Maca is cruciferous plant native to the Andes Mountains of Peru. This nutritious root, scientifically classified as lepedium myenii, is commonly consumed for its various nutritional and medicinal purposes and can be cooked and eaten in its natural form. Maca is also cultivated and harvested for use in a wide array or food-based and health-related products.
The herbal extract of maca benefits the human body in numerous ways. Here, we will examine maca’s origin and cultivation processes as well as the many health benefits of this powerful plant.
Maca Provides Countless Health-Promoting Substances
Maca is comprised of numerous critical substances that are vital to the maintenance of proper nutrition and optimal health. Maca contains critical nutrients (carbohydrates, fiber, protein and healthy fats), vitamins (B6 complex and vitamin C), minerals (copper, iron, potassium and manganese) and more. Regular consumption of these substances can prove beneficial in several ways.
Ingestion of maca could yield many crucial health benefits including:
Increasing Energy Levels
Researchers have found that individuals who supplement their diets with maca experience greater amounts of energy. Though these scientists cannot pinpoint the exact biological process that stimulates energy production, they do opine the phenomenon might be correlated to maca’s ability to help the body maintain healthy blood sugar and hormone levels.
Maca is rife with antioxidants. Antioxidants are paramount to the body’s ability to fight pain and illness. These substances are immune system boosters that help protect against the development of inflammation within the body’s cells, tissues and organs. Inflammation in its mildest forms often precipitates physical pain and, when left unchecked, leads to many common ailments. Long-term accumulation of inflammation could eventually lead to serious, potentially life-threatening health problems like cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Adapting to Stress
Scientists suggest that maca not only contains natural calming properties but is also considered an adaptogen. Adaptogens enable the body to adapt to external stressors and unfamiliar or threatening surroundings.
Consumption of maca is thought to play an important role in hormone regulation. Both the male and female body produce many types of hormones, including sexual and reproductive hormones (testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, growth hormones (Human growth hormone HGH), brain hormones (serotonin) and systemic hormones (thyroid, insulin, adrenaline). When the body either over- or under-produces any of these substances, significant health consequences could result. Maca can help the body maintain healthy hormone balance.
Promoting Healthy Sexual Function and Fertility
Maca has longed been employed for its ability to enhance libido in both men and women. However, research has shown that aside from greater libido, men who consume maca also experience fertility benefits such as an elevated sperm counts, better sperm health and increased sperm motility.
Ingesting maca has been shown to lead to an improved overall feeling of mental well-being. As mentioned earlier, maca helps regulate many systemic hormones including brain chemicals such as serotonin, which plays an integral part in mood.
Enhancing Memory and Cognitive Function
Studies have shown that maca may help improve memory and other brain functions. Studies conducted on animals with memory or learning impairments shows that administration of maca might benefit said conditions.
Maca might prove effective in protecting the skin from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Alleviating Menopausal Symptoms
When women reach their late forties or early fifties, they begin to go through a natural life stage known as menopause during which their reproductive systems cease production of vital hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Often, decreased hormone production leads to a host of bothersome physical manifestations like mood swings and hot flashes. The natural hormone-regulating properties maca is said to possess is believed to provide a certain amount of relief from menopausal symptoms.
Where to Get Maca
Maca is commonly sold in powder form in natural grocery stores and nutritional supplement chains. Maca is also available various natural supplements in capsule form. One popular supplement in which maca is the primary ingredient is Macabido. Macabido was created in both a men’s women’s formula to match each sexes specific body chemistry and sexual health needs. In addition to maca, Macabido contains other natural ingredients known for their ability to enhance libido, improve energy and soothe stress.