Updated: Apr 21
Have you recently heard about moringa and found yourself wondering what it is, what are the health benefits and how you can add it to your diet?
This article will hopefully answer some of your questions, so keep reading.
Moringa, also known as the ‘miracle tree’, is a plant of the Moringaceae family which is native to India, but also grows in Africa, Asia, and South America.
The whole plant is entirely edible.
The long, slim seed pods can be pressed for oil, its roots can be crushed to provide a condiment with a flavour similar to horseradish and the leaves can be either cooked in a similar way to spinach, they can be naturally dried and infused in hot water as a loose leaf tea, or grounded into a fine powder.
Moringa contains a range of proteins, vitamins and minerals and it has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties.
It retains most of its nutritional values even when dried.
Some of the healthy compounds it contains include - vitamin A, C and B, Calcium, Zinc, Potassium, Iron and fibres among others.
Scientists have found that Moringa has a range of health benefits, nine of which will be discussed in this article.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to pain which can occur because of stress, sleep problems, asthma, injury, infection or other factors.
Its symptoms include redness, swelling, pain and loss of a particular function.
Moringa may be effective in reducing inflammation.
Studies have proven that moringa can boost the production of anti-inflammatory molecules, also known as cytokines, which help regulate the immune response and soothe pain.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance carried in the bloodstream.
There are two types of cholesterol – the good one, also known as HDL and the bad one - LDL.
The liver is the organ responsible for producing all the cholesterol your body needs. However, there is another source – food.
Having food rich in bad cholesterol on a regular basis while living a sedentary lifestyle, can eventually increase your level of cholesterol.
For people age 40 -75 with underlying conditions such as diabetes, the level of LDL shouldn’t go over 70mg/dl. Otherwise, they could potentially be at high risk of heart attack and stroke.
Researches have proven that certain foods, if consumed on a regular basis, could lower your cholesterol. Moringa is one of them.
According to experts, moringa presents a hypolipidaemic effect.
In other words, it has the ability to both reduce high cholesterol while raising the HDL ratio and promote a healthier cholesterol level.
Boost Immune System
The main job of the immune system is to protect your body from foreign bodies, ie: bacteria, viruses and other elements that may cause infections.
You can strengthen your immune system by making healthy changes to your lifestyle and by adding certain ingredients to your diet.
Moringa, for example, contains important immune boosting nutrients such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C which help strengthen the immune system and help the body combat infections.
For those of us who are trying to lose some weight, moringa can be a great ally.
According to a number of researches, moringa has the ability to reduce the formation of fat and to increase fat breakdown, particularly around the abdomen, thanks to its high levels of oleic acid – about 75%.
A common way of consuming moringa for weight loss purposes is to either mix ½ a teaspoon of moringa powder in hot water with a squeeze of lemon, or to add it in your smoothies.
Hormones control how we look, feel and perform daily tasks.
Certain hormones can be responsible for a hormonal imbalance.
The main ones are
· cortisol (stress hormone)
· insulin (hormone that regulates our blood sugars)
· oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone (sex hormones)
. thyroid (energy hormone)
The symptoms you might experience include weight gain, fatigue, acne, low-sex drive and mood swings.
For centuries, natural remedies have been used to balance hormones, and moringa is one of the natural ingredients packed with hormone balancing nutrients.
The plant also contain high levels of fibre which is essential in eliminating excess of oestrogen.
Moringa has high levels of calcium and phosphorus - two minerals which are essential for maintaining good bone health.
The daily intake of these minerals through food is very important because the body is not able to produce them on its own.
The moringa plant may also prevent and help with conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis - a condition which weakens the bones making them more brittle and fragile.
The beauty of preferring a natural ingredient like moringa over an artificial supplement, is the fact that your body will be likely to absorb it more easily.
Lower Sugar Levels
High levels of sugar in the blood can cause obesity and potentially lead to the development of diabetes.
Watching what you are eating and including ingredients that naturally balance blood sugar levels, is very important.
Moringa, for example, contain isothiocyanate, a compound with blood sugar reducing properties (1) and chlorogenic acid, which helps stabilise the blood sugar concentrations after a meal.
Anaemia is a condition where an individual has low amounts of iron in their blood cells.
It most commonly affects women because of the menstrual cycle and eventually pregnancy.
Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, headaches and brain fog.
As previously mentioned, moringa has high levels of iron and research shows that a 100g serving of moringa provides more iron than the same serving of spinach or kale.
Furthermore, moringa is also rich in Vitamin C and Folic Acid which help the body absorb iron more easily.
Fight Free Radicals
Free radicals are the main cause of illnesses, premature aging and damaging cells.
They are most commonly caused by factors such as sun exposure, over consumption of fatty foods and tobacco smoke.
Moringa is a rich source of flavonoids – a very important antioxidant - and of vitamin C.
These antioxidants can help protect the cells from oxidative damages and are essential for the growth and repair of damaged body tissues.
Moringa is a natural ingredient rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and its medicinal properties offer excellent health benefits.
You can easily find it in a powder format in health food shops in Salford and in other parts of the UK.
The powder can easily be integrated into your healthy diet by mixing it with water, smoothies or porridge.
You can also get creative and incorporate it in different recipes such as soups salads or other dishes.
If you are wondering what you can do with moringa powder, we do have some easy recipes to keep you inspired.
For more information on our Moringa Powder direct from the Ivory Coast, or any of our other African Superfoods, feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Be sure you’re getting the best quality African superfoods around!