Moringa: the new superfood

Moringa (Moringa oleifera) is the latest, hottest craze in superfoods. It’s been touted on Dr. Oz, written up on WebMD  and The Huffington Post, and featured in several health newsletters. The leaves, fruits and bark of this tree can be taken as a powder or a tea, and often offer the best nutritional supplement available in the Southeast Asian and African countries where it is grown.

moringaLast year Dr. Mercola wrote about the benefits of moringa:

  • A Rich Nutritional Profile – 9 times the protein of yogurt, 10 times the vitamin A of carrots,15 times the potassium of bananas, 17 times the calcium of milk, 12 times the vitamin C of oranges and 25 times the iron of spinach
  • Antioxidants Galore – extracts of both mature and tender leaves exhibit strong antioxidant activity against free radicals, prevent oxidative damage to major biomolecules, and give significant protection against oxidative damage.
  • Lower Blood Sugar Levels – Moringa appears to have anti-diabetic effects, likely due to beneficial plant compounds contained in the leaves, including isothiocyanates.
  • Reduce Inflammation – The tree’s strong anti-inflammatory action is traditionally used to treat stomach ulcers. Moringa oil (sometimes called Ben oil) has been shown to protect the liver from chronic inflammation. The oil is unique in that, unlike most vegetable oils, moringa resists rancidity.
  • Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels -Moringa also has cholesterol-lowering properties, and one animal study found its effects were comparable to those of the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin.
  • Protect Against Arsenic Toxicity – The leaves and seeds of moringa may protect against some of the effects of arsenic toxicity, which is especially important in light of news that common staple foods, such as rice, may be contaminated.

Long known as an Ayurvedic treatment, it has been used to treat and prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, anemia, arthritis, liver disease, and respiratory, skin, and digestive disorders. wrote: “Moringa contains high concentrations of polyphenols in its leaves and flowers that protect the liver against oxidation, toxicity, and damage. Moringa can reduce liver damage and fibrosis and reverse oxidation in the liver. Moringa oil can also restore liver enzymes to normal levels, reducing oxidative stress, and increasing protein content in the liver.”


by Cheryl Shainmark