Maca is a cruciferous vegetable that grows mainly in the Andes of central Peru — which is why it is also known as the Peruvian ginseng.
The edible part of the maca plant is its root, which is typically dried and consumed in powdered form. However, it is also used in capsules and as a liquid extract.
1. Highly Nutritious
Maca root powder is packed with several important vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
One ounce (28 grams) of maca root powder packs:
- 91 calories
- 1 gram of fat
- 2 grams of fiber
- 4 grams of proteins
- 20 grams of carbohydrates
- 133% of the DRI (Daily Recommended Intake) of vitamin C
- 85% of the DRI of copper
- 23% of the DRI of iron
- 16% of the DRI of potassium
- 15% of the DRI of Vitamin B6
- 10% of the RDI of Manganese 1
2. Boosts Libido In Men and Women
As you may know, low sexual desire is a common health issue among adults.
Maca root powder has been heavily marketed as a supplement for boosting libido in both men and women, and this claim is backed by scientific research. (3)
An even better proof is this review of four clinical studies with a total of 131 participants. All of these studies conclude the same results: maca boosts libido after six weeks of ingestion.
3. May Increase Fertility In Men
When it comes to male fertility, both sperm quality and quantity matters — and maca improves both.
A recent review of five studies concludes that maca root powder improves semen quality in both healthy and infertile men.
Furthermore, another study concluded that after consuming maca for four months, participants experienced an increase in the count, volume, and motility of sperm.
4. Improves Mood
According to this study, the mood enhancing properties of the maca plant are due to certain compounds it contains called flavonoids.
5. May Boost Energy and Enhance Sport Performance
Maca root powder is a popular supplement among athletes because it helps you gain muscle, boost energy, and increase strength — all of which leads to improved sport performance.
This small study on animals suggests that maca supplements significantly enhance endurance.
Furthermore, another study conducted on 8 male cyclists found out that the time taken for them to finish a 25-mile bike ride improved after taking maca supplement for 2 weeks.
Health Issues Associated With Maca Deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin C, copper, and iron can respectively cause:
- Weakness, anemia, and gum disease
- Paleness, muscle weakness, and neurological problems
- Iron deficiency anemia, low energy, and inflammatory bowel disease
So if you want to stay away from all of these health issues, then add a maca supplement to your diet.
Daily Recommended Intake
Currently, there’s not enough scientific evidence to determine an appropriate daily intake of maca for the average person.
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