Moringa Oleifera is arguably one of the most interesting herbal supplements to hit the market in a very long time. Suggested to improve health, reduce inflammation, while simultaneously providing the body with an abundance of essential nutrients and a healthy boost of antioxidants, this remedy has been causing quite the stir within the health industry.
The Moringa Oleifera is essentially a small tree was once found only native India (although I should add, it is now grown successfully around the world), that is well recognised for its long twisting pods and durable nature.
This particular plant is thought to have been used as a staple in traditional medicinal practices throughout northern India for the better part of the last 5000 years – often described as ‘The Divine Tree’, the Moringa Oleifera was often considered a panacea, in which its capacity to improve health was thought to be unparalleled.
Now recognised by the mainstream health and fitness industry as an excellent health boosting supplement, Moringa can be found in a number of different forms, and taken through a number of different methods.
The Nutritional Content of Moringa
Moringa is quite unique, in that unlike most other plants literally every aspect of it can be consumed in some way or another, providing us with the entirety of its nutritional value. It is predominantly this reason that Moringa powder is its most commonly consumed form, with Moringa Oil coming in at a close second.
Typically coming in a distinctly coloured light-green powder, Moringa Powder contains mostly the leaf of the plant, and is extremely rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin A, Iron, and Magnesium.
It is important to note that the seeds of the plant can also be consumed alone.
While Moringa Seeds contain slightly less of the above vitamins and minerals than Moringa Powder, they are incredibly rich in vitamin C – providing us with 150% of our recommend daily intake – making them an excellent option as well.
With this in mind, Moringa supplementation offers an excellent way to easily increase our daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals .
The benefits of Moringa
Considering its extremely high nutritional content, it is easy to see how the consumption of Moringa Powder can have associated health benefits.
Interestingly, research has shown that the consumption of Moringa can affect the body positively through a number of different mechanisms, further cementing its positions as one of the most beneficial herbal supplements in the health industry.
Moringa can reduce oxidative stress
Moringa is a plant that is extremely rich in antioxidants – important compounds that are found naturally occurring in certain plant based foods. These antioxidants are known to fight against the action of free radicals within the human body .
Free radicals are nasty compounds that cause oxidative stress to the human body, which are known to result in cellular dysfunction, an increased risk of disease and illness (such as heart disease and diabetes), and may even promote the development of cancer cells.
As a result, supplementing with Moringa may promote long term health, improve cellular function, and protect against the formation of certain cancers.
Moringa can reduce blood sugar levels
High blood sugar is a known precursor to type II diabetes, while also acting as a risk factor for metabolic disease and heart disease, while also showing strong associations with increased blood pressure and increased blood cholesterol.
As a result, keeping our blood sugar within normal ranges is imperative to maintaining optimal health.
Fortunately for us, there has been recent research suggesting that the daily supplementation of Moringa can lower blood sugar levels significantly in healthy individuals , while also slowing the rise of blood sugar in already diabetic individuals .
Moringa can reduce inflammation
Throughout the duration of our lives, we place the body under enormous amounts of stress. This may be in the form of physical stress (through heavy labour or intense exercise), or through life and mental stressors.
In response to this stress, the body induces an inflammatory response that – in small doses – can help deal with this stress. Unfortunately, if prolonged, this inflammation can lead to cellular dysfunction, heart disease, and even the formation of cancerous cells.
With this in mind, Moringa has recently been shown to have a host of anti-inflammatory properties that reduce this systemic inflammation, subsequently resulting in improved health as a result .
Moringa can reduce blood cholesterol levels
In a similar fashion to high blood sugar, high levels of cholesterol in the blood is known to contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Interestingly, although the mechanisms are not entirely known, supplementing with moringa has been shown to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol (also known as ‘bad cholesterol’) in the blood, having a protective effect on the cardiovascular system, while reducing our likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease .
Does Moringa have any side effects?
While the research on this specific supplement is quite new, it appears to be quite safe in recommended doses. Although I should add that there are some compounds contained within the plant that have been suggested to cause come complications during pregnancy.
With this in mind, we recommend avoiding this supplement if you are pregnant or in the process of trying for a child (just in case...).
Moringa Recipes – Moringa Tea
Considering that both the seeds and the leaves of this plant have health related properties, it is not uncommon for them to be brewed into a tea and consumed in that manner.
With that in mind (if you believe that this is something you would be interested in trying), this is an incredibly simple way to consume moringa. Simply place a single teaspoon dried leaves, and one or two seeds, in a cup and add hot water. Once the brew has steeped for 3-5 minutes, you are ready to go!
I should note, the water should not be boiling when it is added as the leaves will burn, leaving a slightly bitter flavour.
Moringa is an excellent supplement that has been shown to improve health through a number of different mechanisms, while also providing the body with a healthy dose of essential vitamins and minerals.
While it can be consumed as a tea, in a powder, in the form of an oil, we recommend a quality organic moringa powder to maximise both its convenience and effectiveness.
If you have any experiences with moringa, we would love to hear about them.
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