Science has a lot to say about the powerful health benefits of moringa.
1. Moringa has these nutrients on the bridge
This is what you will get a cup fresh and chopped moringa leaves:
Moringa leaves add an important part of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) for several of these vitamins:
- 19 percent of your RDA for vitamin B6
- 12 percent of your RDA for vitamin C
- 11 percent of your RDA for iron
- 11 percent of your RDA for vitamin B2
- 9 percent of your RDA for vitamin A
- 8% of your RDA for magnesium
You will also benefit from a little help from:
- vitamins B1, B3 and B
Pods vs leaves
Moringa leaves and pods have different nutritional profiles.
The leaves are packed with vitamins and minerals while the pods pack fiber and a healthy dose of vitamin C.
2. Hello, antioxidant power!
Your body is always busy fighting pollution, UV rays, infections… the list goes on. Fortunately, antioxidants can help protect your cells from damage and disease.
Your body makes antioxidants (geddem, body!). But it is important to supplement your supply with nourishing foods. Enter the moringa.
The authors from a 2009 study suggest that moringa leaves have “potent antioxidant activity against free radicals.” Moringa plant compounds include antioxidant stars like:
- beta carotene
- chlorogenic acid
What a range!
In a 2012 study, women who ate 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder mixed with amaranth leaf powder per day were able to significantly increase their antioxidant levels in 3 months.
However, since the participants consumed a mixture of moringa and another supplement, the researchers cannot say for sure that the moringa alone was responsible for the increased level of antioxidants.
Still, why not toss a scoop or two into your morning smoothie and see how you feel?
3. Reduce blood sugar
High blood sugar can lead to heart problems, kidney failure, vision problems, etc. If you have diabetes or other conditions that affect your blood sugar levels, moringa can help by reducing the amount of glucose in your bloodstream.
In one review of seven studies, five reported that powdered moringa leaf reduced blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Not bad, moringa!
It is important to note that the dose of moringa varied with each study in the review. This makes it difficult to recommend a specific amount or how often you should consume it.
Anything that affects blood sugar can have an unexpected impact on the symptoms of people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before breaking up a moringa smoothie.
4. Soothe inflammation
Moringa appears to reduce inflammation, but we need more research in humans to be sure. But animal and test tube studies should give you cause for hope.
Scientists suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of moringa can be attributed to a compound called moringine. A Test tube study 2020 found that moringine reduced the effect of pain receptors in the nervous system.
Another study looked at the effects of moringa on mice. The authors found that moringa counteracted inflammation, providing a natural source of pain relief for mice.
Now, if only Disney could teach us now how to turn mice into humans …
5. Lower cholesterol levels
High cholesterol is no joke. It can lead you down the path to …
- heart disease
- peripheral artery disease (PAD)
The good news is that eating a bunch of nuts, seeds, and other plants can help you tame the cholesterol chaos. You could snack on flax seeds, oats, nuts and – oh yeah – moringa (duh, that’s the point of this whole party).
6. Protect yourself against arsenic poisoning
To quote “Chicago” – “Some men just can’t hold back their arsenic.” But maybe if they had made a moringa smoothie beforehand, they wouldn’t have “brought it in” to the same extent.
Stick with us, okay? Because it’s not just the murderers of the 1920s who have to think about arsenic. In some parts of the world water contaminated with arsenic is a big deal.
Where it is in the water, it can also be in the rice. And in the long run arsenic exposure can cause fatal illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
So it’s pretty cool that a 2014 study in mice found that consuming moringa leaves protects them from arsenic poisoning.
Human research would be the next logical step. But how cool would it be if it had the same effects on us? #NaturesNarcan #ThanksForTheHeadsUpRodentFriends
7. Prevent edema
Edema = weight of water. But what starts off as a feeling of swelling can quickly turn painful if you have severe edema.
Remember how moringa can soothe inflammation? Good, a 2020 study on mice found that applying topical moringa seed oil treatment reduced ear edema.
A 2018 study also found that moringa extract reduced edema on the paws of rats. Much more research is needed. But the current results of studying the effects of moringa on animals are promising.
8. Nourish and protect your skin
Ahhh, the face oils. From antibacterial tea tree oil to collagen-boosting coconut oil, there’s an herbal moisturizer for every skin problem.
Masseuses throughout history (Hail you all) have used Moringa seed oil as a massage remedy for smooth dry skin for centuries. A 2016 review puts this down to the skin cleansing effects of oleic acid, a fatty acid in moringa.
Some research suggests that it might also protect against UVB rays.
Dab moringa seed oil on your skin for a nourishing glow. To try it as a hair mask, apply it like you apply coconut oil.
9. Soothe your sensitive stomach
Tummy problems made you scan the nearest bathroom? Moringa could help!
Another study (on mice) suggests that a mixture of moringa leaf extract and orange peel extract may alleviate symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Moringa’s super calming powers can be attributed to its antibacterial nature and high vitamin B content.
10. Fight infection
Moringa isn’t the only herb you can use to fight bad bacteria. But this is a very good one.
In addition to being anti-inflammatory, moringa has antibacterial properties. In a 2016 study, researchers found that topical application of moringa leaf extract could accelerate wound healing.
Show those bacteria who are in charge!
11. Improve heart health
Antioxidants are essential in protecting your heart from damage and disease. Remember how full of moringa leaves are? This means that eating them is like a little TLC for your ticker.
A Study 2020 on rats found that the compounds in moringa extract may have several effects that balance your ticker’s health.
12. Regulates blood pressure
This herb could be very healthy for people with blood pressure issues.
In study, the rats drank water enriched with moringa leaf extract. Researchers found that the extract helped their blood vessels work more regularly and lowered their blood pressure.
Again, this does not confirm that moringa would have the same effect in humans (in the same way that Pixar’s “Ratatouille” is not a useful guide to creating a Michelin-starred restaurant).
13. Absorb more iron (maybe!)
Your body needs iron to make the red blood cells that keep you energetic and strong. For people with anemia or sickle cell anemia, iron absorption is even more problematic.
Moringa provides a lot of iron, making it a great choice for people with iron absorption issues like anemia and sickle cell anemia. It * might * be the case, but more studies need to take place before we can sing this from the rooftops.
(You can put your dreams of becoming Tony Stark aside for now.)
A 2014 study showed how moringa affected children with iron deficiency anemia in Tanzania. The researchers compared a group that only received education to improve their nutrition with one that also benefited from increased nutritional knowledge but added moringa supplements.
The moringa group had a much lower prevalence of anemia at the end of the study.
However, another study suggests that the bioavailability of iron in moringa – that is, your body’s ability to absorb it – is actually quite low. So while the iron content of moringa is promising, it might not be as useful as the study from Tanzania suggests.
14. Improve eyesight
All of these antioxidants in moringa can do wonders for the health of your eyes.
In a 2019 research journal, experts have suggested that snacking on foods rich in antioxidants may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, an age-related eye disease.