1. Bridging the nutrition gap
While malnourishment, undernourishment and hunger are used inter-changeably,
WHO (World Health Organization) defines malnutrition as: deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients. The term malnutrition addresses 3 broad groups of conditions:
- undernutrition, which includes wasting (low weight-for-height), stunting (low height-for-age) and underweight (low weight-for-age);
- micronutrient-related malnutrition, which includes micronutrient deficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals) or micronutrient excess; and
- overweight, obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers) (1).
In western countries, the dried Moringa leaves are sold as dietary supplements, either in powder or capsule form. However, in borrowing from the ancients, as Hippocrates would say, “make food your medicine and medicine your food”. So, the best way to utilize Moringa is by using it in an informed manner in our foods, beverages and cosmetics. To successfully accomplish this, one may keep in mind that there is one downside: Moringa leaves may also contain high levels of anti-nutrient, which can reduce the absorption of minerals and protein (2).
Keeping in mind that taking Moringa oleifera supplements in capsules provides negligible amount of nutrients needed in the body. Eating a balanced diet based on whole foods, incorporating Moringa in smoothie, porridges, stews and soups, beverages, will definitely add the much needed nutrients that bridge the nutrition gap.
- The much needed anti-oxidant
Moringa makes the list of antioxidants (dark chocolate, all berries, the beans group, apples, spinach, nuts, tomatoes, prunes, the brassicas, beetroot, kale, eggplant and carrots) that helps the immune system contend and suppress free radicals that cause oxidative stress, aging, heart diseases-high blood pressure, diabetes and other auto-immune diseases.
A beverage mix of 7g of Moringa leaf powder with other anti-oxidant rich foods enriched with vitamin C, as a pre-breakfast and dinner routine will enhance the quality of the blood. When used in packing and pre-packaging, Moringa leaf powder reduces oxidation in foods, fish and meats (3).
- Reduction of Inflammation
It is known, that inflammation is the body’s way of healing itself in the event of an infection, however, chronic inflammation does the body more harm than good. In fact, sustained inflammation is linked to many chronic health problems, including heart disease and cancer (4).
Eight grams of Moringa leaf powder mixed with four grams of vitamin C or lemon or orange juice may be very helpful in controlling chronic inflammation.
- Protection against Arsenic poisoning
Arsenic contamination of our food and water is increasingly posing a huge problem in many parts of the world. Some types of rice, cultivated in many countries, contain particularly high levels (5). Long term exposure to high levels of arsenic contamination, leads to heart related diseases and risk of cancer (6), (7).
Recent result of several studies in mice and rats has shown that the leaves and seeds of Moringa oleifera may protect against some of the effects of arsenic toxicity. However, it’s yet to be ascertained if this is applicable to humans (8). Moringa seeds and leaf powders are used in many third world countries to purify their water and used in cooking.
African and Carribean Foods, Imported to Canada
Ugonwa’s® is a specialty retail (online and store-front), with a great variety of African-Caribbean top-quality, kosher/halal meats and fishes, wholesome staple foods and produce, as well as authentic Afro-Caribbean fashion and Arts. Our niche spans across North America and the global market.