By Liana Moynier
Moringa has been popular in Eastern cultures for thousands of years for its many uses, including supplementing nutrients and treating ailments ranging from heart disease and diabetes to digestive disorders and skin issues. The Moringa tree itself is native to the Himalayas and is also known as the drumstick tree, ben oil tree and horseradish tree. Many parts of the plant are useful, although the leaves are what have risen to recent popularity in our culture as a powdered supplement. Haven’t heard of it yet? Read on to find out about some of its many benefits.
High in Nutrients and Antioxidants
Moringa leaves contain abundant nutrients and antioxidants that can help support any diet in getting all the elements needed for balance. It can be particularly helpful for people whose diets are lacking in essential nutrients, which the typical American diet often is. Moringa is rich in B vitamins (B6 and B2), vitamin C, iron, magnesium, protein, calcium and potassium, to name a few. Moringa is also especially full of antioxidants. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals, reduce inflammation and prevent and treat diseases including cancer. In addition to vitamin C —a powerful antioxidant on its own—moringa also contains quercetin, a notable antioxidant which has been shown to have the potential to help lower blood pressure. Due to its high antioxidant content, moringa has even been studied and shown to be a good candidate for further studies in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Brings Balance to the Body
Moringa can help lower blood sugar levels and keep these levels in balance. This is particularly useful in treating diabetes, although people who do not suffer from diabetes also benefit strongly from keeping blood sugar levels in check. Moringa can also help regulate hormonal balance, and has been shown to help prevent complications that can happen as a result of the hormonal changes women experience during and after menopause.
Inflammation heavily contributes to the development of major diseases like arthritis, heart disease, digestive disorders, obesity and generally poor health. There are quite a few factors that contribute to the development of inflammation within the body, including poor dietary choices, lifestyle factors such as drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes, and stress. Of these factors, stress is the most difficult to control in our daily lives, as we can’t always prevent it. Because many of us have such stressful lives, we should take preventive measures to avoid developing inflammatory conditions in our bodies. Moringa has been shown to contribute towards inhibiting inflammatory enzymes, and it contains polyphenols that help reduce inflammation. Moringa also has anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, which are especially useful in fighting skin infections.
How to Take Moringa
How do you use moringa? In powder form, it’s easy to add a little to foods like smoothies and soups. You can drink it as a tea or take it in capsule form. On top of all the benefits mentioned above, some people report feeling an increase in brain power, which may make you want to try it on a Monday morning. As with any nutritional supplement, it’s important to do your own research and make sure you’re getting your moringa from an organic, non-GMO source.
Liana Moynier is a freelance writer covering topics related to natural health, wellness and foods. She enjoys an active lifestyle near the ocean where she lives on the Central Coast of California.