Moringa oleifera is a plant that has been praised for its health benefits for thousands of years. It is very rich in healthy antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds. So far, scientists have only investigated a fraction of the many reputed health benefits.
Here are 6 health benefits of Moringa oleifera that are supported by scientific research.
1. Moringa Oleifera Is Nutritious
Moringa oleifera is a fairly large tree native to North India. It goes by a variety of names, such as drumstick tree, horseradish tree or ben oil tree. Almost all parts of the tree are eaten or used as ingredients in traditional herbal medicines.Share on Pinterest
Moringa leaves are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. One cup of fresh, chopped leaves (21 grams) contains (2Trusted Source):
Protein: 2 grams
Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA
Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
Iron: 11% of the RDA
Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA
Magnesium: 8% of the RDA
In Western countries, the dried leaves are sold as dietary supplements, either in powder or capsule form. Compared to the leaves, the pods are generally lower in vitamins and minerals. However, they are exceptionally rich in vitamin C. One cup of fresh, sliced pods (100 grams) contains 157% of your daily requirement. The diet of people in developing nations sometimes lacks vitamins, minerals and protein. In these countries, Moringa oleifera can be an important source of many essential nutrients. Moringa leaves are rich in many important nutrients, including protein, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin and iron.
2. Moringa oleifera Is Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that act against free radicals in your body.
High levels of free radicals may cause oxidative stress, which is associated with chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes One study in women found that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa leaf powder every day for three months significantly increased blood antioxidant levels (16). Moringa oleifera is rich in various antioxidants, including quercetin and chlorogenic acid. Moringa leaf powder can increase blood antioxidant levels.
3. Moringa May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar can be a serious health problem. In fact, it’s the main characteristic of diabetes.
Over time, high blood sugar levels raise the risk of many serious health problems, including heart disease. For this reason, it’s important to keep your blood sugar within healthy limits. One study in 30 women showed that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa leaf powder every day for three months reduced fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5%, on average (16). Another small study in six people with diabetes found that adding 50 grams of moringa leaves to a meal reduced the rise in blood sugar by 21% (21). Scientists believe these effects are caused by plant compounds such as isothiocyanates.
4. Moringa oleifera May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury.
It’s an essential protective mechanism but may become a major health issue if it continues over a long period of time.
5. Moringa Can Lower Cholesterol
Having high cholesterol has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Fortunately, many plant foods can effectivelyreduce cholesterol. These include flaxseeds, oats and almonds. Moringa oleifera can lower your cholesterol levels, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.
6. Moringa oleifera May Protect Against Arsenic Toxicity
Arsenic contamination of food and water is a problem in many parts of the world.
Long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic may lead to health problems over time.