Drumsticks, known as moringa or the ‘miracle tree’, are incredibly nutritious and offer powerful health benefits. Drumsticks provide antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and bioactive plant compounds that make them superfoods.
Regularly eating drumsticks can do wonders for your overall health. Let’s explore the top 7 research-backed ways these nutritious moringa pods improve health.
What are Drumsticks?
Drumsticks come from the Moringa Oleifera tree, which is native to India, Africa, and Asia. It is also called Bahujan or murungai. Nearly every part of the moringa tree is edible and provides nutrition.
The drumstick pods are long, slender, ribbed and look like large green beans. Inside the tough outer skin is a soft, white flesh and seeds.
Drumsticks have a slight bitterness mellowed by an underlying sweet, spinach-like flavour. The tender pods and seeds can be cooked or eaten raw after peeling off the skin.
They are available year-round in Asian and Indian specialty stores. Choose flexible, vibrant green drumsticks free of spots or blemishes.
Drumstick Nutrition Facts
Drumsticks are incredibly rich in vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. A 100-gram serving provides:
· Calories: 26
· Carbs: 6g
· Protein: 2g
· Fiber: 2g
· Fat: 0g
· Vitamin C: 141% DV – Powerful antioxidant for Immunity
· Vitamin A: 33% DV – Important for healthy skin and vision
· Vitamin B6: 8% DV – Allows energy conversion from food
· Riboflavin: 11% DV – Helps produce red blood cells
· Calcium: 4% DV – Essential for bone health
· Potassium: 11% DV – Needed for heart function and fluid balance
· Magnesium: 8% DV – Boosts energy, mood and sleep
· Iron: 11% DV – Critical for blood oxygenation
Drumsticks contain chlorogenic acid, quercetin and kaempferol that combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Moringinine alkaloids found exclusively in moringa also have antioxidant activity.
This stellar nutritional profile makes eating drumsticks excellent for your health and well-being. Let’s examine the top science-proven benefits:
1. Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Drumsticks are an excellent food for controlling blood sugar in diabetic patients. Human studies demonstrate drumstick extracts lower fasting and post-meal blood glucose levels.
Drumstick compounds like chlorogenic acid and isothiocyanates help modulate blood sugar spikes after eating carbohydrate-rich meals by blocking glucose absorption in the gut and improving insulin response.
The fibre content also slows down digestion and prevents sharp fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Managing glucose levels is key to preventing diabetes complications.
2. Boosts Immunity
With abundant vitamin C, an array of antioxidants and nutrients like iron, drumsticks are fantastic for strengthening your immune system and preventing infections.
Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells that fight viruses and pathogens. The antioxidants combat inflammation triggered by oxidative damage and free radicals.
Regularly consuming drumsticks helps boost Immunity and protect against colds, flu, infections, and illnesses, according to studies.
3. Improves Bone Density
The minerals in drumsticks, like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, all support building strong bones and teeth. Animal studies indicate drumstick extracts can improve bone density and microarchitecture.
Some early evidence shows they may help prevent osteoporosis. More human studies are still needed to confirm the effects on bone health. However, the rich mix of minerals contributes to meeting daily requirements for bone density.
4. Benefits Digestion and Gut Health
With significant fibre content, drumsticks help normalize bowel movements and improve gastrointestinal motility. Fibre acts as a prebiotic to feed beneficial gut bacteria that enhance digestion.
The anti-inflammatory activity of drumstick compounds may also help soothe irritation caused by digestive issues like ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease, according to some animal research.
5. Purifies Blood
Drumsticks are used in Ayurvedic and Siddha medicine to purify and detoxify blood. The leaves are especially thought to normalize pitta dosha and balance sadhaka pitta, which manages blood purity.
Studies indicate drumstick leaf extracts and powder help increase hemoglobin levels, and red blood cell counts in cases of nutritional deficiency and anemia.
6. May Prevent Respiratory Diseases
The anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and immune-boosting abilities of drumsticks show the potential to help prevent or manage respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, flu and sinusitis.
Drumstick extracts demonstrate antiasthamic effects in animal studies. The vitamin C and antioxidants can also help speed up recovery from respiratory infections. More studies are needed for conclusive evidence.
7. Supports Female Reproductive Health
Drumsticks provide key micronutrients for optimizing female reproductive health and fertility. Iron and vitamin A help improve maternal anemia and nutrition status, according to some studies.
Folate is essential for fetal development in pregnancy. Drumsticks also provide plant hormones like zeatin that may help modulate female hormones. It helps regulate menstruation and manage issues like PCOS.
How to Add Drumsticks to Your Diet
The tender pods, flesh and seeds of drumsticks can be consumed in many ways:
· Cooked like green beans – Boiled, sauteed or steamed
· Added to soups, daals and stews
· Sauteed with onions, garlic, spices
· Blended into smoothies
· Drumstick leaf powder added to the dough, juices, and shakes
· Drumstick oil for cooking
· Tea with drumstick leaves
To cook, first, peel off the tough skin and scrape away the stringy fibres. The inner white flesh is soft and quick to cook.
Drumstick flowers and leaves are also edible and provide similar benefits. The immature seed pods offer the most tender texture.
Reap the Benefits of Drumsticks
Incorporating drumsticks into your regular diet provides a wealth of nutrition from vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The research shows they can help manage blood sugar, enhance Immunity, build strong bones, improve digestion, purify blood and more.
With a mild spinach-like flavour, drumsticks are easy to add to soups, stews, sautés, smoothies and teas. Choose fresh, green, unblemished pods for maximum benefits. Diabetics, in particular, can benefit from consuming this superfood regularly for better glucose control and prevention of complications.
Try drumming up some recipes with these moringa pods to reap the nutritional and medicinal advantages. Your body will thank you!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can drumsticks help you lose weight?
Early evidence suggests drumsticks may aid weight loss due to compounds that help reduce fat tissue buildup. The fibre provides satiety as well. However, more human studies are needed to confirm the efficacy of weight management.
2. How much drumstick should you eat per day?
About 1-3 drumsticks per day are recommended, or 1-2 tablespoons of dried drumstick powder. It provides an effective therapeutic dose without overconsumption. Monitor your servings for optimal results.
3. Are raw drumsticks safe to eat?
Yes, raw drumstick flesh is safe to consume. However, it’s best to boil, cook or blanch drumsticks briefly to soften their texture and reduce compounds that may irritate the digestive tract if you have sensitivity.
4. Can drumsticks help increase breast milk production?
Some traditional medicine uses drumsticks to promote lactation as it provides key nutrients for milk production, like calcium, protein, iron, and vitamins. However, more studies are needed to verify the efficacy and dosage for improved lactation.
5. How long do fresh drumsticks last?
Fresh drumsticks will usually be kept for about one week when refrigerated in a breathable bag. You can also freeze drumsticks for several months if unused. Cooked drumsticks will be held refrigerated for 3-5 days.
So start drumming up healthy recipes with nutritious drumsticks today!
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