Moringa oleifera is one plant that has several health benefits both scientifically and traditionally proven although, most of the researches are on animals. It is native to North India but is also grown in Asia, Africa and South America.
It is very rich in healthy antioxidants and bioactive compounds. It also contains minerals such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6 and C. Minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and iron are also present in it. It contains protein as well, and is low in fats containing no harmful cholesterol.
While taking moringa can provide the body with some health benefits, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers are advised not to take it. Some of its health benefits include:
1. Contains antioxidants:
Moringa is rich in antioxidants that fight against free radicals in the body. These antioxidants include vitamin C, beta carotene, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid. Research found out that taking just 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder every day for three months significantly increased the blood antioxidant level. By fighting free radicals, it helps prevent oxidative stress which is the cause of several diseases.
2. Reduce inflammation:
Research showed that the isothiocyanates in moringa is an antiinflammatory compound and could be found in the leaves, pods, and seeds. By reducing inflammation, it can help prevent diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
3. Prevents cancer:
In addition to reducing inflammation, moringa may be helpful in preventing and treating cancer. This is because it contains niazimicin which is a compound that suppresses the development of cancer cells and tumor growth.
4. Lowers blood sugar:
The isothiocyanates in moringa can also help lower blood sugar levels. And not just that, but can reduce sugar and protein in the urine. A research found that by adding 50 grams of moringa leaves to a meal, it reduced the rise in blood sugar by 21%.
5. Treats anaemia:
Moringa contains iron which can help increase the red blood cells count and therefore is a good source of preventing and treating anaemia. Sickle cell patients can also take it.
6. Protects against arsenic toxicity:
High levels of arsenic toxicity in food and water may lead to health problems over time such as cancer and heart diseases. However, studies showed a promising result that moringa leaves and seeds can protect against some of the effects of arsenic toxicity.
7. Improves bone health:
Moringa is a good source of calcium and phosphorus which can be helpful in strengthening the bones. It can also help in treating arthritis and healing damaged bones.
8. Improves eye health:
Due to the high antioxidant level, moringa can help improve eye health. This is because it may stop the dilation of retinal vessels, prevent the thickening of capillary membranes and inhibit retinal dysfunction.