Superfood spotlight: moringa

You may have seen Moringa pop up in a few different health products lately. But what is it exactly and should you try it? Find out below!

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Moringa oleifera, Miracle Tree or Tree of Life as it’s also known, is a plant native to Africa and Asia. In ancient times, Moringa was used to treat a number of health issues such as arthritis, stomach pains, headaches, kidney stones and infections.

Moringa postNow, it’s hitting our shores as the latest superfood supplement. While scientific studies are yet to back up the traditional uses for Moringa, studies show that the plant does have many beneficial properties:

·         Moringa is potent in antioxidants, including the types that are thought to induce genetic transcription similar to sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound found in cruciferous vegetables.

·         It has anti-inflammatory properties.

·         Though studies are new and limited, it appears to benefit pancreatic function and help to reduce blood sugar levels.

·         It contains vitamins A and C, iron, protein and calcium. Moringa is also a source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that is beneficial for the heart.

How much should you take?

Researchers have found the most optimal dose to be between 150-200mg per kg of body weight. This is around 1,600-2,200 mg for a 68kg person. There are no benefits to taking more, so stick to the recommended dose. It’s also not something I would recommended during pregnancy. However, there does appear to be a benefit to women post-pregnancy. Supplementation of 250mg of moringa leaf extract three to five days post-birth, twice daily, appears to increase lactation (milk production) in breastfeeding women.