Moringa oleifera is a plant that has been praised for thousands of years for its health benefits.
It is high in antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds.
So far, scientists have only looked into a small portion of the numerous suggested health benefits.
Here are six scientifically supported health benefits of Moringa oleifera.
1. Moringa oleifera Is High in Nutrients
Moringa oleifera is a large tree that is native to North India.
It is also known as the drumstick tree, horseradish tree, and ben oil tree.
Almost every part of the tree is eaten or used in traditional herbal medicines.
This is especially true for the leaves and pods, which are widely consumed in parts of India and Africa. (1).
A photo of Moringa oleifera leaves, powder, and capsules is shown below:
Moringa leaves are high in a variety of vitamins and minerals. One cup of fresh, chopped leaves (21 grams) contains the following nutrients (2):
- 2 grams protein
- Vitamin B6 accounts for 19% of the RDA.
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
- Iron (11 percent of RDA)
- Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
- Vitamin A (derived from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA
- Magnesium accounts for 8% of the RDA.
The dried leaves are sold as dietary supplements in Western countries, either in powder or capsule form.
The pods are generally lower in vitamins and minerals than the leaves. They are, however, extremely high in vitamin C. One cup of fresh, sliced pods (100 grams) provides 157% of your daily requirement.
People in developing countries' diets can be deficient in vitamins, minerals, and protein. Moringa oleifera can be an important source of many essential nutrients in these countries.
Another thing to remember is that taking Moringa oleifera supplements in capsule form will not provide a lot of nutrients.
The amounts are insignificant in comparison to what you consume if you eat a well-balanced diet rich in whole foods.
Moringa leaves contain a variety of essential nutrients, including protein, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and iron.
2. Moringa oleifera (Moringa oleifera) Is Antioxidant-Rich
Antioxidants are compounds that protect your body from free radicals.
- Quercetin: This potent antioxidant may aid in blood pressure reduction (12, 13).
- Chlorogenic acid: Also found in high amounts in coffee, chlorogenic acid may help moderate blood sugar levels after meals (14, 15).
In one study of women, taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa leaf powder daily for three months significantly increased blood antioxidant levels (16).
Moringa leaf extract can also be used to preserve food. It extends the life of meat by reducing oxidation (17).
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.
High blood sugar levels, over time, increase the risk of a variety of serious health problems, including heart disease. As a result, it's critical to keep your blood sugar within healthy ranges.
Interestingly, Moringa oleifera has been shown in several studies to help lower blood sugar levels.
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 percent , on average (16).
Another small study of six people with diabetes discovered that adding 50 grams of moringa leaves to a meal reduced blood sugar rise by 21%. 21).
Scientists believe that plant compounds such as isothiocyanates are to blame for these effects (22).
Moringa leaves may lower blood sugar levels, but more research is needed before making any firm recommendations.
4. Moringa oleifera (Moringa oleifera) Inflammation may be reduced.
The body's natural response to infection or injury is inflammation.
It is an important protective mechanism, but if it persists for an extended period of time, it can cause serious health problems.
Anti-inflammatory properties can be found in the majority of whole fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. The extent to which they can help, however, is determined by the types and amounts of anti-inflammatory compounds they contain.
However, research has so far been limited to test-tube and animal studies. It remains to be seen if Moringa oleifera has similar anti-inflammatory effects in humans.
Moringa oleifera has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties in animal and test-tube studies. Humans have not been studied for this effect.
5. Moringa Can Lower Cholesterol
High cholesterol levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Many plant foods, fortunately, can effectively lower cholesterol. These include flaxseeds, oats and almonds.
Moringa oleifera has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, potentially lowering your risk of heart disease.
6. Moringa oleifera May Protect Against Arsenic Toxicity
Food and water contamination with arsenic is a problem in many parts of the world. Certain types of rice may have especially high levels.
Long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic may cause health problems in the long run.
These findings are encouraging, but it is unclear whether they also apply to humans.
Moringa oleifera appears to protect against arsenic toxicity in animal studies. However, this has not yet been studied in humans.
Moringa oleifera is an Indian tree that has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine.
However, only a few of its numerous reputed health benefits have been scientifically studied (1).
Moringa oleifera has been shown in studies to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It may also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the ability to protect against arsenic toxicity.
Moringa leaves are also high in nutrients and should be beneficial to people who are deficient in these nutrients.