You have heard a lot about Moringa and have probably seen it in different forms but what is it really?
Moringa is one of the latest ‘superfoods’ to hit popularity. It is healthful and has many benefits, but it also has some side effects that you should be aware of.
Moringa is a genus of shrubs and trees with multi-purpose uses. It occurs naturally in 13 species but Moringa olifera is the most widely cultivated and the one we refer to here. All parts of the moringa tree – bark, pods, leaves, nuts, seeds, tubers, roots, and flowers – are edible.
Also called the drumstick tree, miracle tree, ben oil tree or the horseradish tree, Moringa has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties and health benefits.
What makes moringa so healthful?
- It is rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that act against free radicals in your body. High levels of free radicals may cause oxidative stress which is associated with chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- May help preventing and treat cancer
Moringa contains properties that might help prevent cancer from developing. This includes niazimicin which is a compound that suppresses the development of tumors in cells.
- Lowers blood sugar levels
Moringa can also help to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood. Studies showed that it also improved haemoglobin levels and overall protein content in those tested.
- Helps with healthy skin and good hair growth
With the high concentration of Vitamins A and C in moringa, it helps nourish the skin and keeps it healthy. All the protein along with the vitamins also helps hair grow nicely and shiny.
- It can lower cholesterol & blood pressure
It can help lower cholesterol levels potentially reducing the risk of heart disease. It also contains isothiocyanate and niaziminin, these compounds help stop the arteries from thickening which can cause blood pressure to rise.
- Improving eye health
Moringa contains eyesight-improving properties thanks to its high antioxidant levels. It may stop the dilation of retinal vessels, prevent the thickening of capillary membranes, and inhibit retinal dysfunction.
- Protecting the cardiovascular system
The powerful antioxidants found in Moringa extract might help prevent cardiac damage and have also been shown to help maintain a healthy heart.
How can it be dangerous?
- Don’t take Moringa when pregnant as chemicals in the root, bark, and flowers can make the uterus contract, and this might cause a miscarriage
- It is important to avoid eating the root and its extracts. These parts may contain a toxic substance that can cause paralysis and death
- Moringa should not be taken along side certain medications to avoid contraindications.