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You may have come across moringa supplements, such as powders, capsules, and extracts while browsing the pharmacy and wondered whether you should add it to your diet.
Those supplements contain extract from moringa oleifera, also known as the horseradish tree, drumstick tree, and ben oil tree, which is native to India. 
Almost all the parts of the moringa oleifera tree, including the roots, seeds, pods, and leaves, have been used as food, traditional medicine, or animal feed since ancient times.
But research is only recently emerging on moringa’s nutritional profile and how it may benefit your health, says Lon Ben-Asher, RD, LDN, a nutrition specialist and educator at Pritikin Longevity Center
One cup of fresh moringa leaves provides the following nutrients:
The majority of studies on moringa’s benefits are in animals or small samples of humans, so more large-scale human trials are needed to nail down just how beneficial moringa could be.
Here are five health benefits from consuming moringa, according to preliminary research.
Moringa contains nutrients that have been proven to boost immunity. For instance, moringa is a source of nutrients like vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C, which improve immunity by protecting cells from invaders and pathogens, says Ben-Asher.
While moringa’s effects on immunity haven’t been studied extensively in humans, a number of animal studies have indicated that moringa extract improves immune function in rats and mice. 
Moringa may be helpful to people with diabetes as it contains glucosinolates, which are plant-based compounds that may be able to help regulate your blood sugar levels, says Ben-Asher. 
According to a 2019 review, animal studies have shown robust results, but research in humans has been too limited to be conclusive.
The glucosinolates in moringa leaves have antioxidant properties that may help reduce your risk of cancer, says Ben-Asher. 
When your body digests glucosinolates, it converts them into a compound called isothiocyanates. Research in animals and cell cultures has shown that isothiocyanates can arrest the development and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Animal studies also suggest that moringa can improve heart health. Moringa contains plant compounds known as sterols and quercetin, which may help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, says Ben-Asher.
High blood pressure and cholesterol levels are linked to a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. 
“Moringa is a good source of calcium and phosphorus, which are nutrients that improve the strength, structure, and integrity of your bones,” says Ben-Asher. A healthy calcium intake — about 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams per day — can help prevent bone loss and disease as you age.
Moringa has been shown to be mostly safe if you consume the leaves and seeds as food, says Ben-Asher. Even supplemental doses of 5 to 10 grams of moringa extract or powder per day are generally considered safe, he says.
However, many of the health benefits associated with moringa are calculated based on the consumption of 100 grams of dry moringa leaf per day, which is difficult to achieve due to the bitter and unpleasant taste, says Ben-Asher.
Additionally, he says large, concentrated doses of moringa extract (not leaves), such as 20 grams or higher, can be toxic and cause side effects in people who:
Moringa is a nutritious plant that may offer several health benefits, such as stronger immunity and improved blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. 
Moringa contains several nutrients that are linked to better health, and preliminary research in animal models and cell cultures shows promise. But further research in humans is required to better understand the benefits and risks. 
In the meantime, Ben-Asher recommends consulting with a physician before you take moringa.

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