There are days we all need more energy. When we are fatigued or stretched too thin, we don't perform as well as on our daily tasks, our mind wanders and before we know it our family members and colleagues are throwing water in our faces. Maybe not that extreme, but you know the moment -- the second you realize someone has been talking to you for a few minutes and your mind is just now catching up.
The common solution is stimulants like caffeine or "energy drinks" that are packed with sugar. These products can make you feel jittery while they're in your system and make you crash and feel even more drained once they wear off.
If you're looking for a safe, natural way to improve your energy for the long term -- not just a few hours -- look no further than the superfood moringa oleifera. The doctor himself, Dr. Mehmet Oz, sang the praises of this plant on the April 12 episode of "Dr. Oz," as a natural solution for anyone having trouble getting moving in the morning and staying productive and focused all day.
Why is it super?
Also known as drumstick tree, this plant is rich in minerals like iron, calcium and potassium as well as vitamins A and C. In fact, moringa oleifera has more calcium than milk, more vitamin C than oranges and more iron than spinach, our go-to green. It's also loaded with phytochemicals like rhamnose and antioxidants, which are our body's best friend for fighting off infection and illness caused by free radicals.
The result of all these great components is a laundry list of health benefits, starting with boosting your energy. These vitamins, minerals and enzymes keep your body balanced to trigger natural energy production. Moringa oleifera strengthens your immune system, protects your heart and improves cognitive function -- it can even improve your mood. Taking it daily can also support healthy skin that is clear and smooth.
Taking moringa oleifera can help with everything from headaches to ulcers and asthma because of its antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Ongoing research is also examining the plant's anticancer properties. This is why it has been a staple in Ayurvdedic medicine for years.
Where do they find it?
All parts of the moringa oleifera tree -- the leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds and roots -- are used for medicinal purposes. Native to northwestern India in the Himalayan mountains, this tree grows best in tropical climates. While the whole plant is used for different purposes, even as food, the leaves, especially when dried, contain the most vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
Taking It Properly
Dr. Oz recommended 400 mg daily if taken in supplement form and it can be found as capsules or powder. You can also try moringa oleifera tea, which has no caffeine. Since it's not a stimulant, you won't feel a dramatic rise and fall in your energy levels, you will simply notice you are less fatigued and better able to get through your day. Anyone with a preexisting condition or a woman who is pregnant or lactating should consult with their physician before taking this supplement.
Moringa oleifera won't turn you into a superhero or anything, but it'll keep you from getting water thrown in your face.