The Moringa plant, known locally as malunggay, is a true superfood. This leafy miracle tree contains a powerhouse of vitamins that beats the stats of many other fruits and vegetables. It has more vitamin C than oranges, more vitamin A than carrots, more calcium than milk, and even more potassium than bananas. The list of malunggay benefits is seemingly endless!
The World Health Organization (WHO) has promoted using Moringa as the perfect cost-effective way to improve health overall. Malunggay boasts 92 nutrients and 46 natural antioxidants. It can even help treat more than 300 diseases and ailments! This is great news for moms looking for nutritious solutions for feeding their families. Read on to learn the benefits of malunggay leaves you can share with your kids and some recipes that maximize the plant’s potential.
1. Malunggay provides numerous vitamins and minerals.
The list includes vitamins C, B6, A, iron, riboflavin, and magnesium. These nutrients help with health issues, including eyesight improvement, skin appearance, immunity boost, calcium absorption, and even kids’ motor skills development.
2. Malunggay reduces inflammation.
The plant's anti-inflammatory qualities make it ideal for applying to cuts, bruises, or burns. Malunggay oil or extract works best in this case, so always keep some on hand for the little accidents your kiddos are bound to have. Incorporating the leaves into your diet can also help with arthritis.
3. Malunggay aids lactation.
According to the National Nutrition Council of the Philippines, “Malunggay leaves are a natural galactagogue – a substance that promotes or increases the flow of a mother's milk.” Some studies have also shown that it can help more than double mom’s milk production.
4. Malunggay works against various bacteria and fungi.
Malunggay is known to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. Because of this, eating malunggay or using its extract has been shown to treat some stomach disorders (including constipation and gastritis), combat infections, and heal wounds. You can use it to treat wounds or relieve your kids’ tummy aches.
5. Malunggay increases antioxidant levels.
Antioxidants fight against the free radicals in your body and help to reduce the chances of heart disease or type 2 diabetes. They also lower blood pressure, moderate blood sugar levels, and aid toxicity in the liver. Plus, they are known to improve eyesight!
6. Malunggay stimulates hair growth.
The health benefits of malunggay leaves extend to your crowning glory. Some moms worry about postpartum hair loss because of hormones. The nutrients found in Moringa can stabilize this and promote hair growth. It can even help fight dandruff, moisturize the scalp, and prevent split ends.
Easy Malunggay Recipes
Before adding malunggay into recipes, take the time to separate the leaves from the branches. These little stems can easily get stuck and give your kids an itchy throat. Once you have your leaves, the possibilities are endless! Because the leaves have a subtle taste, you can add them to almost any recipe. The best part? Your kids probably won’t even notice! Here are some recipe ideas to try using your new favorite superfood.
Two-ingredient malunggay dip
Here is the easiest and quickest “no-recipe” recipe to get some malunggay into your family’s diet asap! All you need are two ingredients. Simply pick your leaves and mix them straight into a bowl with some Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with veggie sticks to keep it healthy, or treat yourselves with some chips or crackers!
Nutritious fish tinola
On cool, rainy days or when your children feel under the weather, tinola always makes everyone feel better. This delicious and comforting soup is packed with nutrients thanks to its star ingredient: malunggay. Instead of chicken, try making the recipe with fish. Begin by sautéing chopped onions and garlic until lightly browned. Pour in stock, add a few dashes of patis, and boil fish with sayote. When ready, stir in your malunggay leaves and cook for just another minute. Serve with fluffy white rice, and enjoy!
Quick malunggay pesto
If you end up with leftover leaves, use them to make pesto. In a food processor or a mortar and pestle, combine malunggay, basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and salt until you have a smooth green paste. You can use the pesto as topping for baked mussels, spread for sandwiches, or sauce for pasta.
So run, don't walk to your nearest palengke and grab all the malunggay you can. This superior superfood deserves to be the new star ingredient in your home. You might even discover more malunggay benefits that work for you and your kids!
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