Advertisement Maca ( Lepidium meyenii ) is an edible, turnip-like root endemic to the mountains of Peru. In other countries, maca is called the Peruvian ginseng, although it is not related to ginseng roots at all.
Hailed for its therapeutic effects on mood and libido, maca is often consumed as herbal supplements. Ground maca is sometimes also added to smoothies, juices, coffee and oil. In Peru, the root itself makes for a healthful addition to soups, salads and oatmeal. Health benefits of maca
Maca is considered a versatile, adaptogenic herb that helps combat stressors of all kinds. Adaptogens started as natural medicines in ancient healing practices like traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda in India.
Maca is no different, and it continues to be used in Peruvian folk medicine. Here’s a look at some of the health benefits of maca according to current and emerging research:
Maca capsules and supplements are often touted as aphrodisiacs, and for good reason: there’s actual science to back it up. In a 2010 review published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal, maca has been found to raise sexual desire in adult men and menopausal women upon ingestion.
Enhances sexual well-being
Maca has also been reported to improve male arousal and sexual performance. Maca, in particular, had significant effects in adult men with mild erectile dysfunction. Studies on maca also reported that male participants claimed experiencing a significant increase in their sexual well-being after taking maca.
Maca is a popular herbal supplement among athletes because of its reported effects on endurance and performance. The mechanisms behind this effect remain unclear, but nutritionists speculate that the effect might be due to the herb’s rich iron content. Iron is an essential component of the blood that helps us produce the cells, proteins and hormones needed to function in general.
Stimulates sperm production
Besides enhancing male arousal and sexual performance, maca has also been found to boost the production of sperm. In a 2015 research conducted to assess the effects of maca on sperm count and other semen parameters, maca had been found to cause significant changes in sperm concentration , indicating that the herb also restored hormonal balance in men.
Regular maca consumption can also help regulate mood and treat mood disorders like depression. Experts speculate that this benefit is due to maca’s high flavonoid content. Flavonoids are a group of plant compounds hailed for their antioxidant and antidepressant properties.
Reduces blood pressure
Flavonoids are also responsible for maca’s beneficial effects on blood pressure. These compounds help boost blood circulation to decrease the risk of health complications linked to high blood pressure, such as heart attack and stroke .
Protects against sun damage
When used as a topical medication, maca can also protect the skin from sun damage thanks to its rich antioxidant content. If left unchecked, radiation from sunlight can cause visible signs of aging and raise the risk of skin cancer.
Maca consumption also promotes the proliferation of natural antioxidants in our bodies, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase. Together, these compounds fight inflammation and protect against cellular damage due to harmful free radicals.
Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
Post-menopausal women are at an increased risk of osteoporosis because of a lack of estrogen, the hormone needed to produce bone cells. Take maca tablets to boost estrogen production and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Improves certain brain functions
Maca is also a potent brain-boosting food because of its beneficial effects on brain health. Maca, in particular, helps boost learning capacities, concentration and memory performance. Studies suggest that maca might be useful in stalling the onset of dementia.
Maca might be one of the least popular superfoods, but its incredible nutrition profile and therapeutic effects render it just as potent as others. Incorporate it into a balanced diet or take it as an herbal supplement for best results.
Read more articles about maca and other little-known superfoods at Superfoods.news . Sources: MedicalNewsToday.com PubMed.NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 1 PubMed.NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 2