Aphrodisiac and fecundity boosters have long praised the ancient herb maca. However, we’re here to explain what this magical root is all about before you buy a maca latte and start freaking out.
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The family Brassicaceae, which also comprises cruciferous root vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, includes maca, not to be confused with matcha.
More than 1,300 years have passed since it was first grown and utilized in Peru for both food and medicinal use.
Maca (scientific name Lepidium meyenii) comes in three varieties: red, black, and yellow, with the latter being the most popular, well studied, and commercially favored.
Although maca root is what you’ll discover in nature, it’s likely to be marketed as maca in stores.
What is Maca?
In recent years, the maca has attracted a lot of attention and is growing in popularity. You may have even spotted this superfood at your neighborhood smoothie bar, health food store, or coffee shop. Maca is a root vegetable native to Peru that grows in the Andes highlands, not a supplement or vitamin.
It has been revered for many years as a source of nutrients and for its part in boosting libido in Peruvian culture, where it has been used historically for more than 2000 years. Adding maca to your diet has been shown to have a variety of good effects, including a positive impact on hormone balance.
Maca is well-known for its alleged abilities to lower stress, strengthen the immune system, and act as an aphrodisiac.
Ley claims that maca may aid in lowering cholesterol and assist individuals who suffer from chronic tiredness.
It is conceivable that maca, via aiding in the healing of various illnesses, may encourage weight reduction because a compromised immune system, stress, chronic tiredness, and high cholesterol are occasionally associated with weight gain.
How does Maca work on your body?
Some specialists in alternative medicine believe maca might stimulate the thyroid. Maca is an adaptogenic plant that can aid in boosting energy levels in the body, according to Mary J. Shomon’s book “The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss.”
This organic stimulant may quicken the metabolism, increasing calorie burning and long-term weight loss.
However, there is little proof that maca will cause a significant amount of weight reduction on its own. Instead, it can help increase energy to better support movement and exercise.
The adaptogen maca. This indicates that modulating the endocrine system, it directly interacts with our hormonal stress feedback mechanisms. It appears to have a moderating impact to restore hormone balance for the person rather than directly raising or lowering certain hormones.
One clinical investigation examined the effects of maca as a hormone substitute in perimenopausal women, and it was published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science. Maca has been shown to help with more than only menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and weight gain.
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Foods containing Maca:
Maca is a cruciferous vegetable related to:
How does Maca help in weight loss?
Although maca hasn’t been proven to have a direct impact on weight reduction, there are several ways in which it can indirectly promote weight loss and other associated consequences.
Maca aids in regulating hormones, boosting energy for exercise, lowering blood sugar levels, and reducing stress and anxiety.
Maca is said to aid in weight loss, according to research done on postmenopausal women. The quality has to do with how the body controls particular hormones.
When maca is consumed, the hormone adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is observed to dramatically drop.
Because this hormone causes weight growth, reducing it results in weight loss. Thus, it is discovered to be helpful in causing weight reduction. Progesterone, E2, and FSH levels are also decreased, which aids in weight maintenance. In addition to this, it aids in blood pressure control to support fitness.
In a 2015 pilot trial, 29 postmenopausal women from Hong Kong were blindly assigned to take 3.3 grams of maca per day for six weeks, followed by a placebo tablet for another six weeks, or the opposite.
Although maca did not change the women’s hormone levels after 12 weeks, it did seem to lower their blood pressure and depressive symptoms.
Since it has been asserted that maca provides advantages for muscular growth, strength, and endurance, it has become quite well-known in the worlds of fitness and bodybuilding.
A small pilot study on the effects of maca root supplementation in athletes found that after 14 days of supplementation, physical performance was enhanced with a shorter cycling time than before supplementation, despite the lack of clinical trials demonstrating its benefit on muscle growth or strength.
Your physical performance and endurance may increase, giving you the means to accomplish your exercise objectives. Additionally, it provides you with the inspiration you need to make exercise a top priority, which can hasten the process of losing weight.
Benefits of Maca for weight loss:
- Increasing libido
- Reducing erectile dysfunction
- Increasing fertility
- Improving mood
- Boosting energy and endurance
- Reducing blood pressure
- Fighting free radicals
- Reducing menopause symptoms
Side effects of Maca:
However, it may possibly interact with the thyroid if you are pregnant or have impaired thyroid function, therefore he strongly advises talking to your healthcare practitioner before adding the supplement to your diet.
This could be the case since a high intake of cruciferous vegetables—cruciferous veggies include maca—has been linked to hyperthyroidism (when your body produces too many thyroxine hormones).
As maca is a natural energy booster and can help speed up the metabolism, it may also cause accidental weight loss, nervousness, and trouble falling asleep due to overstimulation.
This is especially true for active individuals. There isn’t much evidence that maca promotes weight gain on its own, but it can increase muscle mass when combined with a more intense training routine.
The recommended dosage of Maca:
Maca is typically sold as a supplement in the form of a powder that may be added to shakes, smoothies, or porridge. The typical maca dose is 500 to 1,000 mg per day, according to Steven Bratman’s book “Collins Alternative Health Guide.” Determine the right levels for your body by working with a practitioner.
Limit the dose to 2000–3000mg per day/kg, nevertheless. Consult your doctor if you use any drugs or other herbal supplements to learn about any potential drug interactions.
If adverse effects like increased intestinal gas or other gastrointestinal problems are seen, stop taking maca or lower the dosage. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid taking maca.
Because of its incredible health advantages for humans, maca is on the approach of becoming a superfood.
It has also been discovered to cause weight reduction in addition to promoting fertility, increasing bone density, and controlling blood glucose levels.
Therefore, those who are obese and attempting to reduce weight may find it helpful to consume maca.
The body benefits from the many nutritional advantages of maca since it contains a variety of minerals, vitamins, proteins, and carbs.
Its consequences haven’t been well studied yet, and researchers are still looking at them.
So, in order to reap the rewards, it should be consumed at the recommended dosages. Instead, it may be used as a supplement treatment to your diet to help you lose weight!
Therefore, even while losing weight is not the main benefit of taking maca, we have discovered that it is frequently experienced by those who do.
You might also want to include additional items that might help weight reduction in your diet to optimize the weight-loss effects of maca. Some of our favorites are turmeric, chia seeds, coconut oil, chili powder, or whole chili.