The Many Health Benefits of Moringa
In 2008 Moringa oleifera won the honors of “Plant of the Year” from the National Institutes of Health, and years before that moringa earned the prestigious nickname “The Miracle Plant.” And miracles it makes when it comes to preventing and treating chronic disease such as:
- Heart disease
- Digestive disorders
- Liver disease
- Respiratory ailments
- Skin conditions
In fact, 1300 studies, articles, and reports attest to the curative and restorative properties of moringa, which truly is one of the most nutrient-dense plants on planet earth. Let’s take a look at some of moringa’s most outstanding health benefits.
Moringa’s Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
As reported in a mini-review by the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, moringa is replete in amino acids, carotenoid phytonutrients, antioxidants, and antibacterial compounds. These nutrients work to subdue inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes and proteins in the body in the same manner (and in a much safer manner) than anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs.
Antioxidant compounds such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid help to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, and have been linked to a decreased risk for cancers of the stomach, lung, and colon, and diseases such has high blood pressure, diabetes, and age-related vision loss. Antioxidant-rich phytonutrients—such as beta-sitosterol, caffeoylguinic acid, and kaempferol—help strengthen heart health by boosting circulation and keeping cholesterol and arterial plaque in check.
But how does moringa stack up against other plant foods when it comes to nutrition density? It has:
- 2 times more protein than yogurt
- 4 times more vitamin A than carrots
- 3 times more potassium than bananas
- 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
- 4 times more calcium than milk
Along with 90 other nutritive compounds, including isothiocyanates, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.
Moringa’s Anti-Aging and Balancing Benefits
Hormone health is a key factor in graceful aging, and moringa provides balancing support to hormones, especially during transitions such as menopause. Researchers set out to see if moringa could help stall aging by helping to balance hormones. The study, published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology in 2014, showed that supplementing with moringa and amaranth dramatically raised antioxidant levels and significantly lowered oxidative stress.
Moringa also had a positive influence on fasting blood glucose levels and hemoglobin. Another study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition showed that when diabetic patients ate a high-carb meal along with moringa, they had better blood glucose control and insulin levels.
Moringa’s Digestive Benefits
Ayurveda, India’s traditional medical practice, has been capitalizing on moringa’s anti-inflammatory properties for thousands of years, and using the plant to treat and prevent stomach ulcers, kidney damage, fungal and yeast infections, liver disease, digestive complications, and infections. Some experts swear that moringa can help with kidney stones, urinary tract infections, constipation, fluid retention, and diarrhea.
Moringa’s Liver Benefits
Moringa has earned a reputation as the ultimate liver tonic. The liver is responsible for detoxifying blood, producing bile, metabolizing fructose and fat, and processing nutrients, but if the liver does not have a stable supply of liver enzymes, then the liver cannot perform these critical duties. Moringa can help keep liver enzymes at the desired level, while fighting oxidative stress and increasing proteins in the liver.
Moringa’s Brain Benefits
Moringa also positively impacts brain health and mood because it contains the amino acid tryptophan, which helps boost neurotransmitter functions, like levels of serotonin, a “feel-good” hormone. The high levels of vitamins C and E in moringa help to decrease oxidation that causes neurons to degenerate, and help to nourish thyroid health so that we don’t fall prey to depression, low energy, low libido, mood swings, or insomnia.
How to Benefit from Moringa
You can steep moringa leaves and make a tea, or make a tea from moringa powder. Moringa can also pack a double (or quadruple) whammy when coupled with other superfoods, like acai berry and cacao. Look for moringa in superfood powders, such as Mega-Nutrition Organic Superfood, which includes moringa, cacao, acai berry, chlorella, camu camu, spirulina, gogi berry, and wheatgrass.