Mighty Maca Root: How this Indigenous Superfood Can Help You Find Balance
You may have heard about “maca,” a powerful superfood that you can add to smoothies, take in supplement form, or even add to soups or baked goods. But maca isn’t a new fad; it’s actually been used for its healing and nutritional qualities for centuries! Also known as “Peruvian ginseng,” maca is a cruciferous vegetable, like broccoli and kale, that is native to the high altitudes of the Andes mountains in Peru. But unlike those green staples, the benefits of maca actually come from under the ground. The root of the maca plant is where all the good stuff is. You can typically find maca root already dried and ground in supplement form in health food stores or high quality grocery stores, which makes it an incredibly easy addition to a healthy lifestyle. So, why choose maca? Read on to learn some of the incredible benefits, and start finding greater balance through the power of maca!
Maca Benefits for Women’s Health
While maca root is a great supplement for all adults, this powerful plant has some particularly potent benefits for women. For starters, maca is incredibly rich with nutrients. Just one ounce of maca root contains all of your required daily vitamin C, plus nearly a quarter of your recommended daily iron, as well as ample copper, potassium, B6, protein, and fiber. Adding maca into your daily diet can help boost your nutrition and leave you feeling more fortified throughout your day.
In addition, some research has shown that taking maca root can help balance your hormones. Regular consumption of maca has been shown to reduce some symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, by helping to regulate sudden rises and dips in your hormone levels. Balancing hormones has another awesome side effect: increased libido! Maca has been shown to help improve sexual dysfunction in both men and women by increasing desire and overall sexual wellness.
For women who are looking to give their fertility a boost, maca can offer some benefits here as well. Research on maca’s effect on fertility has mostly been limited to animals, but studies suggest that maca can increase luteinizing hormone in the pituitary gland, which directly supports female fertility. A small study involving human men saw that men who consumed maca for four months experienced a boost in overall semen quality, including sperm count and motility.
Additional Benefits of Maca
Everyone can benefit from a super charged dose of nutrition, especially when it comes with a side of sunshine. Some studies suggest that maca root has the power to actually boost your mood and outlook on life. Maca contains powerful plant flavonoids, which have been shown in research studies to reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression, especially for menopausal women. In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids in maca root help support overall brain function, which can help improve focus, concentration, and overall cognition. Because of these qualities, it has been used for centuries as a home remedy in Peru to help children stay attentive in school.
While no single supplement can be used as a silver bullet for all the conditions that ail us, maca comes pretty close! A powerful superfood packed with vital nutrients we need to carry us through our busy days, maca root may also provide some powerful additional benefits that scientists are still discovering. If you’re interested in incorporating maca root in your diet, look for a ready-to-eat supplement, and try mixing it into a smoothie, soup, or bowl of oatmeal, and get ready to feel the power!