A complex biochemical treasure trove
The ‘magic tree’ Moringa was found to be enriched with a complex biochemical treasure trove – comprising a horde of the most essential vitamins and minerals, reported Deccan Herald. The NCBS team, led by Prof R Sowdhamini, a computational biologist, analysed the DNA of all the five major plant tissues – stem, root, leaf, flower and seed – of Moringa. They found that vitamins A, C and E are abundantly produced in the leaves and stems. Specifically, the leaves contain more than one vitamin while the stem is rich in Vitamin C. The roots are packed with minerals and flowers and seeds with potassium. The pods also harbour enzymes that help to keep harmful cholesterol levels in check, stated a report by The Hindu.
“The leaves, pods and flowers of the plant are rich in these molecules that can help in lipid metabolism, reducing diabetes as well as cardio, neuroprotective and anti-cancer properties,” Prof Sowdhamini revealed to Deccan Herald.
Move over spinach, Moringa is the new superfood
Spinach has long been recognised as an extremely nutritious food with a high content of iron and calcium. However, the new study reveals that leaves of Moringa contain at least 30 times more iron and 100 times more calcium than spinach.
“Enzymes in the biosynthesis of vitamins and metabolites like quercetin and kaempferol are highly expressed in leaves, flowers and seeds” – states the paper published by the NCBS team. While kaempferol is an anti-cancerous agent, quercetin happens to be a cure for metabolic disorders. The key element of Moringa, Moringine, can be effective in weight loss and checking diabetes, as it enhances lipid metabolism.
High amounts of ursolic acid, oleanolic acid and dibenzyl amines are present in Moringa roots which protect the heart and reduce chances of fertility-related issues. “The expression of iron transporters and calcium storage proteins were observed in root and leaves” – said the study.
A great option for conscious eaters
Moringa is a tree of sub-Himalayan origin and thrives extensively all over India without regular care. These trees can also effectively withstand drought conditions.
Prof Sowdhamini acknowledges that the medicinal value of every part of the Moringa tree (Moringa oleifera) is scripted in details in ancient Ayurveda. Finally, the quantification and identification of the component molecules have been successfully achieved, opening a new door in the field of biotechnology as well as providing conscious consumers with a new choice to rejoice upon.