Moringa oleifera commonly known as the drumstick has the nutritional and medicinal properties. Tapping into this, are the scientists of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (MSU) in Gujarat, who have been advocating for the inclusion of moringa leaves in one’s daily diet after discovering that these have miraculous healing properties.
Consuming drumstick leaves on a daily basis can not only improve one’s immunity and tackle malnutrition but also fight inflammatory ailments that have been identified as potent causatives to cancer, heart ailments and even diabetes.
The state National Health Mission (NHM) department has now decided to widely publicise the benefits of Moringa across Gujarat and encourage the citizens to consume not just drumstick fruits but also its leaves and bark in a statewide bid to fight malnutrition.
In fact, the state NHM director, Dr Gaurav Dahiya has already sent out a circular to all the district health officials of district panchayats and health officials of municipal corporations, which directs them to work out strategies for promoting the consumption of moringa on a wider scale amidst the public.
The circular also sheds light on how Moringa can increase the immunity of the body while detoxifying it at the same time, and how it is teeming with amino acids, which otherwise are mostly found in red meat or dairy products like cheese.
Interestingly, these results were unearthed by Dr. Vanisha Nambiar and her team from the Department of Foods and Nutrition following a series of clinical trials where they found that drumstick leaves have a very high content of beta-carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A.
She also stated that since these leaves were quite abundant in antioxidants like polyphenols, flavonoids, and phenolic acid, its consumption could help in the treatment inflammatory and non-communicable diseases like heart ailments, diabetes and cancer, as all of these compounds mentioned above have been clinically proven of possessing properties to tackle them.
According to Nambiar, an intake of just 20g of fresh leaves or 5g of dried powder is enough to boost one’s immunity and reduce malnutrition.
With dietary intervention as the renewed focus in their fight against malnutrition, the NHM authorities plan on soon growing moringa trees across the premises of public health centres, health centers, school compounds and open grounds as these are quite acclimatised to Gujarat’s soil and weather conditions.