The advantages that plants offer for the life of human beings can be unlimited because some of them have the nutraceutical property , that is, they lend themselves to culinary use and also to medicine, as is the case of bruise.

That is why in this article, we provide you with information about what maca is and what its benefits are for the body.

What is maca?

Maca is first considered a medicinal plant , whose scientific name is Lepidium meyenii which originally grows in the central Andes of Peru and its cultivation occurs above 4000 meters above sea level, for more than 2000 years. . (1)

Its medicinal properties come from the root , which is pulverized to transform it into powdered black, yellow or red maca depending on the variety.

Note: Maca has been given the adaptogenic property , that is, it is used to restore the health, vitality, immunity, resistance and longevity of the human being.

It should be noted that the maca root is marketed as supplementary products in capsules , although the root can be obtained natively, which is consumed raw despite its bitter taste.

What are the health benefits of maca?

Maca has a combination of micronutrients and phytochemical compounds, which favor human health in the following aspects:

1. Increases libido and fertility

As previously mentioned, one of the properties of maca is that it is an adaptogenic food , that is, it gives vitality to the body, eliminating stress and apathy thanks to its nutritional components, especially black maca, which is considered as natural viagra .

To highlight: In the case of women, the consumption of yellow maca, in addition to increasing sexual desire due to its energizing property thanks to vitamin B (2) , increases female fertility , although there are not enough scientific studies to support this proposal.

2. Improves female conditions

Another of the benefits of maca, but this time related to women, is that its constant consumption improves certain organic conditions such as menopause control (3) , in addition to favoring bone density thanks to its calcium content . 

You should know: Maca can also have effects to prevent inflammation of the prostate . (4)

3. Reduces stress, depression, anxiety and fatigue

The combination of B complex vitamins , minerals, fatty acids, and phytonutrients from the maca root act favorably on the central nervous system , activating neurotransmitters that help control stress, states of depression , anxiety , and depression. general fatigue.  

You should know: Maca provides quality carbohydrates, which constitute a source of energy that provides vitality to the body.

4. Strengthens the immune system and bones

The dry root of maca or its powdered product provides vitamin C, minerals and chemical compounds to which an antioxidant capacity is attributed, a property that enhances the work of the immune system

This combination of phytonutrients helps the immune system fight pathogenic organisms that cause various diseases, including some types of flu such as A and B. (5)

Note: Maca also has an important contribution of calcium, a micronutrient necessary for strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis, in addition to providing several amino acids and vitamin C for the synthesis of collagen and elastin, a protein that provides flexibility and resistance. to the bones.

5. Increases memory and concentration

The iron and vitamin C content in maca favors the synthesis of hemoglobin and red blood cells , essential elements for the nutrition and oxygenation of brain cells , favoring the development of cognitive functions such as memory and concentration,

Takeaway: Some animal studies have shown that black maca is more beneficial for memory and learning . (6)

6. Slows cell oxidation

Another of the properties attributed to maca is that thanks to the antioxidants in its nutritional and phytochemical components, it fights against the damage caused by free radicals.

You should know: These molecules attack healthy cells, accelerating their degenerative process caused by cellular oxidation. The consumption of maca root delays oxidative damage and prevents premature aging of cells. (7)

What properties does maca have? 

The health benefits of maca root are due to its active ingredients that we mention below:

1. Vitamins and minerals

Maca contains the following vitamins: vitamin B1 , vitamin B2, vitamin B3 and vitamin B6. It is accompanied by vitamin C and vitamin A.

Note: Regarding minerals, the following are present: calcium, iron , phosphorus , potassium , magnesium, sodium , copper, zinc , manganese, iodine and selenium.

2. Other compounds

Maca also contains carbohydrates, fiber, protein, fatty acids including omega 6 and 9, and 18 essential and non-essential amino acids. 

To highlight: Other phytochemical compounds of medicinal interest are also present in this tuber. (8)

How is maca consumed?

The natives of Peru do not consume raw maca because they consider it harmful, however after having been dried, it can be used both in traditional cooking and as a medicinal supplement.

As an energizer, it is recommended to consume it during the day and in the dose indicated by your doctor, although there is no consensus on this matter, however, practice has established 2 grams/kilo of body weight , to solve problems of stress, anxiety, depression. or some sexual dysfunction . (9)

You should know: Maca can also be obtained in powder or flour and is used to prepare fruit juices and accompany vegetables, sauces or smoothies, as well as to prepare tea and infusions.

Key Findings

  • Maca is a medicinal plant whose main part is its root, which has been given the adaptogenic property for human health.
  • Maca increases sexual desire, fertility and improves some female conditions.
  • Maca can be consumed up to 2g/kg of body weight to treat central nervous system problems.
  • Maca is also used as an ingredient in food and drinks. 

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