What are the Health Benefits of Maca?
Maca is an edible root vegetable used for centuries as a food and medicine in Peru. The word Maca comes from the Quechua word "Macha," meaning "to give strength." Maca is revered for its health benefits, which include increased energy, libido, and sexual function; improved fertility; and reduced anxiety, stress, and depression.
Maca root has the potential as an adaptogen, meaning Maca may help increase your body's ability to counteract bad health with improvements in your body's functioning, though the evidence is limited. It can help support positive mood, energy levels, and healthy sexuality, and it is easy to incorporate this superfood into daily routines. Maca root is used in Peruvian medicine to boost energy, and anecdotal evidence suggests that its nutrient-rich profile can aid overall fatigue.
Maca has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including:
- Increasing energy: One study found that Maca increased energy levels by up to 64%.
- Libido and sexual function: Maca benefits sexual function in both men and women. In one study, women who took Maca reported increased libido and sexual satisfaction. In another study, men who took Maca reported improved sexual arousal and libido.
- Fertility: Maca has been shown a correlation to improving fertility in both men and women. In one study, women who took Maca for six months experienced increased fertility rates. In another study, men who took Maca experienced increased sperm count and vitality.
- Improve mood: Maca has also been shown to help with mood disorders like anxiety and depression. It contains many B vitamins essential for mental health and mood regulation.
The Health Benefits of Maca
Maca is a plant that has been used for centuries in Peru and Bolivia to improve sexual function, fertility, and overall health. It is also known to be a natural aphrodisiac.
Maca is a root vegetable that is typically found in the Andes mountains. It has been used for centuries in Peru and Bolivia to improve sexual function, fertility, and overall health. Maca is a natural aphrodisiac because it has been shown to increase testosterone levels and boost libido.
One of the main benefits of Maca is that it may help improve sexual function. Maca has been shown to increase testosterone levels and promote libido in men.
In addition, Maca can help women achieve better fertility rates by increasing ovulation and improving cervical mucous production. Additionally, Maca can help reduce stress levels and improve moods.
As we mentioned above, Maca has many benefits. However, these benefits are even more significant when Maca is consumed in raw, powdered form.
It is important to note that when maca powder is dried, it loses some beneficial nutrients. So, it is best to consume it in its powdered form.
Several clinical studies demonstrate that benefits from Maca Powder include energy,[i] mood and mental health,[ii] hormonal balance including a reduction in symptoms of menopause and PMS,[iii] improved fertility,[iv] metabolic function,[v] sexual dysfunction and sexual desire[vi] and reduction of levels of inflammation.
While studies do not support the claim that Maca increases testosterone levels, they show that maca powder benefits men's sexual health and fertility. Highly promoted as an effective solution to enhance both men's and women women's desires, maca powder can improve fertility, too. Summary Maca can aid in increasing semen concentrations and enhance semen quality, potentially increasing fertility in men.
There is evidence that Maca can enhance sexual desire, but the evidence is not yet conclusive about its effects on erectile function. The National Institutes of Health says that at this time, there is not enough evidence to suggest that Maca can help improve sexual dysfunction or sexual desire. According to this scientific review, Maca can help promote general health, especially sexual function, if taken together with a balanced diet and active lifestyle.
Maintaining positive energy levels can also help boost mood, and some early studies even found that Maca can decrease symptoms of depression. Improving mood and increasing energy levels is where the reputation for Maca is genuinely earned in the world of alternative medicine today. Studies show that Maca can boost mood and improve quality of life scores.
The nutritional makeup of Maca can support healthy energy levels and brain chemistry, so it is no surprise that maca root has been suggested as beneficial for mood as well. A study from 2008 also found that Maca root benefits both psychological symptoms and sexual function in women who are menopausal. A 2015 study found that maca root can help decrease sexual dysfunction among women in the post-menopausal period taking antidepressants.
Maca root powder may increase sexual desire in men and women. Reduced sexual desire is a common issue in adults.
Maca root has also been studied clinically to support balanced transitions during menopause and does so without affecting sexual hormone levels in particular. Maca May Increase Fertility in Men When it comes to male fertility, the quality and quantity of semen are of great importance.
Several studies show that Maca can aid healthy sperm production, supporting a higher sperm count and more nutritious semen. While studies of the effects of Maca on male sexual health are still emerging, promising studies show that Maca may positively affect fertility and sexual desire in men.
A 2010 review of studies of Maca and sexual function found some evidence that suggests that Maca may enhance sexual function, but the authors cautioned that further studies are needed. Multiple lines of evidence support the hypothesis that Maca might be effective at improving health, especially reproductive function.
While many men supplement Maca for its benefits to their sexual health, Maca can also support women's health, especially those looking for support to maintain healthy hormone levels or those going through menopause. Because Maca may help to balance hormonal levels, some women use Maca to help support symptoms of menstruation, such as hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and trouble sleeping. Lower energy and mood can impact sexual performance, so integrating Maca to support energy and general mood might help.
Some studies on menopausal women have found that Maca helps to ease menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and disrupted sleep (10, 11). It is important to note that additional supplements were used along with Maca in the studies, so more studies are needed before concluding whether or not Maca eases menopausal symptoms.
A small study found that taking a maca supplement improved menopausal symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Another smaller study tested a similar dosage of Maca in participants over 12 weeks, showing decreased depression and increased blood pressure among women who were menopausal (Stojanovska, 2014).
Researchers gave subjects either 1500mg or 3000mg maca or a placebo for 12 weeks. They found that one increased sexual desire more than the placebo, while neither increased testosterone nor estrogen levels. For instance, a previous study in 2002 found that men taking either 1.5 grams or 3 grams (g) of Maca daily experienced increased sexual desire than those receiving a placebo.
A 2014 study on mice found a connection between eating Maca for six weeks and increased dopamine levels, leading to decreased feelings of depression. A smaller study found that 3.5g of Maca a day for six weeks moderately reduced psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and improved sexual functioning among menopausal women (Brooks, 2008).
According to a 2015 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Maca can ease sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants in women. Another smaller study found that eating regular amounts of maca roots can alleviate SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction in women who are menopausal. Other studies have shown that maca root may increase sexual desire, ease symptoms of menopause, and enhance male fertility.
In clinical studies, Maca has been shown to support men's reproductive health, including healthy sexual libido and function and normal prostate function at multiple ages and stages in life. Maca for women is effective in treating mild-moderate hormone disruptions, and it may also be used for the natural regulation of menstrual cycles for improved female fertility.
Maca has also been used in the climax stage of menopause to decrease symptoms that occur as hormones change, such as hot flashes, emotional fluctuations, and anxiety, and restore internal harmony and balance in the body.
Maca is high in carbohydrates (the primary fuel source for our bodies) and can replenish any depleted glycogen stores, giving us more energy. Maca roots are packed with adaptogens to improve stamina, which helps fight stress and fatigue and gives you that much-needed energy shot that you might desperately need.
How to use Maca in your Diet
1. Add it to your breakfast routine. Maca is an excellent source of fiber and nutrients, making it a great way to start your day. It will also give you sustained energy throughout the morning.
2. Use it as a substitute for coffee or tea. Maca contains caffeine but less than many other coffee alternatives. This means you can enjoy its benefits without any unpleasant side effects.
3. Enjoy it as a snack. Maca is perfect for those looking for healthy snacks that will help them stay energized and focused throughout the day. Not to mention, it tastes great!
4. Use it as a pre-workout supplement. Maca has been shown to improve energy levels and enhance athletic performance. Consider adding Maca into your routine if you are looking for an edge before your workouts.