Moringa Oleifera the elixir tree

Moringa Oleifera the elixir tree

The moringa oleifera tree is a highly durable plant that can tolerate a wider range of soil characteristics and conditions. The only condition being that it’s constantly exposed to heat and sunlight. It’s a perfect choice for drier regions as it can rely entirely on rainwater without the need to invest in costly irrigation platforms. It is sourced primarily from India which is its largest producer. In other Asian countries, it’s even used as a food source—particularly its leaves.

 

Nutritional Value

Nearly all parts of moringa oleifera are edible with different uses found for each component in turn. The leaves are considered the most nutritious and are chockfull of essential vitamins and minerals. When cooked and consumed, they provide a significant source of B vitamins, vitamins C and A, manganese, protein, and more. As such, the leaves are often cooked like spinach and even ground into a powder for sauces and soups.

The immature seed pods are widely used in South Asia where they are boiled and cooked into a curry. Even after undergoing this process, the seed pods retain their high levels of vitamin C. Even the seeds taken out of mature pods and eaten like peas or nuts can be a great source of vitamin C on top of B vitamins and other essential minerals. Lastly, the edible oils called ben oil is effective for cooking as it resists rancidity and is wholly odorless. It has been found that the seed oil can be used as a biofuel.

 

The Benefits of Moringa in our health

 

1. Nutrition

In Western countries, the dried leaves of moringa oleifera are sold as supplements either in powder or capsule forms where they are branded as effective responses to iron deficiency. The pods are also sold as fresh, sliced constituents that are a source of vitamin C. In developing countries where there are dietary deficiencies, moringa oleifera is used to bring vitamin and mineral levels up to acceptable levels for healthy living. Further studies have shown that moringa oleifera in regular diets have made for healthier living among those who consume it. Of course, there’s a lot to be said about concentration—especially in those sold as supplements.

 

2. Antioxidants

Many of the most terrifying cancers are caused by the oxidation of free radicals in the human body. High levels have been also lined to chronic diseases including heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes. Several naturally occurring antioxidant compounds have been found in the leaves of this plant. Apart from vitamin C and beta-carotene, moringa oleifera also includes quercetin which also lowers blood pressure. It also has cholinergic acid—found in high amounts in coffee—which controls blood sugar levels after meals. A recent study found that women taking seven grams of moringa oleifera powder daily for three months positively affected antioxidant levels in the blood.

 

3. Blood Sugar

High blood sugar levels can pose a serious health risk—specifically, it can lead to lifelong diabetes. On top of that, it can also lead to heart disease. That’s why many scramble to keep their blood sugar within healthy, acceptable limits. Moringa oleifera has been shown—via several studies—to lower blood sugar levels significantly. One in particular conducted with women taking 30 grams daily for three months resulted in a reduction of blood sugar levels by 13.5%. Additionally, another study conducted this time with diabetic patients found that the addition of moringa oleifera leaves reduced their blood sugar by 21%. Isothiocyanates are the specific component that causes this lowering of blood sugar.

 

4. Anti-Inflammatory

In general, inflammation isn’t bad for your body. In fact, it’s the body’s natural response to infections or injury. While it’s a protective mechanism, it can lead to some serious health issues if it goes on far longer than necessary. Chronic diseases resulting from prolonged inflammation include heart disease to even cancer. Like turmeric and even pomegranates, moringa oleifera leaves have shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties that are also tied to isothiocyanates. Much has to do with the specific amounts and concentrations of moringa used in food or drink. If not taken in sufficient amounts, then the effects on the human body can be negligible.

 

5. Lowered Cholesterol

A perennial problem of this modern age is obesity. Many people live unhealthy lifestyles and gorge themselves on unhealthy foods. If left unchecked, this can lead to serious chronic diseases like heart conditions that can eventually become life-threatening. There are many plant-based foods that are effective at reducing cholesterol—like flax seeds, oats, and almonds. These are very common foods that are popular among those looking to lower their weight and cholesterol levels. It has been found that moringa oleifera has similar effects on cholesterol levels in the human body. This makes it an effective supplement to take when weight watching.

 

6. Arsenic Protection

In many parts of the world, food and water can easily be contaminated with arsenic. Rice, in particular, is vulnerable to this kind of contamination. Symptoms of toxicity from arsenic don’t readily manifest themselves, but long term exposure over time can lead to some serious health problems—particularly heart disease and cancer. Because of this delayed onset, it is often very difficult to guard against the effects of arsenic toxicity—in fact, it can sometimes be too late to react to it. Because the leaves of moringa oleifera have proven to have a powerful effect of guarding against arsenic toxicity, including it in the diet can be an excellent preemptive and preventive measure to take. This is aided by the general affordability of supplements and leaves.

Already a popular traditional Indian medicine for many years, moringa oleifera is increasingly becoming an equally popular supplement today—and with good reason. It has and is used to treat various diseases and conditions, and also contributes to the general well-being of anyone taking them. Additionally, moringa oleifera also leads to modest reductions in both blood sugar and cholesterol—both very important intoday’s world and with today’s lifestyle. Lastly, moringa oleifera is itself highly nutritious and is a great inclusion to diets that lack essential nutrients.

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