This superfood is accustomed to adversity and is ready to take on your body’s stresses. Where other plants shy away from growing in difficult conditions, Maca does its best. It keeps growing in conditions with hail, frost, high altitudes, and prolonged droughts. This hardy root vegetable has grown high in the Andes Mountains under harsh growing conditions to become rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can help your body.
Peruvians have used it as food and medicine for thousands of years. They found it has many benefits and now the health world is catching on too. Maca is proving itself to all to be an amazing adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbs that help the body respond to stresses and support proper physiological function. There are so many reasons to incorporate this amazing superfood into your diet, but we narrowed it down to five.
Want to know how it can help you get your maca on? Read on.
5 Awesome Maca Benefits
1 -Packed with Nutrients and Antioxidants
The best maca has lots of nutrients and antioxidants from growing in the hardy soil of the Andes mountains. It contains significant amounts of easily absorbable forms of calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. It contains a variety of 31 different trace minerals including iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, sodium, and iodine.
There are almost 60 phytonutrients that help maca grow into a superfood that brings you amazing health benefits! (1) Maca has 20 amino acids including 8 essential amino acids. These amino acids help boost antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase that fight free radicals and prevent cell damage. This comes in handy for the other amazing benefits! Read on to find out.
2- Boosts the Immune System
All those antioxidants and complex mineral compositions make maca a superfood powerhouse that has shown a great capacity for supporting the immune system. Maca increases white blood cells that are your protectors against foreign invaders. (2)
Research showed in test tubes that maca has antiviral capacity that can provide protection against the flu (3) It has great potential as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases. (4) Already great reasons to have it in your diet! It’s also an anti-inflammatory food that also has been shown in studies to help in the prevention of cancer. (5) (6)
Those taking the Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire in Central Peruvian Highlands and ate maca had higher scores that those who didn’t eat maca. (7) Seems like an easy add for health.
3- Alleviates Menstrual Issues and Menopause
Maca has been used for thousands of years by Peruvians to help women with menstrual issues, hormonal imbalances, and menopausal symptoms. This great adaptogen helps women adapt to the monthly changes in their hormones and contains no plant hormones that can have damaging results. According to one study that looked at symptoms of menopause, after using maca for two months women reported a reduction in symptoms. (8) Check out this recipe for the Happy Hormone Chunky Monkey Smoothie.
4-Increased Fertility and Aphrodisiac
Maca has been called the Peruvian ginseng for good reason. Getting your maca on can be potent. When your hormones are supported so is your fertility, and maca can help with libido too! It’s been shown to increase libido by 180% and sperm count by 200%. (9) If your hoping for a baby, that libido will help you because it’s easier to get pregnant if you are in the mood for some lovin’. A review of 20 studies found that:
“Maca has high effectiveness in improving sexual function, increasing libido and improving erectile dysfunction; also helps reproductive health, increasing sperm count and sperm motility, enhances the anticancer action, favorable affects on menopause symptoms and improves inflammatory responses.” (10)
Incorporating maca into your diet has had immediate effects of increased energy for many. Legends say Incan warriors found the impacts on strength and endurance very useful. They ate it before battle. Later the Spanish Conquistadors found it so useful they demanded it as payment instead of gold. That makes the best maca powder today seem pretty inexpensive! Considering a pound of gold today is worth nearly $20,000. Now you can get maca shipped to you in two days for less than $20! It’s a deal.
A modern experiment tested rats given black maca and found that there was a delay in fatigue in forced swimming tests. Another investigation looked at trained cyclists over 14 days of maca supplementation and found improved performance (and self-reported increase in sexual desire!). (11) Go get it! See for yourself!
Get Your Maca On
Who wouldn’t be happier with more energy, supported hormones and more desire? It’s easy to incorporate into your diet to see how it can support your health. It has a mild nutty flavor that’s been described as earthy, malty or butterscotch. You can add this superfood to a smoothie, smoothie bowl, salad or this banana bread recipe.
This amazing superfood grows strong in a harsh environment to help you, and your body, handle stresses. Be sure you are getting it from a source that comes from the Andes Mountains. As demand has grown it has been produced in other locations but doesn’t have the same potential. Here’s our favorite. Growing in harsh conditions makes the maca strong and helps you conquer the world.
Written By Dr. Patrick Flynn
Don’t worry the good stuff isn’t over. We have more! Check out Dr. Patrick Flynn’s Quick Tip and article on another favorite superfood, Goji Berries:
Hi Dr. Dan!
Thanks Dr. Flynn for the info!