prevent inflammation, reduces fatigue and improves energy levels, stimulates hair growth, is anti-depressive, improves your vision, increases sex drive, fights infection, stimulates immunity… and of course everybody’s favourite – helps to fight cancer. What they don’t mention about their laundry list of super benefits is that all of these research results were gathered from lab tests done on rats, not humans. They also don’t mention that any of the promising test results in the fight against cancer were done (on rats) in vitro, not by oral consumption, i.e. you are not going to prevent or cure cancer by eating moringa leaves.
It’s not to say that there may not be possible similar test results in humans, but that research has not been done yet. More research is needed to fully understand all of its nutritional and medicinal properties, as well as risks associated with its consumption by humans.
Take the information above about Moringa having 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, as a prime example of how the nutritional benefits are often misleading. While the above is technically true, it is important to note the distinction that this is “gram for gram,” and not by volume. Since Moringa leaves are relatively lightweight, you would have to eat approximately 4 cups of moringa leaves to get that 7 times the amount of Vitamin C in one orange.
Furthermore, the diet of people in developing nations is often lacking in vitamins, minerals and protein. In these countries, Moringa oleifera can be an important source of many essential nutrients. That having been said, the amounts are negligible compared to what you consume if you eat a balanced diet based on whole foods. Yes, moringa is nutritious, but the fact that you are reading this means you are probably 1. not dying of starvation in a third world country and 2. are trying to be health conscious about your eating habits to begin with, so although moringa has been proven to be good for you and it can be part of, but is not essential for a well-balanced diet.
Moringa is not the only recent ‘superfood’ that has been rather deceptively and misleadingly promoted as a cure-all. Although Himalayan sea salt has slightly less sodium than regular table salt and contains more calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron, and thus hyped as a great way to get in your dietary minerals while lowering your sodium intake, the extra minerals in pink Himalayan salt are found in such small quantities that they are unlikely to provide you with any health benefits whatsoever. See the NuBLOG article about The Truth About Himalayan Sea Salt.
As opposed to Himilaya sea salt, which is pretty much a complete farce, Moringa does actually provide some health benefits in the form of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, much like all dark leafy green vegetables, as well as some documented evidence that it helps to lower blood sugar, cholesterol and hypertension.
But Inflating the perceived potential benefits of the latest ‘superfood’ is not even the real issue. If you are eating more of something that may or may not benefit you and give you extra nutrients, what’s the big deal? In the age of Internet, anyone can post anything with no accountability and no regulation as to verify the validity of claims made. A lot of the information out there that promotes these superfoods, tends to pick and choose the selling points that “validate” their stance on the benefits, while downplaying the risks and side effects which may be detrimental to your health and can even be dangerous.