Benefits of Moringa, The New Superfood

Benefits of Moringa, The New Superfood

benefits of moringa new superfood koru nutrition

Heard of Moringa before? You might want to go and get some after reading this….

Moringa (moringa oleifera) is also known as the Ben Oil Tree, Drumstick Tree, or Indian Horseradish. Moringa is a fast- growing tree typically cultivated in India, tropical Asia, Africa and Latin America, yielding long seed pods that resemble drumsticks, hence the name Drumstick Tree.

Moringa has long been used in eastern medicine to treat many ailments such as low energy, adrenal fatigue and helps to naturally detox the liver just to name a few. As a dietary supplement, Moringa is high in protein, B vitamins, vitamins A and C and contains minerals such as calcium and iron.

It is also rich in flavonoid, a class of compounds found in plants that contribute to essential plant functions. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Moringa products have antibiotic, hypotensive, anti-spasmodic, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, and blood sugar balance properties”. In essence, this makes Moringa a new superfood that is nutritious and medicinal.

Moringa is particularly mentioned in Ayurvedic treatments as the most nutritious tree in India. In traditional Indian Ayurvedic treatments, moringa is used as a natural and safe detox, often used as a regular tonic of the body. Apart from wellness from within, moringa leaves and barks can be processed into a balm for external application, alleviating joint pains and rheumatism as the plant has a mild analgesic effect. It’s no wonder the Moringa plant is now being hailed as the latest superfood.

In the western world, Moringa products come in various forms, with the most convenient and widely-available form being Moringa powder ground from dried leaves and taken as a supplement in pill form.

organic pure moringa vegetable powder koru nutrition

 

Some of the Wonderful Health Benefits of Moringa:

  • Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac to support a healthy sex drive, and showing promise in clinical studies for male sexual enhancement (v).
  • It’s nutrient-packed. Moringa contains vitamins A, C, and E; calcium; potassium; and protein.
  • Fights free radicals – molecules that cause oxidative stress and cell damage (i).
  • It fights inflammation – helping to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and obesity (ii) (iii).
  • Reduces diabetes symptoms by reducing lipid and glucose levels (iv).
  • Protects cardiovascular system – prevents plaque formation and reduces cholesterol levels.
  • Protects the liver with high concentrations of polyphenols. 
  • Has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties to fight infections.

How to Use Moringa

Here is your guide to taking Moringa in all it’s forms so you can start benefiting from this wondrous superfood.

In Pill Form

Due to different manufacturing styles and ways to process the plant, the dosage can be varied. Always check the label for recommended dosage given they have different concentration of active ingredients. Usually it’s one pill per day.

In Powder Form

For Moringa leaf powder, it is typically sold in packets or jars. For the most effective health benefits, it’s best taken raw, as heat may destroy some of the useful and healthful compounds. The general instructions for various brands seem to suggest starting off slow and adding more powder day by day in order for the body to get used to the detoxifying qualities of Moringa. Start off with a quarter teaspoon added to your smoothies, iced tea, water or sprinkled on your breakfast such as yoghurt or chia pudding and slowly build up to 1 tablespoons a day.

Seeds and Leaves

You might come across roasted whole Moringa seeds or even whole leaves. These are usually hard to come by so if you want to use these, it’s best to check your local health food store, Asian markets or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners. The seeds are typically bitter and astringent though; how much you use will depend on personal taste. To use Moringa seeds, remove the shell and chew five to ten seeds a day if possible, or grind them into powder and sprinkle on your food.

When it comes to cooking Moringa leaves and seeds, the spices used in Indian cooking, such as cumin and turmeric, complement the anti-inflammatory effect of Moringa. If eaten raw, start off with a quarter cup of leaves per day, and build up to half cup a day.

Precautions

No matter how you choose to have your Moringa for its therapeutic effect, the key is moderation and consuming it in line with you and your body. For some that means being able to handle more at first, for you it might be to only take a quarter of the recommended dosage.

Being a superfood, it’s important to remember that Moringa is ultimately not medication but a nutrient-rich food that supports a healthy diet and lifestyle. It’s not meant to be a superfood that gives you everything you need or a cure for all your ailments.

