Found in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, Moringa oleifera has been called “The Miracle Tree” by researchers for years. Although you may not have heard of this tall, hearty tree, the leaves of the Moringa are some of the healthiest things you can consume.
While every part of the tree can be used to treat different ailments and issues, the leaves have popped up in a bunch of health studies from around the world. One study connects Moringa to the lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol:
Moringa leaves contain substances, such as thiocarbamate glycosides, nitrile and mustard oil glycosides, that help lower blood pressure… B-sitosterol, a bioactive phytoconstituent found in Moringa leaves, may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Moringa leaves are usually eaten raw in salads or smoothies where they grow natively (they have a light, “pleasing” taste), and come packed with protein, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and calcium. They also have “25 times more iron than in spinach.” There’s a lot of fiber in there, too.
Need more zinc and magnesium in your diet? Moringa is infused with high amounts of those minerals per serving as well.
If you’re sitting there thinking Moringa leaves seem to have everything a body would need, you’re not alone! The tree has been mentioned as an answer to feeding the hungry and malnourished in developing countries, especially because of how easy it is to grow, and how quickly it matures.
Even cosmetic companies are jumping on the Moringa bandwagon. Because of its high antioxidant activity and trace mineral content, Moringa is being added to natural moisturizers and creams.
In the U.S, Moringa is most commonly consumed as a powder, but it also produces an oil called “ben oil” that can be used in cooking. Both the oil and the powder and “immune” from spoiling, which means they can last on your pantry shelf for years.