7 Amazing Moringa Benefits That Prove How Underrated it is

Vegan Diet

You eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. While you might tick all the boxes when it comes to health, there are always small ways you can up your game. Adding nutrient-rich superfoods to your diet will help you to support your wellness. If you haven’t heard of the latest food and nutrition trend known as moringa, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at the main moringa benefits and how you can add it to your diet.

What is Moringa?

Moringa plant growing in the wild
Research published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal suggests that moringa leaves are high in antioxidants.

First of all before we look at the moringa benefits, let’s get a basic definition here. What is moringa? Hailing from regions of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, moringa is a plant that boasts many exciting health benefits. All parts of the plant are used to make various forms of medicine.

When buying this particular plant, keep in mind that you can get it in all forms, such as bark, leaf, flowers, fruit, and seeds. It’s crucial to learn about the advantages of each different section of the plant before you start using it within your everyday medicine. Let’s take a quick minute to look at the various parts of the moringa plant:

  • Roots
  • Seeds
  • Trunk
  • Leaves
  • Flowers

All of the above parts of the moringa plant can be used as a superfood or supplement. Needless to say, different parts of the plant have different benefits. Taking the time to understand what each part of the plant does and, of course, how you use it is essential.

One of the biggest moringa benefits is the fact that it is super cheap and easy to grow. For that reason, it has fast become an important source of food globally. You can use the plant in a broad variety of ways. For instance, you may dry the leaves, cook the green pods (much like you would beans), or roast the seeds. The versatility of the plant is perhaps part of the reason that it has become so popular in recent years.

7 Amazing Moringa Benefits

So, what is all the hype surrounding this plant? Now that you’ve gained an understanding of what the plant is, it’s time to take a look at some of the major moringa benefits that it offers. Aside from being rich in the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs, this particular plant could also help you improve all areas of your health.

1. Rich in antioxidants

Moringa leaves in a mortar with a pestle on top

Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants could be a smart way to improve your health. Research suggests that consuming more of these things could help to protect your body from a wide variety of health complaints and diseases.[1] The reason is that they protect your body from the free radicals, which may cause these diseases.

While supplements have been shown to be ineffective in many cases, getting antioxidants naturally in your diet is a must.[2] Of course, you can gain this nutrient from fresh fruit and vegetables but there are also many other ways in which you can increase your intake.

Adding some moringa leaves to your diet could be a smart way in which to protect your health. Research published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal suggests that the leaves are high in antioxidants.[3] What’s more, another study found that moringa leaves could increase the antioxidant level in the blood of postmenopausal women.[4] It could be worth including these in your daily food plan to help boost your wellness.

2. Could reduce cholesterol levels

Moringa leaves on a green background

Are you currently struggling with high cholesterol? This condition is linked to a whole range of life-threatening concerns. Having high cholesterol levels puts you at a greater risk of having Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection.[5] Lowering the levels of harmful cholesterol in your body is one of the best steps you can take toward better overall health. One of the ways in which you can protect yourself is to adjust your diet accordingly.

Adding some form of moringa to your diet could be one way to go. This simple addition to your eating plan could make all the difference. Research shows that moringa could lower the cholesterol levels within a person’s body.[6] While it won’t magically change your cholesterol levels overnight, these small changes all add up to big results.

3. May help improve vision

Moringa leaves ground up in a mortar with a pestle on top

Worried about losing your eyesight? As we get older, all of us will experience some level of vision loss, according to a report from Visionaware.[7] Despite this fact, there are certain lifestyle changes that we can make which could help to prevent the condition worsening over time. For example, you could limit your daily screen-time or ensure that you rest your eyes well during the evening hours. However, you may not realize that the food that you eat on a day-to-day basis could also have an impact on your eye health.

One of the best moringa benefits you need to know about is the fact that it is rich in Vitamin A.[8] Research suggests that consuming higher levels of this vitamin could help to prevent age-related vision loss.[9] With that in mind, increasing your intake could be a savvy way in which to future-proof your eyesight and prevent it from waning as you get older. Including moringa in your diet could mean that you can do this quickly and easily.

4. Could help to lower blood sugar levels

Moringa powder on a wooden spoon surrounded by moringa leaves

Equally, you should be concerned about your blood sugar levels. Having high blood sugar levels is linked to diabetes, which is why you have to manage this particular condition.[10] Once you’re aware of the problem, you can begin to do something about it. Of course, you should first try to lower the levels of high-sugar foods that you eat on a regular basis. Aside from that, actually adding things to your diet could be a helpful idea.

