When it comes to trending superfoods, moringa and matcha are among the most talked about. This is due to their versatility, powerful nutrient content and proven health benefits. But these green machines are more than just passing fads, both moringa and matcha have long and interesting histories as nutritional powerhouses. Moringa and matcha boost energy, immunity, brain function, slow aging and protect the cardiovascular system.
Moringa: The Miracle Tree
Moringa Oleifera has been fortifying diets for thousands of years. This fast growing drought resistant tree is native to northern India and is now grown across tropical and subütropical regions of the world. The leaves, seed pods, flowers, roots and bark were (and continue to be) used for various purposes, including medicinal treatments in Ayurvedic Medicine. Moringa also has a long history of use in Africa as a remedy for rheumatism and pneumonia. Seed oil was utilized as topical ointment by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Moringa has hundreds of names around the world, evidencing its importance in various cultures.
Moringa boasts a very impressive nutritional profile. Leaves are especially rich in protein (including the 9 essential amino acids), vitamins A, B, C and E, iron, calcium, potassium, polyphenols and flavonoids. Moringa also contains zeatin, a powerful plant hormone that hinders the aging process.
In India's Ayurvedic Medicine practice, moringa is said to assist in treating over 300 ailments. Modern studies show promising results around moringa's potential in supporting healthy lung function, balanced blood sugar and proper digestive function. The leaves also show promise in suppressing certain types of cancer and as an antibacterial. In the Phillipines moringa is used to increase breast milk production in new mothers with very positive results. Seeds also contain a protein which can naturally, and somewhat miraculously, purify water
Most importantly, moringa is seen as a promising solution to world hunger. Being drought resistant, fast growing and nutritionally dense makes moringa a powerful tool in fighting many global issues we face today.
Matcha – Green Tea on Steroids
Over the past few years matcha tea has become a global phenomenon. It's rich flavor and aroma, as well as high antioxidant levels, have garnered matcha a loyal following. While widely known as a Japanese product, this fine green tea powder was originally created hundreds of years ago in China.
What sets matcha apart from other green teas is how it's grown and prepared: Tea bushes are covered for up to 3 weeks which increases chlorophyll as the plants adjust to lower levels of light. This technique stimulates theanine production, an amino acid which lends matcha its earthy flavor. While most teas are oxidized to create certain flavors matcha tea goes through a steaming process to actually prevent oxidation. This ensures the vibrant green color, smell and nutrients are preserved.
Not unlike moringa, matcha also has an impressive nutritional profile full of antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C and E and other micronutrients. Matcha boosts energy levels, increases brain cell production and immunity. The tea is also particularly high in EGCg, an antioxidant that has been proven to fight cancer.
And the winner is!
Both of these green machine superfoods are ridiculously healthy. And perhaps both deserve their spot in your kitchen. However, in terms of nutritional density, cost to produce and overall usefulness, moringa definitely wins this showdown. Here's why: