Moringa leaves are considered the most nutritious part of the moringa oleifera tree. Many studies have been done and have found a lot of moringa leaves benefits, which is probably the reason also why a lot of people today are becoming a fan of this so-called “tree of life”.
Have you heard about the moringa tree? How about the various moringa leaves benefits? If your answer is no, then you might be missing a portion of your life – because moringa is one superfood that offers a lot of health benefits. If you want to be healthy and strong, you better check out what moringa leaves are all about.
Moringa leaves are known to have high protein and phytochemical content. In fact, they are flaunted as a good replacement for animal protein. Needless to say, have been used in traditional medicine for ages.
Moringa oleifera, the tree where the moringa leaves come from is a native of India, Pakistan, Philippines, and Nepal. However, it is also known to grow in other parts of Asia, as well as in Africa, South America, and also in Oceania.
Moringa has been existing for centuries. In fact, in both Asian and African regions, it not only considered as a staple food, but people from these areas also use moringa leaves and other parts of the moringa tree as a form of medicine particularly used to help manage anemia, obesity, asthma, and more.
But what really makes the moringa leaves special? How safe is it to consume moringa leaves? Lastly, what are the different moringa leaves benefits?
Getting to Know Moringa Oleifera
Also known as “drumstick” or “horseradish,” moringa oleifera or simply moringa is a tropical tree that is cultivated and consumed in certain parts of Asia and Africa.
Interestingly, we found out that the moringa plant tree is a distant relative of cabbage, broccoli, and kale. It quite amazes us because if you know these vegetables, they are not trees. More so, it also has a similar nutritional value.
Moringa leaves, flowers, seeds, bark, and fruit are all edible and nutritious. However, among all these moringa leaves are considered as the most nutritious and have a high medicinal value compared to the other parts of the tree.
Moringa contains essential vitamins and minerals that help keep the body strong and healthy. Some of its nutritional content is 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)
As we mentioned earlier, moringa leaves are considered the most nutritious part. In particular, the leaves contain a higher value of the following vitamins and minerals (on a per gram basis) compared to certain fruits and vegetables.
- 25x the iron content of spinach
- 15x the potassium content of bananas
- 17x the calcium content of milk
- 10x the Vitamin C content of carrots
- 9x the protein content of yogurt
- 7x the vitamin C content of oranges
Furthermore, moringa leaves are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
With all these, no wonder why moringa leaves comes with a lot of benefits and helps not just keep the body strong and healthy, but also in preventing and/or curing certain types of diseases.
Apart from being called the “tree of life,” moringa is also known as the “miracle tree,” “God’s gift to man,” and “Savior of the Poor”. In some countries, moringa oleifera is also called as the “drumstick tree” or “horseradish tree”.
Moringa Leaves Benefits
Moringa leaves contain essential vitamins and minerals that help keep the body strong and healthy. Needless to say, it also is a great source of nutrients that help prevent and/or cure certain diseases.
To give you more idea of what this superfood gives, here are some of the most common moringa leaves benefits:
- Moringa leaves may work as a natural protein supplement.
Moringa leaves contain high levels of protein. It has all the amino acids, thus, it is said to be a good supplement to animal protein. In particular, dried moringa leaves contain higher levels of isoleucine, leucine, threonine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, methionine, lysine, and histidine. Apart from these, moringa leaves are also abundant in alanine and leucine, while it comes with the lowest concentrations of cysteine and methionine.
By including moringa leaves in your daily diet, your body gets to benefit from all these nutritional properties. Needless to say, a high amino acid kind of diet also helps boost your immunity. The aforementioned nutrients also help protect your GI tract from certain parasites as well as microbial infections.
Moringa leaves also help in replenishing your body’s lost protein content after having a pathogenic attack.
Overwhelmed with all these? Well, hang in there, it’s just the beginning of a long list of moringa leaves benefits.
- Moringa leaves may help treat inflammatory diseases.
The moringa leaves are packed with so much nutritional value that in some areas in the world, it is used for medicinal purposes.
