Moringa is a plant that has been praised for its health benefits for thousands of years. It is very rich in antioxidants and active phytonutrient compounds.
Until now, scientists have investigated only a part of the many health benefits of this plant. In this article we’re going to discuss some of the other potential beneficial effects of this miraculous plant on our health.
Moringa is extremely nourishing
Almost all parts of the Moringa, a pretty large indigenous tree in northern India, can be eaten or used as ingredients in various phytonutritional medicines or traditional herbal remedies.
Leaves and pods are frequently consumed in many parts of India and Africa. The leaves are an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Thus, a fresh, cut leaf contains 2g of complex protein and an important percentage of the daily requirement of Vitamin B6 (19%), Vitamin C (12%), Vitamin B2 (9%), Vitamin A (9% beta-carotene, iron (11%) and magnesium (8%). In Western countries, dried leaves, turned into powder or capsules are used for supplemental nutrition.
Pods are generally lower in vitamins and minerals than leaves but are rich in Vitamin C, a cup of fresh pods bringing 157% of its daily requirement.
It is extremely rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that act against free radicals in our body. High levels of free radicals and oxidative stress can contribute to inflammation, degenerative diseases, aging but also to the occurrence of chronic pain, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Several antioxidant compounds have been found in Moringa leaves. Thus, in addition to vitamin C and beta-carotenes, Moringa also has a lot of quercetin and chlorogenic acid, phytonutritional compounds that can participate in lowering blood pressure and improving the antioxidants levels in the body.
Moringa may lower blood sugar levels
Increased blood glucose brings serious health problems in time and is the main characteristic of diabetes. Several studies on guinea pigs have shown that Moringa can help lower blood sugar levels.
Recently, a study was conducted on a group of 30 women who took 7g of ground moringa leaves each day, for three months. An average decrease in blood glucose levels of 13.5% was recorded, proving Moringa’s beneficial effects even further. In addition, in a smaller study conducted in diabetic patients, it was found that adding 50 grams of Moringa leaf to a meal reduced the blood glucose levels by 21%, which was most likely due to the plant’s isothiocyanates contents.
Moringa can reduce inflammation
Inflammation is the natural response of the body to various aggressions that damage the tissues. It is an essential protective mechanism for survival, but if prolonged it can become a major health problem leading to chronic, degenerative diseases.
Many fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices are known for anti-inflammatory effects. These include turmeric and pomegranate. The leaves, pods and seeds of Moringa have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may also be thanks to the isothiocyanate.
Moringa can reduce cholesterol
High blood cholesterol levels have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Many vegetables can effectively reduce cholesterol. These include flaxseeds, oats and almonds. Studies conducted on both animals and humans have shown that Moringa may have similar cholesterol-lowering effects.