Moringa oleifera leaves have not received the needed research-based attention in Ghana despite its well-known nutritional properties. Though consumed in Asia and some sub-Saharan countries they are largely under-exploited green vegetable. It is in this vein that researchers study the nutritional potential in M. oleifera leaves.
They are a great source of vitamins and minerals which can be served raw, cooked or dried. High temperatures destroy some of the nutrients. Eight grams (8g) serving of dried leaf powder will satisfy a child within ages 1-3 with 14% of the protein, 40% of the calcium, 23% of the iron, and nearly all the vitamin A that the child needs in a day.
One hundred (100g) portion of leaves could provide a woman with over a third of her daily need of calcium and give her important quantitities of iron, protein, copper, sulphur and B-vitamins.
Compared to sweet potato leaves, Moringa has dietary fats function to increase food palatability by absorbing 1-2% of its caloric energy as fat. Leaves’ caloric value is the lowest – 305.62 cal/g, but higher protein content than leaves of sweet potato, amaranth, taro, pumpkin and okra.
The low caloric value as compared to some vegetables such as pumpkin leaves, taro leaves, mushrooms, tomatoes, makes a good addition in the diet of the obese and those who want to lose weight.
Source: KNUST website
Research by: Ibok Oduro, W. O. Ellis and Deborah Owusu (Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana)