Moringa has many compounds such as vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, fats, minerals, specific phytochemicals (plant), each with specific importance and numerous applications in healing and nutrition.
Moringa contains more vitamin C than oranges, three times as much iron as spinach and four times as much calcium as in milk. Combine this with substantial amounts of proteins and oils, good taste, and the presence of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances and you will understand why this plant is called the "miracle tree".
Moringa The Medicinal Plant
Moringa is used all over the world by many cultures for the treatment of a variety of ailments.
- Some of the vitamins (especially vitamins A, C, E) are also potent antioxidants. Vitamins can be used as nutrients, but they are also viewed as "drugs". Moringa is packed with vitamins, contains some of the vitamins present in the different plants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A), vitamin E, and many of the B-complex vitamin group.
- The Moringa plant is long known for its strong antibiotic properties and has been used by different populations around the globe against infections. Modern science has confirmed this and described some of the antibiotic substances in Moringa. For example, Pterygospermin, which has excellent antimcrobial and antifungal properties. The Moringa leaf juice has been traditionally used to treat many skin infections.
Natural hormones, enzymes, minerals and phytochemicals, different Niaziminine, another Moringa Phytochemical, has shown strong anti-tumor properties in animal studies. Interestingly, long before the idea was confirmed by scientific research, people have traditionally used Moringa against other abdominal tumors (cancerous growth). Niazinin, Niazimicin Niaziminin A and B, derived from fresh Moringa leaves have shown blood pressure-lowering effects. These compounds belong to the family of mustard oil glucosides (very rare in nature).
One of the most exciting phytochemicals, which was found in Moringa is beta-sitosterol. It reduces excess cholesterol in human blood. Although beta-sitosterol is not well absorbed by the body after ingestion, when consumed with cholesterol (found in animal fats), it effectively blocks the absorption of cholesterol. This ultimately leads to lower cholesterol levels. A diet rich in plant food such as Moringa, can contribute significantly to the improvement of human health by:
Reducing cholesterol and triglycerides ("bad" fats in the diet)
Controls blood sugar and helps to balance sugar and energy levels
With vitamins and minerals, Moringa provides for the maintenance of normal physiology
Provide powerful anti-aging and anti-inflammatory natural compounds, many of which have anti-cancer properties.
Moringa - A Nutritional Supplement
What does Moringa have to offer? Concentrated vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory substances, all the components which represent an energy-rich food in an easily absorbable form and easy to digest. Very little sugar and salt.
How much nutritional value can Moringa provide per day?
The Optima of Africa Ltd. group reviewed this tree and found that every 25 grams of Moringa leaf powder (less than one ounce), when given to a child per day delivers the following nutritional values:
42% of Protein, 125% calcium, 60% magnesium, 41% potassium, 71% iron, 272% vitamin A, 22% vitamin C.
The same benefits apply to adults and seniors, only the percentages change. Obviously Moringa is beneficial to people of all age groups.
The western world is suffering from serious nutritional deficiencies. These come from poor nutritional habits, such as junk food, overcooking, insufficient consumption of fresh fruit, vegetables and seeds. The food lacks the nutrients through the soil depletion with intensive monoculture, chemical methods in agriculture or food processing.
Many people unknowingly have a poor gastro-intestinal absorption of nutrients, which generally increases with age. Others lack the time to learn more about healthy diet, while some are not literate enough to understand the importance. Others simply ignore it all and stick to their junk food until the first or last heart attack. Multivitamins seem a simple and practical solution. However, many companies offer synthetic pills and products that can not be dissolved completely in order to be processed efficiently by the body.
In general, vitamins and nutrients are best absorbed when derived from natural sources (plants, animals). Our bodies are consituted in such a way that we can absorb the most complex vitamins from nature.
Moringa can be a unique "super food". Moringa is unique because, even when consumed in small quantities on a daily basis, it ensures the absorption a wide range of vital nutrients with few calories. It would require large amounts and many types of food and calories to supply us with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and anti-aging substances that we need every day. Why not take a super concentrated food like Moringa? This means fewer pills and more nutrients! The expenses are lower and you get more benefits!
Amino acids in Moringa
Plants are an important source of proteins, but most plants need additives to help extract the protein - the amino acids. The proteins are digested by the gastrointestinal tract and then broken down into smaller, simpler units (amino acids), which are absorbed through the walls of the intestines. Since proteins and other nitrogenous compounds are continuously depleted and transformed, they must be replaced by a continuous supply of amino acids from the diet.
There are 20 amino acids that are needed by the human body. 9 of these are known to be essential, they must be supplied through the diet because the human body can not manufacture them itself, like the other 11 amino acids. Only a few foods, such as moringa, are known to contain all 9 essential amino acids.
The 9 essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Moringa is equipped with these essential amino acids and the amount present is more than adequate when compared with the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Organization (UNO) for small children; the most vulnerable population measured when it comes to proteins in the diet.
