Moringa and spirulina are two of the world’s most popular supplements. Both offer a very impressive nutritional profile that makes them able to help keep the human body healthy. Needless to say, help to protect it from certain diseases. But in terms of overall performance — moringa vs spirulina – which one stands out?
Let’s admit it. Today, we live in a different world. So many diseases are spreading, and more and more people are being compromised. In this day and age, becoming healthy is “in”. No wonder why health supplements are becoming one of the talks of the town.
In recent years, the number of supplements is increasing – and among these supplements that are emerging and have earned a superfood status are moringa and spirulina. While some people are already knowledgeable about these two (or at least have already heard about them), a lot more do not even know what these are.
With that said, we thought of battling out moringa vs spirulina. We wanted to showcase their amazing benefits, as well as the very impeccable nutritional profile that would probably make you include them in your day to day diet.
MORINGA VS SPIRULINA: OVERVIEW
Over the years, moringa is one of those underrated plant trees that apparently has so much to give especially in the overall human health.
Moringa oleifera or commonly known as moringa is a plant tree that is native to India. However, it has also been found to grow in other tropical-weathered regions like the rest of Asia, Africa, and South America.
For centuries, moringa was popular in other parts of the world. In fact, it has been used as an excellent source of nutrients to helps fight off malnutrition in impoverished communities. Moringa has also been used for medicinal purposes especially those who are into herbal or folk medicines.
Moringa has a very impressive profile, which is why it is not surprising when it has been tagged as a superfood and has gained its global popularity lately. Yes, it has only been in recent years that scientists and other experts have noticed this simple, ordinary-looking tree.
Interestingly, what we found unique about moringa is the fact that almost all its parts are useful, and in fact, have their respective nutritional value. Moringa leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds, bark, and even its roots are found to be great in addressing certain diseases, as well as in keeping the human body healthy and strong.
Apart from being popularly known as moringa. This plant tree has been tagged as “miracle tree” or “tree of life” as well – precisely because of how it is able to provide essential vitamins and minerals, and how beneficial it is to the body. Furthermore, in some parts of the world, moringa is also called as the “drumstick tree” or “horseradish tree” because of some particular characteristics like that of a drumstick as well as horseradish.
It’s quite interesting knowing that spirulina is apparently one of the oldest life forms on the planet. Spirulina is blue-green microalgae that partly play a role in producing oxygen in our atmosphere, which is responsible for allowing the planet’s originating life to grow billions of years ago.
Furthermore, we were quite surprised finding out that spirulina is, in fact, the world’s very first superfood. Needless to say, it is also one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet.
Spirulina contains an excellent nutritional profile, as mentioned earlier. These nutrients are all essential in keeping our bodies healthy, and in hindering as well as treating certain forms of illnesses. In particular, it has been found to be high in protein and vitamin content, which is why spirulina makes a very good dietary supplement, especially for vegetarian people.
Moreover, according to research, spirulina is also rich in antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Needless to say, it also has the ability to help regulate a person’s immunity.
In a report entitled,” A Review on Culture, Production, and Use of Spirulina as Food dor Humans and Feeds for Domestic Animals and Fish” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, it states that spirulina has been found to be abundant at Lake Texcoco by French researchers in the 1960s. However, there is no specific reference for its use by the Aztecs as their day to day food source until after the 16th century. Researchers noted that it was most likely because of the draining of the surrounding lakes due to urban and agricultural development.
MORINGA VS SPIRULINA: NUTRITIONAL FACTS
As earlier mentioned, moringa offers an excellent nutritional profile. It provides vitamins and minerals that are vital to human health and overall well-being. Some of the nutrients it contains 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)
Moreover, based on the book entitled, “Nutritive Value of Indian Foods,” which was published by the National Institute of Nutrition’s 1989, it states that a handful of moringa leaves has the following nutritional value (posting the information in 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
It’s really amazing how powerful this so-called “tree of life” is. Now, we understand why it is even called that. Anyway, in September 2014, moringa has been named as the Traditional Crop of the Month by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Such recognition is definitely well-deserved.
