4 health benefits of the humble drumstick tree
Moringa leaves contain more than seven times the vitamin C of oranges and four times the vitamin A of carrots. (Pinterest pic)
In recent years there has been a lot of buzz about moringa (Moringa Oleifera) and its health-giving properties. Native to the Indian sub-continent, moringa is known to most Malaysians as the drumstick tree.
Its leaves and of course the long, fibrous seed pods – or drumsticks – are popular in the Indian kitchen and many Indian families have a tree in the garden. This plant is also used in Ayurvedic medicine.
Moringa is often referred to as the Miracle Tree or Ben Oil Tree simply because many see it as a natural superfood with immense nutritional value.
Moringa is high in the protein found in eggs and whey, making it a good alternative for vegans. It contains high levels of amino acids, which help with repairing cells and tissue.
Moringa leaves are cooked and eaten, usually whole, or they are dried and ground into a fine powder and added to smoothies, fruit juices or dissolved in hot water as a tea.
Moringa tastes like matcha that has been spiked with notes of green tea providing a unique flavour somewhat bitter yet sweet. (Pinterest pic)
1. Promotes healthy skin
Moringa is loaded with vitamin A and vitamin E, which promote healthy skin. Moringa has natural anti-inflammatory properties that are said to help prevent and repair cell damage, calm pesky pimple breakouts and reduce collagen damage.
The vitamin E in moringa is said to have a moisturising element that helps prevent dry, flaky skin.
Its oleic-acid is said to have anti-ageing properties that help in remoisturising damaged skin while reducing hyperpigmentation.
2. Boosts the immune system
Moringa leaves are rich in iron, vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are considered immune-boosting nutrients, which help the body ward off illness and infections.
Moringa is also said to have “adaptogenic” properties that help to reduce a person’s stress and improve their attention span and overall well-being.
Moringa comes as capsules too. (Pinterest pic)
3. Helps fight fatigue
Moringa contains more iron than spinach, which means incorporating it into the diet could help to reduce feelings of fatigue.
Iron is also vital in building and maintaining muscle. Due to its rich iron and protein content, moringa is an excellent addition to a vegan diet.
4. Known to lower blood sugar
Early studies have shown that insulin-like proteins in moringa may help lower blood sugar and that chemicals found in the leaves may help in processing sugar and affect how insulin is released. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes.
For its nutrition, moringa is a good, green addition to the diet when used correctly, and it does have many health benefits. But it is not a cure for ailments or diseases, so always consult a doctor before trying any alternative treatments.