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Apart from carrots, oranges and even milk, Moringa leaves are believed to be rich in terms of nutrition value. Their leaves are believed to have seven times more vitamin C than oranges and 15 times more potassium than bananas.
At some nutritional centres like Amazon Nutrition Cabinet in Remera Kigali, pounded Moringa leaves go for Rwf 8,000 a kilogramme.
Although it’s quite expensive, nutritionists say depending on one’s needs, a kilogramme can last long since one needs just a small amount of it.
The powdered form can be put in tea, porridge, and even used in making different types of soups.
Rene Tabaro, a nutritionist at King Faisal Hospital, says Moringa is rich in calcium, protein, iron, and amino acids, which all help the body heal and build muscle.
He says the leaves are also packed with antioxidants, substances that can protect cells from damage and may boost the immune system.
“Moringa is believed to have many benefits and its uses range from health and beauty to helping prevent and cure diseases,” he says.
Private Kamanzi, a nutritionist at Amazon Cabinet Clinic-Kigali, says the uses are versatile and can be incorporated into a diet in many ways.
He says they can be added to juice or simply used as vegetables and that when consumed in their natural form, they have no side effects.
Tabaro says Moringa leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 and Folate.
They are also rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
He says it has been established that one cup of Moringa leaves will contain 2 grams of protein, magnesium (8 per cent of the RDA), vitamin B6 (19 per cent of the RDA), iron (11 percent of the RDA), riboflavin (11 per cent of the RDA) and vitamin A (9 per cent of the RDA).
On top of this, Kamanzi says the leaves of Moringa are also rich in amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
He says 18 types of amino acids are found in them and each of them makes an important contribution to our wellbeing.
They also have anti-oxidative properties and protect against the damaging effects of free radicals present in the environment.
The damage caused by free radicals is responsible for many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart problems and Alzheimer’s.
“Moringa leaves are rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene that act against free radicals,” he says.
Meanwhile studies show that Moringa leaves have quercetin, which is an antioxidant that helps lower blood pressure.
Another antioxidant that is present in Moringa leaves is chlorogenic acid, which helps to stabilise blood sugar levels post meals.
Apart from oats, flaxseeds, and almonds, Moringa leaves are also a dependable remedy for high cholesterol.
Cholesterol is the major reason why people suffer from heart diseases and nutritionists say eating Moringa leaves has shown considerable improvement against high cholesterol levels.
They can lower those levels and protect against the risk of heart disease.
Besides, when it comes to digestive health, Kamanzi says these leaves can aid with digestive disorders, especially constipation, bloating, gas, gastritis and ulcerative colitis.
He explains that the leaves have antibiotic and antimicrobial properties which make them an ideal remedy for digestive disorders.
Even the high amount of B vitamins in the leaves helps in improving digestion.
Extract of Moringa has been shown to help wounds heal, as well as reduce the appearance of scars. Moringa leaves also help to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood.
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