If you are pregnant, never consume Moringa tree bark or root as it could cause early labor or uterine contractions. If you are menstruating, it can cause excessive bleeding due to the detoxifying nature.

As always, consult your doctor before incorporating Moringa into your daily diet.

healthy moringa oatmeal recipe koru nutrition

 HEALTHY MORINGA OATMEAL

Turn your oatmeal into a nutrient-packed power breakfast with the addition of Moringa – ready in 10 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 5 cups almond milk
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tsp moringa powder
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried mulberries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds, optional

Instructions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, add the rolled oats, milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup.
  2. Cook the mixture over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until some of the milk has been absorbed and the oats have softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off and add the moringa powder and the remaining ingredients. Stir and serve.

*recipe adapted from The Nutty Scoop

References:

i. Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Jun;47(6):1109-16. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.01.034.
Oxidative DNA damage protective activity, antioxidant and anti-quorum sensing potentials of Moringa oleifera. Singh BN1, Singh BR, Singh RL, Prakash D, Dhakarey R, Upadhyay G, Singh HB.
ii. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2014 Mar;27(2):397-403. Review: an exposition of medicinal preponderance of Moringa oleifera (Lank.). Hussain S1, Malik F1, Mahmood S2.
iii. Bioorg Med Chem. 2010 Sep 1;18(17):6598-602. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2010.03.057. Epub 2010 Mar 29. Potential anti-inflammatory phenolic glycosides from the medicinal plant Moringa oleifera fruits. Cheenpracha S1, Park EJ, Yoshida WY, Barit C, Wall M, Pezzuto JM, Chang LC.
iv. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 Jul;15(7):803-8. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity and lipid-lowering mechanisms of Moringa oleifera leaf extract. Adisakwattana S1, Chanathong B.
vi. J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2015 Mar; 16(3): 179–190. Moringa oleifera extract enhances sexual performance in stressed rats. Thawatchai Prabsattroo et al.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Eggs

The Amazing Health Benefits of Eggs

the amazing health benefits of eggs Koru Nutrition

Eggs are not only delicious, but are extremely nutritious. They are easy to digest, inexpensive, and suitable for every meal, but they also have impressive health credentials. Eggs contain the highest biological value for protein and offer all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by humans and therefore must come from our diets.

A single large boiled egg contains:

  • 77 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 5 grams of healthy fats
  • Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
  • Folate: 5% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA
  • Selenium: 22% of the RDA
  • Eggs also contain vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium and zinc (i)

How to Buy Eggs

Shell colour depends on the breed of the chicken and has very little to do with nutritional content of an egg. However, a hen’s diet and environment can affect an egg’s nutrition. Eggs from hens that were raised on pasture and/or fed omega-3 enriched feeds tend to be much higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids positively impact many aspects of our physical and mental health and are known to reduce blood levels of triglycerides (ii). Some of the more common labels you may see on egg cartons include:

Cage-free eggs
The term “cage-free” may be misleading. It means hens are not confined to cages, but conditions are often still very crowded, with no access to the outdoors. As well, there are no assurances about what they are fed or what kinds of medications they are given.

Free-Range eggs

“Free-range” means hens have some form of continuous access to the outdoors.

Organic eggs

Organic eggs are certified and are from chickens given only organic feed without growth hormones or antibiotics. They must also have year-round access to the outdoors. A certified organic hens’ quality of life is better and contain higher levels of vitamin D since they are exposed to sunlight.

Benefits of Eggs

  1. Eggs rank high on the Satiety Index scale which means they may help you feel fuller for longer, mainly because of their high protein content. Foods high in protein have been known to reduce appetite, and increase fullness, compared to foods that contain less protein (iii).
  2. Eggs are an excellent source of choline which plays an important part in many body functions including cell structure, metabolism, DNA synthesis, muscle movement, brain development and memory (iv).
  3. Egg yolks contain large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin which are very important for eye health and can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts (v).

But what about cholesterol?

