Maca is one of those vegetables that have been lauded as a superfood for several years. Not only is it well known for its medicinal benefits but this pleasant tasting root vegetable, also has a plethora of other health benefits.
What is Maca?
It is a cruciferous vegetable that is a native to the Andes of Peru. The vegetable family that it comes from is the same one that has blessed us with broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, and turnips.
In fact, this vegetable has an appearance that is very similar to that of a turnip. The tuberous root part of the vegetable is the one that holds the most benefits and thus should be consumed. The tuberous root comes in a different color such as white, yellow, red, purple, or black.
The lighter the color the less nutritionally dense the maca is, and vice versa with the darker colors.
Why is maca a superfood?
For years it has been praised for being one of those vegetables that comes with several different benefits for the human body. It is an “adaptogen”, that is a name given to herbs that assist the body in adapting to different stressors such as a demanding job, a busy schedule, or an emotionally difficult time.
The one benefit that it has been well known for is the role that it plays in the increment of the human libido. Studies have found that it has helped women, whose libido had decreased due to antidepressants, in raising their sexual health back up. Maca root has made its name in being one of the herbs that help repair sexual dysfunction in women along with boosting their sex drive.
Another study found that it helps improve the psychological and sexual health in women going through menopause. One study found that women going through a difficult time during post menopause saw a difference within six weeks of treatment with maca root.
However, not only does it work to better the health of a woman during menopause, it also helps fix bouts of irregular periods. It balances the female sex hormones and thus alleviates the symptoms of ill-timed menopause and the weight gain, bloating, and infertility that comes with it. The estrogen is the main female hormone that is tasked with regulating the reproductive system in women. An imbalance in this hormone can lead to irregular periods and mood swings.
Maca root has been known to reduce and relieve menopausal symptoms by regulating the estrogen levels and decreasing symptoms such as polycystic ovary syndrome. The vegetable has played a big part in the curbing of PCOS and its symptoms which are facial hair, weight gain, and acne.
This vegetable does not leave out men when it comes to its benefits. Studies have shown that maca root has boosted male sexual health and fertility. A study in Peru discovered an increased sexual desire in men after eating the supplement for eight weeks. Another study conducted in 2001 found out that it helped when it came to improving sperm quality and motility.
All the studies have overall shown that maca, whether consumed in powder form, included as a part of a meal, or taken in supplement form has provided several health and sexual benefits in men and women.