Scientific Name: Moringa oleifera
Moringa (Moringa oleifera) is also called a drumstick tree or malunggay. It is native to India and is grown around the world. It is widely used as food and medicine. The pods are used in Asian cuisine. Moringa leaves are the most nutritious part of the tree.
Moringa leaves are a significant source of vitamin C (86% daily value [DV]); an important nutrient for fighting bacteria and viruses and making collagen. Moringa leaves also contain high amounts of vitamin A. An amount of 100 g of fresh leaves contains 378 mg or 42% DV of vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant offering several benefits including maintenance of healthy vision and immune system. The leaves of moringa contain 26,100 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants may protect the eyes from damage and degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin content were determined from Liu et al. . The leaves also contain good amounts of B-vitamins such as vitamin B6 (71% DV) and riboflavin (51% DV) which function as co-enzymes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.
Moringa leaves are rich in minerals, especially iron (22% DV) and manganese (46% DV). Iron is essential for red blood cell production. Manganese affects cellular respiration, bone growth, glucose metabolism, and brain activity. Fresh moringa leaves are used as a nutritious green vegetable or the dried, ground leaves are often sold as a dietary supplement.