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Drumsticks: Nutritional Value, Health Benefits, Uses and Recipes

Drumsticks are scientifically known as Moringa Oleifera. It is a drought-resistant, fast-growing plant that belongs to the Moringaceae family. It is native to the Indian subcontinent and has common names like drumstick tree, ben oil tree, moringa, benzolive tree and horseradish tree.

Almost every part of the drumstick tree is edible. People use them in traditional herbal medicines, especially pods and leaves. The supplement comes in the form of a capsule or powder. Although, consuming drumsticks in their original form is always better. The leaves are generally high in various vitamins and minerals. Nevertheless, pods are a great vitamin C source. One hundred grams of fresh pods meet 157% of our daily vitamin C requirement.

Consequently, they can be an excellent addition to your diet, especially if you are a vegetarian trying to gain muscle. It is a nutritious plant with rich bioactive plant compounds. In addition, drumsticks also contain antioxidants. Therefore, you can use them to prepare various healthy recipes. In addition, you can use the readily available ingredients to make delicious recipes. Their use exists in all parts of the country. 

Nutritional Value of Drumsticks

One hundred grams of drumsticks contain:

Energy: 64kCalProtein: 9.4gCarbohydrates: 8.2gVitamin B3 (niacin): 2.2mgVitamin C: 51.7mgFats: 1.4gDietary Fibre: 2.0gIron: 4mgSodium: 9mgPotassium: 337mg

Health Benefits of Drumsticks

Drumsticks are well known for their health benefits. They contain vitamin A, C and B complex vitamins. Furthermore, drumsticks are good sources of calcium, phosphorus and iron. Therefore, including them in your daily diet helps prevent anaemia. For a plant source, drumsticks have a rich protein profile. 

Antioxidant Effect

Research suggests that moringa leaves increase antioxidant levels in your body. Antioxidant compounds safeguard against free radicals, which cause oxidative stress, which can potentially cause chronic disorders. Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are two of them. The leaves contain various antioxidant compounds and prevent such chronic diseases. The antioxidants present in drumsticks are:

Beta-carotene

Itgives vegetables their bright colour. Our body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, an essential vitamin for vision and cell growth. In addition, it helps maintain the health of organs like lungs, kidneys and heart.

Vitamin C

Studies suggest that vitamin C can lower blood pressure. Therefore, it helps reduce the risk of heart diseases. In addition, vitamin C improves iron absorption. Consequently, it also prevents anaemia and boosts immunity.

Quercetin – It is an antioxidant that helps lower blood pressure. Chlorogenic acid – It is another potent antioxidant in drumsticks, which help maintain moderate glucose levels after meals.

Controls Blood Sugar

High blood glucose levels often result in diabetes. It is the crucial characteristic of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Over time, high blood glucose levels can increase the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it is essential to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Several studies reveal that the drumstick plant can help lower blood glucose levels. It is possibly due to plant compounds like isothiocyanates.

Drumsticks Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is our body’s response to infections and injuries. Sustained inflammation is associated with several conditions like cancer and heart diseases. However, drumsticks provide a reasonable amount of antioxidants. Furthermore, moringa leaf powder can reduce inflammation, preventing inflammatory conditions. 

Studies reveal that isothiocyanates in drumsticks are anti-inflammatory compounds. However, the degree of their effect might depend on the amount and type of combinations they have. 

Reduces Cholesterol

Drumstick contains reasonable amounts of fibre. Fibre helps lower bad cholesterol by carrying excess cholesterol out of the body. Studies show that drumsticks lower cholesterol levels. Therefore they can prove beneficial in preventing heart diseases like atherosclerosis and stroke.

Improves Vision

Drumsticks are a rich source of vitamin A. As a result, they aid in promoting eye health. You can use vitamin A in conditions like cataracts and dry eyes. Several studies reveal that these nutrients prevent several diseases, particularly age-related macular degeneration and vision loss. They also reduce the thickening of capillary membranes. Furthermore, they can help avoid eye dysfunction. 

Helps During Pregnancy and Lactation

Drumsticks are a powerhouse of nutrients. They contain vitamins like A, B, C and K. They also contain minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. Furthermore, they are a great source of dietary fibre and protein. All these nutrients are essential during pregnancy.

Adding drumsticks to your meals can help with morning sickness and improve energy. The fibre content helps with constipation, which is common during pregnancy. Additionally, the folate content in drumsticks will help prevent congenital disabilities. Studies suggest that it helps reduce the risk of spina bifida, a neural defect in newborns. Furthermore, a blend of moringa leaves juice is helpful to mothers after delivery because it helps improve the secretion of breast milk.

Improves Bone Strength 

As we know, drumsticks contain reasonable amounts of calcium, iron and phosphorus. Studies suggest that these nutrients in drumsticks help strengthen the bones. Therefore they can be beneficial for growing children. Daily consumption of drumsticks can help restore bone density and prove helpful for the elderly. They may prevent osteoporosis symptoms. In addition, drumsticks possess anti-inflammatory properties that aid in treating minor bone fractures and conditions like arthritis. 

