What is Moringa?
Moringa is a medicinal plant native to the Indian subcontinent that has been used in traditional ayurvedic treatments for over a thousand years. The scientific name of the plant is Moringa Oleifera and is also known as drumstick tree, miracle tree, horseradish, ben oil tree, and the tree of life.
Because of its numerous health benefits, this tree is now getting recognition all around the world and is considered a superfood. Almost all parts of moringa are edible and rich in nutrients, which could make it a great addition to your diet.
What is Moringa tree looks like?
Moringa is a fast-growing tree that comes to full maturity in only nine months. The leaves of the plant can be harvested after 6-7 weeks of planting and can regrow at the same time. Moringa trees are drought resistant and do particularly well in harsh and dry climates like India and Africa.
Moringa trees are beautiful to watch and most stunning when erupt with hundreds of gorgeous white flowers. After blooming they start growing their unique pods filled with seeds. Every part of the moringa tree is edible and has its own nutritional value such as Leaves, flowers, mature seeds, oil from seeds, roots, and immature seedpods called drumsticks.
What is Moringa good for?
Moringa is considered as the miracle tree and life tree as it contains a variety of valuable nutrients including amino acids. Out of 20 total amino acids, Moringa contains 18, including all 9 essential amino acids. Otherwise, most of the plant-based protein is amino deficient and only contains 7 essential amino acids.
Small-sized leaves of moringa are considered as a most nutritious part of the tree. Nutrition value in 100 g of raw fresh leaves:
- Great source of dietary fibers 2.0 g
- Protein 9.4 g
- Rich in iron (31% of DV%)
- Magnesium (41% of DV%)
- Vitamin A (47% of DV%)
- Vitamin C (62% of DV%)
- Vitamin B6 (92% of DV%)
- Riboflavin (55% of DV%)
- Calcium (19% of DV%)
- Contains all 9 essential amino acids.
So next time when you think about taking a multivitamin supplement, simply consider a few leaves for a snack super-rich in nutrients.
What is Moringa used for
Moringa leaves, seeds, pods are a natural source of multiple vitamins and minerals. One can include them as a supplement form to fulfill their daily nutritional requirements. It can also be taken to treat various health problems. In the market, there are numerous products available, containing moringa in powder or seeds form.
What are the health benefits of moringa?
Here are some major health benefits of moringa leaves and seeds are:
Moringa as multiple vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, can help to relieve pain, swelling and repair the damage on joints. It is advised for arthritis patients to do regular exercise to prevent further degradation of joints. Adding moringa to your diet can help you to do so because of its anti-inflammatory and energy-boosting properties.
Another way of using moringa to relieve pain is, in the form of oil. Apply a few drops of moringa oil on the joints or where you experience chronic pain. Moringa oil is very absorbable, so gives instant results and makes it easier for you to do more exercise. Ashwagandha is another medicinal plant that works great for arthritis patients.
Stabilize blood sugar levels:
Moringa has been found very effective in stabilizing blood sugar levels. One research, where people with type 2 diabetes are supplemented with 8 g of moringa powder for 40 days, showed the result of a 28% decrease in pre fasting blood glucose and a 26% decrease in post fasting blood sugar levels.
Moringa’s high nutritional profile and ability to cure various diseases have attracted many research organization’s attention for its usage as anticancer drugs. Plant-based phytochemicals have lesser side effects and lower toxicity, that’s one of the reasons multiple researches are being carried out on the anticancer properties of M. Oleifera, including the leaves, seeds, bark, and roots.
Moringa leaves are rich in polyphenols and polyflavonoids, which are antioxidants and have potential anticancer properties. The presence of high concentrations of isothiocyanates and glucosinolates metabolites is another reason that make this plant not only beneficial for prevention but also for the treatment of cancer in association with other treatments.
Stomach related problems:
Moringa leaves have antimicrobial and antibiotic properties that may help inhibit the various pathogens that can cause digestive upset. It is a suitable remedy for various stomach-related problems like indigestion, bloating, gastritis, ulcerative colitis. It is also rich in fibers and has a mild laxative effect, so relieves digestive disorders and constipation too.
Moringa seeds also possess anti-asthmatic properties and can decrease resistance in the respiratory airways, increase airflow to the lungs by expanding bronchioles and bronchi. There are some studies that prove that the extract of moringa seeds to be as effective as the pharmaceutical drug and without any side effects. It also controls allergic disorders by blocking the release of histamine.
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Moringa has compounds isothiocyanate and niazimicin, that help in maintaining blood pressure by not clogging arteries and stop them from thickening. Moringa is one of those plant foods that can help in lowering cholesterol levels and potentially reduces the risk of heart diseases.
Source of plant-based protein:
Protein is a crucial building block for every tissue cell, hormones, enzymes, nails, hairs, and energy source for the body. Moringa is one of those few plants that provide complete protein that means contains all 9 essential amino acids. For vegetarians and especially vegans who must fulfill their protein requirements through plants, moringa is the perfect option for them.
Helps wound to heal faster:
Healing of wound is a complex and time taking process of repairing tissues and recovering from injury. But moringa leaves could be very useful in fast healing. Moringa leaves have blood-clotting properties that mean they can reduce the clotting time meaning, time to stop bleeding because of injury. Extract of leaves has shown good results in reducing time for wounds close and reduces the appearance of scars.
