Moringa Oleifera: Introduction
For thousands of years, Moringa Oleifera has been praised for its health benefits. It contains rich and effective antioxidants and compounds of bioactive plants. It has numerous health benefits, out of which only a tiny fraction had been researched by scientists. Moringa Oleifera is a native plant to Northern India. This plant is called by many names like the horseradish tree, drumstick tree, and Ben oil tree. None of the parts of this tree goes to waste. Almost all of its parts are either consumed or used in making various traditional and herbal medicines. In many parts of India, the moringa leaves and pods are eaten. Indian cuisine includes spicy curries, tasty lentil soups, and fresh teas, all garnished with traditional Moringa leaves or Moringa powder. The ancient Vedic medicinal system of Ayurveda has predominantly used Moringa Oleifera. Traditional beliefs regard it as a super plant with the power to heal 300 different illnesses. For years it has been a significant part of the diet in the subcontinent. Now the modern world has rediscovered and enhanced the ways we can utilize Moringa Oleifera. Scientific research has opened a new door of medicinal possibilities with the health benefits of Moringa leaves.
5 Moringa tree health benefits backed by Science:
1. Moringa health benefits – a major source of vitamins and nutrients
Moringa leaf and Moringa leaf powder are an amazing source of vitamins and minerals. A cup of finely and freshly chopped Moringa leaves (approx. 21 grams) contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B6 – 19% of the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances)
- Vitamin C – 12% of the RDA
- Iron – 11% of the RDA
- Riboflavin B2 – 11% of the RDA
- Vitamin A – 9% of the RDA – beta-carotene
- Magnesium – 8% of the RDA
- Protein – 2 gm
The dried and ground Moringa leaves are sold in Western countries as Moringa leaf Powder or as Moringa capsules. The vitamin and mineral content is more in leaves than in pods. However, the pods are very rich in Vitamin C content. 100 grams of sliced fresh pods are said to contain 157% of our daily requirements. Important to mention is that capsule forms of Moringa Oleifera are also a supplier of a large number of nutrients. Believe it or not, Moringa leaves have more Vitamin A than a carrot does and more Vitamin C than an orange does. In fact, it is hypothesized that Moringa leaves themselves can be a major source of protein in a plant-based diet. So to all the vegans and vegetarians out there, you know which super plant awaits you!
2. Moringa health benefits – Antioxidant properties
Moringa Oleifera leaves contain many antioxidant compounds. These include:
- Quercetin: This powerful antioxidant may aid to lower the level of blood pressure.
- Chlorogenic acid: High amounts in coffee, this helps to moderate blood sugar levels after meals.
- Vitamin C
These antioxidants in the moringa leaf are effective against free radicals in the human body. The free radicals are responsible for frequent inflammations. The antioxidant properties of Moringa leaves help to keep bodily inflammations under check too.
3. Moringa health benefits – check Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar is caused by diabetes and can lead to several other health problems. Fortunately, studies have revealed that Moringa Oleifera might help in lowering the high levels of blood sugar. Although most of the results are based on animal trials, there are very few experiments done on humans as well. A study was conducted on 30 women. They consumed 1 and a half teaspoons (7 grams) of Moringa leaf powder every single day for consecutive three months. This reduced their blood sugar levels by 13.5%. Another study was conducted among 6 diabetic patients, where 50 grams of Moringa leaves were added to their daily meals, this reduced the blood sugar levels by 21%. Needless to say, these Moringa health benefits make it a must for diabetics or the ones prone to the disease. Doctors and scientists alike suggest regular doses of Moringa leaf powder to keep diabetes away.
4. Moringa health benefits – can reduce Inflammation
Scientists believe that moringa leaf, Moringa seeds, Moringa pods, and Moringa leaf powder contain isothiocyanates which are the main anti-inflammatory compounds. Anti-inflammatory properties are also commonly found in fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs. We know that the body undergoes inflammation as a response to injuries. But prolonged inflammation can be equally worse if not worse. The extent to which the anti-inflammatory properties of fruits and vegetables may be effective is relative and chiefly depends on the types of compounds contained. Moringa leaf has proven to perform better than most other alternatives. Further, Moringa has properties to control allergic reactions in hypersensitive bodies. Regular doses can balance the metabolism and reduce the chances of allergic attacks.
5. Moringa health benefits – control cholesterol and blood pressure
Most of the cardiovascular and heart diseases have been invariably linked with high cholesterol in many patients. We know how certain plant foods like flaxseeds, oats, and almonds can effectively reduce cholesterol. Amazingly, now in the case of Moringa Oleifera too, both animal-based and human-based experiments have concluded that Moringa oleifera showed cholesterol controlling capabilities in most of the results. For those who are prone to high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure, a morning dose of some Moringa powder could do a lot of good. You could simply sprinkle it on your zucchini bread or perhaps add it to your morning green smoothie!
We now see how Moringa Oleifera carries along with itself ages of traditional competence powered by modern science. Scientific research on the many health benefits of Moringa leaves has proved time again how Moringa Oleifera is no ordinary plant, but a super plant! Be it cancer, allergies, tumors, malnutrition, obesity, or even diabetes, Moringa knows how to tackle them all. The leaves and seeds of Moringa Oleifera also offer protection against toxicity caused by arsenic. This has been proven by several studies conducted on mice and rats. Although this result is promising, it is not yet confirmed whether it will have the same effect on humans or not. The highly nutritious leaves of Moringa Oleifera benefits humans who lack adequate levels of nutrients. Besides all this, Moringa leaves also have properties that improve the functioning of the brain. Moringa leaves are said to activate neurotransmission and ensure good brain health in the long run, something that is increasingly important in the coming times. Further, all these benefits only aggravate the effects Moringa can have on the mental health, mood, and disposition of the people who consume it regularly. It helps to energize your day and keep you active for a long. Some people even consider it to have the qualities of an aphrodisiac which can enhance sexual health too. Many companies have now invested greatly in the prospective products from Moringa Oleifera including Moringa capsules and Moringa tea. There are several kinds of Moringa supplements available on Amazon and other online shopping stores. So go ahead and include this nutrient-rich and dynamic super plant in your daily diet and make your tomorrow a healthier one!