What Maca Root Can Do For Your Health?


How much do you know about Maca? You will be surprised to know its benefits, so that you will want to incorporate it into your home medicine cabinet, yes, this plant has been used both in gastronomy and in the medicinal field.

You can call it whatever you want: Lepidium meyenii, its scientific name, Peruvian ginseng, or maca. The truth is that this plant from the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, which grows high in the Peruvian Andes, has traditionally been given culinary and medicinal uses.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about this natural gift.

    Family: Brassicaceae

    Species: Lepidium meyenii; Walpers, 1843

    Division: Magnoliophyta

    Genus: Lepidium

    Kingdom: Plantae

    Class: Magnoliopsida

Its root, which can be of different colors, is dried and consumed in powder, particularly those with yellow, red, and black roots, although it is also used in the form of capsules and liquid extract. In addition to being used in the kitchen, medicinal properties are attributed to it for the treatment of many ailments.

Maca Nutritional Information

100 grams of Maca root powder provides the following information:

    Carbohydrates: 60 grams

    Fibers: 8 grams

    Lipids: 1 gram

    Protein: 10 grams

    Iron: 14.7 milligrams

    Copper: 5.9 milligrams

    Calcium: 250 milligrams

    Potassium: 2050 milligrams

    Vitamin B3: 43 milligrams

    Zinc: 3.8 milligrams

Properties and Health Benefits

This plant is adaptogenic, and according to the holistic nutritionist Priscilla Soler: "Adaptogens are the queens of medicinal herbs to restore health, vitality, immunity, resistance, and longevity." So, it has the ability to identify what your body requires and supply it, which is best understood by analyzing its properties.

Maca Properties

   a) Maca root powder is very nutritious, a source of vitamins and minerals essential for health.

     b) The root is also rich in fiber, carbohydrates, and protein.

     c) It has the potential to improve fertility in men and women.

     d) Its flavonoid compounds help mental health.

     e) It works as a food supplement that increases energy.

     f) It has the ability to shrink the prostate.

     g) Thanks to its properties, it reduces the symptoms of menopause.

Health Benefits of Maca

It is surprising all the medical applications that maca can have. For this reason, the products that incorporate it as a component are highly demanded, since it is recognized that it provides broad benefits for the body. Now we will go over some of them.

Increases Sexual Desire in Men and Women

After numerous studies, it has been proven that food supplements containing maca increase sexual desire -after at least six weeks of consumption- in both men and women.

Its effect on improving sexual dysfunctions is still being analyzed. Now, regarding male fertility, it encourages an increase in the volume, quantity and mobility of their sperm, both in infertile and healthy men.

Relieves Symptoms of Menopause

The gradual decrease in estrogen in women who are in the process of menopause causes very uncomfortable signs, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and insomnia. Maca has been shown to mitigate these effects.

On the other hand, in this difficult period in a woman's life, they are more likely to suffer from menopause. Well, scientific research has proposed that red maca has properties that help protect bone health.

Improves Mood

The biologist and endocrinologist Gustavo Gonzales Rengifo, director of the Laboratory of Endocrinology and Reproduction of the Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy of the Cayetano Heredia University, Lima, commented that the black-rooted maca favors memory and learning while reducing the states of anxiety.

In view of the plant compounds called flavonoids, especially yellow maca, it has the potential to provide a greater sense of well-being and combat stress, fatigue, and depression.

Optimize Sports Performance

Although there is no clear scientific evidence, it is argued that, due to its characteristics, the so-called Peruvian ginseng is a powerful energy that increases muscle mass and improves athletic performance. For these reasons, it is highly required by athletes.

Improves Learning and Memory

Black maca can boost brain function. In Peruvian lands, it is often used to improve the performance of children in school.

Reduces the Size of the Prostate

Older men may have an enlarged prostate, resulting in problems urinating. For these circumstances, Peruvian ginseng acts as an anti-inflammatory.

On the other hand, it has been said that thanks to the large number of glucosinolates it contains, maca reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

How to Use Maca and When to Take It?

It is easy to incorporate maca into the diet, either in presentations such as capsules, tablets, powder, or liquid extract.

As for its uses in the kitchen, it can be used in soups, and liquids such as milk, coffee, or smoothies; it can also be eaten with cereals or in energy bars. Additionally, it is used in these ways:

Capsules: It is advisable to take them with breakfast or lunch, never at dinner. You must follow the instructions on the leaflet and the doctor, however, the suggested daily dose to obtain its benefits as an energizer and antioxidant, is from 240 mg to 800 mg.

Tablets: They should be taken according to medical instructions, in doses similar to those recommended for capsules.

Dust: It is advisable to ingest between two and six grams daily. Maca powder can be diluted in water by adding sugar, so it can be added to breakfast to promote fertility and increase energy.

Liquid Extract: This is obtained as a result of a chemical process, boiling the maca in water, alcohol, or another chemical solution, in order to concentrate its active principles, which are of great help to the immune system.

Advantages of Maca for Health

        1. Helps mitigate fatigue, stress, and anxiety.

        2. Increases libido in men and women.

        3. Reduces the effects of menopause in women.

        4. Provide energy to undertake daily tasks and play sports.

        5. It has the ability to reduce inflammation of the prostate.

        6. It is found in different presentations almost all over the world.

Disadvantages of Maca for Health

        1. Its consumption is not recommended for people with thyroid problems, as it contains goitrogens, substances that can interfere with the normal functioning of this gland.

        2. Pregnant or lactating women should consult a doctor before ingesting it.

        3. It is not recommended for those with kidney or liver failure and should definitely not be taken by those with insomnia.

        4. Any substance that we use for health should be under medical consent and supervision.

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