Maca Root Benefits, Nutrition, Dosage and Side Effects

Maca Root has been used for centuries in the Andes to increase fertility and vitality. It is a plant native to Peru, traditionally combined with other plants such as corn, potatoes, and quinoa.

Maca root is one of the newest treatments to take center stage in the natural health world, despite being renowned for its therapeutic qualities for hundreds of years. Its newfound superfood reputation is well-deserved. Researchers are constantly discovering new health advantages linked with this healthy root vegetable.

What exactly is Maca? Maca is a cruciferous vegetable native to Peru’s Andes, and its scientific name is Lepidium meyenii. Maca resembles radishes or turnips in look and size, with green tops and roots that vary in hue from yellow to purple and black.

After being collected and crushed down, the pleasant-tasting root, or hypocotyls, is typically accessible in powder form. It is not only a natural source of healing nutrients, but it also has a long history as a safe superfood that has been eaten for thousands of years in Andean areas for its health advantages.

It’s also referred to as an “adaptogen,” a term for herbs, plants, and natural compounds that assist the body to adapt to stresses such as a hectic schedule, demanding work, or sickness.

Not only that, but Maca is high in antioxidants and contains a variety of essential minerals. It has been proven to enhance sexual health, hormone balance, energy, mood, and memory.

Benefits of Maca Root

1. Antioxidant-dense

Maca root is a natural antioxidant that helps the body produce more antioxidants like glutathione and superoxide dismutase. Antioxidants aid in neutralizing damaging free radicals, which aids in the prevention of chronic illness and cell damage.

Polysaccharides derived from Maca showed significant antioxidant activity and helped combat free radical damage, according to test-tube research published in 2014.

Research in the Czech Republic showed that giving rats a concentrated dosage of Maca increased their antioxidant status while also lowering cholesterol and triglycerides in the liver and lowering blood sugar, which helped prevent the development of chronic illness. Meanwhile, test-tube research found that maca leaf extract’s antioxidant concentration may even protect against brain damage.

By avoiding oxidative stress and cell damage, improving your antioxidant level may help you prevent diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. However, despite these encouraging findings, further research is required to determine how the antioxidants in maca root may impact people.

2. Boosts your energy, mood, and memory

Those who take maca powder daily say it helps them feel more alert, energetic, and motivated, typically within a few days of starting to use it. Plus, unlike caffeine, Maca may help you gain energy without giving you the “jitters” or a jittery feeling.

Maca has been proven in clinical studies to improve energy and stamina. Maintaining a good energy level may also assist in enhancing mood, and some preliminary research suggests that Maca may aid in alleviating depressive symptoms.

It’s unknown how Maca boosts energy levels, but it’s thought to help avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes and maintain adrenal function, which controls mood and energy throughout the day. Keeping your energy levels up may also assist you in avoiding gaining weight.

Maca root has also been shown to improve memory and concentration in many studies. For example, two animal studies published in 2011 showed that black Maca may help mice with memory loss, owing to its rich antioxidant content.

3. Enhances the sexual health of women

Several studies have shown that Maca improves female sexual health via a variety of methods.

In women, maca root may help to alleviate sexual dysfunction and increase sexual desire. The effects of maca root on postmenopausal women with sexual dysfunction induced by antidepressant usage were studied in one research. Maca root substantially improved sexual function when compared to a placebo. Another research found that Maca was well-tolerated and could enhance libido and sexual performance.

In a 2008 study, researchers discovered that maca root helps postmenopausal women with psychiatric problems and sexual function. After six weeks of therapy, Maca was able to decrease menopause-related sadness and anxiety.

Maca has also been proven to help relieve the symptoms of menopause by balancing female sex hormones. Hormone balance is essential for many areas of reproductive health, and it may help alleviate symptoms including infertility, weight gain, and bloating.

4. Estrogen Levels are Balanced

Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone in charge of reproductive system regulation. Bloating, irregular menstruation cycles and mood swings are signs of an imbalance in this vital hormone. Too much or too little estrogen may make it difficult for a woman to ovulate and get pregnant.

Maca root may help regulate estrogen levels in the body and balance hormone levels. For four months, 34 early postmenopausal women were given a pill containing either Maca or a placebo twice daily, according to research published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science. Maca not only helped to regulate hormone levels, but it also alleviated menopausal symptoms, including night sweats and hot flashes, and increased bone density.

In addition to alleviating menopausal symptoms, controlling estrogen levels may improve reproductive health and fertility and lower polycystic ovarian syndromes (PCOS), such as excessive hair growth, weight gain, and acne.

5. Helps to Increase Male Fertility

So, what’s the deal with maca root for men? While studies indicate that maca powder improves male sexual health and fertility, they do not support the notion that it increases testosterone levels.

Maca supplementation for eight weeks boosted sexual desire in males, according to Peruvian research. Meanwhile, 2001 research discovered that Maca improved sperm quality and motility, two critical aspects in male infertility.

Maca may also help with sexual dysfunction. Two of the studies indicated an improvement in sexual dysfunction and sexual desire in both men and women, according to a 2010 assessment of the findings of four clinical trials examining the effects of Maca on libido. However, the other two experiments had no good results, indicating that further study is required.

Nutritional Value of Maca

Maca root powder is high in protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, copper, and iron. It also includes over 20 amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids and many phytonutrients that promote health. It also has a variety of healthy plant components, such as glucosinolates and polyphenols, and is a popular vegan option.

