By Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Have you heard of moringa? Most people haven’t. This versatile plant, also known as the “drumstick tree, the miracle tree, or the horseradish tree,” has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and cuisine throughout many parts of the world — especially in Asia and Africa. But what makes moringa so special, and why should you consider adding it to your nutrition, health, and exercise plan?
For starters, the incredible health benefits of moringa have been backed up by scientific research. Moringa is a powerhouse of nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that can benefit your health and well-being in many ways.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the amazing benefits of moringa and why you should add it to your diet and lifestyle.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. You should always speak to your healthcare provider to ensure you are healthy enough to change up your nutrition plan and that it won’t have any adverse effects on any medication or drugs you may have been prescribed.
Health Benefits of Moringa
Below are some of the many health benefits you may experience through the use of moringa.
1. Rich in antioxidants
Moringa is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
As per studies, high amounts of free radicals may lead to oxidative stress, which is associated with Type-2 diabetes and heart diseases.
Moringa leaves, pods, and seeds contain high levels of polyphenols, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals that can protect your cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, which are linked to many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
Consuming 7 grams or 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder daily for 3 months can increase blood antioxidant levels.
Apart from that, moringa leaf extract is also used as a food preservative as it increases the shelf life.
2. Highly nutritious
In a few countries, the diet people follow often lacks crucial vitamins, minerals, and protein.
This is where moringa can work wonders!
Moringa is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. Moringa leaves are especially rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and protein. These vitamins and minerals are essential for your vision, skin, bones, blood, nerves, metabolism, and overall health.
Dried leaves are sold as dietary supplements in powder or capsule form. However, there’s a downside to it — moringa leaves contain a high amount of anti-nutrients that reduce the absorption of protein and minerals.
Plus, capsules won’t give you the required number of nutrients as compared to what you can get from a well-balanced diet.
3. Helps to lower the blood sugar level
High blood sugar can lead to various health issues, including heart disease. Studies show that Moringa Oleifera helps to reduce blood sugar levels.
A study on 30 women shows that consuming 7 grams of moringa leaf powder for 3 months helps to reduce the blood sugar level by 13.5%, on average. Another study on 6 people with diabetes shows that adding 50 grams of moringa leaves to the meal helps to reduce the rise in blood sugar levels by 21%.
As per scientists, these effects are caused by plant compounds like isothiocyanates. So, if you are looking to stabilize your blood sugar levels, moringa leaves can prove to be a great resource.
4. Anti-aging properties
Who doesn’t want healthy hair and glowing skin?
Well, moringa is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients which help improve skin and hair health. Antioxidants primarily help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, they work like magic on acne-prone skin. It is because they have purifying and therapeutic properties that add a glow to the skin. This is why moringa is a part of various cosmetics.
Apart from that, the paste of moringa leaves, when applied to the scalp, helps to reduce dandruff and adds shine and life to the lifeless hair. They also help to strengthen the hair follicles.
The Best Part About Moringa? It’s Super Easy to Use!
Moringa is easy to use. Moringa can be eaten fresh, cooked, dried, or powdered, depending on your preference and availability. You can add fresh or dried moringa leaves to salads, soups, stews, curries, stir-fries, or smoothies. You can also make tea, juice, or oil from moringa leaves, pods, or seeds.
The best way to incorporate moringa into your daily routine? Try Moringa powder! You can also sprinkle it on your oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, or baked goods, or mix it with water, milk, or juice. Moringa has a mild, earthy, and slightly bitter taste, which can be enhanced by adding lemon, honey, ginger, or other spices.
As you can see, moringa is a superfood that can offer you many health benefits and culinary possibilities. It is also a sustainable and eco-friendly crop that can grow in various climates and soils and support the livelihoods of farmers and communities.
If you are looking to try moringa, you can find it in health food stores, online shops, local markets, or you can even grow your own if you have the space and conditions. Moringa is a gift of nature that you can take full advantage of!