As many of you know, I have been working hard at raising my iron levels post-baby. I am unable to tolerate synthetic supplements due to the way my gut reacted to antidepressants many years ago. Despite not having any issues with digesting food, I still can not tolerate concentrated substances like supplements, extracts and medications to this day almost 13 years later. For a long time I learned to rely solely on nutritious food and plant-based eating as well as juicing to help keep my nutrients up, and this worked quite well for me until I became pregnant. Before pregnancy, I was never deficient in iron despite being plant-based for over 7 years at that time. Even during pregnancy, my iron travelled along ok, although it dropped, it never dropped to below normal. I didn’t take any supplements during pregnancy at all as I could not tolerate them, in fact, pregnancy made my reactions even worse. My depletions became worse due to extended breastfeeding. I breastfed for a total of 2 years and one month. I saw the return of my period when my baby was only 7 months old. The depletion of iron during pregnancy and the further depletion of iron due to menstruation while breastfeeding has meant that for the first time in my life I have been dealing with low iron. I have been on a mission to raise my iron to adequate levels again so that I don’t go into another pregnancy with already deficient stores. Since I can not tolerate supplements, I have been doing research into wholefood forms of iron that I can take without reacting to them. This is when I discorved Moringa.
Moringa Oliefira is a tree native to Asia and Africa. Many aspects of the tree can be consumed but most often Moringa refers to the the leaves of the tree. Moringa is a highly nutritious plant, rich in a number of various vitamins and minerals. It has a much higher nutrient content the majority of the vegetables we consume on a daily basis. Moringa is especially beneficial for women through the various stages we go through in our lifespan eg, menstruaiton, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Here is why moringa is so beneficial to women:
- Moringa is high in many women’s specific nutrients.
Moringa is a highly nutritious plant rich in vitamins A C E and B vitamins. B vitamins are especially important to help energy and stabilize mood, especially when they are consumed with magnesium. Moringa is also high in magnesium and calcium, having about 4 times the calcium of milk. The combination of calcium, magnesium, b vitamins, vitamin c and vitamin e have all been studied for their ability to improve PMS in women. Moringa is so high in nutrients that many have termed it “natures multivitamin”
- Moringa is high in iron and vitamin c.
Moringa is a high source of iron naturally combined with vitamin c for better absorption. 1 TBSP of moringa leaf powder has about 7 times the iron of spinach. Moringa has been studied in a few developing countries as a solution to reversing iron deficiency anemia in young girls with very promising results. Recent studies suggest moringa may be more beneficial for iron deficiency than conventional iron supplements. Moringa may help facilitate the absorption of iron, increase red blood cell count, and maintain normal blood parameters. This makes it a wonderful addition to the diet for mensruating women as well we pregnant women who have an increased need for iron.
- Moringa can help to lift and stabalize mood
One study has been shown that Moringa can help the body release more serotonin. It does this through positive interactions with the GI tract, but also becausue it is a good source of the amino acid trypophan which is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is our happiness neurotransmitter and helps combat anxiety and depression.
- Moringa can help improve libido
Moringa has been found to increase testosterone levels in men and also to increase blood flow to reproductive organs in both men and women. Although scientists arent sure why this is, a plausible theory is that high nutrient intake can help reduce stress hormones which will in turn positively affect libido.
- Moringa can help increase breast milk supply
In a 2003 study, the amount of breastmilk produced by lactating mothers who were given 350mg of moringa every day showed a significant increase in breast milk in comparison to lactating mothers who were given a placebo. Similarily eating lactation cookies with moringa was shown to improve the breast milk volume and composition, in particular the protein content.
Moringa is a powerful nutrient powerhouse, but for best results it should be consumed in small amounts daily. Personally I use moringa just as I would use a multivitamin or iron supplement, in a capsule form but I also like to sneak it into my smoothies and delicious raw desserts like this. I try to add a small amount of extra vitamin c to further enhance iron absorption. In this case I have used baobab powder which is high in vitamin c. This is not necessary as moringa has plenty of vitamin c on its own but if it is available it can help enhance absorption even more.
The recipe is very easy to make. Adding peppermint can help to mask some of the taste of the powder if you do not like it. The recipe is vegan and refined sugar free.
I use a beautiful organic brand called DHOW which is grown in East Africa. It is a beautiful fine constency and quality https://au.dhownaturefoods.com/ They have a range of other powders including boabab which I also used in this recipe.
|Vegan Moringa Peppermint Chocolate Mousse and Benefits of Moringa for Women|| |
- 2 400g cans organic coconut cream
- 4 TBSP cacao powder
- 1-2 TBSP Moringa powder from DHOW
- 1 tsp baobab powder from DHOW (optional)
- 4 TBSP maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 drops peppermint essential oil or ¼ tsp peppermint extract
- Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix together with a electric hand mixer until fluffy. It will take about 3 minutes.
- Transfer mousse into glasses and refrigerate for about an hour to set.
- Top with your favourite vegan cream and enjoy.