Moringa – is this the ultimate superfood?

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Loaded with natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, experts show how to get the most out of this amazing plant.

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Bondi’s Shireen Collett-Smith.

What is moringa?

Despite being used across the world for thousands of years, Moringa is relatively new to Australia. Bondi’s Shireen Colett-Smith, a coeliac, was driven by her passion for health and wellbeing to bring the miracle plant from her home country, the Philippines, and start the Australian owned business called Detox in a Box.

“We hear the word superfood being thrown around a lot these days,” Shireen says, “I prefer to call it a food that enhances super living.”

Called The Wonder Tree, The Tree of Life and Mother’s Best Friend; moringa is a plant with an overwhelming amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s free of sugar, caffeine, gluten, dairy and animal products, and is  low in calories.

Sounds like the perfect plant and many think so, including Dr. Monica Marcu, whose research extends through pharmacology, health, nutrition, environmental medicine and prevention of disease. She says, “Among all the plants I know I cannot think of a more nutritious one than moringa. And while I am definitely supporting a diet including a wide variety of plants, mostly un-cooked; I believe that moringa should be consumed as often as possible.”

Every part of the moringa plant can be used – leaves, seeds, flowers and all. She says, “In the developing world moringa leaves, pods or leaf powder have started to be used successfully as a complex food to nourish small children, pregnant or nursing women, AIDS patients and, of course, anybody else.”

Dr. Amit Kapur who has over 10 years of scientific and medicinal research, is also an advocate of moringa as an essential part of our daily diet. He says, “The digestive system is the most vulnerable part of our bodies. Moringa protects the gastro intestinal tract from everyday pollutants.” Moringa is a rich source of prebiotics so Dr. Kapur recommends combining it with a probiotic for additional benefits.

 Moringa protects the gastro intestinal tract from everyday pollutants.

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Moringa as a powder.

Moringa in Australia

Shireen’s company Detox In A Box sells moringa in two forms – powder and tea leaves.

Shireen says; “The powder is more potent,” so it’s good to use in smoothies, and other recipes, some which you can find on the Detox in a Box website, but you can put it in virtually anything. On the other hand, “The tea is nourishing, which is why it’s good for a detox,” she says.

It doesn’t matter when you take your daily dose of moringa but Shireen recommends a cup of tea in the morning or a serving in your smoothie for breakfast for an energy boost.

“Many of my friends make a batch and put it in the fridge to chill,” Shireen says, “But be careful not to keep it for longer than 24 hours because it will lose potency.”

A chilled glass with lunch aids digestion and natural detoxification; a cup of tea at night helps you sleep more soundly.

As well, or alternatively, you can put the powder in your salad to increase your roughage intake, or make some of Shireen’s delicious Bliss Balls for a healthy energy boosting snack on the run. Shireen says that while “There is no real limit to how much moringa you can have a day, too much of anything isn’t good for you.”

Detoxing with moringa.

In many countries moringa is used in water filtration to lower the bacterial concentration; just imagine what it can do to our bodies. Moringa aids the body’s natural detoxing system, so it’s a bit like a daily detox.

Moringa starts working immediately, but Shireen says you might not notice the difference until about a week of consistent consumption.

Both Shirren and Dr. Amit Kapur recommend moringa for a daily use, not just a short detox, because of the benefits it has in fighting pollutants that plague our bodies on a daily basis.

However, for a supercharged detox Shireen suggests drinking a litre of moringa tea daily for 7 – 30 days; a glass with or after every meal. Virtually flavourless, she says you can sweeten the drink with a variety of natural sweeteners such as manuka honey or raw coconut sugar, for a little diversity.

For Shireen’s healthy moringa infused recipes, and to order Detox in a Box moringa products, visit the website http://www.detox-in-a-box.com.au/

By BB Intern Selma Husovic.

 

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Selma Husovic

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