The new buzz word in the health hemisphere is ‘MACA’. It’s mostly found in the mountains of Peru and has been used by the Incas for centuries. There’s a lot of hype about this humble root plant and some of you may be wondering should I believe all the build-up? Here is the rundown of what Maca can do for you and how to use it.
Maca Root or sometimes called Peruvian ginseng is a superfood that has been getting loads of people to their nearest health store. It’s no surprise, because it’s a superfood that the indigenous people of the Andes have been consuming for years. It’s classified as a root vegetable that’s an adaptogen. Adaptogens are plants with healing abilities such as Ginseng, Holy Basil, Ashwaganda and Licorice Root. Along with it’s awesome healing effects on the body and mind, Maca is pretty tasty. Maca isn't the only superfood you need to know about so we compiled our list of the Top 15 Superfoods You Need to maximize longevity.
So, there’s no problem getting a daily intake. The root of the plant is the only edible part and comes in several colors ranging from black to white. Surprisingly, Maca is considered a cruciferous vegetable, so it’s closest relatives are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. It has to be grown at high altitudes, usually they are harvested in the Andes in Peru. Hence the extravagant cost, but it’s well worth it. Maca is usually grounded up into a powder, which you can purchase. Or else you can get your hands on Maca capsules or in a liquid form. If you want natural medicinal benefits, then stay tuned to find out what Maca can do for you!
The Nutrition Facts About Maca
Maca is chock-a-block with amino acids, phytonutrients, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. There’s about 18% protein, 76.5% carbohydrates, 5% fat and 8.5% fiber. You certainly won’t miss out on any vital nutrients when you consume Maca Root. Here is a summary posted by NutritionData.com on the nutritional attributes of Maca:
- Over 20 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids
- 20 free-form fatty acids (such as lauric, linolenic, palmitic acid, oleic , and steric acid)
- Vitamins B-1, B-2, C and E
The Perks of Maca Root for Women
Maca has been helping the native people of the Andes for century. Unfortunately, it’s only until recently that Western researchers have caught on to this wonderful ancient herb. There are numerous health benefits that Maca Root provides for women. Balancing hormones, improving fertility, easing the symptoms of menopause and enhancing sexual health are only a few advantages women everywhere can snap up and start to feel glorious again!
Maca Helps with Fertility
Fertility has become a growing problem for women over the years, hence the fact many women are turning to natural remedies. Research on animals has shown that Maca is a fertility enhancer, in particularly with females. That’s because it has the ability to raise the serum luteinizing hormone in the pituitary gland, which is related to fertility. It helps to produce multiple egg follicles that triumphantly mature, which is vital for ovulation and reproductive health.
Eases Menopause Symptoms
Maca Root is the ultimate hormone balancer. Studies prove that because its jam-packed with nutrients and phytochemicals consumers of Maca Root can enjoy the amazing effect it gives. The research concluded that Maca Root supplements fine-tune many of those bothersome menopause symptoms, like night sweats, depression, hot flashes, irritability and sleep disruptions.
Helps Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Sufferers
Seeing that Maca is a hormone balancer it makes sense for women with PCOS to get their hands on such a miraculous health supplement. The conditions cause women to have irregular menstruation, hormone imbalances and infertility. Some women may experience severe acne, hair loss and weight gain due to the hormonal imbalances. Maca has proven to help many women get their hormones back on track and alleviate symptoms.
Supports Bone Density
It’s very common for bones to become brittle as women age. Research on Maca’s effect on women going through menopausal symptoms have found that it boosts optimal bone density. Great news for women who have a history of osteoporosis, or those concerned about bone health.
Men Can Benefit from Maca Root Too!
Along with giving optimal health to those women, it provides good health to those with the XY chromosome. Maca Root can help men as they age combat sexual health, stamina and prostate cancer.
Supports Male Libido
Studies conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) found that research done on animals and humans taking Maca saw an improvement in male libido, sperm formation and movement. A study that came out in the 2002 publication of “Andrologia” wrote that 40 percent of men who consumed Maca supplements for three months saw an increase sexual desire during week 8 and 12. The individuals in the placebo group didn’t report a sexual increase.
Further study found that men who took Maca for four months had a considerable increase in sexual enjoyment, sperm count and semen value when compared to the placebo group. Another study found men who took Maca for four months had a significant increase in motility, sperm count and semen volume compared to placebo.
A Healthy Prostate
As men age the risk of prostate cancer increases. Males who are 50 years or older should do routine prostate check-ups, since they are at higher risk. Also, supplementing your diet with Maca Root wouldn’t hurt either. Maca benefits prostate health, however it depends on the color of the Maca Root. Remember when we told you in the beginning that the color of Maca ranges.
Well, studies that were conducted in 2009 on rats have found that when rats with an enlarged prostate condition were administered three types of Maca (black, yellow and red) the results were that red maca successfully shrunk the enlarged prostate, yellow maca had very little effect and black maca had none at all. Maca can be used to prevent prostate cancer from ever occurring. Again, since Maca is suitable for balancing hormone levels in the body, and prostate cancer is a hormonal related type of cancer, it promotes a cancer free environment while maintaining healthy hormonal levels.
