A Wonder Called Moringa

 

Me, on my way to get some moringa leaves growing in the vacant lot  next to my house. My neighbor saw me, took her phone out, and I struck a pose for her camera lens. Photo credit: Joay Malana


Young moringa trees growing in front of my eldest brother's house
photo credit: Johanna C. Andres 


Young moringa tree growing next to a connecting bridge in Quezon City Philippines

moringa trees growing along a country road
photo credit: Arcenal D.Andres 

lone moringa tree in the middle of a field, seemingly looking up the cloudy sky
photo credit: Arcenal D. Andres 




Moringa leaves my niece bought at an Asian market in the USA


Moringa dish, known as dinengdeng (or diningding) in my ethnic group


Moringa fruit is of course edible and yummy! 


“Really?!  You ate moringa? But the Philippines is a poor country. How could you afford moringa?” I found this comment from my student a little insulting and funny. Later, I understood that in Japan and in Korea, powdered moringa leaves are quite expensive. Some consume it as tea, while some mix it in any dish that they make.  And finally, my student’s comment made sense.

Moringa trees are so common in the Philippines. They just grow and grow anywhere and nobody cares. If we Google the  health benefits of moringa, a lot of sites and blogs will appear, all discussing the health benefits of this miracle vegetable.

I eat moringa regularly because I like its taste. Out of curiosity I once tried the moringa powder sold in a Korean store near my place but it was sweet and gooey. That’s not how moringa really is. Moringa is NOT sweet; it has its own distinct taste which can’t be exactly expressed in words. Fun trivia: When moringa is cooked really fresh, as in freshly plucked from the tree, its soup makes the rice on your plate green.

Not many people like moringa (and vegetables in general), but I grew up in the mountainous region of Northern Luzon Philippines, so I am used to eating indigenous vegetables, moringa included.

I eat moringa regularly because it’s rich in fiber. Or maybe, it is fiber itself. I never worry about my digestive system even when I eat a lot of pasta, bread, rice, meat, name it. (I am a voracious eater.) At night, I make sure that I have lots and lots of green leafy vegetables for dinner. And during those times that I have to clean my intestines, I eat moringa and nothing but moringa alone for dinner. Two bowls of moringa does the job.

The next time you come across this vegetable, take a moment to thank God (if you are religious) for His wonderful gift to us or thank nature (if you are not on the religious side) for its wonderful gift to us.

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