After years of being vilified for their high cholesterol content, overwhelming scientific evidence now suggests dietary cholesterol has little, if any impact on blood-cholesterol levels and that saturated and trans fat are the bigger culprits when it comes to raising blood cholesterol levels. As eggs are low in saturated fats, one egg per day been shown to be safe (vi) (vii). So feel free to enjoy eggs as part of a healthy, fibre rich diet which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.

cheesy egg muffins recipe koru nutrition

Start your day off right with these grain-free egg muffin cups.They can easily be made in advance – perfect for busy mornings or as grab and go snacks.

CHEESY EGG MUFFINS RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of full fat Greek yogurt
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup of shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives or herbs of choice (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a muffin tray with parchment cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, black pepper, and a dash of salt until blended.
  3. Add the coconut flour and baking powder and mix the batter until smooth.
  4. Mix in the cheese and fresh herbs (if using).
  5. Divide the batter into the 6 prepared muffin cups.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, rotating the tray halfway though the cooking time. (The tops of the muffins should spring back when you poke them with your finger.)

Recipe adapted from nomnompaleo.com

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References:

i. nutritiondata.self.com

ii. Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on serum markers of cardiovascular disease risk: A systematic review
Balk, Ethan M. et al. Atherosclerosis , Volume 189 , Issue 1 , 19 – 30

iii. High protein diets and weight control. Clifton, P. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases , Volume 19 , Issue 6 379 – 382

iv. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2011 Feb;34(1):3-15. doi: 10.1007/s10545-010-9088-4. Epub 2010 May 6. Choline and betaine in health and disease. Ueland PM1

v. Effect of Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Macular Pigment and Visual Function in Patients with Early Age-related Macular Degeneration Ma, Le et al. Ophthalmology , Volume 119 , Issue 11 , 2290 – 2297

vi. Rong Ying, Chen Li, Zhu Tingting, Song Yadong, YuMiao, Shan Zhilei et al. Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies BMJ 2013; 346 :e8539

vii. Jyrki K Virtanen et al; Associations of egg and cholesterol intakes with carotid intima-media thickness and risk of incident coronary artery disease according to apolipoprotein E phenotype in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 3, 1 March 2016, Pages 895–901

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Is Bone Broth Good For You?

Is Bone Broth Good For You?

Is bone broth good for you koru nutrition

These days everyone seems to be jumping on the bone broth bandwagon!

Fans of bone broth claim it to be a nutrient gold mine and with an abundance of minerals, collagen, gelatin, and amino acids such as glutamine and glycine… it may very well be.

Bone broth is simply animal bones that are simmered, often with vegetables, for many hours to allow the nutrients from the bones to infuse into the water to become a nutrient dense broth.

Top 7 Benefits Of Bone Broth

Supports Immunity

Amino acids present in bone broth, like arginine, glutamine, and cysteine, have been shown to boost immunity. Studies have shown that bone broth can help to improve upper respiratory tract infections by mitigating inflammation, clearing mucus, and opening respiratory pathways.

Reduces Inflammation

Studies show that many of the amino acids in bone broth, such as cystine, histidine, and glycine, reduce inflammation. Additionally, L-glutamine specifically reduces gut inflammation.

Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

Collagen and chondroitin sulfate in bone broth supports skin, nail, and hair health. Collagen is a compound that our body’s create to keep our skin healthy and young looking, to make our nails strong but flexible, and to build lustrous hair. By consuming animal-based collagen, it ensures your body is provided all the building-blocks necessary for collagen production in hair, skin and nails.

Strong Bones and Joints

The rich mineral and glucosamine content in bone broth has been shown to strengthen bones and teeth, and support connective tissue, joint and bone health.

Hydration

Bone broth adds electrolytes (minerals) and to the diet. Studies have shown that drinking broth can rehydrate better than water alone due to the electrolytes. This may be especially useful if you’re recovering from an illness.

Build & Maintain Muscle Mass

The amino acids in bone broth can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis, otherwise described as building muscle. Muscle protein synthesis is essential for the ongoing growth, repair, and maintenance of skeletal muscle groups. The maintenance of muscle mass is a major factor in overall health following an injury and as we age.

Gut Health

Perhaps bone broth’s biggest claim to fame in today’s diet is the role it plays in supporting gut health. Bone broth is easily digested and soothing to the digestive system and therefore is a staple of many therapeutic, gut-healing diets.

