We live in an age where tradition and old age wisdom is being questioned around every corner. In some cases, the benefits of foods are debunked, and in other cases, they are confirmed. In coffee’s case, the health benefits have been confirmed, and it is being sold by the ton around the world. The fresher it is, the more antioxidants and nutritious value it presents.
However, there are some of us who don’t like coffee, nor the sleepless nights it gives us. Lucky for us, the wisdom from the east has made its way to the western mainstream in the form of Moringa Oleifera.
This wonder that is often referred to as the “Vitamin Tree,” originates from the foothills of the Himalayas and is now grown across the globe. But what is Moringa and why is it held in such high regard? What are the health benefits of Moringa?
Energy boost without caffeine
Like I said, if you don’t like coffee, but have a need for the benefits it holds, you need not look further than the wonder of Moringa. Coffee drinkers will often talk about the boost of energy they get from that morning cup, but the energy boost from a cup of Moringa in the morning is unlike the sudden spike that coffee produces.
Coffee shoots you from down-and-out to up-and-about in record time, but you are also left with the problem of using all of that energy at once. Moringa, on the other hand, also makes you feel energized and it will make you focused and boost your concentration, but you aren’t left with that anxious feeling that you need to do something and everything at once.
A cup of Moringa gives you a well-rested sensation, and when you are well-rested, your energy levels are high. What this entails is that you won’t experience a crash seeing that your energy levels will gradually lower as the day progresses, not unlike coffee that gives you a spike of energy and leaves you crashing without notice.
The secret to the health benefits of Moringa lies in the combination of nutrients that it possesses.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, Moringa is a superfood of note. It is packed with vitamins and nutrients and has been utilized for its benefits for hundreds of years. The people who used it originally were very aware of its healing powers and did not need fancy pharmaceuticals and vitamin boosters. A daily dose of Moringa was more than enough to keep the doctors away.
It is estimated that it contains more than seven times the amount of Vitamin C than oranges. It also kicks milk to the curb seeing that it has four times the amount of calcium and more than double the amount of protein than regular milk. More than that, it has a higher ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) than most of the antioxidant-rich super foods that are usually mentioned.
It is clear that it contains a small pharmacy of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, and the Moringa health benefits are increasing as more research is being done on the plant.
To begin with, the antioxidants in the leaves and pods of the plant act against free radicals in your body. These free radicals are the cause of oxidative stress and is also associated with heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
High blood sugar is another mammoth that the Moringa health benefits takes down. Prolonged high blood sugar raises the risk of many health problems like heart disease and diabetes, therefore, it is important to keep it in check, and that is where Moringa leaves come in.
Although the studies to support the claims are still in their infancy, the results look promising. One study of 30 women who took 1.5 teaspoons of Moringa powder in the morning for three months, showed that their blood sugar was reduced by 13.5% on average.
Another small study on six people with diabetes showed that their rise in blood sugar was reduced by an average of 21% when 50 grams of Moringa leaves were added to their meals.
The prevailing theory is that the presence of isothiocyanates in the leaves is the cause for the results in both of the studies.
Furthermore, our bodies are designed to protect themselves and one of the mechanisms it uses inflammation. The inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. However, it can also be counter-productive. When inflammation is prolonged, it can lead to heart disease and even cancer.
Thus, to keep inflammation at bay, we eat foods that contain anti-inflammatory compounds. Most whole fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices contain these compounds, but in varying degrees. However, the fact that most of these foods are commercially farmed, means that they are subject to all kinds of hormones, pesticides and other toxins that reduce their nutritional value.
It is believed that Moringa Oleifera contains the isothiocyanates compounds that are the main anti-inflammatory compounds. However, the studies to prove the claims have only been done on animals, but scientists are optimistic about human trials.
The other giant that Moringa is believed to slay is high cholesterol, which has been linked to heart disease. Many foods combat high cholesterol, including oats, almonds, and flax seeds, but Moringa is believed to have the same qualities as these foods.
The studies that have already been done has shown that the Moringa health benefits have similar cholesterol-lowering powers and is much more affordable.
Lastly, in many parts of the world, arsenic toxicity is a major problem and prolonged exposure to high levels of arsenic may cause cancer and heart disease. However, the animal tests have shown some promising results in that it seemed to combat some of the effects of arsenic.
Ultimately, Moringa is showing ever more potential as being a super food with numerous health benefits. The fact that it is easy to cultivate and that little to no processing is needed makes it an even greater prospect for the future.