Moringa leaf, otherwise known by its Latin name of Moringa oleifera, is a tree whose small, round leaves have been used for many health benefits for thousands of years. The tree itself grows very fast and is sometimes referred to as “a miracle tree,” “a drumstick tree,” or “a horseradish tree.”
Unlike spirulina and chlorella, it does not grow in the ocean, but it still boasts many powerful therapeutic properties. Because moringa trees grow so fast and can be harvested all year long, they are perfect for boosting the nutritional intake in underdeveloped parts of the world.
Although almost all parts of the tree can be eaten, countries such as India and Africa eat the leaves and pods. In Westernized countries, the leaves are dried and sold as dietary supplements in pill or powder form. When compared to the leaves, moringa pods contain fewer vitamins and minerals. But they are extremely high in vitamin C. One cup of fresh pods provides you with 157 percent of your vitamin C daily recommended intake.
Moringa leaf may not contain the high amount of protein that chlorella does, but it’s full of other healing properties that would be great when mixed with a combination of spirulina and chlorella for a superfood of unmatched nutrition. Here’s why you should add it to your daily diet.
Moringa leaf has been shown to possess the following qualities: tissue protestant (heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and testes), antioxidant, antiulcer, analgesic, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory properties and radioprotective. It contains a wide variety of phenolic acids, flavonoids, polyphenols, alkaloids and glucosinolates that are responsible for its many healing actions.
According to a 2014 study, one hundred grams of moringa leaf powder contains nine times the protein of yogurt, 10 times the vitamin A of carrots, 15 times the amount of potassium in bananas, 17 times more calcium than milk, 25 times more iron than spinach, and 12 times more vitamin C than oranges.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one cup of fresh, chopped leaves contains two grams of protein, 19 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin B6, 12 percent of the recommended value of vitamin C, 11 percent each of the daily recommended value of iron and riboflavin, nine percent of the daily value of vitamin A, and 8 percent of daily value of magnesium.
High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are needed to fight free radical toxins that accumulate in the body and cause chronic inflammation, which leads to disease. Chances are if you are always tired, have put on a few pounds, suffer from headaches and bad breath or are constantly sick, you may suffer from acidosis, or a condition that is characterized by a buildup of toxins. Acidosis changes the pH levels in your blood from alkaline to acid and can be the start of many diseases. Specifically, high levels of toxins may contribute to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Antioxidants bring your pH levels back to alkaline by binding to free radicals and moving them out of the body. According to a 2009 study, moringa leaf contains a high level of antioxidants including beta-carotene and vitamin C.
According to a 2014 study, women who supplemented with seven grams or 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder every day for three months increased the amount of antioxidants found in their bloodstream. Another study found that supplementing with moringa leaf powder provides potent antioxidant activity against free radicals, gives significant protection against oxidative damage and prevents oxidative damage to major biomolecules.
Reduces Blood Sugar
Several studies have shown that moringa is effective in reducing blood sugar levels, which is especially important for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, chronic inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer.
A 2009 study found that diabetic patients who supplemented with 50 grams of moringa leaves to a meal reduced the rise in blood sugar by 21 percent. Moringa’s anti-diabetic effects are because of their high concentration of the plant compounds isothiocyanates, which also have an anti-obesity effect.
Inflammation occurs for several reasons. You may notice inflamed skin after you cut or burn yourself. This type of inflammation is called acute. Chronic inflammation results from months or even years of eating poorly, not sleeping enough, and too much stress. It causes a buildup of toxins in the body that may lead to chronic disease, such as heart disease and cancer. Inflammation is the underlying cause of most diseases. Moringa plays an important role in cutting out this step in the progression of most diseases.
According to a 2010 study, moringa leaves contain potent anti-inflammatory properties in the form of isothiocyantes. Another study showed that moringa leaves were effective in treating pain and inflammation.
Protects Against Heavy Metal Poisoning
Just like spirulina and chlorella, morgina leaf is also extremely efficient at detoxifying heavy metals from the body. It surrounds the heavy metals like a barrier and prevents them from being absorbed before moving them out of the body.
Moringa is especially great for ridding the body of arsenic, which can be found in places you wouldn’t expect it such as in rice. Arsenic may also be present in tap water. Long-term exposure puts you at an increased risk of heart disease and cancer. According to a 2014 study, moringa leaf was effective in treating arsenic toxicity.
High cholesterol has been linked to an increase in heart disease. As cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in America, it’s important to include foods in your daily diet that support heart health.
According to a 2008 study, moringa leaf contains antioxidants, antiatherosclerotic and hypolipidemic activities that provide protection against cardiovascular disease. A 2000 study also found that moringa leaf has hypocholesterolemic activity that could be considered for pharmaceutical use.
As cancer and other diseases that may require chemotherapy such as lupus are on the rise, it’s a good idea to detox the heavy metal toxins out of the body after these treatments. Chemotherapy and radiation do an excellent job of removing cancer, but they also lower the immune system. Moringa leaf removes heavy metals by surrounding them like a barricade and moving them out of the body, which helps restore immune health back to normal. Add moringa leaf powder to your daily tea, smoothie or favorite baked food recipes especially after treatment with chemotherapy or antibiotics to reduce the risk of future infections.