The Moringa tree goes by many names, including the Ben Oil Tree and the Drumstick Tree, but we’re sticking with its scientific name, Moringa Oleifera. Now known to be one of the most nutrient-dense plants available, the supplement is a powerful superfood. Available in various forms, including dried and in the form of a tea or oil, there are a number of ways you can enjoy its benefits. While Moringa is not yet as commonly available as health foods like Matcha, Goji berries, or even Green tea, its reputation is growing.
The plant’s particular affinity for hot climates has seen South Asia and Africa make use of Moringa’s health benefits for centuries, but it’s only recently that the West is waking up to the potential of Moringa Oleifera.
Dubbed the ‘Miracle Tree’ in some Indian communities, Moringa is a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins and amino acids. This superfood boasts high levels of protein, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Its nutritional credentials have proved so hard to ignore that an increasing number of scientists and government agencies are looking into Moringa as a sustainable and safe way to treat and prevent diseases, including cancer, diabetes and thyroid disorders. In fact, the World Health Organisation and other charitable organisations have used Moringa Oleifera for decades to treat malnutrition in developing countries.
More than just a health fad, Moringa has the potential to feed millions. As a plant that’s not just highly nutritious, but able to withstand harsh growing conditions, scientists believe that Moringa could battle malnutrition where it grows natively and create sustainable livelihoods for those who farm it. So by enjoying Moringa, not only are you protecting your health, but you’re supporting sustainable cooperatives too.
Packed with antioxidants, vitamin A and iron, Moringa is a healthy immune system’s best friend. The immune-boosting abilities of this superfood have been proven in a number of scientific studies in recent years.
In particular, in a 2015 study researchers found that a daily dose of Moringa leaves can supplement and support the body’s own natural immune functions – leading to fewer coughs and colds, as well as reducing the risk of developing more serious diseases.
Work out a lot? Vegetarian? Whatever your reason for needing more variety in your sources of protein, Moringa Oleifera is here to help. With up to around 2 grams of protein per 100g, this is one plant that will help push up your protein levels to the max.
But for many people Moringa’s amino acid content is even more impressive than its protein content. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and essential to ensuring our bodies function properly. There are a total of 20 amino acids, each with its own function in building, repairing or maintaining the human body. Some of these can be produced by the liver, but 9 (known as the essential amino acids) need to be obtained from our diet. Unusually for a plant, Moringa Oleifera contains all 9 essential amino acids.
Pharmaceutical drugs are not the only weapons we have in our fight against cancer – certain natural foods can help too. Moringa is one of these. Scientific research has shown that Moringa possesses a whole range of compounds that work together, turning it into a potent anticancer agent.
Calcium is vital for digestion, but you don’t have to drink a gallon of milk to hit your daily target. Instead, try moringa – in a recent study, scientists found that this superfood boasts up to 19 times more calcium than spinach.
This impressive dose of calcium coupled with the plant’s fantastic fibre sources means many Moringa fans report improved digestive health and comfort.
Vitamin A is back for yet another reason: excellent vision. With 74 IU of Vitamin A in 100g of Moringa, and it’s not difficult to see why many people make the additional investment in Moringa when trying to keep their sight in top shape.
Healthy bones are quite literally a frame for a healthy body. Moringa is a great source of calcium, magnesium, protein and Vitamin K – all of which contribute to overall good bone health.
Whether it’s through including Moringa in your diet, or applying a face mask, there is plenty in this supplement to support beautiful skin.
First up, Moringa has particularly high levels of Zeatin, a phytonutrient and supporter of skin health and cell renewal. Then there’s the vitamins A and E. A supports radiant skin, while E helps battle oxidative stress and signs of ageing, along with the other antioxidants found in Moringa.
Finally, Moringa leaves contain sulphur, a key ingredient in the body’s production of collagen and keratin, which help keep skin strong and supple.
As a high-protein food and a source of tryptophan, an amino acid, Moringa is an excellent weapon in the fight against anxiety. It helps neurotransmitter functions, including those that help with the production of serotonin, known as the ‘feel good’ hormone.
Furthermore, the plant’s high levels of antioxidants and compounds help to improve thyroid health, protecting against energy lows and the worry and depression that can come with them.
The Royal College of Physicians suggests that 1 in 10 people in the UK struggle with prolonged periods of fatigue. With high levels of iron, magnesium and Vitamin A, Moringa Oleifera is a great addition to your arsenal in fighting against this tiredness.
None of this is news to those countries around the world in which Moringa is a native plant, but for those of us just discovering Moringa Oleifera, its huge range of health benefits are fast pushing it up the list of recommended superfoods.