Acts as an Aphrodisiac

Drumsticks act as an aphrodisiac as they have antioxidant properties, which can help in reducing oxidative stress. As a result, they reduce overall stress levels in the body. In addition, antioxidants in drumsticks improve dopamine secretion. Dopamine enhances sexual function, especially in men. They may also improve sperm count and motility. However, more studies are needed to understand the mechanism better. 

The Best Ways to Use Drumstick

Cosmetics

Drumstick extracts have cleansing and hydrating properties. In addition, it protects the skin from the effects of harmful pollutants. Therefore, they are now popularly used in cosmetics. They are an ingredient in beauty and skincare products. Certain studies reveal that they promote skin health. In addition, they improve skin texture owing to their unique nutrient profile. 

To Prevent Skin Ageing 

The use of drumstick leaf powder and oil is a natural remedy. It can do wonders for the skin. It helps lessen wrinkles. Furthermore, it will help firm up the skin. You can apply its leaf paste to the skin. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes and wash off. It will improve the skin complexion. In addition, it can also delay skin ageing.

To Reduce Acne

Drumsticks have antibacterial compounds, which prevent acne from breaking out. They contain vitamin C and improve collagen production. As a result, they enhance new skin cells’ formation and increase skin tightening. Consuming moringa pods or leaves powder helps in removing toxins. Therefore, they can improve skin quality. Overall they make skin healthier and clearer.

As Food Preservative

You can use the moringa leaf extract as a food preservative. For example, a study showed a notable increase in the shelf life of meat by reducing spoilage.

Quick Recipes Using Drumsticks

Drumstick Soup

Serve: 2Preparation time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Drumsticks: 30gOnions: ¼ ChoppedGinger (grated): 1tspGarlic (chopped): 1tspMilk: 50mlJeera powder: ½tspCelery leaves: 1tspGhee: 1tspSalt to taste

Method

Add ghee to a pressure cooker. Now add ginger and garlic. Saute for a few minutes.Add onions and drumsticks and keep stirring for five minutes.Add salt and three cups of water. Pressure cook until three whistles.After the steam escapes, open the lid and add milk. Blend it well until smooth.Now using a strainer, strain the blend. Lastly, in a non-stick pan, add jeera.Let it boil for five minutes and stir continuously.Serve the drumstick soup hot alongside toasted bread.

Drumstick Curry

Serve: 2Preparation time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

Drumsticks: 15gOlive oil: 3mlUrad dal: ½tbspOnion (chopped): ¼ Garlic cloves: 2Ginger (grated): 1tspTamarind (pulped): 1tspMustard seeds: ½tspTurmeric powder: ¼tspRed chillies (dry): 2Peanut powder (roasted): 1tspCurry leaf springs: 5Salt to taste

Method

Add water, drumstick pieces, salt, turmeric powder in a pan. Cook for 5-10 minutes.Heat the oil in a separate pan. Now add black gram, curry leaves, and mustard seeds.Once the seeds splutter, add onions. Sauté until they turn light brown.Take peanuts, red chillies, garlic, ginger with a bit of water. Blend to prepare a paste.Now, add the prepared drumsticks. Then add masala to the onions and blend.Lastly, add salt to taste. While stirring, add tamarind pulp and cook for 5 minutes on a medium flame.Serve hot and fresh alongside steaming rice.

Possible Side Effects and Precautions

Although UNESCO claims moringa to be a ‘non-toxic, easily digestible source of nutrition, the tree does have its quota of adverse side effects. Listed below are some of the common side effects and precautions:

Although most parts of the moringa plant are edible and healthy, avoid consuming its roots. As per studies, it contains alkaloid Spirochin, a potential neuro-paralytic toxin that can cause paralysis and death.Drumstick plant leaves have laxative properties. Eating them in excess can lead to stomach upset, heartburn, gaseous distension, and diarrhoea.It is always better to cook and use drumsticks. However, consuming them directly with water or raw may cause heartburn.Excess consumption of drumsticks can also cause nausea. Hence, you should always consume it in moderation.Few chemicals in the roots, flowers and bark of the tress could cause uterine contraction in pregnant women. As a result, it can increase the risk of a miscarriage. Hence, you should always consult your doctor before adding it to your diet. In addition, you should consult your doctor about its use when you are breastfeeding.Avoid consuming drumsticks when you are on blood-thinning medications because it can increase the risk of bleeding.

Conclusion

Drumsticks are vegetables with many health benefits and have a rich nutrient profile. You can use them to prevent and treat many health conditions. They are rich in antioxidant nutrients. Therefore, they can prove beneficial in protecting against inflammatory diseases, including heart diseases and arthritis. They also protect the body from oxidative stress. In addition, they are helpful for the skin. You can also use them as food preservatives. Furthermore, they might help with diabetes and bone diseases too. 

You can add various parts of the drumstick plant to multiple recipes. Therefore, you can enjoy them every day. However, you should always consult your doctor before adding it to your diet. In addition, healthy individuals should also ensure that they consume it in moderation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q. What are the benefits of eating drumsticks?

