What is Maca Powder?
Maca root powder has a host of health benefits, including increased energy and libido! This fabulous root is an ancient superfood anciently used by Incan warriors for energy and endurance.
It is found in the Andes mountain and it is a staple in countries like Peru and Bolivia.
The biggest claimed benefit is the increase in energy and endurance without the jitters and the crash that caffeine usually gives you.
This is because Maca powder is not a stimulant, but an adaptogen. So instead of providing caffeine to your body, Maca root naturally increases your body's ability to combat stress, outside issues and changes to your body.
It is loaded with a ton of nutrients including B vitamins which play a role in energy metabolism. It is also rich in fiber which helps you feel full for longer and is rich in plant protein.
For women, it is known to reduce PMS symptoms and improve mood.
It has a fairly nutty taste, a very gentle flavor. You can integrate it into your day with other foods, such as in baked goods. You can also sprinkle it on granola or add it in smoothies. However, to truly maximize Maca powder's nutritional health benefits, you would want to look for raw or organic powder in its purest form.
Maca Powder Nutrition Facts
Maca powder contains a fair amount of carbohydrate (65-75%), a bit of protein (9-13%), fat (0.6-0.9 %) and fiber (4-8%). A 15-gram serving is high in copper and manganese, and a good source of vitamin B1 and iron. It also contains trace elements, plant sterols and glucosinolates (compounds believed to have anticancer properties).
Health Benefits of Maca Powder
Sexual Function and Libido
In a report published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, they found that Maca did have positive effects on sexual dysfunction. However, it was concluded that because the total sample size and number of trials were limited, researchers were unable to draw firm conclusions.
In another study, it was found that Maca powder did improve libido in men. Researchers gave subjects either 1,500 mg or 3,000 mg of Maca or placebo for 12 weeks and found both doses of Maca increased sexual desire better than the placebo, and it did not increase testosterone or estrogen levels.
In one study, the effects of Maca powder on semen quality and hormone levels was evaluated after the intake of Maca or a placebo. After the 12-week study period, there were no significant changes in sperm concentration, motility, and hormone levels, however, sperm concentration and motility showed rising trends.
Maca has also been shown to fight depression and anxiety in women.
It is able to regulate the production of oestradiol, progesterone and to limit cortisol, the stress hormone. In one study, Maca was shown to reduce symptoms of depression and improve diastolic blood pressure in Chinese postmenopausal women who either received 3.3 g/day of Maca or placebo for 6 weeks each, in either order, over 12 weeks.
Maca powder is a healthy source of carbohydrates. It is also low in fat and contains sufficient amounts of fiber. It's also high in some essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, copper and iron. Furthermore, it contains various plant compounds, including glucosinolates and polyphenols.
Boosts Performance and Energy
Because Maca powder is an adaptogenic herb, it can boost energy levels and even aid with sports performance. These adaptogenic herbs have traditionally been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to help with stress and boost energy levels.
Maca has also been shown to help athletes maintain their energy. In one study, benefits were seen in a 40 kilometer cycling time trial after two weeks of Maca extract supplementation.
Possible Side effects of Maca Powder
Maca is safe when consumed in food as well as in its powdered form, where doses up to 3 grams daily is consumed as recommended. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to avoid Maca powder to be safe.
Integrating Maca powder into your diet can offer numerous health benefits such as increased libido and improved mood. However, Maca powder lacks enough research and experiments as most of the current ones available are too small to draw conclusions from.
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