Adding moringa—in a leaf or powder form—may help you to lower your overall blood sugar levels. Typically, people see a natural spike in blood sugar directly after they have consumed a meal. How much this particular spike is could be telling of the person’s health. Research into the effect this supplement has on diabetic individuals suggests that adding 50 grams of leaves to your meal could reduce the rise in blood sugar by 21%.[11] If you’re looking for a way in which to manage your levels, you may just have found it.

5. May enhance the immune system

Moringa tea in a glass beside moringa leaves and paste

Having a healthy and strong immune system is absolutely essential to your overall health and well-being. If you want to ward off illnesses and viral infections, you must do all that you can to make sure that you keep this system working as well as possible.

As we have already covered, moringa is rich in antioxidants, which play a vital role in this aspect of your health.[12] However, there is more in-depth research in this area that suggests the ways in which this plant can help you stay fighting-fit each and every day.

One study into the possible moringa benefits on the immune system returned some surprisingly positive results. The research found that having small doses of moringa extract could be “moderately effective” on improving the immune system.[13] You may want to add this extract or supplement to your health plan or include it elsewhere in your diet.

6. Could reduce inflammation

Moringa in a wooden spoon on top of moringa leaves

While inflammation is a completely natural bodily response to toxins or invaders, chronic (or ongoing) inflammation can be dangerous. This problem can lead to a range of health concerns such as various forms of cancer.[14] Leading a sedentary lifestyle, eating processed foods, and having a high BMI are all risk factors when it comes to inflammation. Again, you can make lifestyle changes to combat this problem.

One such change could be including more moringa in your current diet. An animal-based study found that moringa seeds could have potential anti-inflammatory properties, which should not be overlooked.[15] While the research dealt with rats – not humans – the experts believe that the results are transferable. That means that another one of the exciting moringa benefits could be a reduction in inflammation.

7. Remarkable source of nutrients

An arrangement of moringa pods, powder, and leaves.

Getting more of the good stuff in your diet is never a bad idea. Luckily, one of the most striking moringa benefits is the fact that it’s super rich in vitamins and nutrients.

Should you choose to consume the plant in leaf form, you get a wealth of nutrients including high levels of calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper.[16] What’s more, these leaves are low in calories too, which is a major bonus.

On the other hand, if you decide to opt for the pods instead, you can expect yet more nutrients along the way. The immature pods have a 46.78% fiber and around 20.66% protein content.[17] That means that they are extremely healthy and rich in the things that your body needs to repair and grow.

Moringa Nutrient Breakdown

Moringa pods, powder, and dried leaves

To fully understand what each of the moringa plant parts has to offers, it’s worth taking a quick look at their nutrients in-depth. Here’s a rundown of what 100g of each plant products offers according to a report in the Food Science and Human Wellness journal:[18]

  • Fresh Leaves – 92 calories, 6.7g protein, 0.9g fiber, 220 mg Vitamin C, 440 mg calcium, 259 mg potassium
  • Dried Leaves – 329 calories, 29.4g protein, 12.5g fiber, 15.8 mg Vitamin C, 2185 mg calcium, 1236 mg potassium
  • Powder – 205 calories, 27.1g protein, 19.2g fiber, 17.3 mg Vitamin C, 2003 mg calcium, 1324 mg potassium
  • Pods – 26 calories, 2.5g protein, 4.8g fiber, 120 mg Vitamin C, 30 mg calcium, 259 mg potassium
  • Seeds – 45 mg calcium, 0.05 mg Vitamin B1, 0.06 mg Vitamin B2, 0.6 mg Vitamin B6

As you can see, each of the parts of the moringa plant offer a rich and diverse amount of vitamins and nutrients. You can use all of the above in different ways and include them in various recipes or even drinks to consume them. Starting to understand the value of each of these plant parts means that you can get to grips with the moringa benefits.

Should I Eat it as Seeds, Power, Tea or Pods?

Since you already understand the moringa benefits, you may be wondering how you can consume this plant. While you can get moringa supplements from health stores, there are actually many other ways in which you can eat these things. As you know, the plant comes in a range of forms – seeds, powder, tea (dried leaves), and pods. Choosing the right one for you depends entirely on your lifestyle and taste. Here’s what you need to know about each of the options and how you can start using them.

