Moringa seeds are a potentially incredible find, with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering effects listed among some of their benefits.
Moringa seeds also offer many nutritional benefits. They contain:
- Seven times more vitamin C than oranges
- Ten times the amount of vitamin A found in carrots
- Seventeen times more calcium than milk
- Fifteen times more potassium than bananas
- Nine times more protein than yogurt
- Twenty-five times more iron than spinach (1)
And that’s just scratching the surface of the purported benefits of moringa seeds.
If research pans out, it’s possible that the moringa tree (also known as the drumstick tree) and its seeds will become a new superfood.
In This Article:
17 Health Benefits of Moringa Seeds
The following are some of the health benefits associated with moringa seeds. More research is happening every year on the medicinal value of moringa; we have only just begun to understand how potentially powerful moringa tree seeds are.
1. Moringa Seeds Are High in Nutritional Value
What is moringa seeds’ nutritional value? The following table is a breakdown of the nutritional information for moringa seed pods, per 100 grams.
Two key things to note are that these seed pods have zero cholesterol and are very high in fiber, which can make them beneficial to a healthy food regimen.
|Carbohydrates||8.53 grams (g)|
|Total Fat||0.20 g|
|Dietary Fiber||3.2 g|
|Cholesterol||0 milligrams (mg)|
Source: USDA FoodData Central
2. Manages Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Health
The antioxidant content in moringa seeds is able to limit the oxidative stress that can lead to heart disease, heart failure, and high blood pressure. In part, the oleic acid in moringa seeds is also responsible for its antihypertensive effect and ability to reduce heart diseases. (2)
Oleic acid works to reduce the amount of lipids in the blood.
One study published in the American Journal of Hypertension in 2016 found that moringa seed powder had a beneficial effect on the heart of hypertensive rats, and therefore was suggested to prevent heart diseases associated with high blood pressure. (3)
Furthermore, research published in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity in 2017 determined that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of moringa seeds positively affected rats with hypertension. As a result, the seeds were thought to also treat other heart disorders associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. (4)
3. Acts as a Sleep Aid
Another valuable benefit of moringa seeds is their reported ability to help you sleep and prevent insomnia. The oil extracted from moringa seeds is what is thought to stimulate sleep by inducing hormones.
As a rich source of the amino acid tryptophan, moringa seeds benefit neurotransmitter function, and this helps you also fight fatigue and insomnia.
For a good night’s rest, steep moringa leaves in hot water for 15 minutes and then drink before bed. It will help you sleep soundly, which in turn will leave you energized to tackle the day. (5)
4. Boosts Energy
A single serving of moringa has almost three times the amount of iron as spinach. This is especially important for vegetarians/vegans and those who suffer from low-iron issues, as the body needs iron to enrich the blood and carry oxygen to our muscles, organs, and tissues.
5. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Manages Diabetes
There are also benefits of moringa seeds for diabetes and blood sugar regulation. Several studies have found that moringa seeds may reduce blood sugar levels.
The scientists believe that the blood sugar-lowering effect is due to compounds like isothiocyanates.
A 2014 study published in Acta Histochemica reported that moringa seeds can lower blood sugar levels, which would provide therapeutic management (or even prevention) of diabetes (6). However, the study was done on lab rats and more research is needed on humans before any recommendations can be made.(7, 8)
Some small studies have been done on humans, however.
One study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology in 2014 found that 30 women taking 1.5 teaspoons of moringa powder daily for three months had experienced a 13.5% decrease in fasting blood sugar level, on average. (9)
Another small study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition in 2009 found that blood sugar levels dropped by 21% when six people with diabetes added 50 g of moringa to their meals. (10)
6. High in Fiber
Moringa is high in soluble fiber, and as a result, it can do a great job of moving food along your digestive system. Fiber is also a key component in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. (11)
Research shows that moringa seed soluble fiber is also termed as moringa seed resistant protein. As such, this soluble fiber could potentially benefit immunity, digestion, blood sugar control, and more. (12)
7. Can Lower Cholesterol
Too much cholesterol in the blood has been linked to heart disease. In traditional Thai medicine, moringa is used as a cardiotonic (a drug or herb used to improve how the heart contracts).
One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2003 found that moringa helps reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. (15)
8. Combats Premature Aging, Promotes Healthy Skin and Hair
Various active components in moringa seeds make them very useful for both skin and hair care. The oil extracted from the moringa seeds contains almost 30 antioxidants. The skin absorbs the oil well and can receive these nourishing antioxidants easily. They can also reduce free radical damage on the skin. (16)
The oil can be used as a moisturizer and antiseptic as well. The omega-9 fatty acid in moringa seeds is thought to also be one of the best natural moisturizers for the skin. In addition, moringa seeds contain collagen, which helps prevent acne and reduce skin wrinkles.
It is no wonder that moringa seed oil has a lot of value in the cosmetic and beauty industry, and it can be found in body oils, deodorants, hair products, soaps, body washes, anti-aging creams, and massages and aromatherapy oils.
9. Alleviates Digestive and Colon Problems
Moringa seeds can also help treat digestive and colon problems, and they’re particularly useful for soothing peptic or gastric ulcers.
A study from 2014 found that the antioxidant properties of moringa seeds also help reduce ulcer symptoms. The moringa seeds were so potent that even low doses were effective. (17)
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-term inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. Symptoms also include rectal pain and bleeding, diarrhea, and urgency to discharge a stool.
