Maca, grown in Central Peru, is a plant that has been cultivated and grown for the last 3,000 years. Despite its long existence, people in the west are just now learning of the amazing benefits maca has to offer. It is like a radish in shape, and its root is commonly used in medicine. It is mostly sold in a powder form for easy mixing in recipes or even liquids. This article will focus on the benefits of eating Maca. These maca benefits are not definitive however, and if you have a serious ailment it would be best to visit your doctor.
7 Most Important Maca Benefits
1. Extra Antioxidants
Maca is a natural antioxidant. It raises two antioxidants in the body specifically, glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase). It is known that antioxidants help fight disease, and since maca raises the levels of these disease fighters in the body, it can help prevent chronic illnesses. In general, maca isn’t known to have harmful side-effects. However, it is recommended not to use maca if you have high blood pressure. Also, when beginning to take maca it’s important to factor in your weight, overall age and health. We recommend contacting a doctor to get your exact dosage, but for general purposes someone around 160 pounds, is middle aged and in good health should start with 1 teaspoon and increase dosage if desired from there. Other than an increase in heart rate and energy, there is likely no possibility of overdosing.
2. Boost in Energy
This benefit is known to happen quickly after only a short time of use. Maca has been shown in clinical trials to boost levels of energy and even mood. Only a small amount is needed, roughly 1/2 tablespoon to start out and then you can move up to one whole tablespoon if desired. It even increases stamina, which could be just what you need to fit in a workout after work or simply get through a busy day.
3. Clearer Skin
Maca benefits the skin as well. Both men and women can suffer from acne, and maca may be able to decrease those skin problems. Maca is a natural stimulant of both the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which then stimulates the endocrine glands. These glands promote homeostasis of the body. This may be why some maca users who started out with skin problems noted that after using it for a while their skin cleared. It is recommended to use maca in addition to other steps to cure acne for best results. Starting out with around 3 grams of maca per day would be a great start to naturally lessening acne, and then slowly increase dosage. That way no hormone imbalances take place that may temporarily worsen acne. It has also been reported to help with skin sensitivity. So, if you live or plan to travel through extreme weather, maca may help your skin withstand the temperatures.
4. Overall Health
Maca can improve your overall health by supplying necessary vitamins. It may boost iron levels and help the reproduction of red blood cells in the body. This is crucial for those with anemia. It can even help build muscle mass when used along with a healthy diet and workout regimen. Maca may also help with strengthening bones and teeth, which is important for those who suffer from osteoporosis or have a higher risk of developing the disease. One thing to note however, is if you have a cancer related to hormones such as breast cancer or testicular cancer, it is recommended not to take maca.
5. Menopausal Relief
For women going through menopause, maca may provide a bit of relief from its symptoms. Women who have taken maca during menopause reported a decrease in symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, depression and sleep disruptions. It has also been shown to increase menopausal women’s moods and lower anxiety. Maca has been used as a hormone balancer because of its dense amount of amino acids, which are the foundations of hormones. This, plus its phytochemical content, may be why maca influences menopausal symptoms. Relief from these symptoms ties in with a boost in energy, because if you’re able to sleep through the night without waking up from night sweats, you’re almost bound to wake up in the morning with more energy to breeze through the day.
The next on this list of maca benefits is a possible increase in fertility. Fertility effects both men and women, and many don’t want to have costly procedures or take medication to combat it. That’s where maca comes in. The root was used by Incan farmers thousands of years ago to increase the population of their livestock. Different types of maca has different effects on fertility. Black maca has been known to increase both sperm count and activity. Women are recommended to take red maca, which can provide a boost in regularity and better ovulation. For best results, both partners should be taking a high quality full dose of maca. It also increases libido in both men and women.
7. Coping with Depression
Maca has also been shown to naturally treat depression. Depression is an illness that effects around 7% of the United States adult population. Many of those effected are looking for a natural way to cope with it, and maca may be it. It is recommended for those with light depression, and for the average adult 3 teaspoons would be a good start to treatment. Since maca is a food and not a drug, it may take around a month to tell of any results. Because maca helps boost energy, motivation and mood it may help reduce depression over time.
Overall, maca benefits many ailments that quite a few of us may suffer from. If you don’t have a hormone related illness, then we recommend trying out the root and seeing how maca benefits you. Let us know in the comments below how your experience with maca has been, or if there are any maca benefits we may have left out.