Moringa Seeds

A closeup of many moringa pods

While most people tend to consume moringa in leaf or powder form, you may also want to consider trying the seeds of this plant. The small and crunchy seeds come from the pods and can be used in a whole variety of ways.

How to eat them

If you’re hoping to give moringa seeds a try, you need to know how to prepare and eat them. There are a couple of viable options here. The first (and perhaps most fun!) option is to pop the seeds to make an alternate version of popcorn. You can put them in a nonstick frying pan, cover it, and turn up the heat to pop the seeds.

The second option out there is to add them to existing recipes. For instance, if you happen to love cooking curry, these particular seeds tend to work strikingly well in them. It doesn’t stop there. You could also add the moringa seeds to stews, casseroles, and even soups too. Why not shake up your next recipe with this healthful new addition?

Moringa Powder

A spoonful of moringa powder being scooped out of a jar
You can buy moringa powder quickly and easily at a whole range of health stores and online.

Another way in which you can include the plant in your diet is in powder form. This method will give you all of the moringa benefits with little preparation. You can buy moringa powder quickly and easily at a whole range of health stores and online.

How to eat it

Once you’ve got some moringa powder, using it could not be easier. You should note that the flavor is bitter and sweet. However when you add it to a recipe, it’s not overpowering. There are many different ways to include it in your existing recipes. For example, you could try baking with the powder by adding it to a bread recipe. Alternately, you might want to include it in soups, stews, sauces or dips. If you can’t get by without a green smoothie in the morning, try sprinkling some of the powder into the mixture before you blitz it.

Moringa Tea

A cup of moringa tea on a table

Next up, let’s talk about one of the simplest ways in which you can consume some moringa. Drinking moringa tea has a similar flavor to that of green tea. Many people say that it’s relatively “earthy” in taste, which should give you an idea of what to expect. Making a habit out of drinking the tea on a regular basis may help to boost your health.

How to drink it

There are two ways to go here. You can either make the tea yourself or buy premade tea bags. If you go with the bags, simply boil the kettle and make yourself a cup. On the other hand, making the tea from scratch isn’t all that hard. You should get some dried leaves and grind them up a little. Then it’s simply a case of putting them in boiling water, brewing it, and then straining it afterward. Simple.

Moringa Pods

A pile of moringa pods

Immature moringa pods have a crisp and sweet flavor that many people enjoy. You should know that as these pods age, they become more stringy and do not taste as good. Cooking up these moringa pods isn’t too difficult and you can add them to most meals.

How to eat them

The simplest way to add these pods to your diet is to use them as a replacement for green beans. You can chop them up and boil them, much as you would any other bean. Serve them as a side dish with meat, fish, or include them as part of a stew. Give it a go.

Moringa Side Effects to be Aware of

Moringa in various forms such as died leaves, pods, and flowers

Before you start using this superfood, you need to know about the possible moringa side effects. There isn’t too much research in this area at the moment. However, one animal-based study linked excessive moringa consumption to possible kidney damage in the long term.[19]

Of course, it’s crucial to remember that this effect was only seen when animals consume large portions of the moringa. How the supplement affects you will largely depend on your health and the individual. For that reason, it’s worth speaking to your doctor and getting some advice before adding this plant to your existing diet.

7 Amazing Moringa Benefits

Conclusion

Are you itching to start reaping some of the major moringa benefits? If so, there are many options out there for you. Whether you drink it in tea form, cook up the pods, or attempt any other method, this superfood could help you supercharge your health. Why not do a little research, speak to your doctor, and then get started with this new supplement?

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References

  • [1] NCCIH https://nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants/introduction.htm
  • [2] https://nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants/introduction.htm
  • [3] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691509002774
  • [4] Journal of Food Science and Technology. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13197-012-0859-9
  • [5] https://www.visionaware.org/info/for-seniors/age-related-vision-loss/12
  • [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5745501
  • [7] Vision Aware. https://www.visionaware.org/info/for-seniors/age-related-vision-loss/12
  • [8] http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1415-52732008000400007&script=sci_arttext&tlng=pt
  • [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693724
  • [10] NIDDK. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes/know-blood-sugar-numbers
  • [11] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09637489309017439
  • [12] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691509002774
  • [13] NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5708203/
  • [14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4958288
  • [15] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S223125361112010X
  • [16] Journal of Food Science and Human Wellness. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453016300362#bib0360
  • [17] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453016300362#bib0360
  • [18] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453016300362#bib0360
  • [19] NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23509212

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