A 2017 study published in the journal PLOS One found that moringa seed powder improved the integrity of colon tissue and reduced the severity of colon inflammation developed during ulcerative colitis. (18)
10. Anti-Arthritic Properties
One study published in the Journal of Immunotoxicology in 2007 suggests that the ethanolic extract of moringa seeds possesses promising anti-arthritic properties. The anti-inflammatory activities of moringa seed extract may help treat arthritis—a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and swelling. (19)
Other studies report that moringa seeds help reduce inflammation and provide relief from chronic inflammatory diseases.
Research also points to the oleic acid in moringa seeds as having an important role in treating inflammatory pain conditions.
11. Anti-Anaphylactic Agent
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that needs to be treated right away, or it can lead to death. Symptoms will include shortness of breath, an itchy rash, tongue or throat swelling, lightheadedness, and vomiting.
One study published in the Journal of Immunotoxicology in 2007 examined the anti-anaphylactic effect of the ethanolic extract of moringa seeds. The results of the study suggested that moringa seed extract could be a potential anti-anaphylactic agent in the treatment of allergic disorders. (20)
12. Antibacterial, Antifungal Properties
Moringa seed extract also has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, which can help treat and prevent infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
One study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology in 2017 highlights the potential use of a purified protein in moringa seeds as an anti-candida agent due to its ability to inhibit candida growth. (21)
13. Fights against Breast Cancer
About one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer over their lifetime.
A study published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine in 2017 found that moringa seed powder has an anti-proliferative effect on the MCF7 breast cancer cell. (22)
Moringa seeds are high in iron—a mineral responsible for red blood cell maintenance. Iron deficiency will also lead to anemia. Symptoms include weakness, fatigue, pale skin, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and an irregular heartbeat.
A study published in the journal 3 Biotech in 2016 mentioned that moringa is a high source of iron that can help treat iron deficiency and anemia. (23)
15. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Perhaps unsurprisingly, due to the aforementioned benefits, moringa seed has been found to reduce inflammation, which is linked with many chronic conditions such as cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.
Some test-tube and animal studies have supported isothiocyanates as the main anti-inflammatory compounds in moringa seeds.
One 2010 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggested that moringa seeds have immunosuppressive activity that can reduce immune-related inflammation. (24)
16. Offers Liver Protection
The antioxidant content in moringa seed may also offer protection against liver damage and promote liver health overall.
One study published in the Journal of Food Science in 2012 found that the free radical scavenging potential of moringa seed oil can help repair liver damage due to hepatitis. The researchers suggested that moringa seed oil can treat certain liver disorders. (25)
A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2010 found that moringa seed extract given twice daily had healed liver injury in rats induced with liver fibrosis over the course of eight weeks. (26)
17. Alleviates Asthma
The anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects of moringa seeds can help alleviate the severity and frequency of symptoms associated with bronchial asthma.
Common asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Seasonal allergies will often trigger asthma symptoms.
One study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology in 2008 found that taking three grams of moringa seed powder for three weeks had helped improve bronchial asthma symptoms including wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing. (27)
How to Eat Moringa and Moringa Seeds
Many parts of the moringa plant are edible, but how to eat moringa seeds, that’s the question. The pods (28) are often used in cooking (though you won’t likely have a chance to have moringa in this form in North America at the moment unless you grow your own tree). The leaves are used more readily.
- Moringa oil, also called ben oil because of the high levels of behenic acid in it, is pressed from the seeds. It can be used in cosmetics and is edible, though the price is steep; it’s almost 15 times higher than olive oil.
- The roots are often ground down for use in supplement capsules. Traditional medicine uses the roots, leaves, and seeds.
- If you do get your hands on moringa leaves (and they will be dried unless you decide to plant your own tree), they can be cooked much like spinach and kale. Add them to a grilled cheese or any other sandwich for a nutrient boost, or use them in soups and stews. The leaves have high levels of vitamins C, A, and B.
- What about eating moringa seeds raw? The seeds can be eaten just like nuts, so add them to granola or a trail mix you prepare with other nuts and dried fruit. Mix them with hemp seeds for an incredible boost of energy and health.
- If you can get a hold of fresh seeds, you can boil them as you would peas and use them as a side dish to any meal. The seeds don’t have as many vitamins and minerals as the leaves do, but they are high in vitamin C.
- If you opt for moringa leaf powder, you have more options for use. Add the powder to yogurt, soups, and smoothies.
Moringa Seeds: Dosages
You also likely want to know how many moringa seeds to eat. Because it’s relatively new to North American culture, moringa seeds dosages have not truly been established as of yet, but below is a rough guideline. If you are concerned or want more concrete dosage suggestions, talk to someone at a health food store or visit a naturopathic doctor.
Though human trials and studies for moringa seeds are limited, the results of studies done on rats show that 150 to 200 mg/kg taken orally (as a tincture in water) seems to be an ideal dose. From there the following can be estimated:
- 1,600 to 2,200 mg for a 150-pound person
- 2,100 to 2,900 mg for a 200-pound person
- 2,700 to 3,600 mg for a 250-pound person
How long does it take to feel the effects of moringa? Use the above as guidelines for maximum dosages; start at the lowest amount and then work your way up once you determine how your body reacts to it.
More research is needed to know the full range of benefits of moringa seeds and side effects. Not enough research has been done to make any known just yet. Use caution and if anything odd does happen, stop using moringa and see a doctor.
And if you start experiencing abnormal side effects such as hives, a severe rash, heart palpitations, dizziness, or signs of anaphylaxis, please seek medical help immediately.