Maca – sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at NaturalPedia.com

Saturday, July 22, 2017 by

Maca, also known as Peruvian Ginseng, is a root crop native to the high Andes ranges in Peru. While maca shares characteristics as those of radishes and turnips, the plant belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family that houses broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. Maca’s flavor may vary from nutty, sweet and slightly bitter. The plant is steadily picking up steam as a superfood due to its many health benefits. According to an article in the Wellness Mama website, maca is notably effective in keeping both the male and female hormones in check, thus making it a potent superfood for fertility.

List of known nutrients

Maca is among the healthiest root crops that contain important nutrients for the body’s overall health. An entry on SELF Nutrition Data website lists the essential vitamins and minerals found in maca, which include:

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C

Medicinal uses for maca

Maca is best known for its benefits on both the male and female reproductive systems. A study published in 2008 showed that the plant helped boost libido and fertility in both men and women. According to the study, participants who took three grams of maca exhibited marked improvements in libido and had reduced symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Likewise, a 2012 study revealed that black and yellow maca helped improve sperm count and motility in animal models, while red maca provided a positive effect on the animals’ embryonic quality.

The results of these animal studies were consistent with human studies. A meta-analysis of five small studies showed that maca extracts helped improve semen quality, volume, count and motility in infertile but healthy men. Maca is also touted to improve hormonal balance in women. A 2006 study revealed that early menopausal women who took two grams of maca showed significant improvements in hormone levels and symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings as well as sleep problems and irritability.

In addition, maca is notably effective in facilitating muscle gain, boosting energy, and improving exercise endurance. On the other hand, maca is found to relieve pain and stiffness related to osteoarthritis. In fact, a 2011 analysis reveals that taking 1,500 milligrams of maca twice daily for two months may help improve function and reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients. Aside from this, black maca is found to increase bone density and strength.

Moreover, maca is remarkably effective in improving brain function and facilitating learning and memory in both children and adults. Maca is also touted to reduce anxiety and improve the overall mood. Besides this, the root crop is touted to relieve depression. Likewise, the superfood is incredibly beneficial in improving blood circulation and maintaining thyroid health. Furthermore, maca is known to support the skin, hair, and teeth.

Body systems supported by maca

Maca is especially beneficial to both male and female reproductive systems. Likewise, the root crop benefits the muscular, skeletal, and nervous system. The superfood also supports the circulatory and endocrine systems. In addition, the plant promotes the skin and hair health.

Ways to use maca

Maca powder can be used in a variety of baked desserts such as pies and bars. Maca can also be made into hot drinks as well as coolers such as smoothies and ice cream. In addition, maca can be processed into a powerful tonic against a host of diseases. An article in The Paleo Mama website has curated some of the most interesting maca recipes across the web.

Where to learn more

Summary

Maca prevents fertility issues, menopausal symptoms, and hormonal imbalance.

Maca fends off osteoarthritis, depression, and thyroid problems.

Maca is beneficial to both male and female reproductive systems.

Maca supports the muscular, skeletal, and nervous system.

Maca improves the circulatory and endocrine systems and supports the skin and hair health.

Sources include:

WellnessMama.com

NutritionData.SELF.com

AuthorityNutrition.com

OrganicAuthority.com

ThePaleoMama.com

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