Maca is known by its scientific name, Lepidium meyenii, and is a type of cruciferous vegetable that is native to the Andes of Peru. Maca has the same size and appearance as that of turnips or radishes with roots and green tops that range in color from purple, black and yellow.
Health Benefits of Maca Root:
1. Improves Female Sexual Health
Various studies have reported that maca benefits female sexual health through several different mechanisms.
Maca root may be able to help in improving sexual dysfunction and in boosting sex drive in women.
One study examined the effects of maca root on post-menopausal women who were experiencing sexual dysfunction caused by the use of antidepressants. When compared to a placebo, maca root was able to significantly improve sexual function. Another study had the same findings, and reported that maca was well-tolerated and able to improved sexual function and libido.
A 2008 study, also reported that maca root benefits both sexual function and psychological symptoms in post-menopausal women. Maca was able to reduce anxiety and menopause-associated depression after 6 weeks of treatment.
2. Boost Male Fertility
Another popular use of maca root is increasing fertility, particularly in men.
A review in 2016, reported some evidence that maca root may help in increasing semen quality in both infertile and fertile men. But, more research is needed.
3. Boosting Endurance and Energy
Some bodybuilders and athletes use maca root as a supplement to help increase performance and energy. Some evidence exists in order to support this claim.
A 2009 pilot study, reported that using maca extract for 14 days improved the performance of male cyclists in a 40-kilometer time trial. But, the results were not significantly different from those improvement that were seen in those taking a placebo.
But, a similar study reported that maca extract improved libido in the participants who used it. However, the sample size of the said study was very small, therefore, more research is needed to confirm the results.
4. Healthy Muscle Function
Athletes, body-builders, and other individuals with depleted muscle mass may find a solution in maca root. Besides maca’s natural capacity in promoting stamina and endurance, this root may also help in encouraging the formation of muscle mass and muscle function.
This is due to maca root’s variousof minerals and vitamins, including the ones linked with prime physical function and energy, including Vitamins B, C, E, iron and zinc. Also, maca contains 84% of your daily recommended intake of copper, which is a mineral linked with your body’s ability to synthesize and metabolize DNA.
Maca also directly targets your body’s pituitary gland that can help regulate metabolism, the body’s production of adrenals and steroids.
5. Reducing Blood Pressure
Maca root can also help in improving blood pressure. A study in 2015, found that 3.3g of maca daily for 12 weeks help lowered blood pressure in post-menopausal Chinese women.
How to Use Maca?
Maca is easy to add into your diet.
It can be taken as a supplement or can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, energy bars, baked goods, and more.
The optimal dose for maca roots medicinal use has not been established. But, the dosage of maca root powder that were used in studies ranges from 1.5–5 grams per day.
Where to Buy Maca Roots?
You can find maca in health food stores, some supermarkets, and from various online retailers. Also, there is a good selection available on Amazon with good reviews.
It is available as a liquid extract or in powder form, 500-mg capsules.
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