Moringa oleifera is a popular plant which has been long used for its healing properties. It is packed with bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants, out of which only a small percentage has been investigated by the researchers.
Below you have a list of 6 health benefits of Moringa oleifera that are backed up by scientific research.
1. Moringa Oleifera Is Very Nutritious
Almost all parts of the plant are edible or used as ingredients in natural remedies. The pods and leaves are particularly used in parts of Africa and India.
The leaves are packed with vitamins and minerals and as little as a cup of fresh leave provides 2 grams protein, 8 % of the RDA for magnesium, 11% of the RDA for iron, 9% of the RDA for vitamin A, 12% of the RDA for vitamin C, 11% of the RDA for riboflavin, and 19% of the RDA for B6.
The pods, on the other hand, are lower in vitamins and minerals. However, they are packed with vitamin c and only a cup of fresh pods contains up to 157% of the RDA for vitamin C.
Note that if you are taking Moringa oleifera as a supplement, using capsules will not yield large amounts of nutrients.
2. Moringa Oleifera Is Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants fight off free radicals, compounds which cause oxidative stress in the body and lead to chronic diseases like type II diabetes and chronic diseases. Apart from vitamin C and beta-carotene, Moringa oleifera contains a wide range of other antioxidants, such as quercetin which helps lower blood pressure and chlorogenic acid which regulates blood sugar levels after meals.
A study in women has found that taking 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder on a daily basis over the course of three months notably increased antioxidant levels within the blood.
3. Moringa Oleifera May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar is a serious health issue and is considered to be the major characteristic of diabetes. On the long run, it increases the risk of many health conditions, such as heart disease. This is the reason why one should keep blood sugar levels within the optimal range.
Multiple studies have shown that this plant helps lower blood sugar levels, although most of the evidence is based on animal studies as the human ones are of low quality.
In a study in which 30 women were given 7 grams of moringa leaf powder daily for three months they reduces fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5 percent.
4. Moringa Oleifera May Reduce Inflammation
While inflammation is normal when kept in check and it serves as body`s natural response to an injury, it may become a huge problem if it goes out of control. Chronic inflammation has been linked to various chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
Many fruits, veggies, plants, and spices are known to contain anti-inflammatory properties, out of which pomegranates and turmeric are the most powerful.
Moringa leaves, seeds, and pods have been scientifically shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory properties, which are attributed to the isothiocyanates content.
5. Moringa Oleifera Can Lower Cholesterol
High levels of cholesterol within the blood have been associated with an elevated risk of heart disease. There are many plant foods with cholesterol-lowering properties, including almonds, oats, and flaxseeds. Animal and human studies have confirmed that Moringa oleifera have similar properties.
6. Moringa Oleifera May Protect Against Arsenic Toxicity
Arsenic contamination is a very common problem these days. Rice, in particular, contains high levels of arsenic and while arsenic in food and water doesn’t show symptoms of toxicity right away, long-term exposure causes serious health problems. Multiple studies have shown that exposure to arsenic on the long run may raise the risk of both heart disease and cancer.
A few studies done on mice and rats have shown that the leaves and seeds of this plant prevent certain effect of arsenic toxicity.