It’s scientific name is Moringa oleifera, but this plant that is native to North India is also called Moringa, ben oil tree, radish tree, or drumstrick tree. This is a plant that has thousands of years’ worth of praise due to the many health benefits that it provides. Through the years, scientists have really only investigated a portion of the reported health benefits provided by this miracle plant.
Here are just ten reasons you should add Moringa leaves to your diet:
1. Moringa is rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are the compounds that are responsible for ridding the body of free radicals. When free radicals are present in high numbers, this can lead to such chronic diseases as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Moringa provides antioxidants like beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Chlorogenic acid, and Quercetin. One study found that just seven grams of Moringa leaf powder each day for 90 days can increase antioxidant levels in blood.
2. Moringa improves overall gut health
Ulcers, gastritis, and gastric cancer are all byproducts of H. pylori—a bacteria that can be fought with the anti-bacterial properties of Moringa.
3. Moringa is loaded with nutrients
Moringa leaves can be consumed in a variety of ways, like through capsules, powder, or whole and raw. One cup of chopped fresh leaves provide a plethora of vitamins and minerals. In just this amount of leaves, you are served with two grams of protein, 19 percent of the recommended amount of Vitamin B6, 12 percent of your Vitamin C, 11 percent of your Iron, eight percent of your Magnesium, nine percent of your Vitamin A, and 11 percent of your B2 (Riboflavin). Individuals in developing countries tend to suffer from a lack of vitamins and minerals, and Moringa steps in to provide these essential nutrients.
4. Moringa may reduce inflammation
The body’s natural response to an injury or infection is inflammation. This is an essential protective mechanism, but when it goes on for long periods of time, it can lead to major health issues like heart disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. Thanks to the isothiocyanates, Moringa seeds, pods, and leaves provide these anti-inflammatory effects. Consume Moringa in tea or powder form—there is no harm in the delivery method.
5. Moringa helps digestion
The high fiber content of Moringa works in a way that will basically clear out all of the extra stuff that is left over from a diet that is high in grease.
6. Moringa has the ability to lower blood sugar levels
High blood sugar levels is a gateway to not only diabetes, but other problems like heart disease, so prevention is key. Animal studies have shown that Moringa helps lower blood sugar levels. One study showed that 30 women reduced their blood sugar levels by 13.5 percent after consuming seven grams of powdered Moringa leaves each day for three months. This is all thanks to the compounds found in Moringa called isothiocyanates.
7. Moringa helps protect against arsenic toxicity
Many parts of the world deal with contamination of their food and water, rice particularly. Though symptoms of toxicity won’t be shown right away, long-term exposure will lead to health problems like cancer or heart disease. The leaves of Moringa have been shown to protect against arsenic toxicity in mice and rats, and it is believed to have the same effect on humans.
8. Moringa can lower your cholesterol
High cholesterol has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease. Moringa has been shown to reduce cholesterol in a way that is similar to almonds, oats, and flax seeds.
9. Moringa protects against tumors and cancer
Thanks in part to a compound called niazimicin, studies have shown that Moringa leaves possess properties that can prevent tumor and cancer activity in the body.
10. Moringa can purify water
A protein that is found in the Moringa plant has the ability to bind with impurities found in water, which causes them to congeal so that these clusterings may be separated from the water. Just the sheer knowledge of this will revolutionize access to water that is safe to drink. If it has the ability to do this, imagine what it can do for your body.
Featured photo credit: Books for Life via flickr.com