Some of the health benefits of maca root include good for bone health, increasing energy, useful in treating anemia, fertility, mensuration, menopause problem, helps balances hormones, improve sperm count, and sexual libido. It also helps in building stamina, boost immune system, improve cardiovascular and skin health. It also has antidepressant properties and useful in stressful conditions.
What Is Maca Root?
Maca is a medicinal plant, which is closely related to radishes. It is rich in necessary vitamins and nutrients that contribute to overall health. It promote homeostasis (balance within the body).
It is native to the high mountainous areas of the Peruvian Andes, particularly the area close to Lake Junin, but it is also cultivated in Bolivia and some parts of Brazil. It is grown organically, with very little use of pesticides or unnatural fertilizers, since the plant is not typically attacked by predators, insects, or disease. It is not clear whether the health benefits of maca are the same when grown or cultivated outside of its natural habitat, so the majority of the world’s supply comes from South America.
The root of maca is formed from the hypocotyl and the taproot, giving it its unique inverted pear-shape.
It also comes in a number of varieties, separated by the color of the root: cream, gold, red, black, purple, blue, or green. These variations are chosen based on the medicinal need of the user.
Maca Nutrition Facts
The most beneficial part of the maca plant is the fleshy hypocotyl, classifying it as a “root vegetable”.
By adding maca root to your diet, you can balance your vitamin and mineral intake, because it is a great source of B12 vitamins, along with B1, B2, C, and E.
It is also a rich source of protein, important trace elements of iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
It is composed of approximately 60-75% carbohydrates, and 10-14% proteins, along with fiber and a small amount of fat.
The high content of proteins and important nutrients makes it valuable herb for higher energy, clearer thinking, an increase in sexual libido, and many more benefits.
Health Benefits Of Maca Root
Although the exact effects of maca have not been fully discovered, there are some health benefits that are agreed upon for the intake of maca root in diet
Increases Sexual Libido
It is perhaps best known for its benefits to a person’s sexual libido.
Consuming maca root, helps to improve sexual stamina and drive in both men and women.
Some people to calls maca as “Nature’s Viagra”. Sexual libido is partially controlled by serotonin levels in the body, and by working against the chemical factors that inhibit sexual dysfunction, it can improve energy levels and the natural excitement for sexual activity.
Improves Sperm Count
The consumption of maca has also been linked to an increase in sperm count for men, leading to more successful reproduction efforts, because an increase in sperm count is typically reflected in higher rates of impregnation in the partner. A higher sperm count often raises sexual confidence in men, improving conditions in their personal life.
It does more than improving your sperm count, it also increases sperm motility .
Motility is the freedom of movement and the ratio of activity versus energy consumption.
By adding it to your diet, you can increase your sperm motility, which thereby increases your chances of being successful in trying to get your partner pregnant.
For women who consume maca, studies have shown that their ability to reproduce is also boosted. Not only is maca a good way to promote male sperm count and fertility; it also gives both partners a better chance at potential pregnancy.
Adding maca to your diet can also increase bone density and strength while preventing osteoporosis. It is a rich source of calcium, which is an integral vitamin for promoting healthy and durable bones.
It serves another function as an inhibitor of the anti-depressant induced sexual dysfunction. It is shown to improve mood and energy levels and counteracts the common symptoms that come from taking antidepressants, namely a decrease in sexual function and libido.
Maca is a source of many unique alkaloids and a bevy of vitamin nutrients in higher quantities than are found in many foods. This combination of organic attributes gives it “adaptogenic qualities”, meaning that it can positively respond to stress in an organism and promote homeostasis, or balance, within the body, without adding any toxic or artificial chemicals.
Energy and Endurance
Maca has long been used by Peruvian natives as a way to increase energy and endurance during any task. This comes from its high levels of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Now that it is an internationally available product, these same energy and endurance-giving qualities can be enjoyed by anyone willing to add maca to their daily regimen.
Adding it to a daily diet, even as little as a tablespoon a day, can greatly increase the strength of your immune system. One of the most significant aspects of maca is its high level of protein. It has nearly five times more protein per serving than potatoes, and protein is an essential part of a balanced diet. I
t can boost your immune system, tissue repair, and your energy levels. Improving your immune system is one of the fundamental parts of overall health, so it is a wise choice for those who want to avoid the common cold!
Maca is a good choice for women who want to balance out their moods and energy levels when going through menopause. Studies have shown that by adding maca to their diet, women are able to reduce their anxiety and mood swings during menopausal periods. Many people are hesitant to try antidepressants to improve mood and balance, so maca provides an organic option to alleviate those issues.
How To Prepare Maca?
It can be prepared in a number of ways, including boiling the mashed uproot to form a thick, sweet liquid, which can be mixed into oatmeal or porridge.
You can also grind the root into a powder or flour, which is the most common exported form of maca for consumption in the rest of the world.
Less frequently used techniques involve roasting the freshly picked maca, or brewing it into alcohol. The leaves are also an edible source of nutrients to be added to salads, or they can be used as a healthy food for livestock.
Powdered maca root can also be purchased, and this makes for a good addition to shakes, juices, and any other healthy beverages.
Risks Of Using Maca
The benefits of maca are clear to many of its frequent users, but there are some people who should NOT use it to treat their symptoms or ailments.
Pregnancy: While it is a widely used to increase fertility, once pregnant, the use of maca should not be continued. Its effects on hormonal balances only function when the overwhelming hormonal shifts of pregnancy are not occurring. Most plants and herbs of this nature are not recommended during pregnancy, but always consult your doctor before beginning or discontinuing use of a regular part of your healthy diet.
Cardiac Toxicity: Although it has not been shown as a direct cause of cardiac disease or death, plants with a similar genetic makeup to maca have been associated with cardiac toxicity, so for those potential users with heart issues, be sure to investigate the situation further and speak with a physician.
Maca has certainly shown itself to be a super food, but with all natural products that can have strong effects on our body, it is important to take them with discretion, because too much of any good thing can be dangerous. Always make sure to inform your medical advisers about any change you make to your diet.
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