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Benefits, uses, and side effects of Maca

A peruvian root that increases desire and fertility

By Míriam GuaschPublished 3 months ago 5 min read

Let's look at what maca is, its many advantages, how and when to take it, and any possible negative effects.

What exactly is Maca?

Maca, commonly known as "Peruvian ginseng", has gained popularity in recent years and is now available in powder or supplement form. Let's look at what maca is, its many advantages, how and when to take it, and any possible negative effects.

Maca is a tough perennial plant that grows under the glacier top of the Andes. At high elevations exceeding 4000 meters, it is subjected to severe cold wind gusts, temperatures below zero, and bright sunshine. It has been utilized by Andean cultures for its nutritional and energy benefits from ancient times and is scientifically recognized as Lepidium meyenii.

It's a cruciferous vegetable, which includes broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, and it has a long history of culinary and medicinal usage in Peru. It has traditionally been used to increase fertility, sexual desire, vitality, and stamina.

The root is the major edible portion of the plant, and it grows underground in a variety of hues ranging from white to black. The flavor of maca root powder is not for everyone; it has been characterized as earthy and "woody." Some people equate it to nuts, and many others like to include it in smoothies, porridge, and sweets.

Maca calories and nutritional values

Maca root is a "complete food" since it includes almost all of the essential elements that our bodies need. The dried powder on the market becomes a nutritional concentration.

The nutritional contents per 100 grams of maca root powder are as follows:

- 325 kJ calories (16% of the average daily needs)

- 72 grams of carbohydrates (24% of the average daily needs)

- 14.3 grams of protein (29% of the average daily needs)

- 3.6 grams of fat (5% of the average daily needs)

Maca root is high in carbs and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt. It has a high fiber content and is high in vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and, most significantly, iron and vitamin C.


Maca properties and advantages

It should be emphasized that scientific study on maca is still in its early phases, with tiny animal studies being undertaken and/or financed by firms selling or producing this ancient "superfood." With that important disclaimer out of the way, let's explore the benefits of maca and how to perform it correctly.

Although maca does not include stimulants like coffee, it does have characteristics that may assist the nervous system and increase focus and memory.

Libido in both men and women is increased

Maca has been extensively advertised as being useful in increasing sexual desire, a quality supported by a 2002 research exclusively undertaken in males. A 2010 evaluation of four randomized clinical studies with a total of 131 individuals found evidence that maca boosts sexual desire after at least six weeks of use.

Improves fertility

According to a 2016 research, maca may enhance sperm production and improve sperm quality in both infertile and healthy men. Researchers discovered an increase in sperm volume, count, and motility after eating maca for four months.

The presence of sterols and alkaloids in maca promotes both male and female fertility by harmonizing the complete hormonal system.

Maca, sometimes known as "Peruvian Viagra," is a key element in aphrodisiac diets. It promotes the development of Graafian follicles and endometrial thickness in women. It increases seminal volume, the number of sperm per ejaculation, and enhances sperm motility in males.

Premenstrual and menopausal symptoms are alleviated

A study of four trials on menopausal women discovered that maca helps relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sleep disruption. Maca also alleviates premenstrual syndrome symptoms, relieves menstruation pain, and regulates the menstrual cycle.

Anabolic fatigue and stress treatment

The maca plant, which is high in essential amino acids (10.2%), minerals, vitamins, carbs, fatty acids, and fibers, has revitalizing and invigorating effects. It promotes resilience to maximum exertion and improves responsiveness to fatigue and stress. Furthermore, because of its high sterol content, maca root is a natural alternative to anabolic steroids for bodybuilders and ordinary gym attendees, since it enhances strength and muscular growth.

A short study of eight male cyclists revealed that taking maca extract for 14 days increased their performance on a 25-mile (40-kilometer) bike ride. However, no scientific data exists to establish any advantages for muscular growth or strength.

Maca enhances mood

Maca may boost mental health and mood by alleviating sadness and anxiety, particularly in menopausal women. Maca includes flavonoids, which are plant components that are thought to be partially responsible for these psychological advantages.

Symptoms of the flu and bones

The calcium and minerals found in maca root may help with bone density. As a result, its intake is advised during growth, pregnancy, and lactation, as well as in the treatment of osteoporosis and anemia (owing to its potential to boost hemoglobin levels). Maca also helps the immune system combat flu symptoms such as fever, cough, and cold.

Maca improves memory and learning

Some research shows that maca, especially the black kind, might help with learning and memory. In fact, native Peruvians have always utilized it to improve children's academic performance.

In animal tests, maca improved learning and memory in memory-challenged mice.

How to make use of Maca

Maca root is often ingested as a powder, although it is also available in capsules and as a liquid extract. Maca is an easily assimilated supplement or powder that may be added to one's everyday diet.


About the Creator

Míriam Guasch

Hello, I'm Miriam! Enthusiastic pharmacist passionate about well-being, vegan food, nature, animal lover, avid traveler, ecologist. Excited to learn and share!

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