In a healthy gut, the intestinal lining consists of tight junctions (a special pathway where two intestinal cells meet) which control what passes through into the bloodstream. For an individual with “leaky gut”, these junctions don’t work properly resulting in undigested particles of food “leaking” through the intestinal lining and entering the bloodstream. The body then recognizes these undigested food particles in the blood as foreign substances resulting in an autoimmune-like response, as the body attacks healthy tissue. Studies have shown bone broth to be beneficial in restoring the gut lining and supporting intestinal health.

How To Consume Bone Broth

The best and least expensive way to consume bone broth is to make it yourself using bones (ideally from grass fed, organic animals). Check out our Turkey Bone Broth recipe here.

If you cannot, or do not want to, make bone broth, there are now several companies that make it that can be found in natural health food stores. Look for companies that use only organic bones and do not add any MSG, stabilizers, flavours, or preservatives. Often they can be found in the frozen section.

Whether you make it yourself or purchase it, bone broth can be enjoyed in many ways! It can be used as a base for soups or stews, to cook veggies or rice in, or simply in a mug by itself as a warm and soothing drink.

References:

i. Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro

ii.Efficacy of glutamine-enriched enteral nutrition in an experimental model of mucosal ulcerative colitis

iii. Broth is beautiful

Boost Your Immune System Superpowers

Boost Your Immune System Superpowers

how to boost your immune system superpowers koru nutrition blog

With the arrival of fall and cooler temperatures, comes the onset of the dreaded cold and flu season. Cold weather means spending more time indoors with people – which means spending more time with germs. But have no fear you can build up your body’s immunity through choosing the right kind of immune boosting foods using these 6 powerful super food boosters:

Chicken Soup:

Chicken soup isn’t just comfort food- It helps improve symptoms from a cold and can also protect you from getting sick in the first place. Chicken soup contains gelatine, chondroitin and other nutrients beneficial for gut healing and boosting your immunity (i).

Green Tea:

Green Tea is packed with antioxidants such as flavanoids, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that have been shown to boost immune function. It also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in T-cells (ii) (iii).

Ginger:

Ginger has been used across the globe as a natural remedy due to its medicinal properties. Ginger is antibacterial which supports the immune system. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory thanks to gingerol- a phenolic compound (iii) (iv).

ginger boost immune system superpower booster koru nutrition
Garlic:

Garlic contains several compounds, including allicin, that have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that can fight infections (iii) (v).

Onions:

Onions are filled with immune boosting vitamins and minerals such as selenium, zinc, and vitamin C. They also have antioxidant and antiviral properties thanks to their abundant plant compounds including sulfur, quercetin, and anthocyanins (vi).

Turmeric:

Turmeric contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and It is rich in antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties (vii).

garlic boost immune system superpowers koru nutrition

As well, follow these other tips to keep your immune system in top shape:

Handwashing:

This really cannot be stated enough! Practicing good hygiene goes a long way when it comes to preventing colds and the flu. When soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer to help reduce the number of germs on your hands.

Stay Hydrated:

Drinking water helps keep the mucous membranes in your nose and eyes moist so they are more effective at catching and sweeping viruses out of the body. It also helps in the production of lymph in the body. Lymph carries white blood cells and other cells that are part of the immune system.

Sleep:

Lack of sleep compromises your immune system. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep and take naps if necessary.

Exercise:

Get your heart rate going and blood pumping. Exercise not only gets you in shape and keeps your body strong, it also improves the body’s circulation and boosts your immune system.

