In so many of the juicing recipes that I have found for health and for healing, there is always kale – that dark, leafy green touted as a super food. Kale comes from the cabbage family which includes cauliflower, collards, and broccoli.
Health Benefits of Kale:
One cup of raw kale (only 33 calories) contains:
- nearly 3 gms of protein
- Vitamins A, C, and K
- Folate which is a B Vitamin that important for brain development
- Alpha-linoleic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin which help protect against macular degeneration and cataracts,
- Minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and zinc.
- 2.5 gms of fiber which makes you feel full (good for weight loss) and helps manage blood sugar levels (for diabetes)
- High levels of iron, and beta carotene
The problem is that kale is not readily available in our city, so I need to find an alternative for my juicing purposes.
Malunggay (Moringa Olefeira) Leaves – the New Kale
Moringa is called malunggay in the Philippines.
Some people call moringa leaves as the new kale. When speaking of superfoods, Kale is the established go-to green superfood and has overshadowed moringa. But when kale is not available, then moringa might be your best bet to get almost the same nutrients into your green juices.
Research shows that malunggay (moringa) leaves packs a lot of nutritional value. A pound of malunggay leaves contains the following:
- 7 times the Vitamin C in oranges
- 4 times the Vitamin A in carrots
- 4 times the Calcium in milk
- 2 times the Protein in milk
- 3 times the Potassium in bananas
- 3 times more Iron than spinach
Moringa or Malunggay contains more than 90 nutrients, 46 types of antioxidants and 36 anti-inflammatory compounds.
It has 18 amino acids, including the 8 essentials – those amino acids which are needed for survival but the body cannot manufacture so they must be supplied through diet. Malunggay also has plenty of omega-3 oils.
Malunggay vs. Kale
Below is a comparison between the two leafy greens in their raw form:
The above comparison shows that:
- Moringa provides a better source of plant protein than kale.
- Moringa has 25% more Calcium than kale.
- Moringa has roughly 3 times more iron than kale.
- Moringa contains more amounts of B-vitamins than kale.
- Kale provides more fiber and beta-carotene (Vitamin A) though both moringa and kale have higher levels of beta-carotene than carrots.
Both Moringa and Kale have much more nutritional content in most categories compared to other foods which qualify them as superfoods.
Moringa has higher levels of protein, calcium, and iron plus a higher concentration of all-essential B-vitamins which makes it one of the most nutritional plants in the world.
Moringa can be a very good alternative for kale in your juicing recipes.
Juicing Recipes with Malunggay (Moringa):
Now you are ready to try many juicing recipes that has kale in the ingredients but when kale is not available, you can use malunggay leaves instead.
Here’s one juicing recipe to try out especially if you are diabetic:
- 6 cups Malunggay Leaves (moringa)
- 1 Ampalaya (bitter melon or bitter gourd)
- 5 cups Camote Tops (sweet potato leaves)
- 2 Apples
Bitter melon or bitter gourd which is called ampalaya in the Philippines contains at least 3 active substances with anti-diabetic properties which includes charantin (helps to lower blood sugar levels), vicine, and polypeptide-p (insulin-like compound).
Sweet potato leaves or camote tops contain polyphenols, vitamins, and anthocyanin. Studies show that camote tops or sweet potato leaves contain as many minerals , vitamins, and other nutrients as spinach. There are studies that also say sweet potato leaves help regulate blood sugar levels.