Moringa oleifera is a tree native to India and the Himalayas, where it is widely used for a variety of purposes including water sanitation, medicine, food and hand-washing. The tree is part of the brassica family, the group of plants that includes cabbage, broccoli, kale and radishes. In its native region, moringa provides a valuable source of food, and all parts of the tree are usable. In particular, the leaves and immature seed pods, which are the most nutritious parts of the plant, are used as vegetables.
The moringa tree is extremely rich in nutrients, making it a healthy addition to any diet. It contains ample quantities of vitamins B1, B2 and B3, which are essential for proper neurological function, metabolism and tissue maintenance. Unlike most leafy plants, it even contains significant amounts of protein, which studies have shown to be nearly as high as what’s found in whole milk and eggs. Just one serving gives you nearly half of your daily protein requirements. Furthermore, ounce for ounce, moringa is a better source of certain nutrients than many other foods. It’s higher in calcium than milk, richer in potassium than bananas, a better source of iron than spinach and contains more vitamin C than a whole orange.
That’s to say nothing of the abundance of antioxidant compounds that have been identified in Moringa oleifera. These substances help protect against DNA damage, slow the aging process and protect cells from oxidation. Indeed, many studies have found that a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods like moringa may prevent many cancers and other chronic illnesses.
Moringa and Weight Loss
In other areas of the world, it’s being quickly discovered that moringa can be a great way to lose unwanted pounds. Unlike many things that are touted for this purpose, moringa works with your body in a more natural, beneficial way to encourage healthy weight loss. Here are some of the ways it works:
- They have a very low glycemic index (GI). The lower a food’s GI is, the less of an impact it has on your blood sugar. Keeping blood sugar at a more stable level not only lessens your diabetes risk but also promotes fat burning and discourages fat storage.
- As a vegetable, moringa is low in calories and contains only negligible amounts of fat. Because of this, you can eat a lot of it without packing in too many calories. It’s an ideal way to feel more satisfied and keep food cravings at bay.
- Many of the nutrient found in moringa, particularly the B vitamins, aid weight loss by supporting a healthy metabolism. Without adequate B vitamin intake, your metabolism is less efficient at processing food into energy, so it goes to your fat cells, instead.
- Finally, moringa is an excellent source of fiber. Fiber doesn’t just aid digestive efficiency. It also absorbs excess dietary fat and cholesterol, allowing it to be carried out of your body as waste. Moringa’s fiber content will even help you resist overeating or compulsive snacking because you’ll feel fuller for longer.
Where it is used by native people, moringa is harvested fresh and prepared as a vegetable. However, this amazing food is more widely available as a powdered supplement made from the nutrient-dense leaves. It may be obtained as capsules, which allow for convenient on-the-go use. It’s also available as a loose bulk powder, which is makes a great addition to homemade smoothies and juices for weight loss boost. Some people even use powder or dried leaves to make tea, a refreshing way to fill in the nutritional gaps in your diet.