Moringa is popular among Southeast Asian countries because of its benefits in increasing the production of breastmilk. But, what is interesting is that moringa and fertility have been linked to one another in recent studies.
Becoming a mom is probably one of the greatest dreams of every woman. Motherhood gives women a certain joy that is incomparable to anything. While some women find it easy to conceive, others, unfortunately, may find it very challenging.
But thanks to science and technology, over the years, the experts found different ways a man and woman can conceive a child – apart from the natural process, of course. Some couples would rather go through such a process, while others prefer trying all-natural ways as much as possible first. You know, including taking vitamins or supplements or medications that will help them become more capable to make babies.
Anyway, moringa oleifera or more commonly known as moringa has recently gained international attention because of its very impressive nutritional profile. More and more experts have started researching about this so-called, “tree of life” particularly linking moringa and fertility.
With that said, let’s look into how moringa can help in making men and/or women fertile and able to conceive a child. But before that, let’s do a short recap of what fertility and infertility are all about first.
What is fertility?
According to the website of Macmillan Cancer Support, fertility in women refers to “being able to get pregnant and give birth to a baby.” To be able to conceive a child, “a woman’s egg needs to be fertilized by a man’s sperm.” In a normal cycle, one of the woman’s ovaries releases an egg. That egg will then move along the fallopian tube where fertilization by the sperm can happen. Once fertilized, it then develops into an embryo, which travels down the womb and buries itself into the womb lining. It then grows into a baby.
What is infertility?
Meanwhile, contrary to fertility, infertility is a woman or a man’s inability to produce a child. As the American Pregnancy Association puts it, infertility “is a condition of the reproductive system that prevents the conception of children. It affects approximately 10-15% of couples throughout the United States. The diagnosis of infertility is usually given to couples who have been attempting to conceive for at least 1 year without success.”
The University of California, Los Angeles, meanwhile, defines infertility as “the inability to conceive within 12 months“.
According to the UCLA report, based on a study, “Most couples (approximately 85%) will achieve pregnancy within one year of trying, with the greatest likelihood of conception occurring during the earlier months. Only an additional 7% of couples will conceive in the second year.” Thus, such a definition.
The report also added the various scenarios where one may need an expert’s advice to know whether or not there is infertility. These scenarios include:
- Infrequent menstrual periods
- Female age of 35 years or older
- A history of pelvic infections or sexually transmitted diseases
- Known uterine fibroids or endometrial polyps
- Known male factor semen abnormalities
Furthermore, the common causes of infertility according to the UCLA report are:
- Advancing maternal age
- Ovulation disorders
- Tubal occlusion (blockage
- Uterine fibroids
- Endometrial polyps
- Male factors affecting sperm function
How to get fertile?
In a normal setting, fertility must happen before or after a woman’s monthly period. However, in some women, particularly, that is not the case. Some find it really challenging that they are even required to adjust their diet or change their lifestyle.
Depending on the severity of the case, some are required by their healthcare provider to take supplements or medication to help them become capable to conceive. While it may get a little struggling for some, for the sake of getting pregnant and having a child, they would do all necessary things just to get into their end goal.
While some would go for the easier ways to conceive through the help of science, others prefer trying natural methods first like:
- Eating food that is rich in antioxidants. Folate and zinc have been found to be effective in improving fertility both for men and women.
- Eating a healthy diet, particularly voiding food with trans-fat, cutting down on carbs, eating more fiber, and more.
- Getting into regular exercise.
- Taking time to relax, and staying away or reducing stress levels.
- Increase in iron intake.
- Living a healthier lifestyle by avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and others.
- Taking natural supplements like moringa.
What is moringa?
As mentioned above, one of the ways (that some people believe to be very helpful) to become more fertile or to have a greater possibility of conceiving is by taking natural supplements like moringa oleifera.
Now, moringa oleifera or popularly known as moringa is a simple, ordinary-looking plant tree that commonly grows in countries that have tropical weather. It is, in fact, a tree native to India, and other parts of Asia like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, as well as the Philippines. Compared to other trees, moringa is cheap and easy to grow. No wonder why it can also be found in other places like Africa, South America, and Oceania.
