What is it?
Moringa Oleifera as defined by Wikipedia is a plant that is often called the drumstick tree, the miracle tree, the ben oil tree, or the horseradish tree. Moringa has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties and health benefits. It also has antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Personally, Moringa is a plant I used to avoid like plague when I was a kid. Back in the Philippines where I grew up, we consume Moringa as a vegetable. My parents would make a broth with Moringa and other vegetables. The part I hate the most was picking the leaves off the stem ONE BY ONE - a punishment to a child who just wants to play or watch TV.
This is Moringa and its many leaves! :))
More than 20 years later, as I have grown older and start to feel my body slowly betraying me, I now miss Moringa. Why? Because this humble plant I once disliked is equipped with so much nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins that are good for our health. Unfortunately, Moringa is not readily available as a fresh produce in New Zealand groceries or markets. Luckily, there are Moringa supplements which are perfect alternatives and they’re amazing!
Why is it good?
- It’s Nutrient-packed. When the universe showered nutrients, Moringa caught them all! One cup of chopped Moringa leaves is considered a good source of iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and riboflavin and has notable amounts of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, and magnesium. In fact, the leaves are more concentrated in vitamin C than oranges. That means moringa can contribute to everything from better vision and immunity to bone health and skin radiance.
- It’s a great source of plant-based protein. Moringa is helpful in protecting skin cells from damage and contains hydrating and detoxifying elements for a healthy skin and hair. It is also very convenient to consume because Moringa is available as a powder that you can simply add on smoothie bowls, drinks, or soup! Powders made from Moringa crushed leaves are packed with protein and they contain all the essential amino acids, necessary for muscle repair, energy production, and mood regulation.
- It protects the liver. The liver is the body's detoxifier. It filters the blood, detoxifies chemicals, and metabolises fat—and moringa may help it work better. First off, moringa contains high concentrations of polyphenols to reverse oxidation in the liver, and preliminary research has shown moringa consumption to reduce liver fibrosis and protect against liver damage.
- It prevents cancer and fights free radicals. Free radicals from pollution, fried food, and sun exposure damage cells by robbing them of an electron, causing oxidative stress, cell damage, and premature aging. Moringa is rich in antioxidants, like flavonoids, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid that fights free radicals. Moringa also contains niazimicin which is a compound that suppresses the development of cancer cells.
- It makes bones stronger. Moringa contains calcium and phosphorus which help keep bones healthy and strong. Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, it helps treat conditions such as arthritis and heal damaged bones.
- It fights inflammation. Moringa has been shown to significantly lower inflammation in cells. As well as containing inflammation-lowering polyphenols and isothiocyanates, moringa reduces inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes and proteins in the body.
- It improves digestion. Moringa leaf powder contains about 30% fiber, most of it insoluble, something you not only need for digestion but that may also reduce your risk of disease. Moringa is a natural antibiotic and antibacterial and may help inhibit the growth of various pathogens that can cause digestive upset. It is also high in vitamin B that helps with digestion.
Now that you’ve learned all the goodness found in Moringa, make sure to grab one to start living a healthier lifestyle which your body will be most grateful for.
Remember to choose Moringa capsules or powder that DO NOT contain fillers, binders, artificial colours or preservatives.
Note: If you are pregnant or taking other medicines for diabetes or hypertension, make sure to talk to your GP first about taking Moringa as a dietary supplement to ensure that you do not over consume certain vitamins and nutrients – as they say, anything that is too much is bad for you.