Health Benefits of Moringa

Moringa is a medicinal plant that originated in India and spread to Asia, South America, and parts of Africa. Although it has been used for centuries around the world, moringa, also known by its scientific name moringa oleifera, is still relatively new to Western medicine.

Moringa leaves offer many health benefits. Moringa oleifera is high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, and more. Moringa leaves are most often turned into a fine powder and used as a dietary supplement. But scientists are still discovering many nutrients in moringa.

Health Benefits

The vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients in moringa have lots of potential health benefits. For example, moringa’s high levels of potassium and niazimicin help to lower blood pressure. Niazimicin is a sugar compound found in certain foods.

In addition, moringa benefits people with many other health issues. It can be used for:

Diabetes  Treatment and Prevention

Moringa helps control blood glucose levels, which can prevent and treat diabetes. Moreover, the leaves are high in protein, which can further reduce your likelihood of diabetes. In a study, men who substituted meat in their daily diet with protein from plants like moringa reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 18%. Most blood-sugar studies were done on animals, though, so more human research is needed to understand this potential benefit.

Cancer  Treatment and Prevention

Moringa leaves contain many anticancer compounds, including eugenol, niazimicin, and isopropyl isothiocyanate. These compounds are bioactive, meaning they provide health benefits beyond their basic nutritional value. They can kill cancer cells and potentially  prevent cancer from developing.

Anemia Treatment

Moringa’s high iron levels benefit people with anemia, a condition that results in having low amounts of iron in blood cells. Plus, moringa can also help your body readily absorb more iron, which sets it apart from other iron supplements. Overall, improving your body’s iron levels can reduce fatigue and increase energy.

Skin and Hair Protection and Nourishment

Moringa oleifera is high in antioxidants like vitamin B2, as well as a number of proteins. When used as an oil on skin and hair, moringa can fight damaging pollutants and unstable molecules called free-radicals.

Digestion

Moringa leaves have lots of fiber, which regulates your digestive system. Even as a powder, moringa is high in soluble and insoluble fibers, the two main types of fiber that not only help digest food but prevent diseases. So, moringa is useful for a range of problems and good for overall health.

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Nutrition

There are many nutrients in moringa plants. Moringa oleifera is rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene. These antioxidants help protect against heart disease, cancer, immune system deficiency, and inflammatory conditions.

It's also an excellent source of:

Nutrients per Serving

A 100-gram serving of moringa leaf powder (the most common form of moringa supplement) contains:

  • Calories: 375
  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 50 grams
  • Fiber: 25 grams
  • Sugars: 0 gramsg
  • Calcium: 2500 milligrams
  • Iron: 120 milligrams
  • Potassium: 1500 milligrams

Portion Sizes

Moringa can be a great natural supplement to include in your diet at 2 to 6 grams daily. However, talk to a doctor before adding supplements to your diet. Scientists continue to research the risks and full health benefits of moringa.

How to Use Moringa

After consulting a doctor, you can take moringa capsules or add the powder to your food as an extra ingredient. Many health food stores and online shops carry this powder. 

Here are some ways to use moringa powder:

  • Sprinkle on salads or mix into salad dressing
  • Blend into smoothies
  • Mix into baked goods like muffins or brownies
  • Stir into soups
  • Make moringa tea by steeping the leaves in hot water
  • Add to pasta sauce, such as marinara or pesto
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on December 03, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

African Journal of Biotechnology: "Nutritional Characterization of Moringa (Moringa Oleifera Lam.) Leaves."

British Journal of Nutrition: "Intake of different dietary proteins and risk of type 2 diabetes in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study."

Food Science and Human Wellness: "Moringa oleifera: A review on nutritive importance and its medicinal application."

The Human Metabolome Database: “metabocard for Niazimicin.”

Journal of Microbial and Biochemical Technology: "Nutritional Values of Moringa oleifera, Total Protein, Amino Acid, Vitamins, Minerals, Carbohydrates, Total Fat and Crude Fiber, under the Semi-Arid Conditions of Sudan."

PLoSOne: "Soluble Extract from Moringa oleifera Leaves with a New Anticancer Activity."

PLoSOne: "Moringa oleifera as an Anti-Cancer Agent against Breast and Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines."

U.S. Department of Agriculture: "Moringa Powder.”

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