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There’s no denying that everyone wants to be in good health, and more and more people have started to acknowledge the benefits of herbs, plants and other natural compounds to help them. But it seems that every year, a new superfood appears, gets all the attention, and then a few months later another one comes in and replaces it. But in reality, it is not like that. All these foods that get the superfood title and seem to come and go with the seasons have actually been used for thousands of years by our ancestors. It’s just that we didn’t know it, and moringa happens to be one of these.
So you are probably wondering: what is moringa tree good for? Well, let’s see.
The Moringa Tree: What Is It?
Moringa Oleifera, also called drumstick tree, horseradish tree or ben oil tree, is a tree native to South Asia. It is mostly found in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and other tropical countries where it is cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes. Interestingly, absolutely all parts of this tree can be used. The pods (also called drumsticks), seeds and leaves are cooked and eaten as a food. The leaves are also often used dried or in powdered form. The flowers, bark, stems, roots and even gum are usually used as medicine. In western countries, moringa is mostly known and used as a dietary supplement.
But what is truly amazing about this tree is its extremely high nutritional value. It is known to contain over 92 different nutrients including numerous amino acids and antioxidants.
Why Is It Called A “Miracle Tree”?
Because of the variety of ways in which it can be used, and the wide range of benefits that it can provide, moringa has been hailed as a miracle tree.
In its native countries, it is believed that moringa could help cure more than 300 different illnesses. And because of its high nutritional value, it is also used as a way to stay well and healthy in general.
Lately, many people have been interested in using moringa for its potential weight-loss and cancer-fighting properties. On top of that, moringa has very little known side-effects.
In many countries, moringa has also been used as a water purifier. And because it is fast-growing and drought-resistant, it can be grown cheaply and easily. Moringa has even been used by different humanitarian organizations to fight malnutrition.
What Does Science Say?
Moringa has been used in some Asian, African and South-American countries for thousands of years. But compared to the number of benefits that moringa is believed to have, not a lot of studies have been done to support these.
Still, more and more people have been attracted by the numerous potential health benefits of moringa, and have been increasingly using it as a way to stay healthy in general, prevent different illnesses and also as an alternative medicine in order to avoid the nasty side-effects of synthetic drugs.
What is sure though, is that moringa is indeed a good source of nutrition. The leaves are the most nutritious part with the highest level of antioxidants.
Moringa has been shown to have anti fungal, antiviral, anti-microbial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. All these can therefore help to provide relief from many different health problems.
To give you an idea, among other nutrients, 1 cup of fresh moringa tree leaves contains:
– Vitamin A: 9% of RDA
– Vitamin C: 12% of RDA
– Iron: 11% of RDA
– Proteins: 2g
The Health Benefits Of Moringa
- Helps To Prevent And Fight Cancer
Moringa is known for its high levels of antioxidants, including vitamin A, C and E, that help to protect the cells from free radicals. And as free radicals increase the risk of developing cancer, moringa can be effective to prevent this.
In some studies, moringa has also been shown to be potentially effective at stopping the proliferation of cancer cells.
Moreover, chemotherapy treatments usually affect the immune system and make the body more vulnerable to infections.
Since moringa has the ability to boost the immune system, it has the potential to help fight cancer as well.
Some cancer treatments can also cause a loss of appetite which can lead to malnutrition and weight loss. And because moringa is nutrient-dense, it can be a good way to easily get all the nutrients needed on a daily basis.
- Can Help Treat Digestive Problems
The seedpods of moringa are rich in fibre, which can aid digestion, help to clean the intestines and prevent constipation.
Its high vitamin B content also helps with digestion.
Moringa leaves and flowers are often brewed into tea to help soothe upset stomachs.
- Supports Bone Health
Moringa is remarkably nutritious and among other nutrients, it also contains vitamin C and D, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium which play an important role in calcium absorption and bone health in general.
Moreover, moringa’s anti-inflammatory abilities could help reduce symptoms of arthritis.
- Supports Hearth Health
By reducing inflammation, moringa helps to keep the heart healthy.
- Supports Brain Health
Moringa’s high vitamin C and E content can help prevent oxidative stress and therefore hormonal-imbalance. By keeping hormonal-balance, moringa can help to fight anxiety, depression and can benefit mental health in general.
Moringa’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can also help prevent memory loss that is often associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
You can also learn about other herbs and plants called adaptogens, that can be very effective for stress.
- Supports Lung Function
Moringa has also been used for a long time in Ayurveda to help treat symptoms of asthma. Some studies seem to be supporting this and have shown that moringa has antiasthmatic activity and can help to keep lungs healthy in general.
