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8 Benefits Of Maca Root Powder + Nutrition (And Potential Side Effects)

8 Benefits Of Maca Root Powder + Nutrition (And Potential Side Effects) April 26, 2018

Maca has got recognition only in the recent times, despite its benefits being known for thousands of years. But we say, it’s better late than never, as its benefits are simply wonderful. Keep reading to know more.

Table Of Contents

What Is Maca Good For?

Maca is a natural source of healing nutrients. Not just that, its long history as a safe superfood dates back to thousands of years where evidence suggests that it was even taken by the people living in the Andes mountains.

Maca is an adaptogen – it helps the body naturally adapt to environmental stressors like a busy schedule and a demanding job. It also contains a host of powerful antioxidants that have shown to improve sexual health, balance hormone levels, and even improve mood and memory.

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What Are The Benefits Of Maca Root Powder?

1. Maca Root Powder Boosts Sex Drive

Animal studies have shown how maca can boost the sperm counts of livestock. Further research showed that men on maca had improved sexual desire in a matter of 8 weeks.

Preliminary research also shows how maca can modestly boost your libido. In yet another study, men with mild erectile dysfunction, when given maca, had shown significant improvement in their sexual performance (1).

2. Treats Hormonal Imbalance

Some research shows that people can take maca orally for treating hormonal imbalance (2). Other studies have also shown that maca, when taken by early-postmenopausal women, helps regulate hormonal processes and balance hormones. The root powder had also alleviated the associated discomfort, including hot flashes and night sweats (3).

Some research says that intake of maca root powder can also enhance breast growth in women. However, we need more research in this aspect.

Did You Know?

Maca has become quite trendy in parts of Los Angeles as a great substitute for coffee.

3. Might Boost Thyroid Health

Might Boost Thyroid Health Pinit

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Herbalists usually recommend maca root powder for thyroid problems. Some sources say that it can stimulate the thyroid gland, and this can be of benefit if you are suffering from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

However, we recommend you have a word with your doctor before taking maca root powder for your thyroid issues.

4. Can Help In Bodybuilding

The nutrient profile of maca is so impressive that it is often used by athletes as a replacement for steroids to improve stamina and strength.

Maca is rich in protein, amino acids, and other vitamins and minerals – all of which are important to fuel an exercise routine. More importantly, the antioxidant effects of maca can help prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness. The antioxidants increase the number of immune cells responsible for muscle repair, and this helps relieve exercise-induced muscle damage.

5. Can Regulate Blood Pressure Levels

A study showed that maca root powder could help reduce blood pressure, especially in the case of postmenopausal women (4).

In yet another observational study involving 50 people, maca intake was associated with low blood pressure (5).

However, we recommend you consult your doctor before using maca for this purpose – as some sources also suggest against the use of maca for reducing blood pressure.

6. Might Help Relieve Anxiety

One 2008 study showed that maca could have a beneficial effect on reducing depression and anxiety. Another pilot study conducted on post-menopausal women showed that maca could help reduce depression.

Interestingly, as per a report by the Harvard Medical School, maca root powder can also help treat the side effects of antidepressants, which also include issues with sexual performance (6).

7. Can Enhance Skin Health

Some sources suggest that maca can help treat acne and blemishes. The root powder can also reduce skin sensitivity – which means it can help your skin withstand extreme temperatures, especially in hot or cold weather.

Did You Know?

Maca has been widely consumed since the time of the Inca civilization. It is still used as a food source by the Andean people, the Quechua.

8. Might Prevent Hair Loss

Though there is no evidence that maca can be directly used to prevent hair loss, it can achieve this by helping balance the hormones. Hormonal imbalance is also one cause of hair loss, and by addressing that, one can prevent hair loss.

Those are the benefits of maca. And now, it’s time to check out the nutrients it contains.

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What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Maca Root Powder?

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 100g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 325Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g5%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 18mg1%
Total Carbohydrate 71g24%
Dietary Fiber 7g29%
Sugars 32g
Protien 14g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C475%
Calcium25%
Iron82%
Protein
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Protein14.3g29%
calories
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calories325(1361 kJ)16%
From Carbohydrate250(1047 kJ)
From Fat17.9(74.9 kJ)
From Protein57.1(239 kJ)
From Alcohol~(0.0 kJ)
Vitamins
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Vitamin A0.0IU0%
Vitamin C285mg475%
Vitamin D0.0IU0%
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)~~
Vitamin K~~
Thiamin~~
Riboflavin0.4mg21%
Niacin5.7mg29%
Vitamin B61.1mg57%
Folate~~
Vitamin B12~~
Pantothenic Acid~~
Choline~~
Betaine~~
Minerals
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calcium250mg25%
Iron14.8mg82%
Magnesium~~
Phosphorus~~
Potassium2000mg57%
Sodium17.9mg1%
Zinc~~
Copper6.0mg300%
Manganese0.8mg39%
Selenium~~
Fluoride~

All good. But how much of the powder do you need to take a day to avail its benefits?

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What Is The Recommended Dosage Of Maca Root Powder?

If you want to take maca for increasing your libido, the dosage would be anywhere between 1,500 to 3,000 mg a day in the capsule form. For treating menopause symptoms, you can take 2,000 mg of maca root powder a day.

If you are taking loose powder, you can start with 1 teaspoon a day and work up to a maximum dose of 3 to 6 teaspoons.

You can continue this regimen for 3 to 6 months and take a break of 2 weeks, before resuming again. You can take all of the root powder in the morning at once or spread it out several times during the day.

The dosage is important. Because if you exceed it, it can lead to an entirely different set of complications.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Maca Root Powder?

  • Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Since there is not enough information here, we advise you stay away from maca during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

  • Might Aggravate Hormone-Sensitive Conditions

These include breast cancer, uterine and ovarian cancers, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis. As maca extracts can act like estrogen, they might aggravate these conditions.

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Conclusion

Whether it is to boost your libido or regulate your blood pressure levels, maca is worth a try. Make sure you consult your doctor, though, as some of the benefits of the root powder need further validation.

Tell us how this post has helped you. Please leave a comment in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What are the different types of maca root powder?

There are three types of maca root powder. Red maca, which is considered the rarest type of the root, has a malty taste and contains the most number of antioxidants. Black maca is particularly potent in increasing sperm count and boosting sex drive. Yellow maca has a unique tangy taste and helps relieve menopause symptoms.

What are the different ways to use maca root powder?

You can sprinkle some of the powder in your morning coffee. Or add a bit to your smoothie. You can also make maca a part of your cookie dough.
You can also mix maca with moringa seeds or flax seeds in your recipes. Or simply have maca powder with milk.

Does maca have caffeine?

No, it doesn’t. But it can be a good substitute for caffeine and doesn’t give you the jittery feeling that caffeine does.

Where to buy maca powder?

You can get it from your nearest supermarket store or even get it online at Amazon.

How long can you store maca powder?

Maca powder can be stored in the freezer to prolong its shelf life (lasts for up to 2 ½ years). You can also store it at room temperature (lasts for up to 24 months).

References

1. “Subjective effects of…”. US National Library of Medicine.
2. “Hormone-balancing effect of…”. US National Library of Medicine.
3. “Hormone-balancing effect of…”. US National Library of Medicine.
4. “Maca reduces blood pressure and…”. US National Library of Medicine.
6. “Some “natural” therapies may be safe…”. Harvard Medical School.

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