Nutrition science is almost always a hot, steaming pile of contradictory nonsense. How much worse, then, that our eating habits and dietary guidelines are shaped by the government (and its corporate string-pullers)? Join James for this extra tasty, sugar-free, all organic, non-GMO edition of The Corbett Report.
The moringa tree — which also goes by the name drumstick tree or horseradish tree — is native to northern India in the Himalayas but is now grown in many tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The tree is easily cultivated, fast-growing, and drought resistant, making it a sustainable remedy in communities that struggle for food resources, like West Africa and Mexico. In countries like Senegal and Benin, moringa is used to treat malnutrition in children.
It’s also rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, and E, phosphorus, and dietary fiber.
Health benefits of moringa
Moringa has long been used in traditional medicine, where it’s known to treat over 300 diseases. While many people believe that the leaves of moringa are its most beneficial parts, in India, even the root bark is used in medicine.
In the review, the authors highlighted some of the known benefits of moringa.
Antidiabetic. Scientists found that moringa extracts act as an antidiabetic agent for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The antioxidants present in the leaves protect beta cells in the pancreas from oxidative stress, allowing them to produce much-needed insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. Researchers also found that the plant can benefit those with diabetes by preventing some of its complications, including retinopathy and nephropathy, to name a few.
Anticancer. There’s no question that cancer is a devastating disease, for both the sufferer and his family. According to the World Health Organization, more than 9 million people worldwide die from cancer every year, making it the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease. While conventional treatments exist, these can be expensive and have adverse effects. Multiple studies provide evidence that moringa leaves exhibit anticancer potential; scientists say that its ability to protect cells from oxidative damage also helps in preventing the abnormal spread of cancer cells in the body. Additionally, moringa can upregulate caspase 3 and 9, which are associated with programmed cell death in cancer cells.
Anti-inflammatory. While inflammation is part of the body’s natural response to infection, chronic inflammation is not. Inflammation that persists can be a precursor to other chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. According to researchers, moringa leaves, pods, and seeds are rich in isothiocyanates, which have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Every part has its benefit
It’s worth noting that no part of the moringa tree is wasted, especially when it comes to health benefits and nutritional value.
The leaves are rich in fiber, fat, protein, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium. They also have B-vitamins as well as essential amino acids. Studies show that moringa leaves can treat diseases like asthma, diarrhea, headaches, and eye and ear infections, thanks to the presence of flavonoids like quercetin. (Related: Moringa is a nutrient-dense superfood that protects you from oxidative damage.)
The seeds contain oleic acid and other fatty acids like linoleic, and behenic acids. They are also rich in tannins, phenolics, and other phytochemicals. Studies show that moringa seeds can help treat Crohn’s disease, arthritis, gout, cramps, and hyperthyroidism. Moringa seeds are also potent antimicrobial agents.
The root bark has alkaloids and minerals such as magnesium and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer activities. The alkaloid content of the root bark is responsible for both bioactivities and can even help in relaxing cardiac muscles.
The benefits of moringa extend beyond food and medicine. Its seeds are also pressed for their oil, which can be used in perfumes, cosmetics, and lubrication. In agriculture, moringa is highly valued for its ability to increase crop yield and eliminate heavy metals from water.
Dr. Irakli Loladze earned his BA degree in Applied Mathematics in Georgia (the former USSR, not Atlanta.) After earning his MA and PhD in Mathematics at Arizona State University, Irakli, as a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University, advanced a hypothesis that rising atmospheric CO2 is affecting human nutrition by worsening the quality of plants worldwide. It took him 12 years to collect the empirical evidence confirming the hypothesis; he is now an Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Bryan College of Health Sciences, Bryan Medical Center.
July 1976, the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs:
“The simple fact is that our diets have changed radically within the last 50 years …,” McGovern said when the report was released. “These dietary changes represent as great a threat to public health as smoking. Too much fat, too much sugar or salt, can be and are linked directly to heart disease, cancer, obesity, and stroke, among other killer diseases. In all, six of the ten leading causes of death in the United States have been linked to our diet.