- Help Lower Blood Pressure
If high blood pressure is your main concern, you can find out about some other natural ways to lower blood pressure.
- Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Moringa has been used for a long time in traditional medicine to treat diabetes. Now studies also suggest that moringa has the ability to lower blood glucose levels. This is partly due to the fact that moringa has powerful antioxidant properties that help to reduce oxidative stress, which is known to be a risk factor for diabetes.
- Helps Lower Cholesterol:
As moringa leaves contain phytosterols, they can help to block the absorption of cholesterol and therefore reduce it.
Here are some other natural supplements to lower cholesterol.
- Helps Improve Eyesight
This is mainly because it is high in vitamin A, which is important for vision
- Helps To Reduce Fatigue
Fatigue is often associated with stress, anxiety and depression. And since moringa can help reduce these, it can also be effective at reducing fatigue.
- Protects The Liver
Ben oil, extracted from moringa seeds, has been shown to be potentially effective at protecting the liver from oxidative stress and toxicity. This is believed to be due to it’s high levels of polyphenols.
- Good For Skin And Hair
Moringa seed oil can be found in a number of skincare and hair care products.
As moringa can act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it can protect the cells from free radicals and oxidation. This helps to slow down the effects of aging, which in turn helps to keep the skin healthy and younger looking.
It also has antibacterial, and anti-microbial properties, moringa can help to treat wounds, burns and other skin problems such as acne and even dandruff.
Moringa promotes proper blood flow in the scalp which helps more nutrients to reach the hair follicles leading to stronger and healthier hair.
Moringa For Weight Loss: Does It Work?
Another reason why moringa has been gaining in popularity is the belief that it may help weight-loss. But is it actually true?
Well, we already know that moringa is extremely nutritious and contains pretty much all nutrients that someone needs for optimum health.
Moringa has been shown to help reduce blood sugar, and when blood sugar levels are in control, it is easier to keep a healthy weight.
Because it also helps to keep hormones in check, moringa can help prevent food cravings and thus unwanted weight gain.
Furthermore, as moringa can provide all types of essential nutrients, it helps to increase energy levels. And when you have energy, you can be more active. And when you are more active, you can burn more fat. You get the picture!
Moringa does not appear to be a miracle herb for weight loss, but it may indirectly help to keep a normal weight or aid to lower it by helping to keep some other health problems at bay, which can be responsible for weight gain.
How To Take Moringa?
Although moringa leaves and pods can be cooked and eaten the same way you do with spinach or green beans, depending on where you live, you are more likely to find moringa in supplement form.
Moringa supplements can be found in powder or capsule form.
These are some ways you can try to incorporate moringa powder in your diet:
– Mix some in water, smoothies, juice or even coffee
– Add it to any recipe
– Use it for baking
1-2 teaspoons at once are usually enough.
If you can get your hands on fresh or dried moringa leaves and flowers, you can put the kettle on and make some tea. You can drink this regularly but just don’t overdo it as it can have laxative effects.
And if you would rather take moringa supplement capsules, make sure you follow the recommended dosage.
Possible side-effects of moringa:
Moringa is generally safe to use and has almost no reported side-effects.
However, it may have anti-fertility properties which is why it should be avoided during pregnancy.
Since moringa has the ability to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, you should be particularly careful if you are already taking medications to lower these to make sure your levels don’t get too low.
Moringa could also interfere with other medications, so always check with your doctor before you start taking it.
Were to buy moringa?
Here is a good quality moringa leaf supplement in capsule form. But if you prefer, this organic moringa leaf powder is another option.
Moringa Tree: One Of The Most Nutritious Plant On The Planet
It is safe to say that moringa is one of the most nutritious plant you can find. Not only does it contain loads of nutrients, but it is also an extremely sustainable plant to grow. The fact that it doesn’t need much water and can grow very quickly, makes it a great source of food in countries with malnutrition problems but also in western countries where bad eating habits have led to a lack of nutrients in the diet.
As many studies have started to show, it turns ou that ancient civilizations were right all along. Moringa tree is good for health in general, and can be very effective to treat all sorts of ailments as well.
So, is moringa a superfood? Personally, we think it’s even more than that!
Just remember, in order to be able to enjoy all the benefits of moringa and get the results you are after, whether you choose to use moringa powder, capsule or oil, make sure you buy a completely natural, high quality product free from added fillers and other unnecessary ingredients.
And as with all other natural supplements, ask your doctor first especially if you are taking other medications, suffer from serious health problems, or are pregnant or breast-feeding.