In Africa for instance, the drumstick tree leaves are used in their folk medicine in treating pain and rheumatism. Scientists assume that this is because moringa leaves contain bioactive ingredients that play a very important role in managing inflammation and pain.
Moringa extracts hinder the secretion of pro-inflammatory compounds. In addition, it also helps keep the nitric oxide, cellular messengers or cytokine, prostaglandins, and several other components of the immune system as it is.
Moringa leaves also contain potent anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties, which helps relieve a lot of acute/chronic inflammatory disorders. Studies have been done and they found out that moringa is indeed capable of relieving health cases like edema, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, ulcer colitis, as well as an irritable bowel movement.
- Moringa leaves helps increase iron and hemoglobin levels.
Do you have certain forms of anemia? Are you suffering from iron deficiency or you know someone who’s going through it? Well, guess what? Moringa leaves could be the answer to your prayers!
Researchers have found that moringa leaves are an excellent source of iron, folate, as well as vitamin A. in fact, a cup of chopped moringa leaves contain about 8 mcg of folate, 0.84 mg of iron, as well as 1588 IU of vitamin A.
Eating moringa leaves, or taking moringa powder or moringa supplements can also be beneficial not only for those suffering from certain forms of anemia, but also among pregnant and lactating women. However, pregnant women, in particular, must first consult with an expert before taking any moringa supplements to be sure.
In relation to that, having optimal levels of iron and hemoglobin in women helps prevent complications during pregnancy, as well as when giving birth. It also helps avoid low birth weight among babies.
Furthermore, there have been rat studies that show a positive effect of taking moringa leaves on blood parameters, which include hemoglobin levels, maternal anemia, platelet count, packed cell volume, and more.
Moringa leaves is also packed with vitamin A, which is responsible for boosting the rate of iron retention. Thus, avoiding rapid iron reserve reduction in your body.
- Moringa leaves help to enhance breastmilk production.
We find it amusing how women can benefit a lot from consuming moringa leaves. Apart from being a good source of iron, which is essential to both pregnant and lactating moms, moringa is also considered as a natural galactagogue, which means it has essential elements that help increase the breastmilk production of nursing moms.
You see, moringa is not called a miracle herb for anything. Perhaps of all the moringa leaves benefits, this is one of women’s most favorite. As you know, breastmilk is the best for babies. So, imagine how helpful it is to keep or to increase the supply of milk among moms for their babies, right?
Moreover, moringa capsules or supplements made using moringa leaves are prescripted to nursing moms to help promote breastfeeding, which again is considered as the best food for babies from birth to at least 6 months old.
A study conducted on postpartum moms and it demonstrated a very positive effect of moringa leaf supplements. Those women who took moringa capsules were found to have higher prolactin levels. Needless to say, newborns were also comparatively heavier as to those whose mommies are not taking moringa capsules.
In the same study, they saw how lactation significantly improved among moms who took moringa capsules for a period of about two months. This practice is particularly popular in the Philippines to help augment breastmilk production among new moms.
- Moringa leaves can help protect your liver from any damage.
According to studies, it has been found that moringa is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, chemical studies show that moringa contains quercetin, glucosinolates, tannins, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, and saponins.
Molecules like quercetin are found to have a substantial effect when it comes to liver health. Quercetin particularly helps in reducing the levels of hepatic enzymes that include alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), as well as creatinine. In effect, your liver and kidneys are protected from drug-induced and inflammation-induced injury.
In addition, studies using guinea pics show that moringa leaf extract helps prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease of NAFLD by lowering the lipid content in the liver. Furthermore, moringa extract also controls the appearance of genes involved in the approval of hepatic levels.
- Moringa leaves possess antioxidant effects.
Because of its antioxidant components, moringa leaves are believed to help get rid of free radicals, which, by the way, causes stress in your body. Some of the common phytochemicals present in moringa leaves are terpenoids, tannins, saponins, and flavonoids.
The phenolic compounds are considered as the primary antioxidants. They particularly help in inactivating free radicals, neutralize existing free radicals, as well as prevent the decomposition of complex molecules into free radicals.
