Moringa Nutritional Values

Food GroupThe Moringa oleifera tree is an outstanding source of nutrition, especially in areas where other food sources are scarce or seasonally unavailable. Trees can grow in a wide range of tropical and semi-arid climates, making it a viable solution for areas affected by food shortages and populations susceptible to malnutrition. The leaves, stems, and seed pods of the tree can be prepared in a variety of different ways in order to provide solid nutritional value. Also known as a drumstick, the green seed pods are typically prepared in much the same way as green beans and have a characteristically asparagus-like flavor. The seeds themselves can be roasted or boiled, while the roots are used to prepare a horseradish-like condiment or sauce. When pressed, the seeds produce edible oil that can be used for preparing food. Even the flowers and leaves can be consumed. The leaves are especially nutritious and are eaten raw or served as a boiled greens dish that resembles spinach. The dried powder can be stirred into soups or sauces as a thickening agent or used to brew a healthful drink. Moringa leaves, pods, and roots contain large amounts of protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and provide valuable nutrition for populations in remote areas that may suffer from food shortages and lack of protein sources in their local environment.

Moringa Oleifera has very high nutrition values, this positions the plant high in the table of the "Healthy Edible Plants & Vegetables" as an important source of Vitamins & Minerals essential for our health. In the present time many aid programs & NGO in Africa are training and assisting the local population growing Moringa as an answer to malnutrition, especially in children and breastfeeding mothers due to the effect of milk production and quality. In addition Moringa is being used to feed cattle and live stock to achieve better results in milk production and body mass.

Comparing Moringa Oleifera to other plants and food:

Comparing nutrition values of Moringa to other food

Information about Moringa nutritional values:

moringa leafVitamins

moringa leafMinerals

moringa leafAmino-acids

moringa leafAntioxidants

moringa leafOther Nutritional Values

 

Vitamin Contents

Along with a healthy portion of amino acids and protein, the leaves, seed pods and roots of the Moringa tree deliver a wide range of necessary vitamins that can ensure health and provide balanced nutrition. While these vitamins are especially important in underdeveloped areas where malnutrition is a major risk, they can also serve as a source for organic vitamins and proteins in more developed countries. The tree is an environmentally responsible way to produce a number of vitamin products including Vitamins A, B complex, C and E; beta carotene is especially abundant in Moringa trees. The plant's ability to grow in a wide range of climates and survive in low-moisture conditions makes it an ideal source of these vitamins in areas where other sources are difficult to cultivate and maintain. The vitamin content of the leaves is retained even after they have been dried, allowing the dried-leaf product to be transported and stored safely for months for later use. 

Moringa Leaves - Vitamins

(All values are per 100 grams of edible portion.)

 

Fresh Leaves

Dried Leaves

Vitamin A (Arginine Carotene)

6.78 mg

17.6 mg

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

0.06 mg

2.02 mg

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

0.05 mg

21.3 mg

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

0.8 mg

7.6 mg

Vitamin C

220 mg

15.8 mg

Vitamin E

448 mg

10.8 mg

Vitamin K

 

2.03 mg

 

Mineral Contents

Various parts of the Moringa tree are outstanding sources of minerals necessary to maintain good health. Along with vitamins and amino acids, the dried leaves can provide a large percentage of the daily requirements for calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. As a result, the leaves are often used to supplement the diets of expecting and nursing mothers and young children. Lack of iron can lead to anemia and other serious medical problems for these vulnerable individuals, while calcium deficiencies can cause muscular and skeletal problems for mothers and children alike. Moringa leaves can help to provide the needed calcium, iron and other minerals to avoid these nutritional problems, especially in areas where prenatal health care is difficult to obtain. The mineral content present in Moringa leaves, seed pods, and roots can be used to supplement the regular diet of undernourished populations. The tree allows everyone to enjoy better health, even in remote and undeveloped areas of the world.

Moringa Leaves - Minerals

(All values are per 100 grams of edible portion.)

 

Fresh Leaves

Dried Leaves

Calcium

440 mg

2,185 mg

Copper

0.07 mg

0.49 mg

Iron

0.85 mg

25.6 mg

Magnesium

42 mg

448 mg

Phosphorus

70 mg

252 mg

Potassium

259 mg

1,236 mg

Zinc

0.16 mg

3.41 mg

 

Amino acids Contents

Amino acids are considered the building blocks of proteins and are necessary elements of a healthful diet. Scientists have identified 22 standard amino acids capable of naturally forming polypeptide compounds. The Moringa oleifera tree contains all eight essential amino acids, which cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources to provide a solid basis for physical health. The leaves and seeds of this useful plant are especially high in amino acids and provide a significant percentage of the recommended daily requirements for valine, lysine, methionine, cysteine, leucine, phenylalanine, threonine and isoleucine, the eight essential amino acids. These vital amino acids are necessary for proper brain, muscle and nervous function as well as providing the raw materials to allow the body to synthesize protein materials for further growth. Moringa seed pods and leaves provide all of the essential amino acids as well as 18 of the 22 standard amino acids and offer superior food value for undernourished populations in developing countries.

Moringa Leaves - Amino Acids

(All values are per 100 grams of edible portion.)

 

Fresh Leaves

Dried Leaves

Arginine

406.6 mg

1,027 mg

Histidine

149.8 mg

536 mg

Isoleucine

299.6 mg

932 mg

Leucine

492.2 mg

1,730 mg

Lysine

342.4 mg

1,036 mg

Methionine

117.7 mg

280 mg

Phenylalinine

310.3 mg

1,420 mg

Threonine

117.7 mg

1,080 mg

Tryptophan

107 mg

510 mg

Valine

374.5 mg

875 mg

 

 

Moringa Leaves - Other Nutritional Values

(All values are per 100 grams of edible portion.)

 

Fresh Leaves

Dried Leaves

Calories

92 cal

329 cal

Carbohydrates

12.5 g

41.2 g

Protein

6.70 g

29.4 g

Fibers

0.90 g

19.2 g

Fat

1.70 g

5.2 g

 

Antioxidant Properties

Recent studies indicate that the leaves and seeds of the Moringa tree possess strong antioxidant properties due to the presence of both enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. A 2009 research study published by Sreelatha and Padma in the academic journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition indicated that the antioxidants present in both mature and green leaves offer superior protection against free radicals. The study also showed that the antioxidants in the leaves behave in a comparable manner as pharmaceutical grade antioxidant preparations. The pods and seeds are also useful in protecting cells from oxidation damage. The Journal of Herbal Medicine published a study by Kumar, Kumar, Singh and Vasisht in 2007 that demonstrated the antioxidant properties of these seed pods against the action of free radicals that can cause cancer and other damage to cell structures within the body.