The medicinal plant moringa, or moringa oleifera, is a nutritional powerhouse packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and over 40 disease-fighting antioxidants. Native to Africa and Asia, the moringa plant has been used for generations to prevent and treat all types of physical and mental health conditions.
Moringa is composed of 25 percent plant protein—including all essential amino acids—and 24 percent fiber. With over 90 nutrients, it’s no wonder this superfood provides countless health benefits, including the ones listed below.
RELATED: What is Moringa?
1. Fights Cancer
Moringa contains an impressive amount of antioxidants—plant compounds that fight free radical damage in the body.
Free radicals are toxins that accumulate in the body and initiate a process called oxidation. Too much oxidation leads to oxidative stress, which is the cause of cancer in many cases. Oxidative stress causes DNA mutation, which is when cancer cells are born. (1)
Antioxidants are our best line of defense against free radicals. These anti-cancer compounds seek out free radicals in order to eradicate them and repair the free radical damage that already took place.
Moringa is packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants from its vast supply of carotenoids and polyphenols, including quercetin, kaempferol, and niazimicin. In fact, it has one of the highest ORAC (oxidative radical absorbance capacity) values of all plants. Moringa has been shown to be an effective cancer treatment on many different types of cancer, including ovarian, pancreatic, breast, colorectal, blood, skin, and many others. (2)(3)(4)(5)(6)
2. Prevents Chronic Disease
Those free radicals we talked about earlier—they’re bad news. Free radicals not only lead to cancer, they also cause inflammation all over the body, leading to chronic diseases such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), neurodegenerative diseases, and many more. Early aging, though not a “chronic disease,” is also caused by chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation caused by oxidative stress is all too common. Many people may suffer from generic symptoms daily and not even realize that their symptoms are caused by inflammation.
Moringa is anti-inflammatory, so it prevents chronic diseases and early aging. Its high antioxidant value makes it one of our best defenses and gives us one of the best chances of living long, pain-free lives. (7)
3. Helps Fight Diabetes
Moringa has proven itself as a potent medicinal plant in many areas, and blood sugar levels are no exception.
This superfood is praised by experts for its powerful antidiabetic properties. Studies have shown moringa to be a treatment equal to prescription pharmaceutical antidiabetic drugs. (8)
A lot of research has been conducted on the effects of moringa on blood glucose levels and insulin levels in diabetic patients, all with positive results. (9)(10)(11)
Moringa balances blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.
4. Improves Digestive Health
Moringa is composed of 24 percent fiber, which means that it will keep you regular. Fiber supports healthy digestion by absorbing water and bulking up the stool for easy bowel movements.
Fiber also helps to fill you up so that you feel satisfied for a long time. For this reason, moringa is a perfect supplement for weight loss.
Not only does it improve digestive health by fighting constipation, it also helps to treat and prevent gastritis, ulcerative colitis, candida, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections.
5. Protects Brain Health
Moringa benefits brain health for many reasons. It helps to keep your focus sharp, improve cognitive function and memory retrieval, balance your mood, and prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
Moringa contains many nutrients that are important for daily cognitive functioning. It’s a rich source of essential amino acids, iron, calcium, B vitamins, and many other nutrients essential to brain health for daily functioning.
Moringa is used to balance the mood and treat mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. This is because it contains nutrients that trigger the release of “feel-good” hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. (12)(13)
You’ll also benefit from the neuroprotective properties of moringa due to its high antioxidant profile and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants found in moringa prevent neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Boosts Cardiovascular Health
Moringa has been proven to boost cardiovascular health by helping to keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels down. In addition, it supplies anti-inflammatory antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the blood vessels.
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Studies show that supplementation with moringa oleifera reduces total cholesterol levels and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. (14)
Moringa also has positive effects on blood pressure levels in hypertensive patients. Research shows that moringa supplementation directly leads to a fall in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). (15)
7. Nourishes Skin and Hair
This superfood is packed with nutrients that nourish skin and hair, including vitamin E, vitamin A, and many other antioxidants.
Moringa seed oil can be applied directly to the skin and hair to improve complexion and provide flexibility and shine to the hair. Not only does it make the hair look healthier, it also promotes hair growth.
In addition, moringa has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral components that protect the skin from various infections and conditions such as athlete’s foot, abscesses, acne breakouts, dandruff, warts, burns, insect bites, and more.
8. Strengthens Bones
The moringa plant is a rich source of many nutrients essential to bone health, including vitamin K, protein, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
This is especially important for post-menopausal women, 25 percent of whom develop osteoporosis.
RELATED: Best Superfood Powders
The benefits don’t stop there when it comes to this powerful medicinal plant. Adopt healthy habits and give your whole body a daily boost by adding a moringa supplement to your routine.