Moringa Oleifera is a plant that has been known for its health benefits for thousands of years. It is very rich in healthy antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds. Join us to learn more about the properties and side effects of Moringa. Finally, we will answer the question of whether the Moringa plant helps to lose weight.
In this article, you will read about the health benefits of Moringa oleifera, which have been proven by scientific research. But keep in mind that you should consult your doctor before taking this plant extract.
The Moringa oleifera plant is very nutritious
Moringa oleifera is a relatively large tree native to northern India but also grows in other parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. Almost all parts of this tree are edible and are used in traditional herbal medicine. Especially the leaves and pods of this plant, which are used as food in parts of India and Africa.
Moringa leaves are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. One serving (21 grams) of fresh leaves of this plant contains the following ingredients:
- Protein: 2 grams
- Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA
- Iron: 11% of the RDA
- Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA
- Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDA
It is also very low in fat and does not contain harmful cholesterol.
In Western countries, the dried leaves of this plant are sold as a powder or in capsule form as a dietary supplement. Compared to leaves, pods have fewer vitamins and minerals. But they are also rich in vitamin C. One serving (100 grams) of fresh pods contains 157% of the daily requirement.
The diet of people in developing countries is usually deficient in vitamins, minerals, and protein. In these countries, Moringa oleifera can be an excellent source of essential nutrients for the body. But there’s a problem: Moringa leaves contain high levels of anti-nutrients, which can reduce the body’s absorption of minerals and protein.
Another point to keep in mind is that Moringa oleifera supplements in capsule form do not have many nutrients. The amount of nutrients in these capsules is very small compared to eating a balanced diet based on whole foods.
It is rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals in the body. High levels of free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which is linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Several antioxidant herbal compounds have been found in the leaves of Moringa oleifera. In addition to vitamin C and beta-carotene, these compounds include:
- Quercetin: This powerful antioxidant may help lower blood pressure.
- Chlorogenic acid: Also found in high amounts in coffee, chlorogenic acid may help moderate blood sugar levels after meals.
Studies on women show that daily consumption of 1.5 teaspoons (7 g) of the plant’s leaf powder for three months greatly increases the level of antioxidants in the blood. Moringa leaf extract is also used as a food preservative. This extract increases shelf life by reducing meat oxidation.
Moringa May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar is a serious health problem. In fact, it is the leading cause of diabetes. High blood sugar over time increases the risk of many serious health problems, including heart disease. For this reason, you need to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range.
Interestingly, several studies have shown that Moringa oleifera can lower blood sugar levels. But most of this evidence is based on animal experiments. Only a few studies have been done on humans, and they have generally been of low quality. A study of 30 women found that consuming 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of the plant’s leaf powder daily for three months reduced blood sugar levels by an average of %13.5. Another small study of six people with diabetes found that adding 50 grams of Moringa leaves to a meal reduced blood sugar by 21 percent. Scientists believe these effects are due to plant compounds such as isothiocyanate.
Moringa oleifera May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. Inflammation is an important protective mechanism, but if it lasts, it can become a major health problem. Persistent inflammation is associated with many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
Most fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices have anti-inflammatory properties. But the amount of their benefits depends on the type and amount of anti-inflammatory compounds they contain. Scientists believe that isothiocyanates are the main anti-inflammatory compounds found in the leaves, pods, and seeds of Moringa.
Moringa Can Lower Cholesterol
High cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. Fortunately, many plant-based foods, such as oilseeds, barley, and almonds, can lower cholesterol. Both animal and human studies have shown that Moringa oleifera has similar effects on lowering cholesterol.
Moringa oleifera May Protect Against Arsenic Toxicity
In many parts of the world, there is a contamination of food and water with Arsenic. Prolonged exposure to arsenic for a long time can lead to many health problems. For example, studies have linked long-term exposure to arsenic to increased risk of cancer and heart disease. Interestingly, several studies in mice have shown that the leaves and seeds of Moringa oleifera can protect their bodies against some of the effects of arsenic poisoning. These results are promising but have not yet been studied in humans.
Moringa properties for skin and hair
Moringa seed oil is useful for protecting hair against free radicals and keeps hair clean and healthy. This plant contains protein, which is useful for protecting skin cells from damage. It also contains hydrating and detox elements that strengthen the skin and hair. It is also useful for treating skin infections and injuries.
Moringa side effects
It is recommended that you consult your doctor before taking Moringa. Moringa has anti-pregnancy properties and is therefore not recommended for pregnant women. In addition, very few side effects have been reported with this plant. But you should always read the information on the Moringa extract package and be sure to take it according to the instructions.
Moringa oleifera may interfere with some medications, including:
- Levothyroxine: Used to combat thyroid problems. Compounds in the moringa leaf may aid the thyroid function, but people should not take it in combination with other thyroid medications.
- Any medications that might be broken down by the liver: Moringa extract may decrease how quickly this happens, which could lead to various side effects or complications.
- Diabetes medications: Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar, which moringa also does effectively. It is vital to ensure blood sugar levels do not get too low.
- High blood pressure medication: Moringa has shown to be effective at lowering blood pressure. Taking moringa alongside other drugs that lower blood pressure may result in it becoming too low.
Does Moringa help with weight loss?
Evidence suggests that Moringa extract can help reduce and control weight in mice. High levels of vitamin B in this plant make digestion easier and better and can help the body convert food into energy instead of storing it as fat.