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BEVERAGE

Moringa Tea: An innovative immunity booster or superfood
Wednesday, 14 October, 2020, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Katke S D, Kshirsagar R B and Deshpande H W
Moringa or drumsticks have been used in the regional cuisines of various Indian states for millennia, but the world is only now warming up to it. From 'miracle herb' to 'superfood', Moringa oleifera has been felicitated with a number of titles and phrases. The plant has been converted to powders which can be added to teas and can be used in countless classic recipes of main dishes and condiments.

Moringa tea is just one drink that this superfood craze has spawned. The tea that is prepared from the leaves of moringa or drumstick tree is now a popular beverage. Moringa tea is fast becoming a popular choice among 'health freaks' and the drink is also said to have several health benefits for us.

Moringa oleifera (Drumstick Tree) is one such tree having enormous nutritional and medicinal benefits. It is rich in macro and micro nutrients like protein, carbohydrate, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, vitamins, beta carotene and other bioactive compounds which are important for normal functioning of the body and prevention of certain diseases.

Moringa oleifera has tremendous therapeutic properties including anticancer, antiulcer, antimicrobial, antioxidant. Various researches have concluded that Moringa should be used as functional ingredient in food products.

Moringa Leaves
    Drumstick tree leaves are packed with nutritional properties and are 100% edible. They are a rich source of nutrients like protein, carbohydrate, fibre, Beta carotene, vitamin C and minerals like calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorous. The protein content of the dried Moringa oleifera leaf powder is equivalent to the protein content of some pulses viz. moth beans, soybeans and kidney beans, which contain (22 - 24%) protein, thus used in food.

Leaves contain essential amino acids such as methionine, cysteine, tryptophan and lysine, are thus ideal for regular diet. The leaves contain various types of antioxidant compounds such as ascorbic acid, flavonoids, phenolic compounds and carotenoids and act as a natural antioxidant.

Though fresh leaves contain nutrients in higher amount, processing of leaves is important to extend the shelf life. Moringa oleifera leaves can be dried using various methods which include sun drying, shadow drying and oven drying. The most common method used is oven drying.

Steps to make Moringa Tea

1. Get Moringa Leaves
    Gather Moringa leaves, 3 to 4 stalks will do. It is best to use the mature leaves because they dry up fast.
2. Air Drying
    Air dry the leaves including the stalks for a day or until the leaves are crisp.  Air drying will make the leaves fall out and then you can separate the stalks after. But some people include the stalk in making tea because of its fibre content.
3. Grinding
    Grind the air-dried leaves (with the stalks if you prefer) for 10-15 seconds. You can use a blender to grind the leaves.
4. Storage
    Put the ground Moringa in tea bags, and store in a cool, dry place. Make sure not to leave it in open moist places, so it will have a long shelf-life.

5. Preparing the Tea
    To prepare Moringa tea, just add hot water, lemon and sugar to taste.
The Incomparable Benefits of Moringa Tea

1. Fat Loss
    Moringa is known to be rich in a number of essential vitamins and minerals and is also said to help mobilise stored visceral fat. The tea is rich in antioxidants, which are primarily the polyphenols or plant compounds in it. The leaves are low-fat and nutrient-dense and can be easily viewed as alternatives to high-calorie foods.

2. Blood Pressure Control
    Moringa tea, which is prepared from dehydrated and ground moringa leaves, is said to help in blood pressure control as well. This has been credited to the presence of quercetin in it, which is said to reduce blood pressure. Additionally, it may also help BP patients fight inflammation, due to its antioxidative abilities.

3. Blood Sugar Control
    Moringa leaves may also help people suffering from diabetes, as it contains the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which is also present in coffee and that is said to keep blood sugar levels in check. Additionally, it is said to be rich in Vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce blood sugar and blood pressure in patients of Type-2 diabetes.

4. Fights Cholesterol Build-up
    Moringa oleifera may also help reduce levels of cholesterol, thereby potentially helping heart patients and lowering risks of heart diseases.

5. Beauty Benefits
    The powerful antioxidant abilities of moringa mean that it may also help improve quality of your skin and hair, by fighting inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Antioxidants may help keep toxins at bay and potentially clear the skin.

    Instead of turning to several sources for your daily dose of vitamins and minerals, consider one cup of Moringa Tea, it has all the health benefits you need. Made from 100% Moringa Oleifera leaves, this tea is not only bursting with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but is also refreshing and nutritious. There is no other plant leaf that contains such a concentrated amount of nutrients – this tea truly beats them all. This tea is caffeine-free yet energy boosting. It is full of natural components that support your immune system, with no artificial fillers and additives whatsoever. It’s an excellent source of antioxidants and outperforms some of the most popular super foods available today.

    ORAC tests have catapulted Moringa straight to the top of the list of favourite super foods. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. That is the unit measurement, developed by the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to express the antioxidant values of foods.

With an amazing score of 157,000 µmole TE/100g (hydrophilic and lipophilic) Moringa beat out all other antioxidant superfoods, including rivals such as matcha tea at 134,000, turmeric at 127,000 and acai at 102,700. Surprisingly green tea, which is renowned for its antioxidant health benefits could only muster a score of 1, 240.

    The results for Moringa Oleifera are extraordinary, which is great news from a health standpoint. High antioxidant activity helps protect your body from free radicals; those unstable molecules that are highly reactive and that have the potential to cause damage to cells, including damage that may lead to cancer. High antioxidant levels are just another benefit of Moringa Tea.

(Katke is Ph D scholar and Kshirsagar and Deshpande are HODs,
College of Food Technology, VNMKV, Parbhani, Maharashtra. They can be reached at katkesd@gmail.com)

 
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