Heard of moringa?
This leaf powder supplement boasts a powerhouse of free-radical-fighting, anti-inflammatory, and healing compounds that benefit your heart, head, skin, and more.
Moringa, a nutrient-packed plant found in India, is also known as the “miracle tree.” With antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties, it has been used for generations to treat skin, digestive, and heart conditions, to name a few. And it possesses more antioxidants than other superfoods like acai and green tea.
Here are the 5 health benefits of moringa plus ways to add this super green to your diet:
1. It can help fight free radicals.
Free radicals are created by things like pollution, fried food, and sun exposure. They damage your cells by robbing them of an electron, causing oxidative stress, cell damage, and premature aging. The antidote: antioxidants, like the flavonoids, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid found in moringa.
2. It’s a source of plant-based protein.
Whether you’re a vegetarian or just trying to cut down on meat, it’s not always easy finding convenient plant-based protein. Sure, there are lentils and tempeh, but sometimes you just want a quick, no-cook add-in to sprinkle on smoothie bowls or add to soup. That’s where moringa comes in. Powders made from its crushed leaves are packed with protein—3 grams of protein per tablespoon, in fact—and have a leg up on legumes because they contain all the essential amino acids, necessary for muscle repair, energy production, and mood regulation.
3. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals.
Many of the healthy foods you eat have a single standout nutrient. Think carrots and vitamin A, citrus and vitamin C, nuts and vitamin E. Moringa leaves stick out as a superfood because one cup of chopped leaves is considered a good source of iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and riboflavin and has notable amounts of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, and magnesium. In fact, the leaves are more concentrated in vitamin C than oranges. That means moringa can contribute to everything from better vision and immunity to bone health and skin radiance.
4. It may reduce inflammation.
Moringa has been shown to significantly lower inflammation in cells. As well as containing inflammation-lowering polyphenols and isothiocyanates, moringa reduces inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes and proteins in the body. This could help prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
5. It can help your sex life.
Stress can stress your sex life. It can throw hormone levels off, spiking cortisol and decreasing dopamine to lower libido. In animal studies, moringa has not only been show to bring down cortisol levels, but it may also naturally boost testosterone levels, a known sex drive supporter. In one study, moringa extract worked to enhance sexual performance in stressed rats by suppressing cortisol and increasing testosterone.
How to use moringa powder:
- Add it to your morning green smoothie.
- For lunches or other meals, it can also be sprinkled into hummus, guacamole, soups, salads, avocado toast or sweet potato toast.
- Try baking it into treats like zucchini bread, or mixed into your favorite energy balls.
- Finally, use the powder like matcha and whisk it into hot water for a caffeine-free coffee substitute.
*Moringa can have a laxative side effect when consumed in large quantities or lead to stomach upset, so I suggest starting with a small dose—½ to 1 teaspoon per day.
By Melissa Lainn, an Integrative Nutrition, Health and Wellness Coach