Having these properties, moringa leaves are believed to help prevent or manage the occurrence of chronic disorders such as hypertension or high blood pressure, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, and guess what? Even cancer!
Now you probably understand already why some people call it a miracle tree or tree of life or God’s gift. Imagine the variety of diseases that moringa can address. It just really is an amazing plant tree, to say the least.
- Moringa helps regulate your lipid profile.
You got high LDL or also known as the bad cholesterol levels? Well, consuming moringa leaves (be it by powder form, raw, or tea form) may help reduce your bad cholesterol levels, and normalize your lipid profile.
Just so you know, modifications in the levels and compositions of your lipid profile can lead to dyslipidemia, which could be congenital (meaning you had it since birth) or as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle (which is the more common cause).
When your lipid profile is not balanced, it may be linked to different health problems such as diabetes, obesity, as well as atherosclerosis. Luckily though, there are many plant-based remedies that help manage dyslipidemia and other lipid disorders – and one of them is by consuming moringa leaves.
Many studies have been conducted and they have shown that taking moringa leaves helps to reduce cholesterol levels. But apart from that, moringa leaves also helps increase the levels of good cholesterol or HDL, at the same time, it helps balance your lipid profile.
It’s really amazing how a simple, ordinary-looking plant tree can do so much to help keep your body strong and healthy, right?
Additional Benefits of Moringa Leaves
Apart from all these health benefits we mentioned, which by the way are just some of the common moringa leaves benefits, moringa also does another thing —
Moringa has the ability to purify water!
Having a moringa tree planted near a water body can help ensure you of good water quality. But apart from that, if you need the purified water now, all you have to do is to crush moringa seeds to vats of water, and it will help get rid of harmful particles. After an hour of doing such treatment, you will have clean water.
Now, what an excellent plant moringa is, right? To be honest, we have never encountered such a very useful and nutrient-field plant tree. It just really amazes us how wonderful the moringa tree is in general.
Ways to Consume Moringa Leaves
As you can see, the list of moringa leaves benefits is just so overwhelming. We would not be surprised if by now you are already craving to have moringa at your home. With such amazing list of benefits, we thought every home should have the moringa tree planted in their backyards. After all, this tree is easy to plant, very low-maintenance in fact, and very cheap too.
Now, we thought it is just best to share with you the different ways to consume moringa leaves. Yes, there are various ways of taking the leaves but enjoying the same level of nutritional value.
First, you can consume fresh or raw moringa leaves by incorporating it into your favorite dishes. In fact, there are so many recipes that use moringa leaves online for you to get ideas from. We tell you, a simple dish because extra special when you include moringa leaves on it. Needless to say, it becomes all the more deliciously and nutritiously good.
Second, most people prefer consuming dried leaves though. We thought maybe because it’s more accessible compared to raw or fresh moringa leaves. Do not worry though because unlike other vegetables, when moringa leaves are dried its nutritional level even spikes up.
Dried moringa leaves are usually turned into powdered form, which is excellent to use in any meals or drinks or smoothies. You can bake goodies using moringa leaf powder or you can opt to make moringa smoothies, protein shakes, porridges, soups, and more.
Some also turn dried moringa leaves into teas – hot or cold. By the way, moringa tea is ideal for those who love teas but do not want caffeine. Moringa teas are non-caffeinated tee. Needless to say, a very healthy kind of tea.
As you can see, there are so many ways to consume moringa. You just have to go for the kind of preparation that suits your preference.
Side Effects of Moringa Leaves
Generally speaking, there are no reported adverse effects using moringa leaves. Studies show that consuming moringa leaves is generally safe.
However, if you are taking certain medications to treat conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, or if you are pregnant or suspected to be one, we suggest consulting your doctor first before starting a moringa diet or taking moringa supplements.
Moringa leaves have indeed so much to offer. In fact, moringa leaves benefits to seem to be endless! With all it has when it comes to nutritional value, it is so worthy to be a staple food for every family. We can only imagine — if every household makes it a habit taking moringa leaves regularly plus consuming the right food and living a good lifestyle, then we will have healthy and strong people on this planet.