Spirulina is definitely another one of a kind superfood. It contains such a great nutritional profile that people will surely benefit from a lot. But before we move on to the health benefits that you will get from consuming spirulina, here are some of its nutritional content first:
- Spirulina has between 55 and 70% protein (more than beef, chicken, and soybeans)
- 9 essential and 10 non-essential amino acids
- High levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
- Linoleic acid
- Arachidonic acid
- Vitamin B12
- Nucleic acids RNA & DNA
- Phycocyanin (a pigment-protein complex that can only be found in blue-green algae)
Furthermore, according to a report published in the Medical News Today website, a tablespoon or 7 grams of dried spirulina contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- 20 calories
- 02 g of protein
- 67 g of carbohydrate
- 54 g of fat
- 8 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 2 mg of iron
- 14 mg of magnesium
- 8 mg of phosphorus
- 95 mg of potassium
- 73 mg of sodium
- 7 mg of vitamin C
In addition, spirulina also contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamins B-6, A, and K.
By taking spirulina as part of your daily diet will definitely help you stay very well nourished.
MORINGA VS SPIRULINA: HEALTH BENEFITS
Moringa has been found to be very beneficial to human health, and here are some of the reasons why:
- It helps in the overall hair and skin health.
Moringa seed extract has been found to be beneficial in keeping the hair healthy and cleans, and more so, it has been found to have the ability to protect it from free radicals, which is not good for hair health.
Moringa is rich in protein, and protein is found to be very helpful in shielding the human skin cells from any damages. This “miracle tree” particularly its leaves also contains detoxifying and hydrating components that aid in boosting both the hair and skin.
- It helps keep the liver healthy and functioning well.
Moringa has all the necessary nutrients that are responsible for keeping the liver healthy and free from any risk of getting damaged due to anti-tubercular drugs. Needless to say, moringa also contains compounds that make the repair or healing process of a damaged liver faster.
- It may help prevent and/or treat cancer.
There have been recent studies that show the possibility of this “tree of life” is very helpful in preventing and/or treating cancer, which is not surprising because moringa was found to contain niazimicin, a very important compound that aids in destroying the development of cancer cells.
- It helps aid digestive problems.
With such an amazing nutritional profile, it is not surprising that the “drumstick tree” is also capable of preventing and treating stomach problems particularly ulcerative colitis, gastritis, and constipation.
Furthermore, moringa also has natural antibiotic and antibacterial properties, which can be very helpful in restraining the growth of various pathogens, particularly in the digestive tract. Also, it is rich in vitamin B content, which can be very helpful in having healthy digestion.
- It helps promote overall bone health.
This so-called “horseradish tree” is also high in calcium and phosphorus content, which is why studies show that it is also very helpful in keeping our bones healthy and strong. More so, it also contains various anti-inflammatory properties, which is useful particularly in treating conditions like arthritis, as well as damaged bones.
- It helps keep the heart-healthy.
Moringa oleifera contains very powerful antioxidants, which makes it ideal in keeping the human cardiovascular system healthy and strong. Furthermore, antioxidants are also responsible for preventing cardiac damage.
- It is great in fighting off diabetes.
Moringas has a natural way of reducing blood sugar or glucose levels, which is why it is an ideal dietary supplement for people with high sugar levels particularly those who have been diagnosed with diabetes. More so, moringa has also been found to be helpful in reducing sugar and protein content in the urine.
- It helps reduce high blood pressure.
This “miracle tree” contains isothiocyanate and niaziminin, which are essential compounds that help stop arteries from thickening. Just so you know, a thickened artery may lead the blood pressure to rise, and if not attended immediately, it may result in more serious heart ailments, wherein in some cases, lead to a heart attack.
