Lepidium Meyenii, also known as Maca or Peruvian Ginseng, one of the superfoods, has recently got the recognition and become popular for its health benefits. According to Wikipedia, “it is an edible herbaceous biennial plant of the Brassicaceae family that is native to South America in the high Andes mountains of Peru”. It is usually available in powder form and is made from maca root.
Furthermore, the Maca root comes in 13 different colors. The three shades of Maca are yellow, black, and red. Yellow is best for protecting skin from UV rays. Red Maca gives bone strength and black helps in improving memory and increases sperm count.
The taste of maca powder is claimed to have an earthy flavor and is used to add in smoothies, oatmeal, protein powder, raw desserts and so on. This superfood gives many health benefits such as it helps in balancing hormones and increase energy levels, provides healthy sexual function, reduce anxiety and tension etc. As it is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, cabbage and kale, maca contains glucosinolates, a plant compound which is being studied for the role of cancer prevention.
Further, in this article, you will get to know more benefits of Maca powder
1. Rich in Nutrition
Maca grows in a mineral-rich mountain of Andes and is the reason it is full of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, B2 and B6. The root of Maca is full of minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, potassium, and iodine. It is also rich in beneficial plant sterols that help in lowering cholesterol level and prevent heart disease and heart attacks. In addition to that, maca powder also contains healthy fatty acids.
2. Improves Sex Drive
According to the research on animals, it has been proven that Maca can boosted the sperm counts of livestock. Additionally, in another research, it is has been showed that in 8 weeks, Maca powder improves sexual desire and boost libido. A study has been done, and it has been proven that the men with mild erectile dysfunction when given Maca, there is an improvement in sexual function. It naturally boosts libido and improves sexual performance in men and women.
3. Boosts Energy
Maca is used by athletes and bodybuilders as replacement of steroids to boost, energy, physical stamina, and strength. As Maca is rich in vitamins, amino acids, proteins, and minerals, it helps in enhancing performance during endurance exercise. Antioxidants effects of Maca helps in repairing muscle by increasing the number of immune cells. A small study was conducted on eight male cyclists, and the results showed that they improve their speed and completed nearly 25 miles (40 km) bike ride after taking Maca extract for 14 days.
4. Protects the Skin
Maca powder has also a positive effect on your skin. Ultraviolet rays of the sun may burn and damage your exposed skin which can increase the risk of skin cancer over time. Maca powder, when applied on the face helps in protecting your skin from the sun. Maca powder also helps in treating acne and blemishes. Additionally, it can also improve our skin tone.
5. Relieves Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is defined as a time where women’s menstrual periods stops permanently and with this, it can also bring discomfort symptoms such as weight gain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, vaginal dryness, headache, hot flashes, dry skin etc. Maca powder can help in improving the symptoms of menopause. In a study, it has been found that postmenopausal women after taking two tablets daily containing maca have to experience in the reduction of symptoms of menopause. Maca also helps in promoting bone health because, after menopause, women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
6. Improves Memory
Maca contains fatty acids which support brain functions, analytical skills, cognitive skills, and rational thinking. A research showed that omega 3 fatty acids are very powerful for the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Historically, Maca was used in Peru to improve the performance of children in school. Black Maca is more beneficial when it comes to memory and is safe for adults and children both.
7. Improves Mood
Maca contains flavonoid which is known to improve mood and reduce anxiety. Various studies have shown that Maca can enhance your mood and reduces symptoms of depression. A study was conducted on postmenopausal women and it has been proven that it reduces the anxiety level. Maca is good for the wellness of mood.
8. Balances Estrogen Levels
Estrogen is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system and is the primary female sex hormone. If the estrogen level in women if too high or low, it can make difficult for women to get pregnant. Maca root helps in balancing the hormone level and control the amount of estrogen in the body.
9. Lowers Blood Pressure
A study has suggested that Maca powder can lower the blood pressure level, especially in postmenopausal women. A study was done on 50 people and it was observed that maca powder reduces the blood pressure.
10. Gives PMS Relief
Menstrual cycle may be difficult for someone. There can be mood swings, breast tenderness, and fluid retention. Through Maca, you will get relief from all of that because it is a herbal adaptogen.
Maca has got many health benefits including that of improving sexual health. As it is safe to use, and has a low risk of any side-effects it is always advisable to consult your doctor when you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or wanting to replace your medication with natural or homeopathic ingredients.