Does Moringa Oleifera Help You Lose Weight? A Scientific Perspective
Determined to loose weight and wondering if Moringa is the new magic supplement?
Moringa is beneficial for health in many ways without a doubt, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell which claims are scientifically based and which are just speculation.
Embarking on a weight loss journey is very difficult, especially if you have a chronic illness like PCOS or thyroid problems that can make you prone to weight gain. Sometimes it takes a long time and a significant amount of effort even with proper diet and exercise. As a result, people turn to supplements as alternative option or an aid to their weight loss plan.
Weight loss is one touted benefit of herbal supplements such as Garcina Cambodia and many others. Sadly, these claims are often unstudied and are used for marketing purposes.
To assess whether the claim that Moringa makes you lose weight is true, it’s important to establish what key factors make something “good for weight loss.”
1. Appetite suppressant effect
The most effective weight loss treatments are usually appetite suppressants. Appetite suppressants prescribed by doctors usually have a stimulating effect on the brain that causes neurons not to fire the “hunger” signals. This tends to be the most effective form of weight loss treatment, because weight gain is usually caused by over-eating.
By eliminating your appetite, weight loss supplements also usually lessen your cravings for fattening foods. However, weight loss pills alone don’t promote a healthy diet, so they are usually used as an aid to an existing weight loss plan. If you do not change your eating habits, you will gain all of the weight you lost back after you stop taking appetite suppressants.
2. High in protein and other key nutrients
An effective weight loss supplement should be high in nutrients, because the cravings we experience can often be caused by malnutrition.
In developed countries such as the United States, fast food companies such as McDonald’s, along with the mass amount of processed foods sold in grocery stores, contribute to this problem. These food companies produce food that’s specially formulated to create cravings by having a high content of fat, carbohydrates, and sugar. These are all things that the human body naturally craves, because in the past our ancestors ate fruits and grains which were high in natural sugar and carbs and provided them with rich sustenance and nutrients.
Processed foods have low nutrient content, but they trick your body into thinking they are nutrient-dense foods that it needs. The end result is people eating much more processed food than they need to in order to feel full.
3. Boosts metabolism
Although speeding up your metabolism doesn’t always directly lead to weight loss, it’s certainly an important factor. Having a fast metabolism means your body has a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR). Having a higher basal metabolic rate means that your body burns more calories in a resting state. Therefore, you will burn more calories in a given day than if you have a speed up your metabolism.
Out of all the methods and diets there are to aid in weight loss, having a calorie deficit is the most fundamental and fool-proof way to lose weight. Your body obeys the law of thermodynamics, so it needs to burn calories to survive. Having an excess of calories allows your body to convert them into fat, which your body then stores. Having a deficit of calories causes your body to burn that stored fat for energy.
Cutting down carbohydrates and sugars can also achieve this effect by sending your body into ketosis, which also forces your body to break down fat. This particular diet style is known as the Ketogenic diet and is very effective for weight loss, but like other diets, it may not work for people with certain health ailments. People with low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, for example, may suffer with adverse health effects from ketosis that can be dangerous.
Calorie restriction, on the other hand, is a method that can be applied to anyone as long as they aren’t cutting down on calories too much. The phrase “everything in moderation” therefore holds a lot of truth. However, as I mentioned earlier, eating empty calorie processed foods in moderation can cause you to become malnourished. The best idea is to eat nutrient-dense foods, so that you can eat moderate amounts and still get everything you need.
Increasing your basal metabolic rate by improving your metabolism will burn more calories and make this feat quicker.
How Moringa stacks up
Considering these three things as they key components to what makes an effective weight loss supplement, Moringa can help you lose weight because of the fact that it meets 2 of the 3 components.
Moringa powder contains a good source of amino acids and key nutrients such as protein, zinc, iron. and vitamin B-6 which are all crucial to your diet. Since Moringa has low-calorie content, it can be added to meals or smoothies without adding much calories. This is extremely effective for weight loss, because when you’re on a calorie restricted diet, it can be very difficult to compose meals that contain all daily recommended intakes of vitamins and nutrients on their own. This is especially true if you’re on a budget and can’t afford as high-quality ingredients. Incorporating something nutrient-dense like Moringa that has very few calories is the best solution to this problem.
Moringa also is high in fiber, which directly promotes a faster metabolism. While slow metabolism is partially genetic, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can help you speed your metabolism up. Research shows exercising regularly and consuming whole, high-fiber foods speeds up metabolism to a significant extent.
So, while you may be envious of your friend who can eat as much junk food as they want without gaining a pound, your curse could be in a blessing in disguise as you are more pressured to live a healthy lifestyle, which will keep you looking and feeling better than your skinny junk-food eating friend in the long-run. Their fast metabolism isn’t going to last forever, but a healthy lifestyle will.
However, it is important to consume Moringa either whole, as a powder, or in the form of a supplement that is evaluated to be effective. Make sure to do research on Moringa “pills” as these are often not mandated to contain what they say they do. It’s also important that you do not drink pre-made or processed Moringa tea that comes in the form of a bag, as most of the protein, antioxidants, and fiber that it contained are lost in the process.
Is Moringa an appetite suppressant?
Moringa has not been shown to have any direct appetite suppressing effect. It does not decrease your appetite itself, but because of its nutrient density, it can promote a sustainable low-calorie diet; which your body will gradually adapt to, and your appetite will decrease as a result.
The reason people often have a high appetite is because they’re used to eating large portion sizes, so appetite suppressants act as a treatment to that one symptom of an unhealthy diet. They do not take care of the root cause, so they alone don’t fix the problem. Unlike appetite suppressants, Moringa adds the nutrition you need to your diet to be able to maintain healthy portions which will, in turn, cause your appetite to become smaller over time.
In conclusion, Moringa alone will likely not make you lose weight. However, it will make it much easier for you to lose weight. When combined with proper diet and exercise, Moringa will speed up weight loss and help you lose weight in a safer way.
One of the major mistakes people make when reducing calorie intake for weight loss is they do not consume the amount of nutrients they need, and therefore end up feeling sick and having unbearable cravings that cause them to cave and binge eat. By regularly consuming Moringa, you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs and speeding up your metabolism so that a weight loss diet is healthier and easier to maintain.