Being from the Philippines, Moringa (known locally as Malunggay) was one of those vegetables we always took for granted. In the Philippines and India, Moringa is widely used as an ingredient in cooking, as herbal medicine for common illnesses, and for a variety of other practical uses.
Growing up, we used it in plenty of dishes – in soups or stews, in bread (delicious moringa banana bread!), and steeped in tea. When we were sick, moringa chicken soup was the immediate remedy to help us feel better.
Our niece, Gaby, has a MS degree in pharmacology and knows (and has studied) the benefits of moringa (malunggay). She gives it regularly to her dog Sofie as a healthy food and supplement.
But it wasn't just humans who benefited from its properties. We gave moringa regularly to our dogs and cats. And because many families in the Philippines regularly prepare homemade food for their pets, moringa broth was the go-to vitamin and mineral supplement added to their meals.
So, why are we telling you all this? Because moringa had been such an important part of our life, we were surprised to learn that it's still a relatively new or unknown ingredient in the US. But the good news is that people are slowly but surely discovering the power of moringa!
In this post, we'll take a closer look at moringa and its amazing nutritional profile. We'll also explore some of the research that has been done on moringa and look at a few of the fantastic benefits it can offer both people and pets.
What is Moringa?
Moringa (Moringa Oleifera), is a popular plant known for its high nutritional value. It's commonly used as a vegetable ingredient in foods, as well as in herbal medicine. Malunggay is a plant that grows in tropical climates such as the Philippines, India, and Africa.
What Are the Health Benefits of Moringa?
Moringa is a multipurpose herbal plant used as food and an alternative for medicinal purposes worldwide. It has been identified by researchers as a plant with numerous health benefits including nutritional and medicinal advantages. (Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(20):8571-6)
A nutritional powerhouse, moringa is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. It's also packed with polyphenols that act as antioxidants that help fight inflammation and reduce oxidative stress in the body.
The tropical superfood has even been shown to lower cholesterol levels, promote healthy digestion and circulation, and boost the immune system. Plus, it's a great source of energy and can help improve mental clarity and focus.
What's more, moringa is known to act as a natural chelator, binding heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. This makes it beneficial for long-term health issues and detoxification. It can even help slow down the natural signs of aging thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties!
But that's not all. Moringa has been used to combat serious health issues in pets including cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Overall, it's a safe, natural, and powerful remedy that carries fewer potential side effects than synthetic supplements.
What Does the Research Say About Moringa?
After reading about all these fantastic health benefits, you may be wondering if there's any research to back them up. The answer is a resounding yes!
In 2019, a review of human and animal studies on moringa was published in the journal, Nutrients. It concluded that moringa has therapeutic properties that can aid in the treatment of diabetes. Studies on animals showed that it can help control blood sugar levels, while studies on humans suggested that it may also affect insulin levels.
In a separate study published in the journal, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it was found that moringa leaf extract could be beneficial in fighting certain types of cancer. The researchers noted that the extract induced cell death in a variety of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unaffected.
Yet another study looked at the effects of adding 25% moringa leaves to the diet of goat kids. The results were impressive – it improved their feeding habits, nutrition, growth, hormones, immunity, and antioxidant levels when compared to a control group that didn't consume moringa. It also lowered their cholesterol levels, which is beneficial for long-term health.
Overall, research has shown that Moringa is a powerful superfood with a wide range of health benefits. It can help fight inflammation, boost immunity, and even reduce the risk of cancer. Plus, it's safe for both humans and animals alike.
How Can Moringa Benefit Your Pet?
Now that we've covered the research and health benefits of moringa, let's talk about how it can benefit your pet. Here are just a few of the ways it can help:
- Moringa is a natural, whole-food supplement. It provides essential vitamins and minerals that help boost your pet’s energy levels and keep them healthy overall. It’s especially valuable to undernourished or malnourished animals, who are sensitive to synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements. (Ecol Food Nutr. 2009 May 1; 48(3): 212–225)
- It protects against oxidative stress and supports the immune system. Moringa contains a high number of polyphenols, that acts as a strong antioxidant. It protects against free radicals and provides significant protection against oxidative damage.(Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(20):8571-6) It is also rich in quercetin, a flavonoid that is known to fight inflammation and combat allergies.
- It helps anemic animals. 100 grams of dried moringa leaf contains 26 times more iron than spinach! The iron found in moringa can help treat anemia and boost the production of hemoglobin.
- It's an effective, natural detoxifier. Moringa is a powerful chelator that binds to heavy metals and has been shown to protect against arsenic toxicity. Moringa can help detoxify your pet's body by binding to harmful materials and heavy metals. (Cell Biol Int. 2007 Jan;31(1):44-56. doi: 10.1016/j.cellbi.2006.09.007)
- It's been shown to have an anti-diabetic effect. Moringa helps diabetic animals reduce their blood sugar levels and maintain healthy blood glucose levels. (Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:381040)
- Moringa is known to have anti-carcinogenic properties. It contains certain phytochemicals that demonstrate anti-cancer effects, making it highly beneficial for animals with cancer. (Phytother Res. 2007 Jan;21(1):17-25)
How Moringa Has Helped Our Dog Sophie
Our dog Sofie (who lives in the Philippines) has had moringa her whole life. When she was a puppy, she enjoyed a food topper of moringa broth. Whenever she was sick, recovering after surgery, or lethargic, our sister, Jin would make moringa broth to add to her food.
16-year-old Sofie enjoys moringa with her food.
Now 16 years young, she's still doing amazingly well – with blood chemistry values of a young dog (great liver and kidney values!), strong bones, an incredible appetite, and wonderful energy levels (for her age!). Along with a species-appropriate, fresh diet and natural supplements like CocoTherapy Virgin Coconut Oil, we believe that moringa has played a major role in her overall health and wellbeing.
Are You Ready to Try Moringa for Your Pet?
We hope this article has made it clear why moringa is such a powerful superfood and how it can benefit your pet's health. We love moringa so much, we wanted to create a treat using this amazing ingredient. So, our brand-new Coco-Gems Training Treats are flavored with moringa and coconut oil!
We've been developing these amazing treats for over a year now and we're so excited to share them with you. Not only do they contain moringa, but they’re also made with organic buckwheat flour, organic coconut nectar, organic coconut flakes, and organic coconut oil. Together, these all-natural ingredients make a delicious and nutritious snack that your pet will love.
So, if you're looking for an easy way to start adding moringa to your pet's diet, give our Moringa + Coconut Coco-Gems Training Treats a try!