There are plenty of plants that are beneficial to the human body, and some examples of which are moringa and maca. But the question is, among these two “superfoods” which is more useful, moringa vs maca?
The world is blessed with various plants and trees that are beneficial to human health. There are so many natural ways to keep the body healthy, at the same time, in terms of herbal medicine, there are plenty of plants and herbs that specifically help address certain diseases.
Two very common plants that offer a very interesting set of health benefits is moringa and maca. For some people, these two may sound a bit strange or uncommon, but for others, these are very popular plants because of their respective nutritional values and uses.
But the thing is, between these two, which is more beneficial for you? Is it moringa vs maca?
MORINGA VS MACA: OVERVIEW
To help you find out which between moringa and maca is more beneficial, we thought of sharing with you some very essential information about these two superfoods. Let’s start off with a very quick overview of what moringa and maca are all about.
Of course, it is very important that before you consume anything, you must first know what these are, and how it helps you maintain a healthy and strong body and overall well-being.
Native to countries like India, Nepal, and Pakistan, moringa has recently become popular because experts have found that this plant tree is packed with various essential vitamins and minerals that are very helpful in keeping human body healthy, at the same time, it contains certain compounds that are vital in preventing and/or curing certain health issues.
Moringa or also known as moringa oleifera is not only common among the-above mentioned countries. In fact, this tree loves the tropical weather that it also grows in other parts of Asia, as well as certain parts of Africa, South America, and Oceania.
Apart from being consumed either in raw, powder, or tea form, moringa is also used for medicinal purposes in certain parts of the world for centuries now. No wonder why apart from being tagged as the “tree of life,” moringa is also known through its other nicknames like “miracle tree,” “drumstick tree,” and “horseradish tree”.
Interestingly, almost all of the parts of the moringa tree are useful. Its leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds, bark, and even the roots were found to contain certain nutrients that are essential to the body. However, of all the parts, moringa leaves are said to be the most useful and the most nutritious of all. In fact, when shade-dried correctly, its nutritional value increases even more by 300% up to 500%! No wonder why most of the moring products available in the market are made from moringa leaves.
Moringa is consumable either raw or in powdered, extract or tea form. It is also available in capsule forms, which is the most common along with its powdered form. Dried moringa has an earthy taste, just like most herbs or supplements or teas. While the raw ones, tastes equally the same as other green leafy vegetables – it’s not sweet, not bitter even.
Meanwhile, maca or maca plant has also earned its superfood status because of its nutritional value, which is capable not just to help maintain a healthy and strong body, but also in addressing certain health conditions.
Scientifically known as Lepidium meyenii, maca is also sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng. Maca primarily grows in the Andres of central Peru. Interestingly in harsh conditions, and also at very high altitudes – like above 13,000 feet of 4,000 meters. Obviously, it’s not like your typical plant. It’s not something that you can grow in the backyard like the moringa tree.
Anyway, maca is considered as a cruciferous vegetable, which makes it related to other vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, as well as cabbage. Maca has been very popular in Peru both for culinary uses, as well as for medicinal purposes.
Furthermore, it may be unusual but the key edible part of the plant is its roots, which basically grows underground. We find this plant very unique because apart from that, the roots come in various different colors, which ranges from white to black.
Generally, the maca roots are dried. Once dried, it is then processed to become in powdered form, which makes it ready for human consumption. While the powdered form is the more popular one, maca is also available in capsules and liquid extract.
When it comes to the taste, maca root powder tastes almost the same as moringa. In fact, most people describe their taste as earthy and nutty, which is how people consuming moringa would describe the taste of moringa products as well.
Powdered maca is usually consumed by adding it to oatmeal, smoothies, as well as sweet treats. It really depends on your personal preference. After all, it does not badly affect the taste of the food you take.
MORINGA VS MACA: NUTRITIONAL FACTS
Moringa is not called the “tree of life” for nothing. The very reason, in fact, is nicknamed as such because of its various nutritional content, which all play an important role to help keep the body strong and healthy. Needless to say, it also helps prevent or cure certain diseases.
