Moringa oleifera is a tree that originates from South Asia. This tree that grows relatively fast is now growing in almost all tropical regions. People have used the leaves of this tree for healing and prevention for hundreds of years and they were mentioned in the Ayurvedic scripts numerous times as a remedy for prevention and cure of dozens of diseases.
Moringa oleifera, sometimes called the drumstick tree, miracle tree or horseradish tree, comes with tiny, round-shaped leaves that are loaded with high amounts of nutrients including calcium, protein, vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium etc. So, it is no surprise why people have used it for millennia.
As previously mentioned, Moringa grows very quickly and this is the reason why this tree was planted in areas where food sources are scarce. The authorities and humanitarian organizations have planted and grown these trees in Senegal, Malawi and India, in areas where people were suffering from nutritional deficit.
But, it is good to point out that those who have experience with it don’t recommend growing a tree like this for medicinal purposes because the leaves are tiny and harvesting them is very difficult. Their use is difficult too, so it is not worth the trouble. However, this doesn’t diminish the fact that Moringa is a useful plant and using extract from these leaves or some other form of these leaves might be a good idea.
6 Things That Make Moringa a Superfood
1. It is Packed with Nutrients
The leaves of this tree are packed with minerals, vitamins, amino acids and many other useful compounds. Just 100 grams of dry leaves come with:
- Ten times more vitamin A than the amount found in 100 grams of carrots
- Nine times more protein than yogurt
- 17 times more calcium than milk
- 15 times more potassium than bananas
- 25 times more iron than spinach
- 12 times more vitamin C than oranges.
2. Antioxidants in Abundance
It turns out that Moringa leaves are an excellent source of antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C, chlorogenic acid and quercitin for example. It is interesting that chlorogenic acid has the ability to slow down the absorption of sugar by the cells and some tests on lab animal have confirmed that it can stabilize blood sugar.
According to the APJCP (Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention), Moringa leaves have strong antioxidant activity as a result of the presence of polyphenols in them. Moringa extracts based on young or mature leaves show powerful antioxidant activity and fight off free radical, keep the main biomolecules safe from oxidative damage and provide great protection against this damage in general.
In addition, another scientific study which included female participants, has shown that consumption of just one and a half teaspoon of leaf powder from this plant on a daily basis for 90 days led to significant increase of antioxidant levels in the blood.
3. Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels
It look like Moringa has anti-diabetic properties too. Namely, Moringa contains substances like isothiocyanates in its leaves. A scientific study conducted not while ago has shown that women who consumed 7 grams of moringa leaf extract on a daily basis for 90 days lowered their high blood sugar levels by abou 14%. Additional research has confirmed that using 50 grams of this extract to the main meal can drop the spike in blood sugar by more than 20% in diabetics.
4. Ease Inflammation
Moringa leaves, seeds and pods come with significant amount of flavonoids, isothiocyanates and phenolic acids and these compounds are known for the anti-inflammatory effects they provide. The Epoch Times magazine has confirmed that this anti-inflammatory potential of Moringa is great for treating stomach ulcers.
This is the reason why Moringa oil is used a natural preservative for many foods with short shelf life. This is actually very sweet oil that is frequently used as a salad dressing and for frying. When used externally, it can help people with arthritis, antifungal issues and it serves as a natural moisturizer for the skin.
5. Keep Normal Cholesterol Levels
Moringa is praised for its ability to lower cholesterol levels too. A scientific studies which included lab animals has shown that Moringa provides similar effects like some of the most famous drugs used for reducing cholesterol levels like simvastatin. According to the famous Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Moringa oleifera is a plant that has been used in the traditional medicine in Thailand as a natural cardiotonic.
Several studies have confirmed its strong hypocholesterolemic effects. Rabbits with high cholesterol levels have lowered the formation of atherosclerotic plaque for more than 50% and they have lowered the cholesterol levels in general after a 3-month treatment. Simvastatin drug provided similar results.
6. Keeps Us Safe from Arsenic Toxicity
Moringa seeds and leaves may have the ability to keep us safe from the negative impact of arsenic toxicity. This is very important because the latest news suggest that many ordinary foods like rice may be toxic to some degree. Ground water contamination with arsenic is already a major concern in many countries.
A scientific study revealed a few months ago confirmed that Moringa oleifera seed powder, taken between 250 and 50 milligrams has reduced the level of activity of arsenic in the brain, kidneys and liver.
Moringa Leaves May Have The Ability to Purify Water And Bring Few More Benefits
When it comes to digestion and nutrition, Moringa is packed with fiber and this fiber acts as a broom that cleans our intestines. The problematic and potentially dangerous buildups from your greasy diet will be wiped by Moringa’s natural compounds. It is also worth mentioning that Moringa contains high amount of isothiocyanates.
These compounds provide strong antibacterial effects that can help you eliminate H. pillory from the body and as we all know, this bacteria is often related to ulcers, gastritis and gastric cancer. The seeds of this tree have the ability to support the purification of water much better than ordinary synthetic materials used for this purpose.
The experts from the Uppsala University have found that Moringa seeds contain a protein that establishes a link with the impurities and make them aggregate and create clusters that can easily be removed from the contaminated water.
Scientists in Uppsala University with the help of their colleagues from Lund University and researchers from the USA, France, Botswana and Namibia have analyzed the tiny structure of these aggregates.
The final results have confirmed that these flocs or clusters of material created within the protein are very tight and much tighter than the ones created with synthetic materials. This means that the flocs can be separated in an easier way which makes the purification process simpler, faster and better.
The Best Way to Use Moringa
In case you have a moringa tree, feel free to use its leaves in all your meals. These leaves have a taste that resembles radish. You can use them as a salad, include them in your smoothies or steam these leaves in the same way as spinach. People are advised to use powder from the leaves too in the form of a supplement or in their soups, smoother or other similar foods. This special Moringa powder has a little bit different taste, so it is a better idea to use smaller amounts in the beginning.
Many experts recommend the use of cold-pressed, organic Moringa oil, which is also known as Ben oil. Keep in mind that this oil is quite expensive. As previously mentioned growing such tree in the yard has proven to be a difficult task, so it is the best idea to check the health food market in your area and try to find products based on Moringa tree.
According to Fox News, Moringa tree is a tree with more than one medicinal power. What is interesting is that almost every part of this tree is good for taking care of infections, inflammation and different issues related to the digestive and cardiovascular systems.
In addition, Moringa tree supports the work of the liver and improve milk production in breastfeeding moms. The medicinal properties and benefits of this tree are mentioned in the Unani and Ayurvedic medicinal systems.
Moringa is packed with a wide range of health-improving substances and compounds like moringinine, moringine, antioxidants like kaempferol, quesrcetin and rhamnetin and different polyphenols.
Scientific studies have confirmed that the leaves of this tree provide anticancer and anti tumor effects, mostly because of the activities of the compound found in them known as niaziminin.