14 Moringa Benefits That Nourish Your Whole Body

I first came across Moringa leaf powder at a tiny, hole-in-the-wall health food store in Bali, Indonesia and couldn't help but take a closer look since my spirulina supply had run out and I was on the hunt for a nutritionally-rich, chlorophyll-packed substitute.

Research ensued. And of course, experimentation. Turns out Moringa benefits more than fit the bill. It's also one of the only superfoods being promoted by the World Health Organization. Curious why? Read on.

What is Moringa?

Also called marango, malungay, kelor tree, drumstick tree, horseradish tree, and more - the Moringa has as many names as uses. It is native to the Himalayas, but is now grown in East Africa, India, the Philippines, and both Central and South America.

On top of its various names - this tree also boasts some telling nicknames.

Its called "the miracle tree" for its versatility as well as for its health benefits - you see, every single part of the tree is used, from the leaves down to the smallest pods.

Being highly nutrient dense and exceptionally versatile, Moringa oleifera is especially helpful in developing tropical countries, where this tree of life is consumed to prevent malnutrition in nursing mothers and infants.

What's not eaten is used to make medicine - the roots, seeds, fruits, flowers, leaves and even the bark of the Moringa tree features regularly in traditional herbal remedies of various cultures the world over.​

Small wonder it's also called "the tree of life."

Moringa's new to the Western world and 'though we're neither malnourished (this is, actually, debatable) or in the habit of making medicine from tree bark, "the world's most nutritious plant" comes with a range of health benefits that guarantees its standing as a superfood in the West as well as everywhere else in the world.​

Moringa Benefits

It's called "the miracle tree" and "the tree of life" and both nicknames are appropriate but our favorite is "the world's most nutritious plant" - just 'cause it's verifiably accurate: its leaves contain over 90 nutrients and 45 compounds with anti-oxidant properties and 36 with anti-inflammatory properties.

Ounce for ounce, moringa leaves boast 7 times the Vitamin C content of oranges, 4 times the calcium in milk, 4 times the vitamin A in carrots, 3 times the potassium in bananas, and twice the protein in milk.

Not to mention its amino acids and various phenolics - Moringa also has a rich and rare combo of zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol. Oh, as for omega-3s and chlorophyll? Yea, it's got those, too.​

But what does it all mean in terms of health benefits?​

1. Moringa is Great for an Energy Boost

If you're looking for a no-sugar, no-caffeine, balanced energy boost - moringa is perfect.

Much of it's vitality-boosting, energy-giving benefits comes down to simple, wholesome nutrition - most of us are not technically "starving" but it's no secret that many of us living in the developed world are nutritionally deficient, thanks to processed foods and mineral-poor soil.

As "the world's most nutritious plant," Moringa fills in the gaps and gives a huge boost to energy, vitality and overall mood.

2. Moringa is a Disease-Prevention Powerhouse

Moringa's packed with phenols, amino acids and powerful antioxidants like kaempferol, caffeoylquinic acid, beta-sitosterol, quercetin and zeatin that are shown to help prevent tumor growth, parasitic infections, kidney stones and various inflammations.

What's even more interesting about Moringa is that its active plant components don’t loose their effectiveness when Moringa is dried, ground or boiled or even when metabolized by the human body, which means breastfeeding mothers can transfer the health benefits they get from Moringa to their babies.

3. Moringa is a Highly Effective, All-Natural Milk Stimulant

Speaking of breastfeeding mothers, moringa is one of the best natural foods to stimulate lactation.​

4. Moringa is a Mood Enhancer and Brain Food

A lot of people are pleasantly surprised to find that they feel better when taking Moringa - but it's really no surprise when you consider that Moringa contains one of the highest L-tryptophan levels found in nature.

L-tryptophan is basically a type of amino acid that plays a key role in the production and release of feel-good hormones niacin and serotonin in the body.

Since low levels of niacin and serotinin result in depression and anxiety, Moringa is one of the best superfoods to add to your diet if you suffer from depression, anxiety, and even insomnia.

Moringa's also rich in zinc and iron - both brain-beneficial minerals that aid mental focus and have also been observed to prevent dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson' disease in the later years.​

5. Moringa is a Potent Detoxifier

Looking for a gentle, all-natural detox?

The very rich amount of the flavonoid, quercetin, in Moringa makes it one of the most powerful detoxifying agents and cleansers in nature.

Apart from getting rid of excess stomach acids when it is ingested, Moringa also contains a number of beneficial compounds that do away with unwanted parasites and bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract while boosting digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Quercetin also boosts the liver's ability to sop up trans fats and bad cholesterol that can lead to serious health problems. These beneficial effect of Moringa have been documented in the scientific journal, Phytotherapy Research, in 2007 and the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology in June 2012.

6. Moringa is Especially Beneficial for Post-Menopausal Women

A University of South Florida study in 2003 reported that post-menopausal women have a higher risk of experiencing chronic inflammations due to erratic estrogen levels.

When these estrogen levels don't stabilize, they can lead to osteoporosis, arthritis, stiffening of the veins and arteries, as well as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Moringa lowers the risk of post-menopausal women from degenerative illnesses and significantly stalls the effects of aging due to its very unique cytokinin called Moringa YSP (which is named after the plant), which can help normalize estrogen levels when consumed regularly.

Moringa YSP is also quite abundant in the antioxidant zeatin that helps picks up the pace on cellular regeneration and repair, which considerably slows down aging.

7. Moringa Protects Against Gastritis and Ulcers

Thanks to its anti-bacterial properties, Moringa has been used traditionally in poultices and pastes to treat bacterial or fungal skin infections, reduce swelling, heal wounds, and even get rid of eye and ear infections and now there's scientific evidence proving the isothiocyanates in Moringa show extraordinary antibiotic activity against H. pylori, a pathogen that is the major cause of gastritis, both gastric and duodenal ulcers, and gastric cancer.​

What is Moringa Good For?

And the above is just the tip of the iceberg. As more and more research shows, Moringa is a super superfood. We can't list all of its benefits - we'd have to write a book. So here's a quickdown rundown of what moringa is good for...​

  • Thanks to its high amount of bioavailable iron, it's recommended for anemia
  • It's anti-inflammatory properties make it beneficial for inflammation-based conditions like arthritis and other joint pain
  • Moringa's not just great for preventing gastric illness - it boosts digestive function and is helpful for constipation, diarrhea (more potassium than bananas!), and even intestinal spasms
  • It's known to increase sex drive - most likely a by-product of boosting energy, vitality and mood
  • Moringa seed kernels were shown (in the January 2008 issue of the Indian Journal of Pharmacology) to reduce the frequency of asthmatic attacks as well as the symptoms
  • It's packed with anti-aging benefits: super rich in anti-oxidants which fight free radicals and protect cells, great source of proteins which accelerate the regrowth of new cells, and bountiful in vitamins A and C which assist in the production of collagen and elastin, helping firm your skin and rid it of unsightly wrinkles
  • Moringa has all four vital compounds required for healthy blood pressure - Niacin A1 and A5, and vitamins B3 and B10 - plus essential nutrients necessary to support your body's production of nitric oxide and ensure healthy blood flow

 

 

About the Author Jessica

After growing up a perpetually pudgy kid, Jessica discovered real food - and her waistline shortly afterward. When she's not crafting concoctions in the kitchen, she spends her free time writing about food, making her own deodorant, watching sci-fi, doing headstands, and looking for gluten free food that doesn't suck.

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