Eat Right:

Include whole, nutrient dense foods high in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables to boost your overall health and strengthen your immunity. Avoid sugar which can cause inflammation and actually depress your immune system by decreasing the ability of white blood cells to fight infection.

golden milk boost your immune system superpowers koru nutrition

GOLDEN MILK RECIPE

Try this creamy anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant rich drink to give your immune system a boost!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coconut milk (can sub part or all with almond or other milks)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tsp raw honey, maple syrup or stevia to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.
  3. Drink immediately and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from wellnessmama.com

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References:
i. Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro Rennard, Barbara O. et al. CHEST , Volume 118 , Issue 4 ii. Alexopoulos, N., Vlachopoulos, C., Aznaouridis, K., Baou, K., Vasiliadou, C., Pietri, P. … Stefanadis, C. (2008, June). The acute effect of green tea consumption on endothelial function in health individuals. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 15(3), 300-305 iii. Immunity: plants as effective mediators. iv. Ginger–an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions. v. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. vi. Onions–a global benefit to health. vii. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview

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Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is currently becoming one of the most popular health and fitness trends. Intermittent fasting (IF) is being used to help lose weight, improve health, and to live longer.  IF is not about following a diet, but more about following a diet pattern. 

The idea of IF isn’t as far-fetched as one may think.  Humans have evolved to withstand short periods of time without food.  Our hunter-gatherer ancestors naturally fasted when they couldn’t find anything to eat. 

 

Basic Principles

The most common methods involve eating all your meals in an 8, 6, or even 4-hour window while fasting the rest of the day, or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.  Water, tea, and coffee without added sweeteners or milk are fine while fasting but no calories are allowed.  

IF is not that difficult to achieve.  Many people may already be doing it naturally without even realizing it. If you stop eating at 7pm and don’t eat breakfast until 10am the following day, you have already achieved 15 hours of fasting. Consider the term “break fast”. This refers to the meal that breaks your fast – which you already do daily.

IF is associated with many health benefits…..  

  1. Lowers insulin levels and increased growth hormone levels which assists with fat loss and muscle gain resulting in weight loss.  Lower insulin levels protect against insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes.  
  2. Increases the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Short-term fasting may increase your metabolic rate by 3.6–14%
  3. Reduces levels of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and oxidative stress which all reduce the risk of heart disease and many chronic diseases (i, iii).  
  4. Some studies in rats showed that IF can extend lifespan (ii).  Although humans are not the same as rats, the results combined with the known benefits on other health markers are quite promising. 
  5. Reduces Inflammation in the body
  6. Improves mental clarity and concentration
  7. Cellular repair: When fasted, your cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells.
  8. Another benefit of IF is that it simplifies our lives since there are fewer meals to prepare and to clean up and less meals to buy means more money left in your pocket at the end of the day.  

 

For more information on the benefits of Intermittent Fasting… Check out this video from Dr. Axe :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xv2cWhnkPU

Precautions with Intermittent Fasting
Not everyone will react the same to intermittent fasting. Listen to your body and pay attention to any changes you may experience. 

 

Who should NOT fast?

You should not fast if you are:

  • Underweight (BMI < 18.5)
  • Pregnant – you need extra nutrients for your child.
  • Breastfeeding – you need extra nutrients for your child.
  • A child under 18 – you need extra nutrients to grow.

You can fast, but may need supervision, under these conditions:

  • If you have diabetes mellitus – type 1 or type 2.
  • If you take prescription medication.
  • If you have gout or high uric acid.

Women in particular tend to respond differently due to metabolic and hormonal differences.  IF can mess up women’s hormones and affect menstruation, fertility, and can worsen eating disorders.  It should not stop your cycle or cause more stress.  If you experience these changes, it is likely a sign that IF does not work for you.  

Some women find fasting a few days a week instead of every day works best for them.  For example, they would fast 16 hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while eating normally on the other days.  Experiment and see what works best for you.  

People with diabetes, hypoglycemia and other blood sugar regulation disorders should also check with their doctor before trying IF.

After fasting, try easing into eating with a green smoothie to keep blood sugar from spiking.  Try the recipe below:

 

GREEN SMOOTHIE

Ingredients

  • ¼ c frozen pineapple
  • 1 c kale or baby spinach
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or MCT oil
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime (or to taste)
  • 1 c almond milk or coconut milk

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add ice if desired. 

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References:
i. “Effects of dietary restriction on adipose mass and biomarkers of healthy aging in human”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27899768
 ii. “Influence of short-term repeated fasting on the longevity of female mice”
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047637400001093
iii. “Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man.”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC329619/

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Or go on to our website www.korunutrition.com to complete our online referral form