What is Moringa Oleifera?
Ben tree, horseradish tree, and drumstick tree are just a few known names of Moringa Oleifera, a plant that hails from a few Asian countries such as Nepal, Pakistan, and India. These places utilize the plant for the treatment and prevention of heart problems, liver problems, respiratory issues, and digestive concerns.
Yes, this plant is considered a superfood because of the packed vitamins and minerals it contains. Its leaves are often turned into powder supplements. Although, its roots, fruits, seeds, flowers, and even the bark are also consumed.
Traditionally, it is used as a cure for many diseases as mentioned earlier. But, if used as supplements, is taking Moringa oleifera on the daily going to make an impact on your overall health?
1. The Benefits of Moringa Oleifera
It is filled with all the necessary nutrients.
Moringa leaves is a great source of different vitamins and minerals. In fact, a cup of its freshly chopped leaves makes two grams of protein, 19% of Vitamin B6 RDA, 11% of Vitamin B2 RDA, 9% of Vitamin A RDA, 12% of Vitamin C RDA, 11% of Iron RDA, and 8% of Magnesium RDA.
Some western countries sell the dried leaves as dietary supplements. This can come as capsules or in powder form. The pods also contain vitamins and minerals, in fewer amounts than the leaves. Except for Vitamin C. It is extremely high in Vitamin C. In just a cup, you have 157 percent of what you need in a day.
Bear in mind that Moringa Oleifera supplements do not contain the same amount of nutrients the plant contains.
2. Moringa plants have a good amount of antioxidants
What are antioxidants good for? These compounds fight off free radicals in the body. It is known to reduce signs of aging and prevents certain diseases. Free radicals result in oxidative stress, which is a factor in the development of heart diseases and diabetes.
There are many antioxidant plant compounds discovered in the leaves of Moringa Oleifera plant. Quercetin is helpful in lowering blood pressure while the chlorogenic acid can balance the blood sugar levels that spike up after eating. Chlorogenic acid is also available in high contents of coffee. Of course, beta-carotene and Vitamin C are also known antioxidants that help make the body rich and healthy.
According to a study conducted in women, a teaspoon and a half of the plant’s leaf powder taken daily in a duration of three months have shown a dramatic increase in the antioxidant levels of an individual’s blood.
3. There is a high chance that Moringa Oleifera can help lessen body inflammation
As you may already know, inflammation can result in multiple body issues. While, generally, it is the body’s way of protecting itself and managing infection or injury, it can lead to health problems if it is not addressed right away. For instance, inflammation can cause a blockage which is linked to chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
There are plenty of available fruits and vegetables that have anti-inflammatory problems. But, their ability to manage inflammation largely depends on the level and type of the anti-inflammatory compounds they have.
Most experts believe that the plant contains isothiocyanates in almost every part of the plants. This component has anti-inflammatory potential. Animal studies have proved this, but the actual anti-inflammatory effects it has on humans is yet to be explored.
4. Moringa is known to have cholesterol-lowering effects
High cholesterol increases the risk of developing heart disease. Consuming an adequate amount of flaxseeds, oats, and almonds can help dial down your cholesterol level. Studies conducted on humans and animals prove that the plan also has the same effects in terms of cholesterol management.
The leaf powder, in particular, has several benefits in keeping the heart healthy. Apart from the cholesterol-lowering advantages, it aids in the control of blood lipid control, restricts the accumulation of plaque in the arteries.
Taking supplements or eating the whole food itself will stop you from getting heart problems in the future.
5. The Moringa Oleifera plant gives support to a healthier brain
So, it has been established that the plant is good for the heart, but the fact that it keeps your mind at the tip-top shape is just a huge bonus.
Your cognition and brain health will improve because it contains not only antioxidants but also plenty of neuro-enhancers. Did you know that it is being considered as a favorable treatment for Alzheimer’s? It has been tested and scored great on the preliminary outcome.
Containing Vitamin C and Vitamin E, it fights off oxidation which can cause degeneration of neurons. Eventually, the cognitive functions of the brain will see improvements.
Additionally, it can normalize serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for crafting the mood, memory, and stress and pleasure response of an individual. That being said, it can help boost the mood while sharpening the mind.
A healthy mind and body are what we are all aiming for. Consuming this superfood in its natural state is always the best idea. But, of course, there are some limiting factors. For one thing, preparing a dish for this plant can be taxing. But, if you do want to whip up meals using the plant, check out some recipes from Asian countries. Another problem is that it can be pretty hard to find this plant if you are from the west. Instead, what you can do is find a good leaf powder supplement. If you choose a seed extract powder, studies show that it has a certain amount of toxicity that might be introduced to the skin. The leaf powder does not. Its mild flavor is also never overpowering, even for the ones with sensitive taste buds.
Add it to your smoothies or sip it like a tea. Even in a large dose, the leaf powder is guaranteed safe. However, it can act as a laxative, if taken excessively. A good dose will be a teaspoon every day.