One ounce of maca powder (about 2 teaspoons) comprises roughly:

  • Calories: 91
  • carbs (20 g)
  • Protein content: 4 g
  • a gram of fat
  • dietary fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 79.8 milligrams (133 percent DV)
  • copper 1.7 milligrams (84 percent DV)
  • Iron: 4.1 milligrams (23 percent DV)
  • Potassium 560 milligrams (16 percent DV)
  • Vitamin B6 0.3 milligram (16 percent DV)
  • Manganese 0.2 milligrams (11 percent DV)
  • Niacin 1.6 milligrams (8 percent DV)
  • Calcium in the amount of 70 milligrams (7 percent DV)
  • Riboflavin, 0.1 milligrams (6 percent DV)

Where to Find It, How to Use It, and Dosage

You’re undoubtedly thinking, “Where can I purchase maca?” at this point. Is it possible to purchase organic Maca?”

Thanks to its increasing popularity, Maca is readily accessible in health food shops, pharmacies, and even internet merchants. It’s also available as a pill, liquid, powder, or extract. Although all kinds of Maca are considered equally healthy, getting Maca from a reputable harvester who guarantees 100 percent pure maca root powder is preferable. If you’re looking for maca extract, seek a type that is both raw and organic.

Maca is also classified by the color of its roots, which are most frequently yellow, black, or red. Although certain maca kinds and colors are believed to be more helpful for different medical problems, all hues of Maca have comparable advantages. Therefore, the most frequent supplement form is red maca powder. Maca flour is a term used to describe gelatinized maca powder.

Maca has an earthy, somewhat nutty flavor with a touch of butterscotch that goes particularly well with oatmeal or porridge. The taste of Maca varies according to the kind, with black Maca being somewhat more bitter and cream-colored roots being considerably sweeter. Maca powder is simple to use in smoothies, beverages, and dishes.

Keep in mind that most people avoid heating their maca powder in the microwave or at high temperatures since the heating process may destroy some of the benefits.

Locals in the Andes Mountains, where Maca is grown, may eat up to a pound of dried or fresh maca root each day. The majority of individuals use one to twenty grams of powder daily as a supplement.

Although there is no official maca powder dose, it is advisable, to begin with, one tablespoon (in powder form) each day and gradually increase to two to three tablespoons distributed throughout the day. Because Maca is believed to boost energy and stamina, many individuals take it before working out to receive an energy boost.

 

 

Ginseng vs. Maca Root

Ginseng, like Maca, is a plant with fleshy roots that has therapeutic qualities. Both have long been used in traditional medicine and offer comparable health advantages, such as improved memory, more incredible energy, decreased menopausal symptoms, and lower blood sugar. In addition, both ginseng and Maca are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.

However, there are a few key distinctions between these two root crops. To begin with, there is more study on ginseng, and it has been linked to a wider variety of distinct health advantages. Ginseng has been shown in specific test-tube and animal tests to enhance cognitive function, assist in weight reduction, boost immunity, and even kill cancer cells. 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st,

Furthermore, although maca root is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli or Brussels sprouts, ginseng is a member of the Araliaceae family of plants, including tropical shrubs and trees. Ginseng is also more bitter, while Maca has an earthy, nutty flavor often included in dishes and beverages to enhance nutritional content and flavor.

History

Maca has been used for more than 3,000 years. This root vegetable was formerly valued for its therapeutic qualities and its usage as a kind of money by ancient Peruvians. It was used to cure a variety of illnesses, including monthly irregularities, menopause, stomach cancer, tiredness, stress, and anemia, among others. Incan warriors are believed to have fueled themselves on maca root before going into combat to increase their stamina and power.

Maca was regarded as very precious when the Inca civilization flourished in the Andes area. Its usage was even limited, with royals being the only ones who could utilize it. It was subsequently brought to Spain, where it was used by royalty to boost energy levels and provide additional nutrients.

Maca is now mostly taken as a powder or a capsule. On the other hand, the fresh root was traditionally boiled before being eaten since Peruvians thought that consuming raw Maca might induce digestive and thyroid problems.

Side Effects and Precautions of Maca Root

Most individuals are safe to take Maca, and there is little danger of adverse maca effects. However, some individuals may wish to limit their use.

If you have thyroid issues, you should limit your maca consumption and avoid eating it uncooked. This is due to goitrogens, which are chemicals that may affect thyroid function, particularly in those who already have thyroid problems. If you have hypothyroidism or a history of thyroid issues, see your doctor before using Maca.

Physicians think that Maca should not be taken by individuals who take hormone-altering medicines to treat diseases like breast cancer or prostate cancer, or for other severe disorders, due to its effects on hormone levels. Maca root is also not recommended for high blood pressure to prevent adverse maca root side effects.

Finally, there is little evidence that Maca is safe for pregnant or nursing women. Therefore, it’s recommended for these ladies to avoid Maca until it’s shown to be safe.

Last Thoughts

  • Maca, a root vegetable rich in antioxidants and minerals including vitamin C, copper, and iron, is a superfood.
  • It has been proven to boost sexual health and libido, increase energy, mood, and memory, and regulate hormone levels. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
  • Maca is readily accessible in capsule, powder, extract, and liquid form at health food shops, pharmacies, and online merchants.
  • It is often taken before exercising to improve energy levels and may be added to smoothies or meals.
  • Adding one to two tablespoons of Maca to your diet, together with a balanced food and a healthy lifestyle, may help you improve your health.

Related Tags

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The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

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