Moringa Oleifera, a plant from the family Moringacea is a major crop in Asia and Africa. Moringa has been studied for its health properties, attributed to the numerous bioactive components, including vitamins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, isothiocyanates, tannins and saponins, which are present in significant amounts in various components of the plant. Moringa Oleifera leaves are the most widely studied and they have shown to be beneficial in several chronic conditions, including hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure, diabetes, insulin resistance, non-alcoholic liver disease, cancer and overall inflammation.
The leaves are high in vitamins A and C, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium. They contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that have been shown in some research studies to reduce chronic inflammation. The plant even has the potential to simultaneously treat both malnutrition and obesity.
Moringa has a high level of antioxidants and very specific molecules that help reduce inflammation, which we know is underlying a lot of the chronic health conditions including cancer, obesity, diabetes and malnutrition
A University of California study has found that mice fed a high-fat diet along with concentrated moringa lost weight, improved glucose tolerance and failed to develop fatty liver disease compared with those not fed moringa.
The study further states that Moringa has a high level of antioxidants and very specific molecules that help reduce inflammation, which we know is underlying a lot of the chronic health conditions including cancer, obesity, diabetes and malnutrition.
Other studies found that moringa delayed type 2 diabetes in rats models, that closely mimics diabetes in human, by approximately five months. This could mean a delay of 10 to 15 years for humans.
In addition to its healthful elements, the University of California, sees moringa as a strategic crop in the face of global warming and rapid population growth. The world’s population is predicted to grow from 7.6 billion to about 10 billion by 2050.
Did you know?
Every part of the plant is edible — leaves, pods, seeds, flowers, even its root. The feathery leaves alone pack a powerful protein punch — nearly 30 percent by dry weight. Legumes don’t even have that much protein, nor all the essential amino acids.
The plant is distantly related to cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cabbage, and shares the same nutritious compounds. Its leaves, when tossed on salads or on meat, taste a bit peppery like arugula. Young pods are reminiscent of Chinese long beans, with a hint of spice. Seeds can be eaten or boiled to make salad oil. The fragrant flowers are often used to make tea.
Source: University of California – Davis
For more studies and information on the Moringa plant, the National Institute of Health has a thorough report on all the scientific properties of this super plant.