Best wishes to our readers for the upcoming holiday season. We sincerely hope you stay merry and healthy. Get the flu shot; you wouldn’t want to be bogged down with cough, cold, runny nose, headache or fever. If you are like me and hate needles, you are probably wondering if there is a natural remedy to improve your immune system. The answer: the easy and affordable immune booster, the superfood Moringa!
A little heads up about our immune system and immune boosters.
The immune system is known to be the body’s defense mechanism. It possesses irrefutable properties for protecting the body against various infections. These infections can be caused by various pathogens – bacteria, virus, toxins, parasites, etc. The fundamental property of a healthy immune system is to identify the pathogens from the organism’s own healthy tissues and destroy them. The immune system can also affect cell mutations and carcinogenic growths of the body.
A healthy individual is a sign of a healthy immune system. For instance, everyday we inhale the air polluted with innumerable germ particles and our immune system prevents them from entering the body. Sometimes, the germ particles are successful to cross that line of defence; then the immune system prepares the second line of defence by preparing the white blood cells to fight against the foreign bodies. It is due to this fight, the body temperature rises, and we suffer from fever. The germ particles can initially affect the body; and symptoms like cough, cold, flu, etc are visible. These pathogen’s cells are then attacked by the robust cell destroying enzymes of the immune system, thereby, helping the body to get rid of the germ particles. Hence, we should try to keep our immune system healthy. Here comes the role of immune boosters.
Immune boosters are those substances which help to increase the performance level of our immune system. They help to raise the quantity and quality of the specialized white blood cells, lymphocytes. The boosters help the lymphocytes to improve their defensive mechanism; and help them creating a strong shielded façade. Thus they can help protecting the body from pathogenic attacks. Boosters can also help to eliminate substances that sabotage the normal functioning of the body.
There are many superfoods that act as an immune booster; among them, Moringa may be considered as one of the most effective options.
How moringa acts as an immune booster.
Moringa Oleifera is a “Miracle Tree”. It is a plant with innumerable benefits. It can be used for diverse usage- from healthy hair to healthy heart. Interestingly, this miracle plant can grow in the wild, without effort. It has remarkable therapeutic and healing properties which can greatly benefit an individual. The plant has been used for ages to heal problems related to malnutrition, asthma, menopause, hyperglycemia, cardio-vascular diseases; etc.
Moringa is a treasure house of all essential nutrients that are needed to improve the immunity. Vitamins and minerals are known to be very effective to protect us from flues, infections and other common health problems. We are also aware of the fact that citrus foods and colored vegetables are important to boost our immunity. The nutrient contents which designate moringa as an important immune booster are listed below:
Protein– It is the skeleton of the immune system and its functioning depends on the new protein synthesis. Hence, protein rich foods like milk, yogurt, meat, etc are recommended for daily intake. Moringa itself is known to contain two times more protein than yogurt.
Vitamin A– It regulates the defense mechanism of the body. It also protect against infections by keeping the internal and external organs of our body healthy. Hence, vegetables like carrots, spinach, etc should be consumed. Moringa contains four times more vitamin A than carrots.
Vitamin C– It stimulates the antibody formation; thus protects the body from infection and improves the immunity. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya; etc; can provide the recommended dietary intake of vitamin C. Moringa contains seven times more vitamin C than oranges.
Vitamin E– It acts as an antioxidant; which helps to neutralize the free radicals; thus improve the immune system. Vitamin E can be incorporated in the diet by consuming fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils, hazelnuts, etc. Moringa is a storehouse of vitamin E and its consumption can fulfill the recommended intake of vitamin E.
Zinc– It regulates the functioning of the immune system and helps in wound healing, normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence. Beans and nuts are the primary sources of zinc and hence are recommended for consumption. The amount of zinc found in moringa leaves, pods and seeds are twice as found in beans.
The moringa leaves also provide significant amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants help the immune system to defend the infectious agents and carcinogenic cells more effectively; thus providing a secondary line of defense to the body against the pathogens.
Some researches to support moringa as an immune booster.
The study conducted by Madukwe E.U, et. al. in 2013, determined the proximate amount of micronutrients like iron and calcium; and essential vitamins like Vitamins A and C in the Moringa Oleifera leaves. The result depicted abundance of all the nutrients. It is known that iron and vitamin C play an important role in boosting the immune system. Hence moringa leaves should be incorporated in daily diet to improve the immune system.
Other researchers have also found that moringa helps to increase the immune response of the body (Ray-Yu Yang, et, al) Busani Moyo, et, al, determined the nutritional value of the dried moringa leaves. The result concluded that among all other nutrients, crude protein is present in notable amounts which are beneficial to boost the immune system.
Moringa can make the immune system much more resistant and healthier. The immune system will become defiant and robust with the consumption of Moringa. The tree is an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C & E and minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron etc. Hence, incorporating moringa in daily diet is a valuable addition among susceptible populations.
Eme, P.E., M. (2013). Nutrient Composition and Sensory Evaluation of Dry Moringa Oleifera Aqueous Extract. International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 13(3), 100-102.
Virginie Levasseur, R. (2006). Nutritional and Functional Properties of Moringa Leaves − From Germplasm, to Plant, to Food, to Health.Moringa and Other Highly Nutritious Plant Resources: Strategies, Standards and Markets for a Better Impact on Nutrition in Africa. Accra, Ghana,.
V Muchenje, B. (2011). Nutritional characterization of Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.) leaves. African Journal of Biotechnology, 10(60), 12925-12933. doi:10.5897/AJB10.1599