Here are some of the health benefits you will acquire from taking spirulina:
- It is a powerful source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Oxidative damage can be very harmful to a person’s overall well-being. In fact, it can harm the human body’s cells and DNA. Such damage can also lead to chronic inflammation, which contributed to the development of cancer and other diseases.
But because of spirulina’s fantastic antioxidant properties, your body can be protected from oxidative damage. The main active component that can be found in spirulina is the phycocyanin, which is also the substance responsible in spirulina’s very unique blue-green color.
More so, phycocyanin has been found to have the ability also to fight off free radicals, as well as hinder the production of inflammatory signaling molecules. Thus, providing excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
- It has the ability to reduce LDL and triglyceride levels.
Having high bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels can lead to a higher risk of developing heart diseases. Unfortunately, heart ailments are one of the world’s leading causes of people’s death.
Good thing, studies have shown that including spirulina in your daily diet can make a lot of difference especially in reducing or maintaining your overall cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- It helps protect “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidation.
The fatty structures in the human body are prone to oxidative damage, which can lead to the development of diseases.
With spirulina’s high antioxidant content, it has been found that it is very effective in reducing lipid peroxidation in the human body
- It is suspected to have anti-cancer properties.
There are certain pieces of evidence that suggest that spirulina can help prevent cancer. In animal research conducted, it has indicated that spirulina has certain properties that reduce the risk of cancer, as well as in reducing tumor size.
Spirulina, however, has been particularly studied on oral cancer or cancer of the mouth. In the study of 87 people from India with precancerous lesions called oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF), it has been found that those who took 1 gram of spirulina daily for a period of one year, 45% of them said that their lesions disappeared.
- It may help reduce high blood pressure.
High blood pressure or hypertension is another driver of many serious health cases like stroke, heart attack, as well as chronic kidney ailments.
Based on the study, it has been found that taking a dose of 4.5 grams of spirulina daily helps lower high blood pressure. This reduction has been thought to be caused by the increased production of nitric oxide, which is a signaling molecule responsible for relaxing and dilating your blood sugar levels.
- It helps improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis is categorized by inflammation in a person’s nasal passageways. It is normally caused by environmental allergens like animal hair, dust, pollens, and more. Interestingly, spirulina has been found to be a well-known alternative treatment to help heal or prevent symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and it has been found to effective.
MORINGA VS SPIRULINA: PRECAUTIONS AND/OR SIDE EFFECTS
Like any other food or supplements, moringa and spirulina have their respective precautions and/or side effects.
Moringa oleifera is generally safe for consumption. In fact, it has no reported side effects. However, certain precautionary measures must be made if you are:
– Taking maintenance or any medication for diabetes.
Moringa has a natural way of reducing blood sugar levels. That is why experts do not suggest taking moringa supplements alongside medications for diabetes or high blood sugar levels as it may lead to further the reduction of sugar in the blood, which is not healthy for the human body.
– Taking maintenance or any medication for hypertension or high blood pressure.
In the same effect as when taking medications for diabetes, moringa is also not applicable to those taking maintenance medication for hypertension. Experts suggest that you must consult your healthcare provider first before taking Moringa supplements.
– Pregnant or suspected to be pregnant.
Moringa roots, in particular, has been found to contain harmful chemicals that may cause uterine contraction. Thus, may lead to premature birth or miscarriage.
Like moringa, spirulina is considered as a safe and effective superfood. It is highly digestible, and it has no reported side effects. But, it does contain iodine, which is why experts suggest that those people who are allergic or sensitive to iodine must take necessary precautions.
MORINGA VS SPIRULINA: THE BOTTOMLINE
Battling moringa vs spirulina is quite challenging, to be honest. As you can see from the details we share above, both have their respective amazing nutritional profiles, and definitely they are both very beneficial to human health.
At the end of the day, which one is better among the two will be judged by you – as it depends on what your body needs. Because really, both have their respective strengths. It all boils down to choosing which one will work best for you.