A. Drumsticks are an excellent source of various vitamins, fibre, protein and phosphorus. These nutrient-dense vegetables can help manage diabetes and fight infections due to their antioxidant properties. In addition, they help protect against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and heart diseases. Besides, they also contain reasonable amounts of calcium and iron, which promote strong and healthy bones.   

Q. Can we eat drumsticks every day?

A. Eating drumsticks regularly can help you ease your blood circulation and lower blood pressure. In addition, they can boost your immune system support with diabetes and bone diseases. Therefore, you can add them to various recipes and enjoy them every day. 

Q. What are the disadvantages of eating drumsticks?

A. Drumsticks are mostly safe to eat. However, when consumed in large amounts, it can cause upset stomach, heartburn and gas. Moreover, its taste activates your gag reflex and causes nausea. In addition, it can cause some side effects in pregnant and lactating women. Hence, you should always consult your doctor before adding it to your diet.

Q. Are drumsticks good for your heart?

A. Drumsticks have an excellent effect on your heart. That is because they are rich in beta-carotene, which our body converts into vitamin A, essential to maintaining a healthy heart. Moreover, Vitamin C in drumsticks lowers blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases. 

Q. Is drumsticks a superfood?

A. Drumsticks have various advantages to health, such as strengthening the immune system, protecting from oxidative stress, enhancing bone density and improving heart health. In addition, they are beneficial for the skin and hair. Drumstick’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, along with other essential nutrients, makes it a superfood.  

Q. Are drumsticks good for hair?

A. Drumsticks are a boon to hair as they have high Vitamins A and B content that nourish the hair and support their growth. Using drumsticks can help nourish your scalp, moisturise your hair and keep off dandruff. Moreover, the minerals can shine your hair and protect it from heat, dust and pollution.

Q. Does the drumstick have iron?

A. Yes, drumsticks contain 4mg of iron per 100 g of serving. In addition, it also has vitamin C, required for iron absorption. Thus it can help in preventing conditions like anaemia, and its consumption is also known to improve bone health due to the high iron and calcium content.

Q. Are drumsticks good for weight loss?

A. Drumsticks are very effective for weight loss as they help promote fat breakdown in the body. In addition, they enhance digestion and conversion of foods into energy, thus accelerating metabolism and reducing fat formation.

Q. Does a drumstick have protein?

A. Yes, drumsticks have a rich protein profile. They are a great source of protein and amino acids, which can help your body heal and build muscles. Therefore, drumsticks can prove to be an excellent addition to your diet, especially if you are a vegetarian trying to gain muscles.  

Q. Are drumsticks good for gastric?

A. Vitamin A in drumsticks is a vital ingredient for treating stomach related issues. These include constipation, acidity, and gastritis. In addition, they have antibiotic properties that inhibit the growth of various pathogens, and their high vitamin B content helps with digestion. 

Q. Is drumstick heat for the body?

A. No, drumsticks can cool the body. Their regular consumption can help you reduce body heat. Adding drumsticks to your dishes, especially in summer, will allow your body to cool down and beat the summer heat.  

Q. Can Moringa cause kidney damage?

A. No, the regular addition of drumsticks to your diet might prevent kidney damage. It is because drumsticks help eliminate toxins from the body due to the presence of antioxidants. Therefore, they can reduce the development of stones in the kidney and bladder.  

Q. Are drumsticks good for diabetes?

A. Drumsticks are good for diabetes as they may help lower blood glucose levels. In addition, they have plant compounds like isothiocyanates and anti-inflammatory properties. It makes them an excellent natural remedy for managing diabetes. 

Q. Do drumsticks increase testosterone?

A. Drumsticks help increase testosterone levels in the body. In addition, they have aphrodisiac properties that improve sexual function and enhance libido. Drumsticks may also improve sperm count and motility. 

Q. What are the vitamins in drumsticks?

A. Drumsticks contain vitamin A, B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B9 (folate) and vitamin C. These vitamins play a vital role in improving digestion, promoting cell growth and maintaining organ health. They also enhance vision, skin and hair health. 

Q. What do drumsticks do for your skin?

A. Drumstick extracts have cleansing and hydrating properties which promote skin health. Their leaf powder and oil are used as a natural remedy to lessen blemishes and wrinkles. Besides, drumsticks also have antibacterial compounds which might prevent acne from breaking out and improve skin texture and quality due to their unique nutrient profile.  

Q. Can I eat drumsticks during pregnancy?

A. Drumsticks possess essential nutrients during pregnancy; therefore, adding them to your meals will help with morning sickness and improve energy. In addition, the fibre content helps with constipation, common during pregnancy. Additionally, the folate content in drumsticks can also help prevent congenital disabilities. However, it can also have some side effects. Hence, it is best to consult your doctor before adding them to your diet.

Tags: DrumsiticksHealth Benefits of DrumstickshealthifymeNutritional value of DrumsticksSide Effects of DrumsticksUse of Drumsticks

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