Moringa (Moringa oleifera), a tree native to the Indian subcontinent, has been praised for its health benefits and medicinal properties for thousands of years. It has antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Being very rich in healthy antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds, moringa helps to eliminate free radicals from the body that cause oxidative stress, which is often associated with chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Moringa also contains anti-inflammatory compounds known as isothiocyanates, which help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the body.
The Beneficial Compounds Found in Moringa
Moringa contains many healthful compounds such as:
- vitamin A
- vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin), B-6
- folate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
Moringa is known as an effective remedy for malnutrition. It is rich in nutrition owing to the presence of a variety of essential phytochemicals present in its leaves, pods and seeds. In fact, moringa is said to provide 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, 9 times more protein than yoghurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas and 25 times more iron than spinach. The fact that moringa is easily cultivable makes it a sustainable remedy for malnutrition.
The Nutrient-dense Moringa
Every part of Moringa is a storehouse of important nutrients. The leaves are rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper. Vitamins like beta-carotene of vitamin A, folic acid, pyroxidine and nicotinic acid of vitamin B, vitamin C, D and E are also present in Moringa, as are tannins, sterols, terpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, anthraquinones, alkaloids, and anti-cancerous agents like glucosinolates, isothiocynates, glycoside compounds and glycerol-1-9-octadecanoate. Moringa leaves also have a low calorific value and the pods are fibrous, helping to treat digestive problems and even thwart colon cancer.
Moringa has a lot of minerals that are essential for growth and development among which, calcium is considered to be one of the most important minerals for human growth. While 8 ounces of milk can provide 300–400 mg, moringa leaves can provide 1000 mg and moringa powder can provide more than 4000 mg. Moringa powder can be used as a substitute for iron tablets, hence as a treatment for anemia. Beef has only 2 mg of iron while moringa leaf powder has 28 mg of iron. It has been reported that moringa contains more iron than spinach. A good dietary intake of zinc is essential for proper growth of sperm cells and is also necessary for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. Moringa leaves show around 25.5–31.03 mg of zinc/kg, which is the daily requirement of zinc in the diet.
The Benefits of Consuming Moringa
Moringa appears to protect the liver against damage caused by anti-tubercular drugs and can quicken its repair process. It contains properties that might help prevent cancer developing, including niazimicin, which is a compound that suppresses the development of cancer cells.
Moringa extracts might also help treat some stomach disorders, such as constipation, gastritis, and ulcerative colitis. The antibiotic and antibacterial properties of moringa may help inhibit the growth of various pathogens, and its high vitamin B content helps with digestion. Due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, moringa extracts might also combat infections caused by Salmonella, Rhizopus, and E. coli.
Clearly there is a lot to be said about this incredible herb. It is one of the most nutrient-dense and medicinal herbs used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine. With so many great benefits to offer, moringa is an excellent plant ally to include in your diet.
Our team formulated organic moringa leaf extract, extracted from regeneratively grown leaves grown in India in both our Rejuvenation Formula and our Relaxation Formula do to the plants immense healing power. Enjoy these herbal blends today on our Zuma Nutrition store.