked her what she is doing with them and she told me she was going to eat them.

      I cant wait to try! As the truncheons have just started to sprout I will wait until they have proper branches.

      What you don't say and nor does she is what they actually taste like? Do they have their own flavour and what is it?

    • profile image

      Senona 

      4 years ago

      I ate a lot of those when I was a kid my favorite vegetables if all

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