Inflammation is linked with a number of chronic diseases related to the heart, kidney, and even cancer. Moringa has compound isothiocyanates that have anti-inflammatory properties and help in reducing inflammation.
Improve Eye health:
Moringa leaves are useful in treating multiple eye-related issues like eye pain, eye swelling, conjunctivitis, eye allergy, etc. Different ways to use moringa for eye problems are:
- Crush fresh moringa leaves, squeeze the juice out of them, and put drops in the eyes.
- Add little honey to the juice and apply on eyelids as eyeliner.
- Prepare an infusion by boiling moringa leaves in water and wash eyes with it.
As we know now that moringa is full of nutrients and I believe one reason behind calling it superfood is its characteristic of fighting malnutrition. Adding one tablespoon of moringa powder to the daily diet can help in fighting deficiencies. It is affordable and many NGOs are already taking the help of this to fight malnutrition in poor countries.
To improve skin and hair health:
Moringa Benefits for hair
- Moringa is rich in Vitamin A, which is important for the development of healthy cells and tissues in the body. It also promotes hair growth and helps in the reduction of hair fall. Dry hair, dandruff, and itchy scalp are results of deficiency in vitamin A.
- Moringa contains zinc which stimulates hair growth and with vitamin A, they stop hair from drying.
- The main cause of hair fall is the deficiency of vitamin B- especially B6, inositol, and folic acid. Moringa contains all the nutrients that are required for healthy hair. It is also rich in Vitamin C and E that stimulates blood circulation in the scalp hence ensure the availability and absorption of more nutrients in the hair follicles.
- Regular massage with moringa oil helps in reducing split ends, itchy scalp, and dandruff. Moringa oil is a natural supplement for healthy and beautiful hair.
Moringa Benefits for skin
- For healthy radiant skin, the supply of proper nutrients is required, and moringa is loaded with nutrients minerals, and vitamins A, B, C, D, E.
- Moringa possesses anti-aging and cleansing properties. The effect of free radicals on the skin causes wrinkles and makes the skin dull. Moringa works great in cleaning the skin cells of free radicals and restoring the radiant youthful complexion of the skin. Because of an excellent cleansing ability and nourishing properties, it is now used as an active ingredient in multiple skincare products.
- Leaves of moringa contain about 30 antioxidants and when used in the form of oil, it delivers these powerful antioxidants directly to skin cells. Moringa oil is highly absorbable and contributes perfectly towards healthy glowing skin.
Moringa health benefits for men
Moringa is full of natural vitamins and nutrients required for men’s health. Although the daily dose of vitamins and minerals are required for both men and women there are some that are more crucial to men, like vitamin D, magnesium, omega 3, Selenium, ALA. Some studies suggest that moringa also helps in the wellness of men’s sexual health.
- Moringa contains Vitamin C and Vitamin D which are essential for testosterone production and may help in treating erectile dysfunction.
- Magnesium is another mineral that is required to protect, improve, and maintain muscle health. In general, man has more muscle mass than women and therefore is crucial for men’s muscle health.
- Moringa seeds and leaves contain a compound named glucosinolates, which have anti-cancer properties. Test tube studies have shown results that glucosinolates from the moringa plant can inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells. It could also help prevent benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), that is a common condition in aged man.
- List of moringa health benefits for men is very long. Omega 3, Selenium and ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) are other essential nutrients for men’s health and all these are present in moringa, plus 90 others nutrients.
Moringa health benefits for Women
Moringa is full of Vitamins and antioxidants that can help to relieve fatigue, illness, and infections. It is a great source of natural multivitamins one can have.
- Moringa contains an ample amount of Vitamin E and Vitamin B which can help women with PMS (Pre-Menstruation Symptoms). It might help with symptoms like fatigue, bloating, and mood swings. Vitamin E is also related to hair, nail, and skin health and therefore moringa leaves can be used in homemade masks.
- Iron Deficiency is very common in young women can lead to Anemia. Studies suggest that moringa leaves are a great supplement for iron needs as it has 7 times more iron than spinach.
- Moringa can increase the quantity and quality of breast milk in new moms. In Africa, new mothers often include moringa leaves in their diet to ensure nutrient-rich milk to infants.
Other Common Questions Related to Moringa:
What is Moringa Powder?
Moringa powder is a powdered form of dried moringa leaves and sometimes a combination of leaves and seeds.
How to use moringa powder?
Moringa powder is often included by people in their diet in smoothies, shake, tea, and as an energy drink by mixing it in water. You can also sprinkle it on a salad or mix it in yogurt.
How to eat moringa seeds?
Moringa seeds are circular or triangular white-colored seeds. Whiter the seed appears healthier to eat it is. Young moringa seeds can be eaten raw like peas or peanuts. At first, it tastes a little bitter but after chewing it there comes some sweetness too.
Another way to eat moringa seeds is frying them in some oil, they will pop up like popcorn or cook them like you cook peas.
It is advised to have seeds in small quantities and not on empty stomach.
Consult Your Doctor: Like all other medications or supplements Moringa may interfere with other medications one may be taking, so it is always important to consult with your doctor before starting consuming Moringa.