Macro components in Moringa
Moringa leaves contain large amounts of calcium (500mg per 100g of the leaves), while the leaf powder may have about five times more calcium per 100g. The recommended daily dose for an adult is about 1,000 mg, more for pregnant or lactating women. Remember, calcium is consumed and excreted every day. It is important that the amount of calcium used the same is as the amount of calcium which is excreted. Calcium is an essential mineral for many physiological processes, such as building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth, blood clotting and other various cellular functions (maintenance of normal heart rhythm and the transmission of nerve impulses).
Almost all calcium in the human body is stored in bones and teeth, calcium is additionaly needed in the blood. If not enough is available, it is depleted from the bones. Bones are living tissue, and are continuously formed and transformed. Too little calcium puts us in a state in which the bones are destroyed by too much calcium deprivation. This happens very often, especially after the age of 30. This condition is now known as osteoporosis (porous bones).
Why should we get our calcium from plant sources?
Dairy products are rich in trans-saturated fats that increase the risk of heart disease and other diseases. Many Asians, African-Americans, especially children, have a lactose intolerance, called galactose (milk sugar) and this is also associated with a large number of ovarian cancer.
Moringa leaves contain approximately 25mg of magnesium per 100g while the leaf powder of the same weight contains about 370mg. Magnesium is in many ways similar to calcium, 60% used in the bones and teeth, the difference is mainly found in the muscles. Magnesium is the second most positively charged elements within the cells. Magnesium is extremely important for health: in the stomach, it stimulates bowel function and mobility (it is a laxative), it is a relaxing ion for the nervous system and blood vessels, for cramps, stress, irritability and high blood pressure.
What is the role of potassium in the body? It is related to nerve and brain function, muscle and blood pressure. Potassium lowers blood pressure, acts as an antagonist of sodium. It works against sodium to maintain the water balance of the body, which is very important for good health. It helps in the regulation of ph balance and water balance in the blood. It also helps in protein synthesis from amino acids and the carbohydrate metabolism.
Moringa contains phosphorus, an important mineral that serves as the major regulator of energy metabolism in the cells.
It also helps the body absorb glucose (a form of carbohydrates in foods and in our blood), and transports fatty acids. Moringa contains about 100mg of phosphorus in 100g of the leaves, while the leaf powder contains twice as much.
Is one of the most important yet neglected nutrients, perhaps more important than magnesium, iron, sodium, iodine, and even many vitamins. It has incredibly diverse roles, it is part of many proteins which strengthen resistance to diseases, regulates blood sugar and helps to detoxify the body.
Moringa provides a good quality and quantity of organic, absorbable sulfur of 140 mg per 100 leaves and pods, more than 800mg in 100g leaf powder, so that it is an excellent source of sulfur for all.
Sulfur is a component of the essential amino acids; methionine and cysteine, vitamin B1 and biotin (another type of vitamin B), the strong antioxidant: glutathione and the anticoagulant heparin. Sulfur is found in the hormone insulin that regulates blood sugar levels.
Is found in the three amino acids; cysteine (sulfur), glycine and glutamic acid (two non-essential amino acids). Glutathione is one of the strongest antioxidants in the human body. Low levels of glutathione are associated with heart disease and cancer. It also helps to detoxify the liver of dangerous chemicals of all kinds. More than 90% of non-protein bound sulfur in the cells is found as glutathione.
Micro-constituents in Moringa
Moringa has more iron than spinach. 100g of leaves or fruit, or 25g of leaf powder daily can meet the iron requirement of an adult of about 10-20 mg.
Zinc supports a healthy immune system, wound healing, normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence. Moringa leaves, pods and seeds contain zinc in amounts similar to those found in beans while the leaf powder contains twice as much zinc at the same weight.
Copper plays a role in the synthesis and maintenance of Myzelin, the substance that insulates the nerve cells in order to ensure the proper transmission of nerve impulses. It also acts as a co-factor in neutralizing the dangerous free radicals that would otherwise destroy our cells. We would not be able to produce energy, or enzymes without the aid of copper.
Healthy muscles, including the heart, could not function without copper. We also need copper for healthy appearance of the skin and the properties required for the formation of bones. 100g Moringa leaves contain enough copper to meet the daily requirement for adults (about 1 mg).
Manganese is mainly concentrated in the bones, liver, pancreas and brain. It is a component of several enzymes such as manganese superoxide, which prevent tissue damage by oxidation. Manganese also activates numerous enzymes in the digestion and utilization of food, reduction of cholesterol, sex hormone production and is involved in the function of bones and skin.
The estimated required amount of manganese is 2-5mg for adults. Moringa has 5mg per 100g of leaves or 50mg in the leaf powder, and is thus considered an excellent source of manganese.
Selenium is an essential trace element with potent antioxidant properties. Medical research has shown that an increased intake of selenium reduces the risk of many cancers, including breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. Selenium also preserves tissue elasticity, slows the aging process of tissues and even helps in the treatment of dandruff. Moringa contains about 8-10 mg per 100 g of leaf powder.