2018’s Newest Food Trend: Moringa
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
The Moringa oleifera tree native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal effects. Moringa is also commonly referred to as ben oil tree, horseradish tree, and drumstick tree. Recently this superfood has begun to receive the attention it deserves in the West.
Almost all parts of the moringa tree are useable: its bark, flowers, seeds, pods, and fruits; though the leaves are its most popular component, commonly taken in powder form. Moringa offers a wide range of internal benefits including a variety of vitamins, antioxidants, and antibiotics; has a stellar nutrition profile; and offers external benefits, too! Without further ado, here are the top health benefits of moringa.
Moringa contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. Among these are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, flavonoids, polyphenols, carotenoid phytonutrients, quercetin, and protein.
Reduces Inflammation and Aids Digestion
Moringa suppresses enzymes and proteins that lead to inflammation. Moringa has been studied for its ability to ease colitis and other bowel disorders by decreasing inflammation of intestinal walls, reducing symptoms of colitis, minimizing ulcers, and lowering overall colitis index.
Supports Heart and Brain Health
Moringa prevents arterial plaque formation, reduces cholesterol levels, lowers blood sugar, and helps monitor blood lipids. The high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants help fight against neurodegeneration, and researchers are currently studying moringa’s ability to prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Moringa helps improve brain function and cognitive abilities, and normalizes neurotransmitter production. Neurotransmitters include serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood, memory, depression, and stress responses.
Countless studies have observed moringa’s extraordinary ability to reverse cancer. The extracts of moringa bark and leaves have been studied for the amazing anti-cancer properties they exhibit. A 70-90% reduction in colony formation has been observed, as well as a remarkable increase in apoptotic cancer cells (cells that are programmed to die).
One study measured moringa leaf extract’s effect on blood glucose and lipid concentration and the prevention of hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, showing it was capable of reversing symptoms of diabetes. Several other studies have also affirmed moringa’s powerful potential for reversing diabetes.
If those aren’t enough reasons to use moringa to boost your health, here are some more rapid-fire health benefits of this superfood:
- Stimulates the immune system and boosts immune function.
- Strengthens bones and protects against arthritis
- Its anti-inflammatory effects provide relief from asthma and other respiratory reactions, like allergies.
- In its native environments, locals have used moringa cakes for centuries to filter water!
- Moringa oil is used to moisturize and nourish the skin.
- Moringa contains antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral, and antifungal compounds!
- Taking moringa has been shown to prevent and reduce tumors.
- Wound healing properties include quicker healing time and reduction in scars.
With a seemingly unending list of health benefits (with many yet to be discovered), it’s clear that moringa earns its status as a “superfood”! How can you add moringa into your daily health regime? Easy! Moringa can be taken as capsules, or you can simply add moringa powder to your drinks and smoothies.