Moringa oleifera is a tree native to South Asia and these days found throughout the tropics. Its leaves have been long used for medicinal purposes and the Ayurvedic medicine associates it with the prevention or the cure of more than 300 diseases.
This fast-growing tree is particularly appealing for impoverished areas, and it is widely used for increasing nutritional intake in India, Senegal, and Malawi. As a matter of fact, it is one of the foods with the highest nutritional profile in these countries.
Moringa Tree Health Benefits
1. Robust Nutritional Profile
100 grams of moringa leaf contains:
- 17 times the calcium of milk
- 12 times the vitamin C of oranges
- 9 times the protein of yogurt
- 10 times the vitamin A of carrots
- 15 times the potassium of bananas
- 25 times the iron of spinach
As you can see, moringa leef indeed has a rich nutritional value.
2. Antioxidant Content
Moringa leaves are packed with antioxidants like beta-carotene, quercetin, vitamin C, and chlorogenic acid which has been shown to delay cells` absorption of sugar. According to a study published in Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention:
“The leaves of the Moringa oleifera tree have been reported to demonstrate antioxidant activity due to its high amount of polyphenols.
Moringa oleifera extracts of both mature and tender leaves exhibit strong antioxidant activity against free radicals, prevent oxidative damage to major biomolecules, and give significant protection against oxidative damage.”
3. Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Moringa contains compounds which possess anti-diabetic properties. According to one study, women who took 7 grams of moringa leaf powder on a daily basis for 3 months reduced their blood sugar levels by up to 13.5%.
Another research has shown that adding 50 grams of this powder to a meal reduce blood sugar`s rise by 21% among diabetics.
4. Reduce Inflammation
The phenolic acid, flavonoids, and isothiocyanates in moringa leaves act as potent anti-inflammatory agents. As reported in the Epoch Times,
“The tree’s strong anti-inflammatory action is traditionally used to treat stomach ulcers. Moringa oil (sometimes called Ben oil) has been shown to protect the liver from chronic inflammation. The oil is unique in that, unlike most vegetable oils, moringa resists rancidity.
This quality makes it a good preservative for foods that can spoil quickly. This sweet oil is used for both frying or in a salad dressing. It is also used topically to treat antifungal problems, arthritis, and is an excellent skin moisturizer.”
5. Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
An animal study has shown that moringa exhibits potent cholesterol-lowering properties. According to a study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology,
“Moringa oleifera is used in Thai traditional medicine as cardiotonic. Recent studies demonstrated its hypocholesterolemic effect.
… In hypercholesterol-fed rabbits, at 12 weeks of treatment, it significantly (P<0.05) lowered the cholesterol levels and reduced the atherosclerotic plaque formation to about 50 and 86%, respectively. These effects were at degrees comparable to those of simvastatin.
… The results indicate that this plant possesses antioxidant, hypolipidaemic, and antiatherosclerotic activities, and has therapeutic potential for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.”
6. Prevent Arsenic Toxicity
Both the leaves and the seeds of this fast-growing tree can protect against the effects of arsenic toxicity, which of utmost importance these days, given the virtual expansion of this issue.