What it is and the health benefits

Maca or Peruvian watercress, also known as Peruvian ginseng, belongs to the same plant family as broccoli, turnips, cabbage or radish. It is grown at higher altitudes in the South American Andes and has been used by Peruvian natives for centuries as both food and medicine. It was first brought to Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century, as a sex drug for the Indians.

Maca root resembles a beet. It is normally potato-like in colour, but there are also varieties with white, yellow, pink, red or purple roots.

At the same time, it contains a number of nutritionally very interesting substances, such as essential amino acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron, vitamins A, B, C, E, tannins, sterols, saponins, unsaturated and saturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, proteins, fiber and rare phytosterols.

All these substances mean that this root vegetable has a really wide range of effects, not only for improving sexual functions and fertility, but also for better mood, sports performance, more energy or better memory.

As a nutritional supplement, maca is sold as a powder that is added to food or drinks. You can also get it in the form of capsules, tablets or extract.

The main health benefits of maca

1. Improves sexual functions

Maca powder is widely used for increase in libido, and thus sexual desires, both in men and women. Sometimes it is also recommended as a natural erection support. According to experts, maca can also improve sexual function in women who are taking antidepressants, which can have a very bad effect on this function.

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According to scientists, it can also increase fertility. In addition to better sperm quality in men, it also has a positive effect on the hormonal balance of women.

2. Mild symptoms of menopause

Some studies suggest that maca can mitigate menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats or poor sleep.

3. Helps improve mood

Maca belongs to the so-called adaptogens, so it helps the body’s ability to better adapt to the surrounding conditions. Study at the same time, they indicate that it can also significantly improve mood and quality of life scores.

4. Increases energy and sports performance

Another effect of maca is that it can give energy to an individual and increase their performance in athletes. As they show studythis applies especially to endurance sports.

However, according to some experts, it also helps maintain muscle strength and strength.

5. Improves memory and helps in learning

Peruvian natives use maca root to support their children’s learning. This is also confirmed by the studies that support it brain functions and memory.

Who should be careful when using maca?

A completely safe dose for humans is considered to be 1 teaspoon per day (3-5 g). However, people with thyroid disease should be careful when using maca, for whom it is recommended to minimize the consumption of cruciferous vegetables, as it contains goitrogens, which can disrupt the normal function of the thyroid gland.

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