What are its benefits?
Moringa leaves are packed with nutrients, containing (by weight) more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, and more protein than yogurt. Notably, its protein provides all the essential amino acids. Moringa’s complex profile also includes other macronutrients (dietary fiber, carbohydrates, fats). While amounts of specific micronutrients vary by sample, the leaves have been found to contain such compounds as vitamin A, iron, folates, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, copper, manganese, zinc, phytate, oxalate, flavonoids, carotentoids, and phenols. Its phenols, flavonoids, and other micronutrients are thought to be responsible for some of the health benefits of moringa:
- A number of human studies have indicated that consuming moringa leaf has anti-diabetic, anti-cholesterol, and anti-obesity effects.
- A number of other studies point to a range of other benefits such as antioxidant effects, protection of tissues, pain relief, lowering of blood pressure, and immune system support.
- A 2018 study of obesity in mice suggested that moringa was effective in reducing weight gain and its consequent metabolic disturbance in the obese mice group. The obese mice group was also noted to have an imbalance in their gut microbiota, and after they were fed moringa, this imbalance was improved. The study concluded that moringa may contribute towards the “regulation of weight gain and inflammation associated with high-fat-induced-obesity through gut bacteria modulation.”
- A separate 2018 study suggests that it may be phenolic compounds that inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria like Escherichia coli, while they promote the growth of friendly bacteria like Lactobacillus.
What is it?
A tree that grows in India and many other tropical and subtropical countries, moringa has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. All parts of the tree, including seeds, bark, roots, sap, and flowers, can be utilized, but the leaves are especially beneficial because of their nutritionally complex makeup. The “Miracle Tree”, as moringa is sometimes called in India, is seen as a promising crop for developing areas due to the plant’s resistance to drought, its rapid growth pattern, and its leaves that retain many nutrients even when dried.
- Moringa oleifera
- Investigating of Moringa Oleifera Role on Gut Microbiota Composition and Inflammation Associated with Obesity Following High Fat Diet Feeding
- Health Benefits of Moringa Oleifera
- Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Moringa oleifera
- NIH Newsletter – Go to Page 3 – NIH Celebrates Earth Day 2008 — Mystery Plant Facts/Contest, and
- NIH Newsletter – Go to Page 10, which reveals the identity of Earth Day’s Mystery Plant
- What makes moringa good for you?
- 6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Moringa oleifera