Moringa oleifera (also known as horseradish tree) is beginning to gain more popularity as a new “superfood”. This is mostly due to its rich nutritious profile and potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and tissue-protective properties. However, the list of its benefits does not stop here, so let’s find out more about what this amazing plant offers!
Health Benefits of Moringa oleifera
Moringa Oleifera Is Very Nutritious
Moringa leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals. 1 cup of fresh, chopped leaves contains:
- Protein:2 grams.
- Vitamin B6:19% of the RDA.
- Vitamin C:12% of the RDA.
- Iron:11% of the RDA.
- Riboflavin (B2):11% of the RDA.
- Vitamin A (from beta-carotene):9% of the RDA.
- Magnesium:8% of the RDA.
Dried leaves are usually used as dietary supplements, in powder or capsule form. The pods are lower in vitamins and minerals. However, they have a high content of vitamin C. 1 cup of fresh, sliced pods has 157% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
However, you should know that Moringa leaves can be rich in antinutrients, which can reduce the absorption of minerals and protein. Also, if you are taking Moringa oleifera as a supplement, keep in mind that the capsules do not offer large amounts of nutrients.
Moringa Oleifera Is Rich In Antioxidants
High levels of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, which eventually may result in chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Antioxidants are compounds that can protect against free radicals. Moringa oleifera is believed to be an excellent source of antioxidants:
Quercetin: It can lower blood pressure
Chlorogenic acid: It helps moderate blood sugar levels after meals
According to a study, taking 7 grams of Moringa leaf powder every day for 3 months can increase blood antioxidant levels.
Moringa Oleifera May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
High blood is a serious health issue. It can increase your risk of various health problems, including heart disease. So, it is extremely important to maintain proper blood sugar levels. It is an interesting fact that several studies have shown that Moringa oleifera can be very beneficial for lowering blood sugar levels.
One study, in particular, proved that taking 7 grams of Moringa leaf powder every day for 3 months can reduce blood sugar levels by 13.5%. In addition, adding 50 grams of Moringa leaves to a meal reduces the rise in blood sugar by 21%.
Moringa Oleifera May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation can result in different chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease. So, it is very important to consume vegetables, herbs and spices that have anti-inflammatory properties.
It has been shown that Moringa leaves, pods and seeds have potent anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed that this is due to the isothiocyanates Moringa Oleifera contains.
Moringa Oleifera Can Lower Cholesterol
High amounts of cholesterol in the blood have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Certain plant foods like flaxseeds, oats, and almonds can effectively reduce cholesterol.
According to many studies, Moringa oleifera can provide similar cholesterol-lowering effects.
Moringa Oleifera May Protect Against Arsenic Toxicity
Even though arsenic in water or food does not cause symptoms of toxicity immediately, long-term exposure to arsenic can cause various health problems.
It is scientifically shown that people exposed to arsenic are more likely to experience cancer and heart disease. Lab studies showed that the seeds and leaves of Moringa oleifera can effectively protect against arsenic toxicity. However, further research needs to be done.