Some of the essential nutrients present in moringa are 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 said to be the most nutritious part of the moringa plant tree. It contains a complex amount of certain vitamins and minerals compared to other fruits and vegetables like the following (note that it uses per gram basis for comparison purposes):
- 17x of the calcium of milk
- 25x of the iron found in spinach
- 15x of the potassium of bananas
- 9x of the protein of yogurt
- 10x of the vitamin C of carrots
- 7x of the vitamin C of oranges
Maca root powder is also a great source of various vitamins and minerals that are very essential to the body. In fact, according to studies, an ounce of maca powder contains the following:
- Calories: 91
- Carbs: 20 grams
- Copper: 85% of the RDI
- Fat: 1 gram
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Iron: 23% of the RDI
- Manganese: 10% of the RDI
- Potassium: 16% of the RDI
- Protein: 4 grams
- Vitamin B6: 15% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 133% of the RDI
In addition, maca roots are also found to be a great source of carbohydrates. Needless to say, it is found to have low-fat content and a fair amount of fiber. Furthermore, the roots are also found to be rich in essential vitamins and minerals like copper, iron, as well as vitamin C.
Maca roots also contain various bioactive plant compounds like glucosinolates and polyphenols, which are also great for the human body.
MORINGA VS MACA: HEALTH BENEFITS
Both moringa and maca are beneficial to human health. Some of the common health benefits you will get from consuming either of the two are as follows:
- Improves Immunity
Based on studies, moringa contains very important nutrients that are key to improving as well as maintaining a great immune system. A healthy immune system is very important to ensure that your body is guarded against possible diseases.
- Heals Wounds Faster
In herbal medicine, moringa powder is used to help heal wounds and cuts quickly. The powder is applied to the affected area. What is more interesting is that it also is said to offer a clear skin devoid of wound marks! Don’t you just love that perk?
- Lowers High Cholesterol Levels
Consuming moringa is found to be one of the natural ways to help reduce high cholesterol levels. Moringa contains essential compounds, which primary job is to lower the bad cholesterol level. So, if you got high cholesterol problems, moringa is a great supplement. Furthermore, it is a great way to maintain balance cholesterol levels for those who don’t have high cholesterol problems. Just so you know, people with high cholesterol levels are prone to having heart diseases.
- Lowers High Blood Glucose Levels
Diabetes has emerged to become one of the most deadly health conditions in this day and age. Diabetes is the complication when a person has high blood glucose or sugar levels. Amazingly, moringa is found to have natural properties that practically helps lower down blood glucose levels. Thus, for those who are diabetic or are suspected to be diabetic, consuming moringa daily would definitely make a huge difference in your condition.
- Lowers High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is another deadly human disease that usually complicates health conditions when not addressed. People with high blood pressure are having more risk of developing further health problems like heart diseases, which may lead to a heart attack if not addressed properly. Apparently, moringa also contains essential compounds that help eradicated high blood pressure problems.
- Reduces Fatigue and Tiredness
Moringa is found to be rich in iron, which is a very important nutrient in reducing tiredness and fatigue in the body. Furthermore, moringa also contains vitamin A, which helps support the metabolism of iron to guarantee a greater uptake. So, if you are experiencing either tiredness or fatigue in your body or both, then consider taking moringa. It might be just what you needed.
- Promotes Good Digestion
Moringa is very rich in various vitamins and minerals including a good amount of calcium. Calcium helps in ensuring that the digestive enzymes function normally. Thus, making moringa beneficial in promoting healthy digestion.
In addition, it also contains at least 24% of fiber, which helps support bowel regularity, and also a good digestive system. Fiber is also very helpful when it comes to weight management. It is responsible for making you feel fuller for a longer period of time, plus it also supports a healthy metabolism.
- Improves Mood
There have been several studies conducted that have shown how maca helps improve a person’s mood. In fact, maca has been associated with reducing anxiety as well as in dropping symptoms of depression, particularly among menopausal women.
