As one grows older, we start to experience different ailments, complains in our bodies and even fluctuations in our emotions. It’s part of adding years or age as what some of my batch mates usually say regarding our age now. Some would begin to experience joint pains, different heart ailments, high blood, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and different signs of menopause.
There are many over the counter relief for different ailments but it’s still best to be nutrition conscious. With our age now, diet and exercise should be watched carefully. It has been a habit for me to research and find ways on how to prevent or at least to avoid getting sick. I’m always interested to know the medicinal or nutritive value of many different vegetables that are common, cheap and available all year round. Very recently, malunggay was given a lot of publicity and attention. Malunggay can be found in almost any Filipino backyard. There are now malunggay capsules, tablets, tea, cosmetics mixed with malunggay , instant noodles with malunggay, biscuits and pandesal with malunggay.
You may be wondering what this malunggay I’m talking about is. Malunggay is commonly called horseradish in English and the scientific name is Moringa oleifera. It is considered one of the most useful trees in the world because of its many uses. All the different parts of the tree can be used for food or medicine.
Malunggay is one of the richest plant sources of vitamins. It has:
Vitamin A (Beta Carotene) – prevent night blindness, promotes healthy skin, fights infections
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B6 (Pyrodixine)
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) – maintains healthy gums, assists in healing wounds, helps body use iron
Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) - maintain strong bones and teeth
Vitamin E – protect body against free radical damage to cells
There are reports that malunggay could help aid elderly people suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, liver spots on the skin, hair loss, lessened hearing, worse eyesight, slow reaction times and agility, reduced ability to think clearly, difficulty recalling memories, greater susceptibility to bone diseases such as osteoarthritis.
Elderly sufferers of pneumonia experiences rapid breathing reduced appetite and reduce functioning. They tend to have lower body temperatures and infections that cause fever. Elderly who suffer urinary tract infection presents incontinence, confusion and may suffer from fall. So to get rid of all these symptoms and ailments, they should take all the nutrients needed to prevent or at least lessen the occurrence of such. And all the important nutrients needed by a person suffering from these ailments are present in malunggay.
Malunggay contains Vitamin C that helps support the body’s production of nitric oxide, which is critical to normal functioning of blood vessels. So the better your blood vessels work, the lower the risk of hypertension.
Increased consumption of dietary calcium has twice the benefits needed for smooth muscle relaxation and direct effect on blood vessels. The potassium content in malunggay is thought to act by increasing sodium excretion in the urine, which helps blood vessels dilate, changing the interactions of hormones that affect blood pressure. Malunggay also contain magnesium, zinc, Vitamin E along with other nutrients which takes part in decreasing the blood pressure.
Malunggay leaves and pods contain 90+ nutrients and 46 antioxidants but the leaves have more antioxidants than the other green leaves. In recent studies, researchers reported that Vitamin D is essential for the pancreas to be able to secrete insulin properly. Individuals with the lowest vitamin D levels experience the worst blood sugar-handling problems and had a greater risk of developing diabetes. Malunggay has a rich source of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), Vitamins B1, B2, and B12, pantothenic acid, protein and potassium that help stimulate production of insulin within the body. Vitamin A that is present in malunggay helps convert beta-carotene efficiently, which reduces the risk of blindness in diabetics. Vitamin B 12 is effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Vitamin C prevents sorbitol accumulation and glycosylation of proteins, both of which are important factors in the development of diabetic complications such as cataracts. Vitamin E reduces oxidative stress, thus improving membrane physical characteristics and related activities in glucose transport. Magnesium helps in the metabolism of glycogen and works closely with vitamin B6 to help the metabolic process with the cell. Malunggay has all the nutrients needed to help diabetic patients control their blood glucose level.