Generally, when we refer to malunggay (Moringa oleifera), we just mean the leaves or immature greed pods which we use for cooking and other nutritional and medical purposes. Leaf stalks are frequently discarded. However did you know that the stalk has just as much nutrition as the leaves?
According to a Technology-Advisory Notes produced and distributed by the Crop Agronomy, Nutrition and Farming Systems of the Philippine Coconut Authority (CANFARMS-PCA), the stalks, like the malunggay leaves, likewise consist of considerable amounts of valuable macro- and micro-nutrients.
In regards to macronutrients, potassium (K) is highest in malunggay stalks. In fact, for every 10kg of dried malunggay stalks, there are 293 g of potassium. Other macronutrients present are calcium (191g/10kg), nitrogen (185g/10kg), chloride (65g/10kg), sulphur (45 g/10kg), magnesium (23g/10kg), phosporus (19 g/10kg), and salt (7g/10kg).
Meanwhile, for its micronutrient contents, the stalk was discovered to be rich in iron, boron, zinc, manganese, and copper. For every 10kg of dried malunggay stalks, there are 436 mg of iron, 170 mg of boron, 112 mg of zinc, 100 mg of manganese, and 37 mg of copper.
These outcomes were exposed in a study titled, "Mineral Macronutrients, Micronutrients and Other Elements in Leaves of Malunggay Plant Sampled in Some Locations in the Philippines" conducted by Severino S. Magat, Ma. Cecilia M. Raquepo, and Carmencita D. Pabustan of CAN FARM S-PCA. The group individually examined the nutrient contents of the leaves (leaf blades) and leaf stalks of the malunggay for the function of optimizing its dietary and medicinal uses and likewise to comprehend the other aspects present in malunggay which may be helpful or toxic at high concentrations.
According to Dr. Magat, malunggay has been well recognized as a practical and extremely nutritional plant and food source and yet important info on its macro- and micro-nutrient contents is hardly found and identified in present IEC products.
With the Technology-Advisory Notes, customers and other interested stakeholders can now be provided with a more upgraded information and details on the essential and nutrition contents of the Moringa plant. "To some level, this effort verified and strengthened earlier reports on the high-nutrient content of malunggay. More so, we are being advised that prior to we throw away the leaf stalk of malunggay, let's consider that it still contains significant quantities of nutrients." Magat concluded.