Moringa is a genuine superfood, and highly reputed for its manifold powers to revive and boost your body’s natural defenses
One of Malis’ signature dishes, our delicate but delicious and nutritious Morinaga Soup is made with a pumpkin consommé and leaves from the Moringa tree to create a healthy and light vegetarian start to your meal that, for all its delicacy, is packed full of protein, minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Moringa is a genuine superfood, and highly reputed for its manifold powers to revive and boost your body’s natural defenses. So it’s not just good, it’s good for you too.
Indigenous to India, the Moringa (‘drumstick’) tree, also known as the ‘miracle tree’ and ‘mother’s best friend’ is now arguably one of the most cultivated trees in tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world thanks to its drought resistance. The tree is an important source of nourishment in developing countries where poor nutrition is a concern. Beyond, it is currently being extensively examined for its potential as a ‘functional food’, i.e. one of those foods whose benefits go beyond nutrition and may play a role in reducing or minimising the risk of certain diseases and other health conditions.
Almost all parts of the tree, including the root, bark, seed, flowers, pods, seed oil, leaves and resin have potential food, agriculture or industrial uses. It is no wonder that many consider this tree to be the most useful in the world. However, it is the vivid-green, ovoid leaves that appear to offer the greatest protective, antioxidant properties.
And it is not just marketers who like to say this. Our review of scientific journals reveals a consensus on the nutritional properties of Moringa leaves. They are a rich source of nutrients like protein, carbohydrate, fibre, beta carotene, vitamin C and minerals like calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus. Their protein count is equivalent to that of some pulses, including soy and kidney beans. The leaves also contain various types of compounds such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), flavonoids, phenolic compounds and carotenoids that act as natural antioxidants.
But what is an antioxidant? In brief, they are naturally occurring, but also man-made, molecules that have the potential to prevent or delay certain types of cell damage in the body usually caused by things called free radicals. These are much too complicated to go into here but are essentially molecules of the body that have become “unbalanced” and highly reactive as a result of things like smoking. The antioxidant molecule has the capacity to “rebalance” the rampaging free radical and thus neutralise its potential for harm.
Things can get confusing for consumers here because many like to promote Moringa Leaves as a specific means for combatting or preventing disease based on its antioxidant properties. However, while several decades of dietary research findings suggest that consuming greater amounts of antioxidant-rich foods might help to protect against diseases, no one has been able to establish a direct and specific link between the two. Research has shown that people who eat more vegetables and fruits that are rich in antioxidants have lower risks of several diseases; however, it is not clear whether these results are related to the amount of antioxidants in vegetables and fruits, to other components of these foods, to other factors in people’s diets, or to other lifestyle choices.
We believe there may be a lot to the claims for Moringa’s healing powers, but for now we count on the fact that this soup provides a deliciously light beginning to your meal at Malis. Perhaps one to consider as part of your January “detox”.