I first came across moringa powder when I was looking for a way to amp up my morning smoothie. I was in the market for a superfood that would wake me up without caffeine and what I found was nothing short of miraculous.
Moringa not only woke me up, it cleared my mind and gave me pinpointed focus but without any jitters or inevitable caffeine crash. I started using it throughout my day, adding it to my water bottle and fresh pressed juices anytime I needed an energy boost. I started drinking moringa tea. Not only did it fight fatigue, it truly elevated my day. Moringa benefits are real--I noticed improvements in my digestion and my hair and nails were stronger.
Being a superfood junkie, I did my research on the product and I quickly realized why this miracle tree was so beneficial. Moringa powder has been called nature’s multivitamin and with good reason, considering it’s one of the most potent superfoods in the world.
This dense green goodness is filled with a laundry list of nutrients. It has:
- 17 times the calcium of milk
- 15 times the potassium of a banana
- 9 times the protein of yogurt
- 10 times the vitamin A of a carrot
- 25 times the iron of spinach
Plus it contains:
- vitamin B1
- vitamin B2
- vitamin B3
Of course I felt great.
And unlike vitamins, moringa leaves are more bio-available, meaning your body is better able to absorb them. What’s more, though it’s rare for a plant source, moringa powder contains all the essential amino acids, even arginine and histidine, which are especially important for infants. The leaves are packed with nutritional goodness making them beneficial to diabetics, those with high blood pressure, and breastfeeding moms. It's also been cited as an“anti-tumor” plant.
I’ve experienced moringa’s benefits in my own life, but what’s equally exciting is how much it can impact the rural and often impoverished areas of the world from which it’s sourced. This is especially true considering it’s loaded with protein, amino acids, and a host of nutrients that can be hard to come by in communities struggling with malnutrition. It’s no secret that many areas of the world battling malnutrition are also tropical climates perfect for growing this emerald gem. This includes countries in Africa, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia. Moringa trees are also very sustainable. They are drought resistant, fast growing, and they can be harvested six weeks after planting, which also makes them a great income-generating crop.
According to the nonprofit Trees For Life, research was conducted in Senegal to examine the ability of moringa to prevent and even cure malnutrition in pregnant or breast-feeding women. The study showed that pregnant women who took moringa, recovered from anemia and had babies with higher birth weights than those who did not consume the plant. Similar tests are now being done in Ghana. In parts of the world where moringa is harvested, members of the community will often eat the leaves right off the tree, adding them to tea and soups, for example, to enjoy the nutritional benefits.
But not all moringa powders are created equal. Because the leaves easily oxidize, if it's not properly processed, it loses many of its superfood health benefits. You can’t always judge the potency of moringa powder by its color since it loses its nutrition before it loses its color. Thus, part of getting the biggest most nutritional bang for your buck is choosing a good moringa producer.
Some companies are doing it better than others when it comes to harvesting, processing and packaging moringa leaves and overall product transparency. Green Virgin Products, a family owned producer out of Tampa, Fla., sources its moringa leaves from the Philippines, where workers are paid a fair wage. They make high quality processing and packaging their first priority. Their moringa goes from harvest to package in less than eight hours so there’s less time for the powder to oxidize. They are the only supplier to use infrared temperature controlled drying, which quickly dries the leaves so they don’t have an opportunity to mold or rot. Shade drying, which is often used in other brand’s processing, takes too long, and the product can lose its nutrient density. Not to mention that as it dries, it can grow mold and bacteria.
Packaging is also just as important to protect moringa’s benefits. Just like olive oil should never be exposed to light and oxygen because it will quickly turn rancid, moringa powder also suffers when exposed to light and oxygen. Green Virgin Products uses packaging that’s 100 percent light blocking and double vacuum sealed to keep out oxygen, which keeps the product fresh. Plus the company adds an oxygen absorber to suck up any residual oxygen left in the package after it is sealed. Green Virgin Products’ moringa contains no dyes or fillers unlike some companies that dye yellow or brown powder green to fool consumers into thinking it’s fresh and properly harvested. Some brands even hide their product’s true ingredients behind the term “proprietary mix,” or add unnecessary ingredients like sugar, fruit juice, or “natural flavors.”
While I was initially in search of a nutrient dense smoothie ingredient, what I found was so much more. This green goodness is also ideal in juice, water, and tea. I’m also a fan of the Green Virgin Products moringa bar soaps and moringa oil. Moringa is a remarkable superfood that not only helps keep you energized and focused, all day long (without the caffeine!), it’s a sustainable product that gives back to many of the impoverished communities from which it comes. Adding moringa to your diet can provide you the essential nutrients missing from modern processed foods.
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