Moringa oleifera is a drought tolerant plant native to parts of Northern India and sub-tropical places such as Asia, South America, and Africa. The drumstick tree, the miracle tree, and the ben oil tree are a few of its names. Moringa has a well recorded history of being used as a medicinal plant because of its rich nutrient content. This plant is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine as well as Unani folk medicine – which is a traditional Middle Eastern healing practice. In India, the seed pods (known as drumsticks) are ingested as part of a daily meal or diet plan.
Moringa grows easily and its cost of production is quite low as well. Its leaves can retain a lot of vitamins and minerals that they take in from the soil. This is why moringa leaves are used to fight malnutrition and hunger pangs in some parts of the world.
It contains quite a bit of oil, as well, which is used for several agricultural practises. The seed residue after oil extraction can be used to purify water and extract salt from seawater.
Nutrients Present In Moringa
Every part of the moringa plant is a storehouse of nutrients and antinutrients. The leaves are rich in:
- Vitamin A: important for ensuring normal vision, protecting the immune system, and keeping skin healthy.
- Vitamin B: is crucial maintaining overall good health and wellbeing. B vitamins maintain energy levels, brain function, and improve cell metabolism.
- Calcium: plays a crucial role in ensuring good bone health.
- Potassium: helps regulate fluid balance and nerve signals. As a significant body mineral, it is important to both cellular and electrical functions.
- Zinc: is a part of the cellular structures found throughout the body. It is needed for the proper functioning of the immune system.
- Copper: is an essential trace mineral – one which has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Benefits Of Moringa
Moringa is bound to have many benefits due to it being nutritionally dense and high in minerals,. TABIIB lists out the top 5 evidence-back benefits.
1. High in antioxidants
Antioxidants are vital to a body’s cellular processes because they fight against free radicals present in your body. An increase in free radicals has been linked to high oxidative stress – which can contribute to a heightened risk of diabetes.
2. Regulates blood sugar levels
High blood pressure has been scientifically proven to cause serious health problems such as heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke. The compounds present in moringa serve as a natural alternative to help lower blood sugar levels.
3. Stimulates cardiac function
Several heart health supplements use the root bark of the moringa plant as an active ingredient. This is because it contains alkaloids like morphine and minerals like magnesium which act as cardiac stimulants. They relax the muscles and ease pressure to promote a healthy heart.
4. Resists chronic inflammation
Inflammation is a sign that your body is fighting infection. That is a good thing because it means that your body’s internal defense mechanisms are well. However, high oxidative stress can cause persistent inflammation.
The antioxidants present in the moringa plant stimulate the detoxification pathways in the body.
5. Supports heart health
Moringa has a high content of fiber which makes it a suitable addition to your daily diet. As mentioned above, it is densely packed with antioxidants and antinutrients. They improve cardiovascular function and reduce lipid build-up in cells – which is good news for optimal heart health.