Moringa, native to the Himalayan Mountains in northwestern India where it is also known as “drumstick tree,” is a tree that grows best in dry soil and is draught tolerant. It grows well even in soil of poor quality, such as in sandy soils of t
Moringa, native to the Himalayan Mountains in northwestern India where it is also known as “drumstick tree,” is a tree that grows best in dry soil and is draught tolerant. It grows well even in soil of poor quality, such as in sandy soils of the coastal areas.
Due to its superior cultivating quality and nutrient-rich edible parts, moringa is researched and actively cultivated by several NGOs to reduce poverty and malnutrition in developing countries.
Nutritional Profile of Moringa Plant
Almost all parts of moringa plant are used as food, including leaf, seed and seed pod. Each part has similar yet distinct nutritional profile. Moringa leaf and seed are similar in that they both have antioxidant, protein, fibre and fatty acid content. They both exhibit antioxidant, and free radical scavenging activity.
In terms of nutrition, moringa leaf is especially rich in dietary fibre, antioxidant (total phenol, total flavonoid), and minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc), and vitamins (such as B-carotene, vitamin C). Moringa seed, on the other hand, is particularly rich in essential fatty acid content (omega-3 fatty acid, omega-6 fatty acid, sterols and tocopherols), and protein.
Different Health Benefits of Moringa Leaf and Moringa Seed
In terms of health benefit and pharmacological properties, moringa leaf and seed are also different. Human studies on moringa leaf have demonstrated various health benefits of moringa, including blood glucose and cholesterol control. Moringa leaf also shows a high antioxidant capacity, with as high as 87% DHHP scavenging activity. A wide variety of polyphenols and phenolic acids as well as flavonoids is believed to be responsible for these pharmacological properties.
Moringa seed has a wide range of industrial applications from water purification and fertilizer to medicine and skin/ hair care. In vitro experiments show that moringa seed extracts suppress tumour cell growth. The seed extract has been found to possess good antimicrobial activity against numerous bacterial and fungal species.
So Which One Should I Take?
Deciding whether you take moringa leaf or seed depends on multiple factors, although taking both moringa seed and leaf is recommended for the best result. If you are working professional who are too busy to eat right but want to stay healthy, taking moringa seed will provide adequate nutrition and energy. If you are seniors or simply looking to gradually improve your health, taking moringa leaf will provide you with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for general health.
Moringa leaf and seed are both nutritious with high antioxidant profile, protein, fibre and fatty acid content. Both exhibit antioxidant, free radical scavenging activity.
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