Maca was found to contain plant compounds like flavonoids, which is believed to be at least partly responsible for these psychological welfares.
- Boosts Energy and Sports Performance
Maca root powder is apparently very popular among athletes, as well as bodybuilders. There have been claims that maca helps in increasing strength, boosting energy, developing muscle, as well as in improving exercise performance.
Although there is no available scientific evidence regarding its benefits for muscle strength, and mass, many consumers of maca powder believe to have gained many benefits after taking the said supplement.
- Helps Protect the Skin from the Sun
You might also find this very interesting, but one of the benefits of applying maca to the skin is that it helps protect it from harmful ultraviolet rays, which normally causes sunburn or skin damage.
- May Improve Overall Brain Function
If you have memory or learning problems, consider taking maca root supplements. It might just be the answer to your predicament.
Maca is believed to have the ability to help improve a person’s overall brain function. In fact, in Peru, maca has been traditionally used to help improve their children’s performance in school.
Many studies also suggest the same thing. That is why more people believe it to be effective compares to other varieties.
- May Increase Fertility in Men
Sperm quality and quantity are very important when it comes to male fertility.
Surprisingly, there is some evidence that shows how maca roots help increase fertility in men. In fact, a recent study shows that taking maca has helped improve semen quality in both healthy and infertile men. Thus, making is a possible solution to address infertility problems in some men.
- Boosts Sexual Desire in Both Men and Women
It is normal that some men and women may experience reduced sexual desire especially when aging. While it is okay for some, others would still want to feel the same kind of feeling when it comes to that.
Surprisingly, maca has been heavily marketed for years now as being effective when it comes to improving libido in both men and women. In fact, this claim is backed by research. So, if you are experiencing this problem, maca is perfect for you.
- Reduces Prostate Size
The prostate gland is only found in men. Enlargement of the prostate gland is very common, especially among aging men. However, a larger prostate may cause various problems with passing urine.
A few studies suggest that maca may help reduce prostate size. Some researcher believes that it has something to do with maca’s high content of glucosinolates, which are associated also in reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer.
MORINGA VS MACA: PRECAUTIONS AND/OR SIDE EFFECTS
Moringa is considered generally safe for consumption. However, certain precautions are advised if you are:
– Taking medication for diabetes. Naturally, moringa helps reduce blood sugar levels. Thus, it is not advisable to take moringa supplements while taking medication intended for lowering blood sugar levels as it may cause to further reduce glucose level in the body, which is not healthy.
– Taking medication for hypertension. For the same reason as above, it is not advisable to take moringa alongside medications for hypertension as it may lead to further reduce the blood pressure level of a person, which may cause further health problems.
– Pregnant or suspected to be pregnant. Although it is not scientifically proven, it is better to stay away from taking moringa while pregnant to keep yourself safe from probable complications.
Taking maca is generally considered safe. But Peruvian natives believe that taking fresh maca root may have an adverse effect on human health. Thus, it is highly suggested not to take it raw, rather have it boiled first.
Furthermore, precautions must be observed if you:
– Have thyroid problems. Maca contains goitrogens, which are may interfere with the usual function of the thyroid gland. Thus, people with thyroid problems are advised to be very careful when taking maca.
– Pregnant or suspected to be pregnant, or breastfeeding. While there really is no adverse effect reported when it comes to pregnant or suspected to be pregnant, or breastfeeding women, it is highly recommended to consult your healthcare provider first before taking maca.
MORINGA VS MACA: THE BOTTOMLINE
Moringa and maca have their respective set of health benefits, thus it is hard to choose between the two. They both are packed with a very essential set of vitamins and minerals, as well as both respond to specific health conditions. To compare them would be an injustice as they totally offer different things — but all for the good of one’s well-being and overall health.
With that said, we would leave it to you to choose which is more beneficial – moringa vs maca – depending on your needs. One thing is sure though, both have a very impressive nutritional profile.