Miracle From Grandma’s Kitchen? Bengaluru Scientists Show How Moringa (Drumstick) Could Be The Next Superfood

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The health benefits of Moringa (drumstick) have been globally advertised for and endorsed by the public for quite a while now. Recent times have seen a surge in cultivation, sale and consumption of the plant in evolved forms like Moringa powder, pills, tonics and juices. Interestingly, Moringa has found considerable mention in ancient Indian medicine and traditional healings. It had been a recurring ingredient in Indian kitchens until the wave of junk food took over.

Moringa is well-known for its properties to combat Arthritis, Diabetes, Anaemia, High Blood Pressure and other commonly occurring health conditions, even cancer. So far, the benefits of Moringa were more of a notion acquired from inherited knowledge and practice. However, a team of researchers at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru has finally unveiled why Moringa has the potential to be proclaimed as a ‘superfood’.

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2,00,000 meals served
Emergency funds sent to 350 families, 75000+ meals served, 150+ ration kits and sanitary pads distributed

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.

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Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
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2,00,000 meals served
Emergency funds sent to 350 families, 75000+ meals served, 150+ ration kits and sanitary pads distributed

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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It's not how much we give
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