Moringa is one of the most powerful health-enhancing plants. While many things found in Nature can have one or two health benefits, Moringa has many.
Moringa – Nature’s Gift to Mankind:
Nature’s Gift to Mankind ,Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing tree native to India and now found throughout the tropics. It is mostly referred as “drumstick tree” and sometimes described as the “miracle tree,” or “horse radish tree,” has small, rounded leaves that are packed with an incredible amount of nutrition.
Usage of Moringa in Ayurveda and Unani:
India’s ancient tradition of ayurveda medicine sites 300 diseases that are treated with the leaves of the Moringa tree. Virtually all parts of the plant are used to treat inflammation, infectious disorders, and various problems of the cardiovascular and digestive organs, while improving liver function and enhancing milk flow in nursing mothers. The uses of moringa are well documented in both the Ayurvedic and Unani systems of traditional medicine, among the most ancient healing systems in the world.
Moringa Leaf in Modern Science:
Moringa is a recent “discovery” of modern science. Recent scientific research has proven that these humble leaves are in fact a powerhouse of nutrients.
Moringa leaf is best known as an excellent source of nutrition and natural energy booster. This energy boost is not based on sugar, and so it is sustained. It helps lower blood pressure and is a sleep aid. Its detoxifying effect may come from Moringa’s ability to purify water.
Moringa plant is beginning to gain more popularity as a new “superfood” for its highly nutritious profile and powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and tissue-protective properties. The leaves seem to be getting the most market attention, notably for their use in reducing high blood pressure, eliminating water weight, and lowering cholesterol. Studies show that moringa leaves possess anti-tumor and anti-cancer activities, due in part to a compound called niaziminin. Compounds in the moringa leaf appear to help regulate thyroid function, especially in cases of over-active thyroid.
Top 10 Reasons why Moringa is being flagged as superfood:
- Highly Nutritious
Moringa leaves are loaded with vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and more. It has been proven that one hundred grams of dry moringa leaf contains:
Nutritonal Profile – 100 grams of dry Moringa leaf powder:
- 25 times the iron of spinach
- 9 times the protein of yogurt
- 10 times the vitamin A of carrots
- 15 times the potassium of bananas
- 17 times the calcium of milk
- 0.5 times the vitamin C of oranges
Nutritional profile – 1 cup of fresh chopped leaves (25 grams):
Protein: 2 grams.
Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA.
Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA.
Iron: 11% of the RDA.
Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA.
Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA.
Magnesium: 8% of the RDA.
Compared to the leaves, the pods are generally lower in vitamins and minerals. However, they are exceptionally rich in vitamin C. One cup of fresh, sliced pods (100 grams) contains 157% of your daily requirement for vitamin C.
- Rich in Antioxidants
Moringa leaves are rich in antioxidants. The leaves of the Moringa oleifera tree have been reported to demonstrate antioxidant activity due to its high amount of polyphenols.
Its extracts of both mature and tender leaves exhibit strong antioxidant activity against free radicals, prevent oxidative damage to major biomolecules, and give significant protection against oxidative damage. Further, in a study of women taking 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder daily for three months, blood levels of antioxidants increased significantly.
- Balances Hormones and Slows the Effects of Aging
Knowing that levels of valuable antioxidant enzymes get affected during the postmenopausal period due to deficiency of “youthful” hormones, including estrogen, researchers wanted to investigate if these superfoods could help slow the effects of aging using natural herbal antioxidants that balance hormones naturally. Ninety postmenopausal women between the ages of 45–60 years were selected and divided into three groups given various levels of the supplements. Results showed that supplementing with moringa and amaranth caused significant increases in antioxidant status along with significant decreases in markers of oxidative stress, which led the researchers to conclude that these plants have therapeutic potential for helping to prevent complications due to aging and natural hormonal changes. It can boost the immune system during pregnancy and also increase breast milk production/lactation, according to some studies.
- Reduces Inflammation and Improves Digestive Health
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury.It is essential as a protective mechanism, but may become a major health issue when it goes on for a long time. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, moringa has been used in ancient systems of medicine such as Ayurveda to prevent or treat stomach ulcers, liver disease, kidney damage, digestive complaints, and infections.
A common use of moringa oil is helping to boost liver function and therefore detoxifying the body of harmful substances, such as heavy metal toxins. It might also be capable of helping to fight kidney stones, urinary tract infections, constipation and diarrhea.
- Reduces blood sugar and cholesterol
Moringa appears to have anti-diabetic effects, due to its beneficial plant compounds contained in the leaves, including isothiocyanates. One study found women who took seven grams of moringa leaf powder daily for three months reduced their fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5 percent.
High amounts of cholesterol in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.Many plant foods can effectively reduce cholesterol.Moringa oleifera leaves and pods helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood, which should lead to reduced risk of heart disease.
- Protects Against Arsenic Toxicity
Arsenic contamination of food and water is a problem in many parts of the world. Rice may contain particularly high levels. Although arsenic in food or water does not cause symptoms of toxicity right away, long-term exposure may lead to health problems overtime. Observational studies indicate that long-term exposure to arsenic may increase the risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Protects and Nourishes the Skin
Moringa contains natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral compounds that protect the skin from various forms of infections. Moringa oil is applied directly to the skin as a drying, astringent agent used to kill bacteria, but at the same time when used regularly it’s known to act like a lubricant and hydrate the skin by restoring its natural moisture barrier. It’s a common ingredient used in food manufacturing and perfumes because it prevents spoilage by killing bacteria, plus it has a pleasant smell and reduces odors.
- Potential detoxifying agent
Recent studies shows that moringa seeds have even been found to work better for water purification than many of the conventional synthetic materials in use today. A protein in the seeds binds to impurities causing them to aggregate so that the clusters can be separated from the water. According to Uppsala University, the clusters of material (flocs) that are produced with the protein are much more tightly packed than those formed with conventional flocculating agents. This is a step towards optimization of the water purification process. There is a speculation that it’s ability to attach itself to harmful materials may also happen in the body, making moringa a potential detoxification tool.
- Better Protein than Soy
Moringa is considered to have the highest protein ratio of any plant so far identified, with the protein in Moringa being comparable in quality to that of soy. Food scientists once believed that only soy had protein comparable to meat, dairy, and eggs. Now they have added Moringa to that very short list. Some even consider Moringa protein better than soy protein as it is non-allergic. Proteins are digested into smaller units known as amino acids. It contains 18 of the 20 amino acids required by the human body including all eight of the essential amino acids found in meat products. (Meat is a luxury most people around the world cannot afford). The body cannot manufacture those eight essential amino acids and must get them through the food we eat. Moringa Oleifera is one of very few plants that contain all eight.
- More Impressive Than Olive Oil
Oleifera is a Latin term meaning oil containing. The Moringa oil, known as ben oil, (due to the high concentration of behenic acid contained in the oil) is extracted from the seeds. Its seeds contain 35-40% oil by weight and can yield more oil per hectare than sunflower or peanuts. The oil has more impressive attributes than olive oil. It is used in cooking and cosmetics; and because it won’t spoil and turn rancid, it is also used as a preservative and machinery lubricant, even being used as a lubricant in fine watches. What’s left after the oil has been extracted from the seeds is called seed cake, which is used as feed to increase milk production in cows.