Maca (Lepidium meyenii), is a herbaceous plant native to the Andes and Bolivia, which is why it is known as Andean maca. Its fame as a superfood is given both by its undeniable nutritional qualities, and because its roots are attributed properties to increase fertility and improve libido.
As for its appearance, it closely resembles that of a radish, although its size is slightly larger. Its cultivation is carried out at an altitude that ranges between 2700 and 4300 meters above sea level and in the Peruvian Andes it has been carried out for about 2,600 years.
If you are thinking of giving your life a healthy twist, keep reading because maca has plenty of qualities to get hooked …
- 1 ¿What is Andean maca for?
- 2 Maca benefits
- 3 Maca types
- 4 ¿How to take the Andean maca?
- 5 How is it related to fertility?
- 6 ¿Why is it considered the women’s supplement?
- 7 The ideal complement for athletes
- 8 Where to buy Andean maca
- 9 Side effects and safety
¿What is Andean maca for?
For some time now, the multiple properties of this Andean root, which causes more surprise as it is known, are being revealed throughout the planet, because it is a plant that serves for:
- Contribute to the recovery of energy expenditure
- Reduce tiredness
- Increase libido in men and women
- Act as a hormonal regulator at various levels (hypothalamus and pituitary)
- Improve certain pathologies that affect the infertility of men and women
- Strengthen hair
- Strengthen bone growth
- Relieve symptoms derived from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, by increasing natural adrenaline
- Calm problems related to women’s menstrual cycles, such as the dreaded discomfort of menopause, among others
- Act as a powerful anti-stress supplement
- Mitigate muscle and bone pain, caused by diseases such as arthritis, rheumatism or osteoarthritis
- Improve memory and concentration, by increasing cerebral circulation
- Delay aging due to its antioxidant properties, which will have a positive effect on the skin
- Provide health benefits that go beyond its basic nutritional principles, as it is nutraceutical
Changing your daily eating routine by introducing this food into it will help you feel a reborn vitality with which you will face your daily tasks with more encouragement, while feeling a pleasant feeling of general well-being.
The nutritional profile of Andean maca is similar to that of cereals, with 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 8.5% fiber and 2.2% fat:
- 10% protein in maca powder contains 7 of the 8 essential amino acids, making it an excellent source of amino acids
- Its 2.2% lipids include linolenic acid, oleic acid and palmitic acid, omega 3, 6 and 9
- It is considered a notable source of sterols, great stimulators of the immune system such as phytosterols. It also contains alkaloids (macains 1,2,3 and 4), isocyanates, glucosinates, saponins, macacides, alkamides, flavonoids, etc.
- Its richness in bioavailable minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, potassium, copper, zinc, iron, iodine, selenium, bismuth, tin, silicon and manganese, make it ideal for remineralization
- Its vitamins of group B, which are those of energy, are abundant in it, such as vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6. It also contains vitamin C and vitamin E
|Nutritional composition||Nutritional values|
|Vitamins||B1, B2, B12, C, D3, E, P|
|Minerals||Calcio, fósforo, hierro, magnesio, zinc,potasio, sodio, cobre, boro, manganeso.|
Those who take maca regularly agree that its consumption enhances the well-being of the body, increasing strength, endurance, sports performance and even libido! This is due to the fact that it is an adaptogen that helps our body to adapt naturally to stressful situations, increasing its ability to combat physical and mental weakness.
Let us now go on to detail some of the other benefits that we have previously mentioned:
- Regulates and increases the function of the endocrine system. What we are talking about is the glands that are responsible for producing the hormones that are required for fundamental bodily and metabolic functions, that is, sexual function, fertility, the brain, digestion, energy levels and physiology. of the nervous system.
Do not forget that hormones are responsible for regulating many aspects such as mood, sexual development, growth and tissue function, also playing an important role in the development of many diseases such as depression and even cancer.
You will achieve the best results if you take between one and three tablespoons of brand name powder daily, freeing up one day a week.
- Supports the adrenal glands, while maintaining overall body health in the most stressful situations.
- It acts as a pain reliever, as its terpenoids and saponins give it the power to relieve pain and to work as a sedative and expectorant.
- For women it is the ideal remedy when it comes to relieving the annoying symptoms of both premenstrual syndrome and menopause.
- For men it is ideal in terms of increased sexual function and fertility, which is why they have nicknamed it “nature’s viagra”.
- Helps you fall asleep deeper.
- Activates brain function and memory.
- Postpones the aging process.
- Treat prostate problems.
- It is antinemic, by stimulating the formation and maturation of red blood cells.
- Reverse vaginal dryness because it is a medicinal plant that greatly reduces the hormonal imbalances that occur at certain times in our lives, such as bothersome vaginal dryness or irritating hot flashes that accompany menopause.
- It favors calcification and bone development in childhood.
- Improves hypothyroidism by stimulating the thyroid gland.
