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Moringa for Weight Loss: How Does It Work?

Written by Dr. Edward Group Founder
 
A bowl of moringa powder.

Deep green in color and with an earthy aroma, moringa leaves are known around the world as a nutritional and therapeutic powerhouse. Of late, it’s become a popular superfood, and for good reason. It’s packed with protein, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. But did you know it can also reduce appetite, burn fat, promote stable blood sugar levels, and give a boost of energy? All of these things mean that moringa is an excellent choice if you’re looking to shed a few pounds.

What Is Moringa?

Native to tropical regions of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the drought-resistant moringa tree (Moringa oleifera) has been used therapeutically for centuries.[1] Also called the drumstick tree, miracle tree, and tree of life, traditional healers use moringa not just to enhance energy and sex drive, but also to support the stomach, liver, and immune system.

While moringa’s leaves, seeds, pods, and flowers are all edible and chock full of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and essential amino acids, the bulk of nutrients are concentrated in the leaves. The nutritional value of this superfood eclipses that of many animal-based products, which is rare for a plant. It is also low in carbs as well as calories.[2] It’s so nutritionally dense that global aid organizations use it to address undernutrition in developing nations.[3]

Chopped-up moringa leaves provide a rich source of protein, calcium, and iron. Moringa seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are used to make a product called "Ben oil."[2]

If you can’t find fresh moringa, you can find it as a supplement. Check out the supplement section below.

How Can Moringa Help Me Lose Weight?

Below are the top ways moringa encourages optimal body weight.

Promotes Stable Blood Sugar

Moringa is low on the glycemic index, which means it doesn’t cause your glucose levels to go off the charts.[4] Foods low on the glycemic index prevent spikes in blood sugar and subsequent crashes and fatigue afterward — the way high-sugar food like a candy bar might. It’s those spikes that slow your metabolism and cause you to gain weight.

Moringa promotes stable blood sugar through its high fiber content, as well as secondary metabolites — glucosinolates, flavonoids, and phenolic acids — which inhibit amylase activity (amylase is a digestive enzyme that helps you metabolize starch into glucose).[5] Moringa keeps the gut from absorbing starch and glucose, sending them out as digestive waste instead.[5]

Kicks Cravings to the Curb

One of the hardest parts of losing weight is cutting out high-sugar, high-fat foods that many people crave. Many people say that moringa reduces food cravings and controls appetite. This makes sense, given its complete nutritional profile. It’s as high in protein as dairy and full of numerous vitamins and minerals.

This craving-reduction effect may be due to its ability to keep blood sugar in balance. Typically, it’s the spikes and crashes in blood sugar that lead to cravings.

Some evidence also suggests that moringa promotes healthy levels of leptin, the “fullness hormone.”[6]

Energizes the Body

People traditionally used moringa as an energy booster. Whenever they wanted a burst of energy, they’d just chew on its leaves!

With more than 92 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants,[7] it makes sense that a bit of moringa would energize your body. Those nutrients get into your cells and give them a quick pick-me-up.

Stimulates Fat Metabolism

The leaves of the moringa plant are rich in chlorogenic acid, an important antioxidant also found in coffee and green coffee bean extract.[8] This antioxidant can support weight loss by promoting normal blood sugar, insulin, and triglycerides.[8] It also stimulates metabolism.

When overweight individuals took chlorogenic acid and combined it with exercise and an 1,800-calorie diet, they ended up with more normal body weight than those who didn't take the supplement.

Moringa itself promotes fat metabolism. Specifically, moringa activates brown fat, which helps your body metabolize and eliminate white fat.[9]

Reduces Bloating & Water Weight

Water weight or edema can leave you feeling puffy and uncomfortable. Diuretics are substances that eliminate extra water in the body. Moringa not only promotes a normal response to inflammation in the body, but it also helps reduce water weight.[10] Together, these features lead to a general stabilization of body weight.

Inflammation is the body’s reaction to infection. In itself, it can lead to swelling. Long-term inflammation is associated with many disease conditions, from diabetes to autoimmune diseases and even cancer.

Reducing inflammation through healthy nutrition is vitally important. With its many nutrients and antioxidants, moringa promotes a healthy response to inflammation.[1]

Supports Heart & Overall Health

Moringa has numerous other health benefits. Its leaves contain a compound called beta-sitosterol that promotes healthy blood cholesterol levels — even when a high-fat diet is consumed.[11]

Don’t use that as an excuse to eat unhealthily! You will have a much healthier body with a plant-based diet, incorporating healthy fats and oils. Add moringa to keep blood cholesterol in balance, not to counter poor food choices.

