The miracle plant
Moringa, the powerhouse of plants! it’s high in fiber, protein, magnesium and potassium. It contains more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than oranges. While the leaves contain most of the nutrition, the pods themselves are an excellent source of vitamin C, boasting 157% of the recommended dietary allowance. Its high antioxidant content has made it of particular interest in the wellness community, and it has been used globally to treat infections, malnutrition, anemia, and allergies.
10 of the many benefits of Moringa
1) Moringa Balances Hormones – Studies have shown that Moringa’s antioxidant levels had on postmenopausal women and found it significantly decreased markers of oxidative stress. It had a therapeutic effect on the hormonal issues that result from decreased estrogen production (and consequently, decreased antioxidant effect) during menopause. The study also found that the women supplementing with Moringa had better fasting blood glucose, and an increase in hemoglobin, both of which point to more balanced hormones and anti-aging effects.
Another study looked at the effect that Moringa leaf extract had on the thyroid, and found it may help with the regulation of hyperthyroidism. The study, which analyzed thyroid hormone in rats, saw positive results for female rats, with no significant changes for male rats, indicating Moringa may particularly benefit female hormone health.
2) Moringa Improves Digestion – If bloating, gas, and bathrooms issues seem to always have you down, Moringa might offer a natural solution. Thanks to its high antioxidant content, Moringa might also be a good tool to improve your digestion, and better manage digestive disorders, according to some studies. A 2014 study found that Moringa’s anti-inflammatory properties had a beneficial effect on colitis. Compared to controls, Moringa was able to reduce the severity of ulcers and overall inflammation. This promising research shows that Moringa might be a great natural option for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome conditions looking to prevent recurrences.
3) Moringa Balances Blood Sugar – High blood sugar is on the rise—and it comes with a raised risk of diabetes and heart disease. Enter Moringa. Several studies have demonstrated that Moringa may help lower blood sugar, and as a result, reduce the risk of diabetes. The same study that looked at postmenopausal women also found a 13.5% reduction in fasting blood glucose. Another study on animals found that an oral dose of Moringa reduced fasting blood glucose by 26.7%. Moringa, combined with a healthy diet low in processed sugars, could be very beneficial in helping to treat and prevent diabetes. As an added bonus, balanced blood sugar means more balanced energy throughout the day, less irritability and mood swings, and reduced sugar cravings.
4) Moringa Protects the Brain – A 2011 study tested Moringa as a treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, and found that its high vitamin C and E content help it to combat oxidative stress. This in turn enhances memory from nootropic activity—it modifies norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. While the study looked specifically at neurodegenerative diseases, this may have benefits for mental health in general as Moringa has also been shown to boost feel-good hormone serotonin . Furthermore, various mood disorders, like anxiety and depression, have been linked to inflammation of the brain which is precisely what Moringa has been shown to reduce.
5) Moringa Reduces Inflammation – Speaking of inflammation in the brain, Moringa actually reduces inflammation in the whole body. Inflammation is linked to almost every chronic disease: dementia, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, the list goes on. Moringa suppresses inflammatory enzymes, and one study found that the bioactive compounds in Moringa, specifically from consuming a pod extract, may help with the prevention of chronic illness. Another study showed that Moringa was able to decrease gene expression and the production of inflammatory markers, which helped to alleviate low-grade inflammation in the body.
6) Moringa Protects the Liver – Our liver is responsible for fat metabolism, fructose metabolism, bile production, and for filtering out all the toxins and waste in the body—a job that can be extremely taxing. Due to Moringas high level of polyphenols, it’s able to help protect the liver from oxidative stress and toxicity. To best be able to perform all of these functions, the liver requires liver enzymes, and Moringa helps to restore these to normal levels. Moringa has also been shown to reduce liver fibrosis, and reverse oxidative stress—which could have profound implications for human health.
7) Moringa Improves and Rejuvenates Skin – Not surprisingly, Moringa has natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. This combined with its high antioxidants and anti-inflammatory abilities make it great for improving and protecting the skin. One study found that Moringa was able to enhance skin revitalization, giving it anti-aging properties, and it can also help with everything from wounds, burns, acne, and dandruff.
8) Moringa boosts Breast Milk Production – In emerging economies, it’s challenging for mothers to find milk formula for their babies. As a result, infants depend upon their mother for their nutrition in the first year of life. However, these communities are economically disadvantaged, and they often lack a diverse diet. This fact means that newborns often experience nutritional deficiencies. Their mothers breast milk production wanes due to few food choices and a staple diet of carbohydrates with little protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Moringa leaf is a popular addition to the diet of new mothers. Mothers crush moringa leaves and toast them with butter. This supplemental addition to their food is an essential part of postpartum care. Moringa leaf increases lactation in new mother due to high quantities of nutrients and micronutrients. Moringa is also an excellent source of calcium. This nutrient is critical for bone density and a healthy skeletal system. Calcium also increases lactation, cell communication, and new cell generation, giving babies the nutrition needed to grow.
9) Moringa Improve Sleep Quality and Eliminate Insomnia – The body breaks down the proteins we eat into essential amino acids that fuel metabolic function. We need to source nine of these amino acids from the food we eat. The body breaks down L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid, into the biochemicals serotonin and melatonin. These chemicals regulate our mood and assist the body in maintaining circadian rhythms responsible for our sleep patterns. The circadian rhythm determines when we fall asleep and when we wake up. Individuals deficient in serotonin and melatonin may experience mood swings and an inability to fall asleep.
Supplementation with melatonin can help relieve the symptoms of insomnia and restlessness that prevent us from getting a good night’s rest. However, consuming crushed moringa leaf powder also assists the body in overcoming these conditions. Moringa contains a substantial quantity of L-tryptophan, increasing the body’s production of serotonin and melatonin. Ditch the sleeping tablets and add moringa leaf powder to your diet for a good night’s sleep.
10) Moringa offers a Rich Source of Healthy Fats – Research in nutritional science shows that monounsaturated fats and saturated fats have tremendous benefit for health. Pressing moringa seeds into oil produces a product known as “ben oil.” This refined oil is rich in beneficial fats. Due to its high smoke-point, ben oil is an excellent alternative to other vegetable and seed oils for frying and sautéing.
Another issue with healthy oils like extra-virgin olive and coconut oil is the fact they turn rancid under exposure to light or heat. That’s the reason why these oils come in dark glass containers. Ben oil sustains its molecular structure during environmental exposure to sources of heat and light. MUFA’s, or monounsaturated fats feature a single double-carbon bond, thereby increasing their stability. Ben oil contains low concentrations of oleic acid and high levels of palmitoleic and vaccenic acid. Healthy fats provide a steady release of energy when digested. This nutritional fact makes ben oil an excellent addition to your diet.
Bottom line is with so many health benefits Moringa is too good not to be taking! It’s easy to add Moringa to your daily diet and reap the seemingly endless benefits of this amazing plant, by simply including Moringa powder to your smoothie or drink it as a tea. The leaf powder was deemed safe in human studies, even in larger doses than normal. The powder has a mild flavor, so it makes for a light moringa tea with a slightly earthy taste. If you’re not already taking this start today!