Moringa: An Amazing Superfood
The Moringa tree is a plant native to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Africa, Arabia, and Afghanistan and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years for countless ailments and wellness uses. Almost all parts of the tree can be eaten for nutritional purposes; the leaves have high levels of protein, beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and calcium and the fruits and even immature pods of the trees can be eaten as nutritious foods as well. However, there are scientifically proven benefits beyond the healthfulness of this living superfood that people have used for many years, and you can start to benefit from this now, too.
1) Anti-Inflammatory and more – Nearly all parts of this tree, in all forms of preparation, have been found by scientists to have antibiotic, antispasmodic, antiulcer, and anti-inflammatory properties. studies now show that there are higher levels of detoxification and antioxidant enzymes shown after being treated with Moringa or Moringa extracts.
2) Antioxidants – Studies now show that there are higher levels of detoxification and antioxidant enzymes shown after being treated with Moringa or Moringa extracts. Vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, and even chlorogenic acid are found in this antioxidant superfood. Chlorogenic acid has been found to slow cell absorption of sugar and lower blood sugar levels. Additionally, a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention showed that Moringa extracts show significant antioxidant activity against free radicals, can prevent oxidative damage to biomolecules and protect against oxidative damage. Oxidative damage occurs when a cell is unable to detoxify a cell from reactive oxygen which leads to damage of all the parts of a cell and cell signaling. Oxidative stress or damage is thought to be connected to Asperger syndrome, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, heart failure, and depression, among others. By protecting your cells from oxidative damage, you are protecting yourself against many diseases and health issues. Who knew just one living superfood could do all that!?
2) Nutrition – Moringa is healthier than all your favorite health foods… all put together. According to the Trees of Life Foundation and quoted in an article published by researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, “ounce-for-ounce, Moringa leaves contain more Vitamin A than carrots, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more Vitamin C than oranges, and more potassium than bananas,” and the protein levels in Moringa leaves can be compared to milk and eggs. Not only that but Moringa leaves contain phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B-6. This very green superfood contains so many vitamins and minerals, it’s hard to believe it’s been hidden for so long!
4) Diabetes and Blood Sugar – According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, Moringa contains anti-diabetic effects, most probably because of isothiocyanates contained in the leaves. Studies have shown that women who took Moringa leaf powder each morning for 3 months could lower fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5%. In another study among diabetic patients, it was found that adding 50 grams of Moringa leaves to a meal or consuming the same amount in supplement form, reduced blood sugar by 21%. This amazing superfood can help to lower blood sugar just by adding it to the foods you’re already eating.
5) Cholesterol – One study has found that the effects of moringa were similar to those of simvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug. Additionally, according to the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in a study on the benefits of Moringa, “The results indicate that this plant possesses antioxidant, hypolipidaemic, and antiatherosclerotic activities, and has therapeutic potential for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.” Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. By incorporating this living superfood into your diet, you can take the first steps to preventing this fatal disease and protect your heart health.
Where Can You Get It?
You can find Moringa leaves sold as dietary supplements at many pharmacies in either capsule or powder form. You can also find fresh Moringa at ethnic foods stores, especially Indian and Middle Eastern groceries. You can add Moringa supplements to your daily vitamin regimen (though you may be able to cut down on the other vitamins you’re taking since Moringa is so healthy!) You can also buy fresh Moringa leaves or pods and add them to your salads. Either way, by adding this ultimate superfood into your diet, you will be able to take advantage of myriad health benefits that Eastern and Indian medicine has used for thousands of years.
Fahey, Jed W. “Moringa oleifera: a review of the medical evidence for its nutritional, therapeutic, and prophylactic properties. Part 1.” Trees for life Journal 1.5 (2005): 1-15.
Bharali, Rupjyoti, Jawahira Tabassum, and Mohammed Rekibul Haque Azad. “Chemomodulatory effect of Moringa oleifera, Lam, on hepatic carcinogen metabolising enzymes, antioxidant parameters and skin papillomagenesis in mice.” Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 4.2 (2003): 131-140.
Chumark, Pilaipark, et al. “The in vitro and ex vivo antioxidant properties, hypolipidaemic and antiatherosclerotic activities of water extract of Moringa oleifera Lam. leaves.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 116.3 (2008): 439-446.