As a bonus, beta-sitosterol also

Other Benefits of Moringa

  • Supports heart health
  • Stimulates sex drive
  • Protects the liver
  • Enhances mood
  • Promotes wound healing
  • Promotes prostate health

To learn more, check out our article about the amazing benefits of moringa.

Best Ways to Use the Miracle Tree

In the Western world, supplements are the most common way to take moringa. But you can find fresh and dried moringa leaves for use in recipes in specialty markets or online.

There are many ways to get creative with moringa. We provided a couple of healthy recipes below to get you started.

Touted as the latest superfood, there’s good science behind its popularity. You can buy moringa leaf powder, moringa tea, liquid extract, or capsules. Sometimes, you’ll even find it in energy bars and curry recipes.

When choosing a supplement, research the brand. You want a reputable company that has experience in sourcing and manufacturing, not a cheap, fly-by-night brand. Remember, you get what you pay for. Look for a certified organic supplement to ensure you won’t get exposed to undesirable chemicals. A high-end supplement will show in taste, quality, and results.

Global Healing Center’s Moringa Raw Herbal Extract™ is a certified organic liquid formula made using innovative, proprietary technology. It has a pleasing taste, it's easy-to-take, and it provides all the nutrients moringa has to offer.

Weight Loss Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 dropperfuls Moringa Raw Herbal Extract
  • 2 cups ice, or as much as desired
  • Raw honey, monk fruit, or Stevia to taste, if desired

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend and enjoy!

Moringa Green Juice Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup moringa leaves (or 2 dropperfuls Moringa Raw Herbal Extract)
  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 handful of kale
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • Organic raw honey to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put a cupful of chopped-up moringa leaves through your juicer. If you don’t have leaves, just add two dropperfuls of Global Healing Center's Moringa Raw Herbal Extract to the blender instead.
  2. Add other ingredients.
  3. Add honey or Stevia, if desired, to taste.

Points to Remember

Moringa leaves are extremely nutritious, full of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you're wondering about the effects of moringa on weight loss, it turns out that moringa provides a burst of energy, stimulates fat metabolism, reduces appetite and cravings, and promotes stable blood sugar, which prevents spikes and crashes that lead to weight gain. It also supports overall good health.

You can buy moringa leaves at specialty markets or online, and you can also purchase moringa powder, tea, capsules, and liquid extracts. If you get a supplement, look for one that's high-quality and certified organic, such as Global Healing Center’s Moringa Raw Herbal Extract.

Are you a fan of moringa? How do you use it and what benefits have you noticed? Leave a comment below and share your experience with us.

References (11)
  1. Kou X, et al. Nutraceutical or pharmacological potential of Moringa oleifera Lam. Nutrients. 2018 Mar;10(3):343.
  2. Anwar F, et al. Moringa oleifera: a food plant with multiple medicinal uses. Phytother Res. 2007;21(1):17-25.
  3. Thurber MD, et al. Adoption of Moringa oleifera to combat under-nutrition viewed through the lens of the “Diffusion of Innovations” theory. Ecol Food Nutr. 2009 May 1;48(3):212-225.
  4. Taweerutchana R, et al. Effect of Moringa oleifera leaf capsules on glycemic control in therapy-naïve type 2 diabetes patients: a randomized placebo controlled study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:6581390.
  5. Leone A, et al. Effect of Moringa oleifera leaf powder on postprandial blood glucose response: in vivo study on saharawi people living in refugee camps. Nutrients. 2018 Oct;10(10):1494.
  6. Waterman C, et al. Isothiocyanate-rich Moringa oleifera extract reduces weight gain, insulin resistance and hepatic gluconeogenesis in mice. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015;59(6):1013-1024.
  7. Reinert, J. Mission moringa: the miracle tree and its healing properties. WHOLifE Wholeness and Wellness Journal. 2013;19.
  8. Meng S, et al. Roles of chlorogenic acid on regulating glucose and lipids metabolism: a review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;801457.
  9. Barbagallo I, et al. Moringa oleifera Lam. improves lipid metabolism during adipogenic differentiation of human stem cells. Pharmacol Sci. 2016 Dec;20(24):5223-5232.
  10. Cáceres A, et al. Pharmacologic properties of Moringa oleifera. 2: Screening for antispasmodic, antiinflammatory and diuretic activity. J Ethnopharmacol. 1992 Jun;36(3):233-237.
  11. Vergara-Jimenez M, et al. Bioactive components in Moringa oleifera leaves protect against chronic disease. Antioxidants (Basel). 2017 Dec;6(4):91.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.


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