Admired for its medicial properties for years, maca root is getting a lot of attraction in the natural health community. It really deserves its superfood status. Researchers are constantly discovering new health benefits. If you want to learn more about these, as well as other properties of maca root, keep reading. You’ll learn a lot!
What is Maca Root?
Scientifically known as the Lepidium meyenii, maca is a type of cruciferous vegetable native to the country of Peru. Maca has the same appearance and size as turnips and radishes, and it ranges in color from yellow to purple and black.
This delicious root is commonly available in powder form, where it has been ground up after being harvested. Not only is it a natural source of healing nutrition, it also has a long history of being considered a superfood. It has been a diet staple for thousands of years in the Andes Mountains.
Maca root is considered an adaptogen, a name given to various herbs, plants and natural substances that help the body naturally adapt to stressors like a busy schedule, a demanding job or an illness. The root also provides a lot of significant micronutrients, and it’s oozing with antioxidant properties, showing an ability to improve sexual health, boost energy, balance hormone levels, improve moods and improve memory.
Nutritional Content of Maca Root
Maca root powder is a good source of fiber, protein and various essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, copper and vitamin C. It has about 20 amino acids, including the eight essential amino acids, as well as many phytonutrients. Moreover, the root also has many beneficial plant compounds, including polyphenols and glucosinolates. It is a popular choice for vegans.
One ounce, or approximately 2 tablespoons, of maca powder has about:
|Principles||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Dietary fibre||2 grams||–|
|Vitamin C||79.8 milligrams||133%|
|Vitamin B6||0.3 milligrams||16%|
Health Benefits of Maca Root
Here are some of the most amazing health benefits of maca root:
- Helps boost male fertility. One study suggests that maca root is capable of increasing sexual desire in men, while another study says it benefits male fertility and sexual health. Moreover, maca root may also help treat sexual dysfunction.
- Helps balance estrogen levels. Estrogen is the main female sex hormone, responsible for regulating the reproductive system. An imbalance in this essential hormone may cause symptoms ranging from irregular menstrual periods to bloating.
- Helps improve female sexual health. Various studies suggest that maca root may benefit female sexual health through various mechanisms. It also has the capacity to improve sexual dysfunction and boost sex drive in women.
- Helps enhance the mood, memory and energy. Those who use maca powder regularly say that it makes them feel more driven, energized and awake. It can increase energy levels without causing jitters.
- Rich in antioxidants. Maca root may act as a natural antioxidant, boosting levels of your body’s natural antioxidants, like superoxide and glutathione.
Precautions on Consuming Maca Root
Maca root is safe for most people to eat, but it’s still important to practice moderation. If you have any thyroid issues, you should be extra cautious and avoid eating it raw. It has goitrogens in it, subtstances which impair thyroid functions. Always check with your doctor before making a large dietary changes. Those who rely on any hormone-altering medications should avoid maca root altogether, as should those with high blood pressure. Finally, there is a small amount of research questioning the safety of the substance for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you fall into any of the above categories, again, speak to your doctor before changing your diet.