What is Moringa?
Moringa is a popular superfood that has recently caught the attention of researchers and nutritionists, who want to learn more about it due to its health benefits. Moringa is a unique plant with several benefits. Many who use moringa in their daily routine are easily able to maintain a healthy lifestyle while managing any ailment they may have.
Moringa is a miracle plant. It is called the tree of life because of its numerous benefits to one's health. Despite all the benefits of moringa, it has become a rare commodity for many people. You may already know that moringa trees are native to Africa and Southeast Asia.
A moringa tree can reach a height of 3-10 meters (depending on the variety) and grows in areas with high sunlight exposure. It has been observed that the moringa tree requires temperatures between 15-40 degrees Celsius for ideal growth. The plant’s leaves have finger-like projections which are called phyllodes that give it a fern-like appearance. The leaves are also used as a herbal remedy for diabetes and digestive disorders.
What are the Nutrients present in Moringa?
Moringa is rich in vitamins and minerals. The moringa leaves have 7 times more Vitamin C than oranges and 15 times more potassium than bananas. Moringa is also a good source of calcium, iron, protein, and amino acids that can heal injuries and help in building muscles.
It is packed with antioxidants. These antioxidants can prevent cell damage and boost immunity. Antioxidants can also lower blood pressure, fat content in the blood and body.
What are the Health Benefits of Moringa?
There are many health benefits of eating moringa leaves and drumsticks. Moringa is known as the miracle tree because it offers a host of benefits, namely for the hair, skin, and nails, but also the eyes, digestion, and metabolism.
In fact, moringa is considered to be one of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world, and many cultures in Africa and Asia use it to treat health conditions like anemia, cancer, and heart disease. In many countries, you can find moringa in capsule and powder form as a dietary supplement or in teas, juices, and dried fruit.
The plant moringa is believed to have been in existence on earth for over 60 million years. It is mainly found in subtropical and tropical parts of the world, especially in India and Africa. Moringa trees are large and grow up to 20 to 30 meters in height. Their leaves, bark, pods, seeds, flowers, roots, and trunk are used for culinary purposes and medicinal benefits.
Some other health benefits of moringa are:
- Moringa is used for rheumatoid arthritis as well because moringa leaf extract may lower fluid swelling, redness, and pain.
- Plant chemicals found in moringa leaves might help in regulating blood sugar levels, thus preventing diabetes.
- Moringa is also known to supplement chemotherapy treatments as they have anti-cancer effects.
- Antioxidants and other health-promoting plant chemicals of moringa can heal inflammation in the brain and reduce stress levels.
- Moringa has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help in treating indigestion, constipation, and gastric problems as well.
- Moringa leaves juice acts as an antiseptic solution for skin problems and can speed up the healing process.
- Moringa is an effective supplement for lactating mothers as it can help in increasing milk production.
How to Use Moringa in your Diet?
Moringa can be easily used in smoothies by adding protein powder, moringa powder to it. Moringa blends extremely well with green smoothies. You can also add pineapple, mint, and lime as well.
You can sprinkle some moringa leaves or powder into any curry or soup, especially immunity-boosting soups.
Moringa powder can also be tossed in baked dishes like chocolate brownies, muffins, zucchini bread, etc.
Potential Downsides of Eating Moringa
Research suggests that moringa is safe for the majority of people but the recommended quantity varies from person to person. However, the phytate found in moringa can cause some reactions if consumed in high quantities. Moringa can also cause digestive distress if it is not cooked, fermented, or sprouted properly.
People who are supposed to avoid excessive iron intake must be cautious while eating moringa as it is a rich source of iron.
It is not mandatory to eat moringa every single day to reap its benefits. If you decide to add moringa to your diet, make sure to know whether you should buy moringa powder or supplements and how much you should be consuming it. In case of any side effects, consult your doctor immediately.
Moringa Oleifera, commonly known as the horseradish tree, is a fast-growing flowering plant in the drumstick family. It is native to Africa, Central, and Southern Asia and has spread to various countries. Moringa leaves have been used for centuries in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh for their immense health benefits. Today, moringa is considered a superfood. Moringa is also commonly known as the Ben tree, Horseradish tree, and Drumstick tree.
Today, moringa is widely cultivated in many parts of the world for its leaves and superfood seeds. Due to growing demand and cultivation, moringa is hailed as beneficial for its ability to treat various health conditions and ailments ranging from high cholesterol to diabetes.