Malunggay Health Benefits

In the Philippines, malnourished people increased to 15.2 million in 2003. This is equivalent to 18% percent of the whole population. The production of Moringa oleifera, or “malunggay” fights poverty and malnutrition in the Philippines. The World Health Organization (WHO) promoted the benefits of the miracle vegetable. Malunggay is now known as a low-cost health enhancer in poor countries around the globe. The Florida-based Education Concerns for Hunger Organization described malunggay to be locally available. Malunggay became the solution to the malnutrition problem even during the administration of Ferdinand E. Marcos since he became a malunggay addict by consuming soup littered with green leaves in his meal. Did you know that Malunggay is  rich in nutrients and vitamins? That is why its leaves is used as the official logo of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology. The Department of Agriculture (DA) promotes its massive cultivation in the country. According to Alicia Ilaga, director of DA’s biotechnology program, Malunggay can save lives, increase incomes, generate millions of jobs, utilize vast tracts of idle agricultural lands, this made the Philippines globally competitive.

Nutritionists proved that 100 grams of malunggay leaves can give us the following:

  • 75 calories of energy (higher than ampalaya, squash, tomatoes, or carrots)
  • 5.9 grams protein (higher than cauliflower, lettuce, or mustard)
  • 12.8 grams carbohydrate (higher than okra, papaya, or watermelon)
  • 353 milligrams calcium (higher than gabi leaves, mung beans, squash, and camote tops)
  • 3.7 milligrams niacin (higher than other vegetables analyzed)
  • thiamin, phosphorus, and ascorbic acid

The 200 grams of malunggay leaves is equivalent to 4 eggs and 2 glasses of milk. It also has iron compound which prevents anemia. Malunggay is rich source of calcium. We can also get vitamins A, C and E from malunggay. Lactating women must consume malunggay to aid them in the production of vitamin-rich milk for their newly-born baby. Calcium in milk is equivalent to 4 in malunggay. Farmers must increase their production of malunggay so they could have a weapon against hunger and malnutrition. The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) has included malunggay in its home-grown plants for health and wellness program. In Bicol, the BAR-funded new ways to integrate malunggay in various preparations like malunggay tea, instant juice, and malunggay powder. The dried malunggay leaves become malunggay tea. In addition, malunggay leaves can cure headache, bleeding from a shallow cut, and can be used as anti-inflammatory, or cure for gastric ulcers and diarrhea. Malunggay is also an antioxidant, wrinkles and fine lines can be prevented. Chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, heart, and kidney diseases can also be cured by this green leaves. A Japanese businessman has discovered the medicinal value of the malunggay and has developed a tea that he claims can cure many human diseases. The tea is the product of 30 year-research.

Malunggay can be used to purify the water in rural areas. The crushed moringa seeds can clear very turbid water, said Dr. John Sutherland, of Leicester University’s Department of Environmental Technology. The seed powder can remove between 90 and 99 percent of bacteria in water. The oil take out from matured malunggay seeds can be used as cooking oil, industrial oil, and ingredient for cosmetics, bath soaps and shampoos, perfume, shortening and lubricants, among others. [via]

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