Moringa Anti-Nutrients: What You Need to Know About Oxalates and Phytates


Moringa is a drought-tolerant tree native to India and Southeast Asia. It is known for its edible leaves, seeds, and flowers, which are all packed with nutrients. Moringa is often referred to as a “superfood” because it is a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds.

However, moringa also contains some anti-nutrients, such as oxalates and phytates. Anti-nutrients are substances that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food. Oxalates and phytates are particularly concerning because they can bind to minerals such as calcium, iron, and zinc, making them less available to the body.

What are oxalates and phytates?

Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds found in many plants, including moringa. They can also be found in processed foods, such as chocolate and nuts. Oxalates can bind to calcium to form oxalate crystals, which can be deposited in the kidneys, leading to kidney stones.

Phytates are also naturally occurring compounds found in many plants, including moringa. They can bind to minerals such as calcium, iron, and zinc, making them less available to the body. Phytates can also reduce the absorption of protein and carbohydrates.

Does Moringa contain more or less anti-nutrients compared to Kale and Spinach?

This Table compares the anti-nutrient content of raw kale, raw spinach, and raw moringa, with exact values in milligrams per 100 grams

Anti – NutrientRaw KaleRaw SpinachRaw Moringa
Goitrogens49-179111-2589-26
Oxalates123-312579-79463-189
Phytates208-673
127-405
121-536
Saponins5-1133-6224-76
Glucosinolates12-3110-2911-30
Moringa is generally lower in most anti-nutrients compared to raw Kale and raw spinach.

How can oxalates and phytates affect your health?

Oxalates and phytates can have a number of negative health effects, including:

  • Kidney stones: Oxalates can bind to calcium to form oxalate crystals, which can be deposited in the kidneys, leading to kidney stones. Kidney stones can be very painful and can require medical treatment.
  • Mineral deficiencies: Oxalates and phytates can bind to minerals such as calcium, iron, and zinc, making them less available to the body. This can lead to mineral deficiencies, which can have a number of negative health consequences.
  • Reduced nutrient absorption: Phytates can reduce the absorption of protein and carbohydrates. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies and other health problems.

How to reduce your intake of oxalates and phytates when consuming moringa

There are a number of things you can do to reduce your intake of oxalates and phytates when consuming moringa:

  • Cook moringa: Cooking moringa can help to reduce the levels of oxalates and phytates. For example, boiling moringa leaves can reduce the oxalate content by up to 50%.
  • Soak moringa seeds:¬†Soaking moringa seeds in water for several hours before cooking can also help to reduce the levels of oxalates and phytates.
  • Limit your intake of moringa:¬†It is also important to limit your intake of moringa, especially if you are at risk of developing kidney stones or mineral deficiencies.
  • Moringa Powder contains less anti-nutrients

Moringa Powder and Anti-Nutrients

Moringa powder is a convenient way to consume moringa. It is made by drying and grinding moringa leaves. Moringa powder contains less anti-nutrients than fresh moringa. This is because the drying process destroys some of the anti-nutrients.

For example, a study found that boiling moringa leaves for 10 minutes reduced the oxalate content by 50%. Additionally, soaking moringa seeds in water for several hours before cooking can reduce the oxalate and phytate content by up to 70%.

If you are concerned about the anti-nutrient content of moringa, consider consuming moringa powder. Moringa powder is also a good option for people who are short on time, as it is easy to prepare.

Conclusion

Moringa is a nutrient-rich superfood, but it is important to be aware of the anti-nutrients it contains, such as oxalates and phytates. By cooking moringa, soaking moringa seeds, and limiting your intake of moringa, you can reduce your intake of these anti-nutrients and reap all of the health benefits that moringa has to offer.

Frederik Lamote

Frederik is the founder of Koroway.com, a startup that is 3D printing Treehouses. While exploring treehouse locations around the world he got fascinated by the value and products trees produce.

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