Moringa oleifera, in particular, is just one out of 13 varieties of moringa. It is the most common type of moringa, thus, becoming the most widely used – both for consumption and medicinal purposes.
Moringa oleifera is found to be packed with vitamins and minerals that are very essential to keep the body strong and healthy. Needless to say, it has been found to be effective in preventing and treating certain health conditions – no wonder why moringa and fertility have been linked.
While the tree’s leaves, flowers, seeds, fruit, bark, and even its roots are all useful and nutritious, moringa leaves are found to be the most nutrient-filled of all. In fact, once the leaves are dried, experts found that the nutritional value of the leaves even increases by around 300-500%.
As we mentioned, moringa is known because of its nutritional value, which is why in other parts of the world, moringa becomes a staple in feeding programs particularly those with aims in reducing the causes of malnutrition. For centuries now, moringa has also been used by folk or herbal medicine practitioners to help fight off or cure certain diseases.
Because of its powerful nutritional value, plus its impeccable number of benefits, moringa has been tagged not just as a superfood, but also as a “miracle tree” or “tree of life”. Furthermore, in some parts of the world, moringa is known as the “drumstick tree” or “horseradish tree” because of its characteristics.
How nutritious is moringa?
We thought that perhaps the reason behind moringa and fertility is being linked to each other is because moringa is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential to keep the body – including the reproductive system – healthy and able.
Moringa oleifera is packed with nutritional content, which includes the following”
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)
Moreover, as mentioned earlier, moringa leaves are found to be the most nutritious part of the moringa tree. In fact, according to the book entitled, “Nutritive Value of Indian Foods,” by the National Institute of Nutrition’s 1989, moringa leaves contain the following nutritional value (published as it is):
- Seven times the amount of vitamin C in an orange
- Three times the amount of iron in spinach
- Four times the amount of vitamin A in a carrot
- Four times the amount of calcium in one glass of milk
- Three times the potassium in one banana
- Two times the protein found in regular, plain yogurt
In addition, because moringa is just simply impressive, it has also earned recognition as the September 2014 Traditional Crop of the Month by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
What is the relationship between moringa and fertility?
There really is no direct study yet that proves the claim of the relationship between moringa and fertility. However, researchers have found that moringa oleifera is rich in vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, as well as it also contains high protein density – all of these are found to be beneficial in keeping the body healthy and also in getting pregnant.
Specifically, the following vitamins and minerals can be found in moringa oleifera, which are believed to be very helpful infertility:
- Vitamin A (beta carotene)
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
- Vitamin K
- Good cholesterol
In addition, experts analyze moringa oleifera’s nutrient breakdown, and found out that it contains the following:
- Calcium – equivalent to 4 glasses of milk
- Vitamin C – equivalent to 7 oranges
- Potassium – equivalent to 3 bananas
- Iron – 3 times the iron content of spinach
- Vitamin A – 4 times the amount of vitamin A in carrots
- Protein – 2 times the protein in milk
With all these present in moringa oleifera, no wonder why moringa and fertility are being related to one another. With further studies, perhaps it can be proven how beneficial consuming moringa is for those who are aiming to get pregnant.
How to add moringa into your diet?
Moringa is available in different forms. Depending on your preference, you can consume moringa oleifera in raw or fresh, dried, powdered, or tea form.
Generally, for healthy individuals, you can add moringa into your diet anytime. In fact, you can consume moringa by adding it to your favorite recipes, or by making nutritious yet refreshing moringa tea, juice, or smoothies. There are also moringa supplements in capsule or tablet forms in the market.
However, for those who have existing health conditions, experts suggest that you consult with your healthcare provider first before incorporating moringa into your daily diet.
What are the different benefits of moringa during perinatal stages?
While the link between moringa and fertility has yet to be further studied to prove its efficacy, moringa has been found to be very helpful during the perinatal stages or the stages of childbirth before, during, and after pregnancy.
