Malunggay or moringa is a staple in many Filipino dishes. Usually added to soups like tinola or tossed in salads, malunggay is popular as cooking aid or as colorful garnish to home-cooked meals.
But there’s more to this plant than just a leafy green to add to your food. It is packed with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that it is known globally as a type of superfood. From fighting off diseases to improving hair and skin quality, here are the many benefits of malunggay.
What is Malunggay / Moringa?
The malunggay plant, also known as moringa oleifera, is a type of plant that can be found in many tropical and sub-tropical areas in the world. It is known as a multi-purpose plant because most of its parts – from the leaves, to the pods, fruits, flowers, and even the roots and bark – can be used for various purposes.
In the Philippines, malunggay has been used as an herbal remedy in many cultures over hundreds of years because the plant is packed with vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients. It effectively combats malnutrition, especially for infants and nursing mothers.
What are the health benefits of malunggay / moringa?
To say that malunggay is a superfood would be accurate, as it contains more than 90 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants. At the same time, it can be consumed by everyone, so small children and adults alike can enjoy the many benefits of malunggay.
Here are just some of the many malunggay benefits:
1. Prevents diabetes by helping normalize blood sugar levels. Studies show that insulin-like proteins are found in moringa leaves. These can help lower blood sugar by helping the body process sugar better and help how the body naturally releases insulin.
2. Fights cancer. Malunggay has anti-cancer compounds (phytochemicals) that stop the growth of cancer cells. These can be found mostly in moringa’s leaves, bark, and roots.
3. Improves sleep. If you’re stressed out or have trouble sleeping, malunggay can help you relax and sleep better because of its high magnesium content.
4. Good for lactating mothers. Because malunggay has 4 times the calcium in milk, lactating mothers are encouraged toad malunggay leaves to their diet so they can produce milk for their babies. The leaves can be added in soup or can be boiled and taken as tea.
5. Treats inflammations. Particularly conditions linked to arthritis, rheumatism and joint pains. Malunggay has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent and treat certain inflammations.
6. Boosts the immune system. Moringa contains minerals that aid digestion, ensuring that the body totally absorbs the nutrients in what you eat.
7. Helps repair and restore the hair and skin. Because of its very high Vitamins A (4 times than that of carrot) and C (7 times than that of oranges) content, moringa improves skin elasticity, keeping it supple, and also helps lighten skin.
8. Improves memory. Some medical experts believe that the antioxidants and other substances found in moringa can help treat stress and inflammation in the brain which may promote memory.
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