- It prevents osteoporosis because in menopause the production of estrogens is reduced, which has the consequence that the density of the bones is reduced. Lean on Andean maca and you can prevent its consequences due to its remineralizing power given its high content of calcium, zinc and iron. Its consumption is recommended for those who suffer fractures, osteomalacia or rickets.
- Mitigates menstruation pain and irregularities. In the face of these hormonal imbalances, Andean maca acts to help regulate and correct imbalances, since it can restore hormonal balance, alleviating or eliminating its consequences.
- It will give you energy and vitality, thanks to its energy values that will help you at every different stage of your life with an extra contribution of vitality that will reduce your symptoms of tiredness, which will be synonymous with good humor and optimism.
- It is a very effective stimulant for the immune system.
- Helps keep cholesterol at bay.
- It has antidepressant and anti-stress properties.
- It enhances the activity of the pancreas, which is why it is recommended for diabetics.
- It increases sexual desire, being considered one of the strongest aphrodisiacs that exist.
Is this list enough to convince you that it is an extraordinary food? Still, we continue …
Considered by the Incas a “gift from the gods”, which was not only cultivated for food but used in rituals and religious ceremonies for its association with fertility, it became known in the western world as a currency, arriving from the Spanish hand.
Although indigenous populations have used it for centuries, in our culture it is a relatively new commercial supplement, in which a place of honor is being made given its therapeutic properties.
The 2 varieties of this plant that are usually found on the market are red and yellow, although there are others that go through purple, cream or black:
- Red Maca used mainly for osteoporosis and prostate problems. This variety is the one that concentrates the highest level of antioxidants.
Prostate problems are manifested in more than half of men worldwide from the age of 70. If you have a family history, this type of problem can occur around the age of 40, so annual check-ups are recommended.
- Yellow maca that stands out for its revitalizing properties and for improving memory and learning.
¿How to take the Andean maca?
It usually comes in tablets or powder. If you want to better control the dose you ingest, it is better for you to take it as a powder since it is recommended to start with a small amount that will increase as it is very energizing, and will preferably be consumed in the morning
It can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, broths or soups. Although Peruvians have always eaten it cooked, it is prepared in the most diverse ways. One of the ones that will catch your attention the most will undoubtedly be fermented with beer. Try it roasted, boiled, mixed with milk as another cereal, pureed or dried as if it were flour.
Naturopaths and nutritionists advise its consumption by promoting the calcification process of the bones and stimulating the formation of the immune system, thus strengthening the immune system.
At the same time, it is marketed as a restorative tonic for those who suffer from anemia or are in the process of recovering from a disease.
The only precaution to be taken regarding its consumption would be in cases of uncontrolled hypertension. Along with this, a dose control will be observed when there is overexcitation of the immune system.
Maca has been shown to be a superfood that can increase fertility, making it tremendously useful for those who want to conceive a child. Thus, Andean shamans have been using it to increase fertility in humans and animals.
The fact that it favors fertility is one of the factors causing its growing popularity. From a few decades to this part, medical studies have verified the increase in fertility caused by the consumption of maca both in various animal species and in humans. Maca helps in the same way to the production of breast milk once it has given birth.
¿Why is it considered the women’s supplement?
This plant, known as “The Jewel of Complements” is a highly beneficial superfood for women because its antioxidant properties make it regulate hormonal disorders that specifically affect the female gender.
If you are a woman and you are going through a time of great changes in your body, more specifically in your hormonal system, with the drawbacks that this means, trust Andean maca and the process will be much more bearable, whether it is menstrual disorders , menopausal symptoms, pregnancy or pregnancy wishes.
The ideal complement for athletes
All athletes know the importance of consuming nutritional supplements that improve their physical condition and endurance level. However, there are certain supplements of this style that produce unwanted side effects or that may even contain substances that are prohibited in the practice of certain sports.
For this group, the ideal solution is maca, since numerous analyzes have come to demonstrate that this root constitutes the most natural way to replace these artificial products, without losing an iota of effectiveness.
Athletes will be delighted to know that this food is not limited to reducing fatigue symptoms, but increases muscle mass without the need for steroids.
As for its qualities as a nutritional supplement, it contains a higher calcium concentration than any other plant of its kind. Its vitamins and proteins are also commendable.
Where to buy Andean maca
Although some time ago it was not easy to find in our country Andean maca, called by some Peruvian ginseng, today there are a number of places where you can buy it, ranging from herbalists to other types of establishments, whether physical or online. In some supermarkets you will find it displayed on their shelves.
The best are the brands of certified Peruvian maca, among which organic or ecological maca stands out, presented in powder, capsules or pills.
In conclusion, take it as you take it, the Andean maca will become the ally you were looking for to start a healthy life.
Side effects and safety
Maca is probably SAFE for most people when taken in small amounts. Maca is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken orally in large quantities as a medicine (up to 3 grams daily) for up to 4 months. Maca seems to be well tolerated by most people.
Special warnings and cautions:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information on the safety of taking maca if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
References and sources:
- Antioxidant activity of the cruciferous vegetable Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
- Ethnobiology and ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a plant from the Peruvian highlands
- Antioxidant activities of maca