Here are some of the benefits you will get from taking moringa during these stages;
Moringa leaves is believed to be very helpful in keeping a healthy reproductive system. This one’s not impossible given the various vitamins and minerals present in moringa leaves. Just so you know, having a healthy reproductive system is the key to fertility or conceiving.
With the nutrients found in moringa, some researchers say that moringa helps prevent or address infertility issues. But as we have said earlier, this claim has yet to be proven through further studies. However, there is no harm in trying. After all, moringa is considered generally safe for healthy individuals or those without health issues. Incorporating moringa into your diet, plus living a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to help prepare your body for a possible pregnancy.
While there are studies that say that moringa can be harmful to pregnant women because it contains compounds that makes the uterine contract, studies have yet to be made to prove this claim.
Meanwhile, some studies suggest that moringa leaves, in particular, are safe for pregnant women. In fact, it is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals that pregnant women need like iron, calcium, phosphorus, and more.
Speaking of calcium, studies found that consuming moringa daily is a great way to meet a pregnant woman’s daily calcium needs. Furthermore, moringa leaves also contain high vitamin A, protein, zinc, and potassium. All of these are vital when pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
To maximize the nutritional content of moringa, experts suggest picking the freshest moringa leaves especially the ones in deep green color. Avoid consuming the ones in pale-yellow or yellow in color. Moringa powder is also a great choice, just make sure you get it from the right manufacturer. Always check the label – to ensure it is organic and natural.
Some people consider moringa as the best multivitamins for pregnancy because of its very impressive nutritional value. Needless to say, moringa is very cheap compared to any other prenatal vitamins. But then again, make sure to check with your healthcare provider first before taking Moringa supplements. Always be on the safe side by consulting your doctor first.
While the relationship between moringa and fertility has yet to be studied further, many women particularly lactating women have proven the efficiency of moringa in increasing breastmilk supply.
After giving birth, the next thing that mommies worry about is their breastmilk supply. As the saying goes, breastmilk is best for babies. Thus, moms make sure to give only the best. Moms work hard to sustain or increase the supply of their golden milk.
In recent years, moringa has become popular especially among nursing moms because of its benefit when it comes to increasing breastmilk. In Southeast Asian countries like India and the Philippines though, moringa has been long used for this purpose.
Apart from increasing breastmilk supply, moringa is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that are essential to help quicken the recovery of moms from giving birth.
What are the other health benefits of moringa?
In addition to moringa and fertility issues, moringa is also found to be very helpful in addressing certain health conditions like the following:
- High Blood Pressure or Hypertension. Moringa contains natural properties that help lower high blood pressure, reducing the risk of further health problems like heart ailments.
- High Blood Glucose Levels or Diabetes. Moringa has also been found to have the ability to reduce blood sugar levels, making it very ideal for people diagnosed with diabetes.
- High Cholesterol Levels. Having high cholesterol can lead primarily to heart problems. Good thing, moringa was found to have the ability to reduce high “bad” cholesterol levels. At the same time, capable of providing “good” cholesterol.
- Heart Problems. Moringa is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help keep the cardiovascular tract healthy. Needless to say, it has the ability to prevent complications from other diseases.
- Skin and Hair Problems. Moringa contains essential nutrients that help keep the hair and skin glowing and healthy.
- Kidney Problems. Moringa contains antioxidants that help fight off free radicals. Furthermore, it also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help keep the kidney strong and healthy.
- Brain Health. Moringa has essential nutrients that help keep the human brain functioning really well.
- Mood Disorders. Moringa contains properties that enable it to prevent or treat mood disorders like anxiety, depression, and more.
- Cancer. Surprisingly, recent studies suggest that moringa may have properties that is able to help reduce the risk of cancer cell growth.
Although further studies have yet to be made regarding the link between moringa and fertility, it is not surprising if moringa can actually help address fertility issues given the fact that it contains very essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Well, we thought, it wouldn’t be called “miracle tree” or “tree of life” for nothing, right?