Moringa oleifera is native to South Asia but can be also found in most tropical areas worldwide. Its powerful medicinal properties have been known since time immemorial, but it was not until recently that modern medicine acknowledged those healing properties.
Moringa was appreciated by the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians for its positive effect on a wide range of ailments. These days, moringa is used by many different organizations to treat malnutrition.
In Ayurvedic medicine, moringa is used for its therapeutic properties, attributed to its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antidepressant, and antifungal effects. In some areas, it is referred to as ‘shigru.’
With all of these properties, how can you benefit from it personally?
Here are the top 5 reasons to incorporate moringa in your daily diet.
1. Robust Nutritional Profile
Both leaves and pods of moringa tree are indeed amazing nutritional powerhouses which offer a wide plethora of essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins. It is an excellent source of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins that the body is not able to produce on its own.
Moringa is also packed with folate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, (niacin), B6, folate and vitamin C. It also contains minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
2. Antioxidant Content
Moringa is abundant in antioxidants like quercetin, beta-carotene, chrlogenic acid, and vitamin C. According to a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Preventions, the antioxidants in moringa combat free radicals which are responsible for oxidative stress, the leading cause of cancer.
3. Blood Sugar Regulation
Moringa contains compounds called isothiocyanates, which help the plant exhibit anti-diabetic effects. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, women taking 7 grams of moringa leaf powder daily for three montsh reduced their fasting levels by up to 13. 5 percent.
Another study issued in Biomed Research International found that diabetics who included 50 grams of moringa leaves into their daily diet reduced their blood sugar levels by 21 percent.
4. Cholesterol Reduction
According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, moringa has hypocholesterolemic effect. In this particular study, it reduced cholesterol levels by 50 percent and atherosclerotic plaque by staggering 86 percent. When compared to the effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs like simvastatim, moringa offers yet another benefit- prevents cardiovascular disease.
5. Protects Against Arsenic Toxicity
It has been scientifically shown that both the leaves and seeds of moringa protect against the detrimental effects of arsenic toxicity. This is of utmost importance, given that contamination of the groundwater by arsenic has turned into an international health problem.
According to a study published in Cell Biology International, 5 grams of moringa seed powder reduced arsenic uptake by 34 percent in the brain, 54 percent in the kidneys, 55 percent in the blood, and 65 percent in the liver. In other words, moringa seed powder reduces oxidative stress by protecting against arsenic toxicity.
How to Use It?
- If Using Fresh Leaves: Steam the leaves, blend them into a smoothie, or add them to a salad.
- If Using the Powder: Add it to soup/ smoothie or take them in supplement form.
- If Using the Oil: Take a teaspoon daily on an empty stomach or use it on a salad.