Moringa is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and many parts of the plants are used in traditional medicine in Africa. Some of the reported health benefits of moringa include its ability to alleviate conditions such as constipation, diabetes, anaemia and ulcer.
Moringa is native to sub-tropical and tropical regions of the world including Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. People who reside in these regions eat the leaves and use all parts of the plants in traditional medicine for its health benefits.
Nutrition: Moringa is rich in vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, β-carotene, potassium and protein. It is a great source of antioxidants including flavonoids, ascorbic acid, carotenoids and phenolics. Every part of the moringa tree including its fruits, seeds, leaves, flowers, bark and roots contain at least one nutrient. Moringa has a higher content of different nutrients compared to those found in other foods. Moringa contains: 10x the vitamin A of carrots, 12x the vitamin C of oranges, 17x the calcium of milk 15x the potassium of banana, 25x the iron of spinach and 9x the protein of yoghurt!
People refer to moringa as ‘the miracle tree’ because of its ability to treatment various ailments.
What are the health benefits of Moringa?
- Blood pressure: Moringa has unique compounds in its leaves, seeds and pods that can lower blood pressure. The juice from its leaves stabilises blood pressure, while its roots, flowers, and infusions of its seeds alleviate water retention. This particular attribute has a significant positive effect in lowering blood pressure.
- Diabetes: Type II diabetes is a chronic condition that causes increases in blood sugar levels and reduces glucose sensitivity. Moringa contains compounds within its leaves that can trigger insulin release and reduce blood sugar.
- Cancer: Moringa pods and fruits contains compounds that stop tumour cells in liver and colon cancers from growing. The compounds within moringa leaves can also prevent cancers that arise from infections with Epstein-Barr virus.
- Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal: Moringa roots and flowers are rich in antimicrobial agents, while extracts from the bark are rich in anti fungal agents. The juice from the stem bark is effective at alleviating infections from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. The juice from moringa leaves is effective in killing Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
- Hair and skin care: Moringa seeds have specific protein fractions for use in skin and hair care. Peptides from the moringa seed protect the human skin from environmental influences and combat premature skin aging. These peptides also condition and strengthen the hair.
Since the health benefits of moringa are so vast, it is worthwhile adding it to your diet. You can sprinkle moringa leaf powder over your breakfast cereals or add it to your smoothies. You can also use moringa oil for your hair and skin for its anti-ageing and nourishing properties.