Increases Sexual Function and Stamina
Basically, just think of Maca as nature’s Viagra, because it can improve erection issues. Research on 50 men with erection dysfunction were provided with a daily dosage of 2400 mg of Maca Root. During this 12-week treatment, they reported an improvement in erection and stamina. The difference between Maca vs Viagra for erectile dysfunction is that Maca works gradually, whereas Viagra has an immediate effect and has several health risks. Over time Maca proves to benefit sexual function over time without the unnecessary health risks that can happen when taking Viagra.
The Ways Maca Can Help Everyone
If you are feeling down in the dumps, Maca can put that spring in your step again! Maca root has natural fatty acids that help to support your mood and general brain health. It’s so great in boosting your mood that researchers are trying to develop a natural alternative to cognitive-enhancement drugs. Taking Maca Root is ideal if you are looking for a natural way to stabilize problem-solving skills, mental function and rational thinking. Some medical professionals that gear towards holistic wellness will first suggest to patients to take omega 3 fatty acids (such as the types found in Maca Root) to relieve them of symptoms such as anxiety, depression and stress.
Feel More Energetic
Do you wake up and feeling a little blah? Find yourself exhausted just within a few hours within the day? Many who take Maca daily say they feel more aware, attentive, full of spark and have a bit more zest for life. However, be mindful that Maca can give you the positive attributes that coffee can, but without those nasty caffeine jitters. How it increases your energy moods is not exactly known. Although some studies believe that Maca helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which eliminates energy spikes and dips. Also, it helps to look after adrenal health, which is important to balance mood and energy during the day. Momental Mind uses a similar mechanism of action by balancing green tea with natural caffeine with l-theanine to increase energy, alertness, and attention without causing negative jitters and anxiety that can kill your productivity.
How to Use Maca?
You can purchase Maca in powder, liquid or capsule form. If you choose to purchase Maca powder, there are a vast array of ways you can consume it. You can add Maca to smoothies, juices, protein shakes, cereals, energy balls and no-bake sweets.
What’s the Correct Maca Dosage?
This is a very common question and an important one too. The correct dosage of Maca depends on many factors from your age, weight, type of Maca and overall health. Find a list below to help you make wise decisions on how much Maca to take on a daily basis for maximum results.
Keep in mind that Maca is a food. Whether you get gelatinized or raw maca powder, it’s still food! However, it’s unlike other foods, because it’s a superfood that’s packed with lots of nutrition.
Can you overdose on it? Since Maca is a food and not a drug, supplement or herb its impossible to take too much of it. However, some people have claimed to experience increased heart rate and nervous energy when they consume too much Maca. So, start with small and conservative amounts and increase as you get used to Maca.
Take your body weight into consideration. How much you weigh, is a good place to start on the dosage of Maca you should be taking. The dosage we suggest are for those who weigh 160lbs (75 KG). People who weigh more, are recommended to take a higher dosage. Smaller individuals should begin with a lesser dosage.
What’s your overall health and age? After taking in your weight, you should consider your overall health and age. A 25-year-old swimmer can take more Maca than an 80-year-old retired person. Basically, keep in mind that the younger and healthier you are, the more Maca you can begin with.
Everybody’s different. Please note that no two bodies are alike. So even if you factor in age, health and body weight, you must remember Maca effects everybody differently. Also, since Maca is an adaptogen it will support your body with what it needs to balance within you, in particularly when it comes to hormones.
Maca for fertility. If you are taking Maca for fertility goals you may want to increase your dosage over time.
The recommended dosage levels are for a 40-year-old with good health and weighs 160lbs. If your weight is more or less, change the dosage to suit your needs. N.B. 1 teaspoon of Maca powder weighs approximately 3 grams.
Raw Maca – all colors including Red Maca, Black Maca and Yellow Maca
Daily – 3-9 grams (1-3 teaspoons) or 2-8 capsules
Raw Premium Maca
Daily Suggestions – 3-6 grams (1-2 teaspoons) or 2-8 capsules
Gelatinized Maca – all colors including Red, Black and Yellow Maca (N.B although Gelatinized Maca is more concentrated, we suggest the same amount to counterbalance for the fact that some nutrients have been destroyed when heating it).
Daily Suggestions – 3-9 grams (1-3 teaspoons) or 2-8 capsules
Gelatinized Premium Maca
Daily Suggestions – 3-6 grams (1-2 teaspoons) or 2-8 capsules
Daily Suggestions – 2-4 drops (1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
Is Maca Root Safe?
Maca is generally safe, but fresh Maca Root may have adverse side effects, so boiling it first is usually recommended. If you suffer from thyroid conditions, you may want to be careful with Maca. The reason why is because Maca contains goitrogens, which can meddle with normal thyroid function. Furthermore, pregnant or breastfeeding women should take the advice of their doctor before consuming Maca.
We believe the indigenous people of Peru were on to something when they discovered the Maca Root. Luckily, we don’t have to travel the high altitudes of the Andes to revel in the fantastic health benefits of Maca. A short trip to your online or nearby health shop is all it takes to experience the amazing health effects of this weird and wonderful cruciferous vegetable.
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