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Maca Root: Nutrition & 5 Benefits

Maca root is a potent, natural superfood. It's been around for thousands of years, but recently it's been growing in popularity. Native to Peru, maca is a type of cruciferous vegetable, similar in appearance to a radish or turnip. Thanks to maca root nutrition, the superfood provides numerous health benefits. This food is also considered an adaptogen, which is a name used to refer to plants that help you manage stress. But that's not all maca root can do! For example, maca root benefits include the ability to enhance energy, mood and memory, improve both male and female sexual health, and naturally balance hormone levels. Aside from the great health benefits, maca is a fantastic source of several nutrients. It contains, for example, fiber as well as protein. It also contains vitamin C, copper, iron, and over 20 amino acids. This includes all eight essential amino acids.

Maca Root Benefits

1. Provides the Body with Antioxidants

Maca root nutrition includes powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants work to fight off free radicals in the body that damage the cells and cause disease. Thanks to its antioxidant activity, maca root benefits include the ability to prevent conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Maca helps prevent oxidative stress and cell damage, which are major factors in many illnesses. Studies have shown that maca root benefits may also include the ability to protect the brain from neurological damage. (1) Furthermore, a study out of the Czech Republic found something remarkable concerning maca root. When given to rats, maca root not only helped improved their antioxidant levels, but also improved triglycerides in the liver and reduced blood sugar. It is difficult to say whether or not maca would have these same effects in humans. More studies could delve into that arena.

2. Enhances Energy, Mood and Memory

There are numerous people who have reported that taking maca makes them feel more energized, alert, and focused. Indeed, maca root benefits include the ability to energize both the body and mind. Furthermore, it helps naturally increase energy levels without causing the jitters or a crash later on, unlike caffeine. By maintaining energy levels, maca root benefits also include the ability to improve memory and focus. Studies have shown that the high antioxidant content of maca helps keep the brain alert. Studies have also shown that maca root nutrition may help reduce symptoms of depression, by working to improve mood and increase energy levels. (2) This follows, as when you have more energy, you are more likely to see a correlation in better mood. Additionally, the fact that maca can potentially regulate blood sugar and prevent crashes may contribute to its ability to boost energy. When you're not crashing from blood sugar drops, you naturally feel more energized throughout the day. maca root benefits

3. Improves Female Sexual Health

Maca root benefits include the ability to improve female sexual health. In one study, researchers looked at the effects of maca root on post-menopausal women who were experiencing sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants. The study showed that maca root nutrition was able to improve libido and sexual function in the participants. Maca root benefits also include the ability to alleviate menopause symptoms, such as infertility, weight gain and bloating. (3) Some women, in fact, swear by maca's ability to improve issues with infertility. There have been accounts of women who claim they only got pregnant after taking maca root as a supplement. Once pregnant, however, it's probably a good idea to stop taking it, as it does affect your hormones. Speak with your doctor about any concerns.

4. Balances Estrogen Levels

According to a study published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science, maca root was ale to help relieve symptoms of menopause in women by balancing estrogen levels. An imbalance of estrogen in the body can cause bloating, irregular menstrual periods and mood swings. It can also make it more difficult for a women to get pregnant. Thanks to its ability to balance hormones, maca root can help reduce symptoms of a hormone imbalance and improve reproductive health. Maca root benefits also include the ability to decrease symptoms related to polycystic ovarian syndrome, such as excess hair growth, acne and weight gain. (4) The great thing about maca, too, is that it itself doesn't contain hormones. Other fertility supplements, however, contain hormones. This can throw off your body's natural ability to secrete hormones. But maca is different---it's an all-natural food that will correct a hormonal imbalance.

5. Boosts Male Fertility

Maca root benefits also include the ability to boost fertility in men. While it won't boost testosterone levels, it can still help with issues of infertility. For example, a 2001 study found that maca root nutrition helped improve both sperm quality and motility. These are both crucial factors regarding male fertility. Research has also shown that maca may benefit sexual dysfunction and help increase libido in men. (5)

Where Can I Buy Maca Root?

You can find maca root available in liquid, powder, capsule, or extract form. Typically speaking, you will find it in health food and vitamin stores. Additionally, pharmacies may carry maca root, and you can also buy it from online retailers. While most maca you can find is equally beneficial, you will want to make sure you find a variety that is organic and 100 percent pure maca. Maca commonly comes in red, black, or yellow. The supplement form you will typically find in red. As stated above, most are offer roughly the same benefits. However, some claim that certain colors work better for different conditions. Some people report that the non-gelatinized form leads to an upset stomach. If just starting out on maca, you'll want to start with a small dose and gradually work your way up. You may find you digest the gelatinized form of maca better than the non-gelatinized. The gelatinized variety is sometimes also called maca flour.

How Should I Take Maca Root?

As the powder form, some people enjoy it added to their coffee. The flavor can be a bit strong, so you may consider mixing it in with a cup of cocoa. The chocolate disguises the strong maca flavor well. For more energy, balanced hormones, and increased fertility, try maca root today!