It improves libido and memory, contains high amounts of vitamin C, iron and a variety of essential substances for the body, the Incas used it to cure diseases and in recent years it has become increasingly common. We’re talking about maca, a cruciferous plant that is common in the high parts of the Andes. Plant roots have a high concentration of active ingredients and nutrients, so it is very likely you’ll find maca root powders or capsules in various health and nature stores. There are three different types you’ll probably see on the shelves, red, yellow and black, all of which have slightly different but important and proven health benefits. So, what exactly are those benefits? How will your body perform better with maca root intake and what problems can it protect you from? All the answers in the article below...
According to the accepted definition, female menopause begins when the menstrual cycle stops and the amount of estrogen decreases significantly. Because most parts of the female body contain estrogen receptors and are affected by it, this period is characterized by a host of symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disorders, hair loss, headaches, weight gain and more. Many foods such as various soy products and flaxseeds contain elements with estrogenic similarities that can bind to receptors in the body but have a much weaker effect than the real thing. In contrast, maca powder simply encourages the body to produce estrogen while suppressing the production of cortisol, also known as the "stress hormone." As a result, maca root consumption relieves the symptoms of menopause, and in a 2009 study, it was found that this powder may have another positive effect that is particularly important for menopausal women - preventing bone loss.
Eating 30 grams of maca root, or products based on it, will give your body about 25% of the recommended iron intake per day. Because most of the richest and best sources of iron are animal products, this fact is good news for vegetarians and vegans who need to add to their diet as many foods as possible that are rich in this essential mineral. In fact, each and every one of us should be aware of our iron consumption, since it is a material that many in the Western world suffer from a lack of. The symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue even after adequate sleep, dizziness, concentration and memory problems, mood swings and a sharp decline in endurance for physical activity.
The results of a study in China in 2016 indicated that the positive effects of the maca plant may inhibit the decline in cognitive abilities that often characterize the aging process. Some of the reasons for the study included the fact that different cultures around the world, such as native Peru, used Maca to improve the mental abilities of their children. A 2009 study showed that there was a link between these two things, and Chinese researchers proved it to be fairly high. In folk medicine and among various researchers who deal with the subject, it is commonly claimed that black maca root is the most effective for the full utilization of these benefits.
We all know how important vitamin C is to our health, but not only because of its great importance to our immune function. Vitamin C is needed for the proper functioning of immune system cells. It prevents oxidation of cells in the body and also takes part in the formation of the collagen necessary for tissue fusion and the process of healing wounds. At the same time, this vital substance also participates in about 300 different processes in the body, such as detoxification in the liver and production of bile salts, it improves iron absorption in the body and more. You can give your body 133% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C with 30 grams of maca, and you have nothing to fear about excess intake since vitamin C is water soluble and therefore excreted in urine.
Libido is the name given by Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, to the sexual energy inherent in all of us, which tends to fade at some point or another as the years go by. In order to prevent this phenomenon, there are many treatments and preparations to increase libido and sexual desire, many of which are based on various industrial materials. Maca root, on the other hand, can be used as a natural and proven method of improving libido in both men and women, and this fact has been proven in many studies. One thing to remember about this issue is that the maca root has no immediate effect. A study of men aged 21-56 in Peru showed that the root of the plant begins to affect sexual desire only after about 8 weeks.
In a world where antidepressants are sold on every corner, it’s good to know that there are plenty of natural treatments for the problem, and maca root provides one of them. Thanks to the flavonoids this plant contains, it can improve mood and help prevent panic attacks or treat chronic anxiety. At the same time, it also provides relief for mood swings and other disorders that women experience during their menstrual cycle. These effects have been demonstrated in several studies on mice and humans. Some of these studies have suggested that black maca root is the most effective treatment for anxiety and depression, but this is only based on preliminary data.
Many studies have shown that the maca root has several distinct benefits for men, with one of the most important being its ability to help treat swollen prostate. Because this gland is located at the origin of the bladder when it begins to grow, many men experience difficulty in urinating and a weak stream, or alternatively, need to urinate too often. Since this is a fairly common problem (at 70, about 60% of men suffer from this problem), it should be noted that in a number of different studies, such as that conducted in 2008 by researchers at the University of Lima, a direct link between red maca intake and prostate reduction was observed. In addition, maca root is also rich in ingredients previously associated with low risk of developing prostate cancer.
A preliminary study conducted in 2015 on a small group of Chinese women showed that after regular consumption of maca (3.3 grams per day), there was a significant decrease in blood pressure of women who consumed the real root rather than a placebo capsule. A study earlier in 2010 that examined a long list of common South American herbs showed similar results, but it is important to note that this is preliminary data only and there is still little consensus on the subject. Therefore, due to the many effects of the powerful maca root, it is recommended not to use it on your own to lower high blood pressure. Consult your General Practitioner and see if it is safe for you, and if so, consult with them about which type you should take.
Copper is a trace mineral that our body does not require in high quantities, but this does not mean that its importance to the body is small... The main processes in which copper participates are the production of red blood cells (alongside the aforementioned iron), protection of connective tissues and bones throughout the body, Inflammation, protein breakdown, and hormone production, mainly from the adrenal glands. Approximately 84% of the recommended copper consumption is obtained from about 30 grams of maca root powder, thus contributing to the body's ability to sustain all these important processes, and many others, efficiently.
The first thing to note is that when purchasing Maca products it is advisable to check that it comes from Peru, where the plant actually frows. The recommended dosage per day is 3 grams or more, but if you have any health problems, you should check with your doctor before you begin. In addition, pregnant women and lactating women should also consult with a qualified professional prior to regular use of the plant. If you don’t belong to any of these “at-risk” groups, maca root has been proven to have many health benefits and it is safe for use!