Maca root is often passed off as a natural stimulant, paired with other stamina-boosters like caffeine, L-theanine, and ashwagandha. While its energy-enhancing capabilities are not to be dismissed, maca can also be the singular superfood your diet needs.
Cultivated in the Andean reaches of Peru, maca is a yellow cruciferous vegetable that has been honored for its medicinal properties for decades. Once harvested, maca’s savory root is removed from the body of the vegetable and ground into a powder.
Widely available at health food stores, maca can be consumed as an alternative to caffeine, safeguard against oxidative stress, immune booster, and more. It is perfectly legal to consume and does not require a prescription.
The Benefits of Maca
I love foods that offer holistic healing, particularly plant-based ones. Maca is safe for vegans, vegetarians, and other omnivores. If you are pregnant, nursing, or suffering any heart condition, consult a physician prior to using maca root.
While scientists and researchers are still unlocking the great power of maca root, here are a few of the benefits it can offer your diet today.
I gave up drinking coffee two years ago, after my daily dose of java led to heart flutterings and exacerbated my anxiety. I found comfort in black and green teas, particularly yerba mate, for a time. Yet even these would perk up my mornings only to leave me feeling fatigued and anxious in the afternoons.
Maca root is a vital natural stimulant known to boost energy levels, increase stamina, and balance mood. It accomplishes all of this without leaving drinkers jittery or depleted.
This likely has to do with maca’s ability to promote adrenal health, which is closely linked to daily energy levels. It also is an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, and Vitamin B12, a vitamin linked to the body’s daily supply of energy and a balanced mood.
Free Radical Fighter
Maca root is crammed full of antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase, which help to combat the effects of oxidative stress. Free radicals, the result from oxidative stress, are culprits in many fatal diseases, including cancer.
Antioxidants are also essential in boosting immune system function, your body’s capacity to fend off common, non-fatal illnesses such as flus, colds, and allergies. Individuals suffering from compromised immune systems may benefit from daily doses of maca root in their diets.
If you also face a lot of daily stress–who doesn’t?–maca root can help. A natural adaptogen, a substance that can help the body adapt to life’s stresses, maca root can help even the busiest people navigate stress effectively.
Promotes Healthy Muscle Function
Body-builders, athletes, and individuals with depleted muscle mass may find a solution in maca root. Besides maca’s natural capacity to promote endurance and stamina, this mighty root may also encourage muscle function and the formation of muscle mass.
This likely has to do with maca root’s impressive slew of vitamins and minerals, including ones associated with energy and prime physical function, like Vitamins B, C, E, zinc, and iron. Maca also has 84% of your daily recommended intake of copper, a mineral associated with the body’s ability to metabolize and to synthesize DNA.
Maca also directly targets the body’s pituitary gland, which can regulate metabolism, the body’s production of steroids, and adrenals.
Fight Depression and Anxiety
Maca’s capacity to level hormones, energize the body, and improve sexual function makes it an ideal anti-depressant and treatment for anxiety.
Mood imbalances are often linked to hormone imbalances; maca can directly target your hypothalamus and pituitary gland to help keep hormones in check. Elevated energy levels can also lead to an elevated mood in general, fighting the fatigue and weariness of depression and other mental health conditions.
Encourages Sexual Wellness & Fertility
Maca root is revered for its capacity to promote sexual wellness, particularly in women. It may also help alleviate common symptoms of early menopause.
Because maca has been known to effectively balance hormones, particularly sex hormones, it can also act as a significant aphrodisiac. Maca can additionally promote healthy female reproductive system function and combat infertility in both men and women.
Menstruating women may also find hormonal ease with daily maca supplements during their cycles.
How to Consume Maca
Maca root is available most commonly in powder or capsule form. Maca powder can easily be added to smoothies or beverages if you desire. Its taste is quite pleasant and won’t add a bitter “edge” to liquids, including soups, stews, and sauces.
Maca capsules are ideal for individuals who already follow a supplement regime and don’t want the hassle of dealing with a powder. In general, aim to consume no more than 2000 mg of maca root per day; most capsules contain a serving size of 1000 mg.
Always inspect the ingredient list of maca root capsules. Some companies include a few other minerals or herbs in maca supplements, such as yerba mate. I recommend consuming maca root in its pure, unadulterated form for maximum results.