You may have seen maca pop up at a local coffee shop or as an extra at a juice bar, but that’s trendy Superfood Not new.
Maca is a centuries-old plant that has been hailed as an aphrodisiac and a fertility aid.
But before you order a maca latte and get your fancy, we’re here to tell you what this magical root is all about.
What is maca?
Maca – not to be confused with matcha – is found in cabbage The family that includes cruciferous root vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage.
it has been Cultivated and used in Peru For more than 1,300 years as food and medicine.
There are three types of maca (scientific name Lepidium meyenii): red, black, yellow, the last being the most common, the most researched and the most commercially preferred.
While maca root is what you’ll find in nature, you’ll likely find it sold in stores as a maca powder, allowing for quick and easy consumption.
Some people claim that this is a superfood marvel, being promoted globally because of it Possible fertility benefitsthe ability to improve Endurance athletic performance, antidepressant-like qualities, help women manage menopausal symptoms, and more.
We reached out to experts and checked studies to see how much it depends on science.
As with many superfoods, research suggests that maca has great health potential, but it certainly isn’t a panacea.
Registered Dietitian Andrea N.
But there are some potential benefits of this superfood, which is high in vitamins Amino acidsvitamins and minerals.
For women, maca has potential estrogenic activitywhich can be useful in some cases.
In women, maca appears to be more beneficial for relieving menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes. depressionor sleep disturbance,” says Mascha Davis MPH, RDN, private practice dietitian at Bedouin nutrition.
For men, “Maca has traditionally been used to increase libido, raise testosterone levels, and support prostate health,” says Davis.
maca side effects
Maca is generally considered safe in small amounts, but there is no research telling us that it is safe for children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Davis says that people with hormone-sensitive conditions may want to stay away from it because it can act like estrogen.
Although it’s rare to eat it in any other form in the United States, it’s best eaten in its cooked state (which is how you’ll find it as a powder).
“Fresh, raw maca may give you stomach ache,” says Giancoli.
Can maca help you lose weight?
“There isn’t much research on maca for weight loss or weight maintenance,” says Giancoli, “but there is limited research in rats that found they didn’t gain weight when they took a maca supplement — so mayo Maintenance assistance.
Possibly helping people lose or maintain weight may have more to do with its ability to energize us.
“This may make you feel more energetic,” Giancoli says. “And if you feel more energetic, it may help you get a better workout.”
Davis agrees, “Maca does not directly help you lose weight, although it may boost your energy levels and increase your motivation to be active,” she says.
How to use maca
Maca is described as containing a file Bitter taste and pungent smell – Which doesn’t make it more palatable.
But the good news here is that a less than bland flavor profile may prevent you from consuming too much of it.
As of now, there is no long-term research on how much of this superfood is safe to consume on a daily basis.
According to one study, “Up to three grams (of maca powder) per day is safe for four months — beyond that we don’t know,” says Giancoli.
But there are many ways you can incorporate these three grams into your diet.
You can use maca in recipes or sprinkle it on top of your food: “It can be put on top of cereal or salads, or in a smoothie or soup,” says Giancoli. “It’s so versatile.”
Where can I buy maca?
You’ll find maca powder most commonly in health food stores and some grocery stores (such as Trader Joe’s). Online.
You may also find files gelatinous maca powdermaking it easier for some people to digest because the indigestible starch is removed during the gelatinization process.
But make sure you look for maca that is grown and processed in its native region, Andes mountains in Peru.
Since the popularity of this superfood has grown so rapidly in the past 20 years or so, it hasn’t always been grown and manufactured the way it has been for hundreds of years.
Depending on its source, it may have been grown with fertilizers and pesticides, which can Quality and safety change of the final product.
Not every claim of maca’s health has to have scientific evidence to back it up.
More research is needed before we can confidently say this is the super supplement we’ve been dreaming of.
However, could a teaspoon of high-quality maca powder here and there be part of a healthy lifestyle? surely! Just don’t view it as a miracle food.