Maca root is a plant native to Peru that is celebrated for its many potential health benefits, including increased energy, reduced anxiety and depression, and enhanced sexual function. We’ll explore five great maca root health benefits and recommend a great maca root product from one of the best wellness brands on the market.
Forget about sugar! It’s a spoonful of honey that helps the medicine go down. It’s even better if that honey contains maca root because you probably won’t need the medicine. This cruciferous vegetable has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until recently that people realized the maca root health benefits that make this plant a true gem.
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What is maca root?
Sometimes called Peruvian ginseng, or by its Latin name, Lepidium meyenii, maca root affects your physical and mental well-being. A superfood for its nutritional value, it contains vitamins B1, B12, and C and vital minerals such as zinc, copper, iron, and calcium. It also has eight essential amino acids and lots of phytonutrients.
This round, turnip-like vegetable is often boiled and eaten like a potato, but because it only grows in the Central Andes at an altitude of 4,000 meters (roughly 13,150 feet), it’s tough to get fresh maca root. Fortunately, you can realize the health benefits of maca root by eating foods containing dried maca root powder.
5 great maca root health benefits
Maca root is rich in antioxidants, reducing your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. In addition, maca root’s other health benefits are well documented.
1. Improves cognitive function – The major bioactive compounds in maca root inhibit harmful enzymes such as fatty acid amide hydrolase, which can lead to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. These compounds also improve long and short-term memory and learning ability.
2. Increases libido and improves sexual function – Maca root has been used for centuries to increase sexual desire and sperm count, thus increasing fertility. It also helps reduce erectile dysfunction. Older women praise the health benefits of maca root, claiming it eases their menopausal symptoms. Doctors also find maca root is safer and often more effective than estrogen replacement therapy. It’s no wonder so many older women are doing the Maca-root-rena.
3. Boosts energy and endurance – Researchers found that maca root extract improved performance for male cyclists and other athletes. But as with any supplement derived from natural plants, it could appear in testing during competitions and lead to disqualification.
4. Staves off depression and improves mood – Rich in antioxidants, maca root also contains flavonoids – plant metabolites that enhance mood and reduce anxiety. Maca root health benefits include providing the nutrition your body needs to fight depression, such as fiber, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
5. Reduces blood pressure – Known as the “silent killer,” high blood pressure contributes to nearly 500,000 deaths yearly in the United States. Researchers found that just 3.3 grams of maca root daily can lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of a heart attack.
How to reap maca root health benefits
The Incas in ancient Peru often cooked maca root in soups and baked it in bread. Some Peruvians still use maca root powder to flavor cocktails and beer. While possible to add maca root powder to smoothies, we found it easiest to use when added to honey, which can be enjoyed by itself or used in baking.
Medicine Man Plant Co’s Power Honey provides maca root health benefits in addition to ashwagandha – another herbal root that relieves stress and lowers blood pressure. One to three teaspoons before your daily workout will give you an energy boost and increase your stamina.
Medicine Man Plant Co’s Power Honey is also tested in a third-party lab for toxins and heavy metals (the chemicals that counteract the maca root health benefits). Additionally, the company offers a 45-day money-back guarantee and promises 100% satisfaction, or they’ll do what it takes to make it right.
Back to our roots
Long before there was such a thing as energy drinks (which could land you in the hospital), the ancient Peruvians discovered the natural way to boost energy while improving everyday health. Likewise, the modern man may have had an epiphany when looking for a way to enhance performance, or perhaps we finally realize the benefits of returning to our roots to cure everything that ails us.
For further reading:
National Library of Medicine: Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands
National Library of Medicine: Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review
Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women: Is Maca Root The Viagra For Menopausal Women?
Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.
Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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