In 2008 the National Institute of Health called moringa (moringa oleifera) the “plant of the year,” acknowledging that “perhaps like no other single species, this plant has the potential to help reverse multiple major environmental problems and provide for many unmet human needs.

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Moringa is known to have:

  • 7x as much calcium as milk
  • 7x times as much vitamin C as oranges
  • 15x as much potassium as bananas
  • 7x as much B2 as yeast
  • 6x as much polyphenols as red wine
  • 4.5x as much folic acid as beef liver
  • 4.5x as much vitamin E as wheat seedlings
  • 4x as much vitamin A and 2.5x times as much carotene as carrots.

However the other  potential benefits are:===

Can Fight Inflammation

The flavonoids in moringa can help fight inflammation in rats and human cell lines . This way, the plant also has a role to play in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease).

Moringa was also effective in blocking certain cytokines that promote inflammation in the human body. The extracts of moringa seeds also have anti-inflammatory properties .

The anti-inflammatory properties of moringa may also help relieve rheumatic pain in rats . However, more trials in humans are warranted.

The most potent of the phytochemicals in moringa that fight inflammation include flavonoids and isothiocyanates. Their anti-inflammatory potential is so intense that studies emphasize their ability to prevent or treat inflammatory conditions like diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.

May Strengthen Bones

Moringa is a good source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus – nutrients essential for bone health . It also contains lysine, an amino acid that promotes calcium absorption .

Moringa was found to have a miraculous effect on bone integrity and may prevent osteoporosisi  . Specific flavonoids in moringa may also stimulate osteoblastic cells, which are cells that synthesize bones.

However, there are very few studies stressing the bone-protective properties of moringa. Certain other studies are yet to conclude if intake of moringa actually impacts bone health in a positive way.

 May Help Treat Anemia

Though more research is needed, one study conducted in rats states that moringa can increase blood iron levels, thereby treating anemia . This is especially true with moringa leaves, which are iron-rich. The vitamin C in moringa also increases iron absorption in the body.

May Promote Heart Health

Moringa improved cardiac diastolic functioni  in hypertensive rats. It also reduced fibrosis (the scarring of connective tissue) in the left ventricle .

Moringa also helps lower cholesterol levels, which can help improve heart health. In a study, the plant was found to increase the excretion of fecal cholesterol .

Moringa pods are replete with polyunsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic, linolenic, and oleic acids. These have the ability to lower cholesterol. Moringa seed oil contains 76% PUFAs, and it can be an ideal substitute for olive oil .

Moringa leaf extract may also lower blood pressure levels. This extract reduced oxidative stress and relieved vascular dysfunction in hypertensive rats . This effect can potentially ward off heart disease.

May Have Anti-Aging Benefits

This is especially true with moringa leaves. They are also replete with antioxidants like vitamins A, B, and C, which can contribute to skin health .

In studies, the use of a facial cream with moringa as the primary ingredient significantly improved the skin elasticity and hydration in the participants . The plant also enhanced the division of fibroblasts (cells in the connective tissue that produce collagen and other fibers), thereby promoting skin appearance and texture.

The antioxidants in moringa can also offer anti-aging benefits. They work to protect the skin cells from environmental stressors, including UV radiation. These properties make moringa an ingredient of promise in upcoming anti-aging skin care products.

How To Include Moringa In Your Diet

Here are a few simple ways:

  • Add chopped and cooked moringa drumsticks to your soup/curry.
  • Add moringa powder to your salad.
  • Mix moringa powder with your morning smoothie for a quick boost of taste and nutrition.
  • Add the powder to your brownie or cracker mixture.

You can also make moringa tea, which would be a tasteful way to add the goodness of the plant to your diet. The tea can be prepared using moringa leaves. These leaves are already air-dried.

You can grind them in a blender until you achieve a powdery consistency. Add this ground moringa to tea bags and store them in a cool and dry place. Add this powder to hot water, along with some lemon and sugar. However, avoid adding too much sugar to your diet.

But before you go ahead with moringa, you need to be aware of its side effects.

What Are The Side Effects Of Moringa?

  • May Hinder Nutrient Absorption

Moringa leaves may contain antinutrients that can hinder the absorption of certain nutrients (including protein) . These antinutrients include tannins, trypsin inhibitors, nitrates, and oxalic acid . Hence, if you are taking medications/supplements for nutrient deficiency, please check with your doctor before consuming moringa.

  • May Interact With Thyroid Medication

Moringa can have thyroid-like properties . Though its interaction with thyroid medication (with hypothyroidism) hasn’t been documented, it is better to check with your doctor before taking moringa regularly.

  • May Lower Blood Sugar Levels Way Too Much

We have seen that moringa can help lower blood sugar levels . If you are already on medications for treating high blood sugar, moringa might lead to hypoglycemiai  . Hence, please check with your doctor.

  • May Lower Blood Pressure Levels Way Too Much

Moringa can also help lower blood pressure levels . If you are already on medications for treating high blood pressure, consuming moringa might lead to hypotension. Hence, it is important to talk to your doctor.

  • Can Be Harmful During Pregnancy

A study states that moringa may cause violent uterine contractions, possibly leading to abortion . However, another report documents the use of moringa leaves to curb malnutrition in pregnant and breastfeeding women .

These studies are conflicting. Hence, please be on the safe side and do not consume moringa without consulting your doctor.





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