What Is Moringa?
Moringa oleifera is a plant that grows in parts of Northern India as well as sub-tropical places such as Asia, South America, and Africa. It’s known by many names – the drumstick tree, the miracle tree, and the ben oil tree to list a few.
Moringa has a long history of being used as a medicinal plant owing to its rich nutrient content. For thousands of years, the roots, stem, bark, and seeds of the moringa plant have been considered to have exceptional healing properties.
This plant is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine as well as Unani folk medicine – which is a traditional Middle Eastern healing practice. In India, the seed pods (known as drumsticks) are ingested as part of a meal.
Swaantana helps explain why moringa is important for you and how Swaantana uses this miracle tree to help you get the best health benefits.
The Nutritional Value Of Moringa
Every part of the moringa plant is a storehouse of nutrients and antinutrients. The leaves are rich in:
Vitamin A is important for ensuring normal vision, protecting the immune system, and keeping skin healthy. It also supports bone health and promotes healthy growth. It’s an essential component of keeping internal organs healthy.
Vitamin B plays a crucial role in maintaining overall good health and wellbeing, as B vitamins maintain energy levels, brain function, and improve cell metabolism. Vitamin B complexes prevent infections and promote cell health.
Calcium plays a crucial role in ensuring good bone health. Beyond its role in good teeth and strong bones, calcium is also important to fight against diabetes and high blood pressure.
Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body. It helps regulate fluid balance and nerve signals. As a significant body mineral, it is important to both cellular and electrical functions. In cells, potassium builds stronger structures and carries electrolytes through the blood.
Zinc is a part of the cellular structures found throughout the body. It is needed for the proper functioning of the immune system. It also directly impacts DNA synthesis, cell division and cell growth. It’s important for metabolism because it facilitates the breakdown of complex carbohydrates which, in turn, releases energy.
Copper is an essential trace mineral – one which has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Complementing the function of iron, it helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, immune cells, and nerve cells. A sufficient presence of copper can help prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Moringa leaves also have low calorific content – which is why moringa leaf supplements are prescribed to those who suffer from obesity and weight disorders. The low-calorie count can aid in weight loss and muscle health.
The nutrient composition of leaves, leaf powder, seeds and pods. Source: sciencedirect.com
As the above table demonstrates, moringa surpasses many leafy greens in terms of its protein and vitamin composition per serving. Moringa also contains polyphenols and isothiocyanates, which according to research help protect against heart disease and cancer. Moringa plant in its entirety also has anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to the above vitamins, a lot of minerals that are essential for growth and development are present in the moringa plant as well. Calcium, in particular, is present in abundance and is considered one of the most vital minerals for human growth. While 7 ounces of milk provides about 300-400 mg of calcium, moringa leaves can provide up to 1000 mg. They’re also densely packed with zinc, which is important for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. Moringa is a complete source of proteins as the leaves contain all nine essential amino acids.
Once extracted, moringa powder is rich in iron content and can be used as a supplement by people who suffer from anemia.
One thing to bear in mind would be that the nutrient composition varies based on location and climate. For example, Vitamin A is abundant in places with hot and wet climates, while Vitamin C is found more in the cold and dry regions. It also depends largely on how you consume moringa, meaning in what form you cook it.
Health Benefits of Moringa:
Being nutritionally dense, moringa is bound to have many benefits. Swaantana lists a few that have been backed by scientific research:
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important because they fight against free radicals in your body. Increased levels of free radicals can lead to high oxidative stress – which is linked to risk for cancer and diabetes. In addition to beta-carotene, moringa contains quercetin that is helpful in lowering blood pressure.
2. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Moringa may be a natural alternative to help lower blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, kidney failure, and even stroke. While the data available is generally not conclusive, a small study has found that adding 50 grams of moringa powder to every meal reduced the rise in blood sugar by 20%.
3. Supports Cardiovascular Health
Moringa is packed with antioxidants and fiber, making it an optimal addition to a heart-healthy diet. As mentioned earlier, moringa is effective against fighting free radicals. This, in turn, improves the heart function and decreases lipid buildup that could cause cell damage.
4. Fights Chronic Inflammation
Usually, inflammation is a good thing. It means that your body’s internal defense mechanisms are working to protect you against infections or repair you quickly after an injury. Persistent inflammation, on the other hand, is dangerous and can cause serious health complications.
Internal inflammation in the body is caused due to high oxidative stress. Moringa can help combat that. Direct antioxidants such as polyphenols help reduce inflammation and cell damage. Indirect antioxidants such as isothiocyanates found in moringa seeds stimulate detoxification pathways in the body.
5. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Unfortunately, cancer is a common disease and one in seven deaths is attributed to improper medication. Moringa leaves can be used as anticancer agents – they inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The compound of the leaves that can be credited with this is benzyl isothiocyanate.
6. Helps Deter Neurological Disorders
Moringa can be used as a neuroprotectant, i.e., an agent that can slow down, or in some instances eliminate the risk of neurological diseases. Moringa leaf extracts have been used in the past to treat dementia – the compounds present in the leaves promote spatial memory.
7. Stimulates Cardiac Activity
The root bark of the moringa plant acts as a cardiac stimulant and an antiulcer agent. It contains alkaloids like morphine and minerals like magnesium and sodium; the alkaloids help the bark relax the muscles and promote healthy cardiac activity.
Swaantana and Moringa
Swaantana aims to promote natural healing through natural therapies. The best healing begins from within. When it comes to dealing with lifestyle disorders, no two remedies can be the same. This is because no two disorders are the same. There are several ways towards getting better health – but the most effective is always one that begins innately.
The health practitioners at Swaantana will recommend therapies that are best suited as per your lifestyle and medical history. Recommendations are also made in terms of dietary changes. The entire process from consultation to post-therapy follow-up happens at Swaantana’s Health Village. It’s a sanctuary and a wellness centre designed to help guests undergo Natural Medicine treatments and therapies.
What you eat matters a lot when it comes to healing naturally. This is why moringa is an important part of the diet that Swaantana’s nutritionists and chefs prescribe. Moringa is the perfect complement to a healthy lifestyle. Its effectiveness is due to how nutrient-rich it is even in a compact form. A common complaint is that it’s difficult to incorporate healthy greens in a daily meal without overwhelming the body’s digestive system – moringa makes it easy to add nutrients to any meals.
What makes the Health Village’s moringa plant even better is that it’s all home-grown – with the plants covering almost 40 acres of land. By harvesting only fresh, young leaves, our customised diet plan ensures that the moringa you ingest is more nutrient-dense than any other store-bought supplement. Moringa is an excellent addition to a healthy diet as it provides a plant-based, clean and organic boost of nutrition as well as several benefits that are vital in boosting the immunity of our bodies.
If you’re looking to understand more about how Swaantana incorporates the miracle tree in a healthy, transformative diet, book a consultation with our doctors today.