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Moringa: The Miracle Nutrition Tree that Could Prevent Malnutrition

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Moringa leaves are from very nutritious trees that grow in sub-tropical climates and are most prevalent in parts of the world with high malnutrition rates. Photo by Racine Tucker-Hamilton/Bread for the World.

Most of us are familiar with the fictional story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack trades the family cow for some magical beans that grow overnight into a giant stalk. Jack climbs the stalk and discovers untold riches, such as a hen that lays golden eggs, and bags of gold.

Well, what if I told you that I know of a special tree that could prevent malnutrition and some diseases, and it’s not magic or fiction?

The tree I'm speaking of is the Moringa tree. Nutrition experts say the tiny Moringa leaves could help save and improve the lives of millions of people around the world. When I was in Malwai this past October, I saw women who live in the southern Malawi village of Jombo sprinkle powdered Moringa into their daily meals.

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Women in Jombo grind Moringa into a powder and use it when they cook their meals. One-half cup of cooked Moringa leaves will satisfy the daily requirement for vitamins A and C. Photo by Racine Tucker-Hamilton/Bread for the World.

The leaves are a few inches long, but their nutritional value puts a multivitamin to shame. Gram for gram, Moringa leaves have a whopping seven times the vitamin C of oranges; four times the vitamin A of carrots; four times the calcium of milk; three times the potassium of bananas; and twice the protein of yogurt. (Learn more here.) Furthermore, according to the organization Trees for Life, Moringa also contains two very important amino acids that help infants grow and develop.

Experts say Moringa could become a valuable food source and nutritional supplement for malnourished children and pregnant mothers in the developing world. A study conducted in Senegal by Church World Service and Alternative Action for African Development examined how successful Moringa leaf powder could be in preventing or curing malnutrition in pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers, and children. The results showed that the children maintained or increased their weight, and the women were less anemic and gave birth to healthier babies.

While Moringa may not grow into a giant stalk that leads to riches, its tiny leaves could help save the lives of millions of children and ensure that, like Jack, they will live happily ever after.

Racine-Tucker-HamiltonRacine Tucker-Hamilton is media relations manager for Bread for the World.

 


 

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Comments

Thanks! Through its Sustainable Agriculture & Development (SA&D) Program, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) has been providing training farmers in several countries in Africa in the production and utilization of Moringa and Soybeans to improve household nutrition since 2001.

Dear Racine Thanks for this information. Please I'm writing to you from Africa and I wish you could help me know what those two very important amino acids that help infants grow and develop are? I mean their name (amino acids)?

how can one have document on this Moringa production maybe I could start a Moringa farm here in my community?

Thanks.

Nice post! It's good that people are becoming aware of moringa tree herb's multiple uses and even planting moringa trees.

Armand: Thanks so much for reading the post. The two amino acids are argenine and histidine. Two great resources for additional information on moringa are: treesforlife.org and UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Reflief)- http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/. UMCOR has had great success with supporting farmers and families who are interested in growing moringa. Good luck!

Thank you for this wonderful post. Moringa indeed outdo the "Jack and the beanstalk " story because Moringa is real and life saver too.

I am interested in learning more about moringa. Please suggest me some sites from where I can get good information about moringa. I want to know its all health benefit.


I am glad to know that the health benefits of moringa have been recognized world wide. I have seen the miracles of
moringa myself!

You may want to check the moringa that I use. They are organically grown by the expert hands of Cebu farmers.

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