You may have heard of maca as being the next best thing for your sex drive since “no fap”, but there are a whole host of benefits to consuming this strange little root. Maca root is what we like to call an “adaptogen” meaning it helps your system adapt when you are under stress. It has been touted as a miracle herb for many ailments such as PCOS, hormonal imbalance, low sex drive, depression and adrenal disorders. Originally made popular in Peru, maca is an ancient superfood that will change your life. Believe it or not, it’s actually apart of the broccoli family and when the root is dried, ground and roasted you end up with a rich, golden powder that almost tastes like peanut butter. Here are twelve reasons to get this delicious adaptogen into your daily smoothie.
1. It’s high in minerals
This is no surprise considering it’s apart of the broccoli family. Maca is extremely high in calcium with more calcium per gram than cow’s milk. Maca also boasts high levels of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, iron, manganese, sodium and sulfur. We are becoming increasingly more mineral deficient as the years go by and this is mostly due to our depleted soil. Get those minerals back in by consuming a spoonful of maca root powder everyday.
2. It lowers stress levels
Maca is an adaptogen meaning it can help the body adapt under times of stress. Similar to herbs like ashwaganda and rhiodiola rosacea, maca root can be used to reduce anxiety and boost mood by increasing both physical and mental energy levels. Maca also helps balance blood sugar levels which is a huge factor in reducing mood and energy drops.
3. It increases sperm production
When you go to the health food store to pick up a pack of maca, you may notice all the different types and colors. Don’t just pick the first one you see, if you want to increase fertility, go for black maca. Black maca has been proven to increase sperm production in male rats versus red and yellow maca. This is just proof that not all maca is created equal.
4. It boosts glutathione
Glutathione is an antioxidant that is crucial for liver detoxification. Other sources of glutathione is avocado, asparagus and spinach. If you don’t eat these foods on a regular basis, it’s time to start incorporating some maca powder into your regimen. By boosting glutathione levels in your body, maca is improving your immune system, balancing cholesterol levels and lowering the amount of glucose in your blood if you suffer from blood sugar imbalances.
5. It increases sex drive
Not only is maca good for male fertility it will also make you desire sex more and last longer in bed. Although it is not understood why maca does this, it has been tested through a double-blind study in 2002 and all men given three grams of maca versus a placebo reported increased sex drive after 8 weeks. It could be the adaptogen properties of the root at play here. Regardless, it will improve your sex life from all angles.
6. It improves the quality of your skin
Maca increases collagen production in the body. Collagen makes your skin smoother, firmer and more plump. After just three weeks of consuming maca root, you will definitely notice a huge difference. You may also notice a decrease in blemishes and acne if you are prone to those kind of skin issues.
7. It reduces hair loss
When you start bringing maca in, you will notice your hair getting a little fuller and thicker. If you know that hair loss runs in your family, you need to get on the maca train immediately. Maca actually protects and strengthens the hair bulb through keratinocyte synthesis. Keep your hair on your head, where it is meant to be.
8. It reduces symptoms of depression
Maca has been proven to reduce depression and boost emotional mood due to it’s hormone balancing abilities as well as it’s high mineral content. In a recent study, maca was shown to decrease test scores in self assessments pertaining to depression and other mood disorders such as bi-polar. If you suffer from any kind of mental illness, maca will be essential to improving your symptoms.
9. It tastes amazing
Maca root powder tastes amazing! Almost like cinnamon peanut butter. If you buy it raw, it will taste like feet and will most likely contain mold which is not a good idea to consume. Find a roasted or gelatinized maca powder to get the best tasting and safest product. You can also find maca hidden in chocolate bars and protein shake mixes.
10. It is nutrient dense
Maca powder is kind of a one stop shop for all the essential nutrients you need in a day. With a full amino acid profile as well as b vitamins and minerals, maca is like multi-vitamin supplement. The theory behind maca’s hormone regulating powers doesn’t necessarily lie in the fact that it actually contains hormones, but more the idea that it is providing you with the building blocks to produce those hormones yourself.
11. Improves circulation
Maca has been proven to improve circulation in people with chronically low blood pressure. If you are anemic or have weak circulation, then maca root is a must have in your diet. People who are on blood pressure medication should avoid maca in large amounts as their blood pressure will be reduced from taking it.
12. It increases your energy level
Add a spoonful of maca to your morning shake instead of chugging down that cup of coffee and experience a boost of energy without the crash. Much like ginseng, maca gives you an even, steady energy throughout the day. Due to it’s adaptogenic properties, maca will “encourage” your body to have more energy and stamina. To really feel the effects you will need to consume at least 1 tablespoon per day.