For What Is Maca Used And Its Benefits?

As a husband with a Peruvian wife I’ve learned not to question anything regarding how great anything Peruvian is… at least not out loud. 

Maca was no exception so I decided to search the web and find out for myself the benefits and for what is Maca used for.

There is a slow buzz stirring lately about Maca and its health benefits, but not a lot of people I talked to had heard about it. 

THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO

 

What exactly is Maca? 

Maca, also known as Peruvian Ginseng is native to the high Andes mountains of Peru. 

Once processed it is often dried and used as flour, a dietary supplement, or you can cook it as a root vegetable. 

Although called Peruvian Ginseng, it is a closer relative of cabbage and kale. 

 

What are the health benefits?

One claim is an increase in libido in men and women and also increased sperm fertility. 

I was able to find a few articles claiming the increase in sexual appetite and fertility with Maca but was only able to find a few documented reports. 

The most recent was a 2016 report which stated there was possible evidence of increased fertility but more rigorous studies were needed. 

A 2010 report which suggested possible evidence of increased libido but again, also stated that more rigorous studies were needed. 

I was also able to find an older study from 2002 that stated an increase in sexual desire was noted after 8 weeks of regular Maca consumption. 

http://www.themacateam.com

 

It’s good for memory, alertness, and possible Alzheimer’s Disease

Traditionally used in Peru to help children in school.

I found some studies that I’ve linked below to back up this claim. 

 

Some studies with rodents from 2011 have shown an increase in memory and learning with mice. 

An additional report in 2014 suggested an effectiveness in combating and treating the conditions that affect these processes such as Alzheimer’s. 

 

Reduction in menopause symptoms

There have been studies that have shown using Maca can help reduce symptoms related to menopause. 

In the stage before a woman reaches menopause called perimenopause.

A variety of symptoms are caused by a fluctuation of estrogen. 

A study published in 2006 found that women who took Maca showed a decrease in symptoms from menopause. 

 

Protection from the sun

You can apply Maca to your skin to help protect from sun damage.

An animal study from 2011 has shown that polyphenol antioxidants and glucosinolates found in Maca helped prevent UV damage and formation of sunburn cells. 

 

Sports performance and energy boost

I found several articles that claimed a wide range of benefits.

Muscle gain, an increase in strength, energy, and overall improvement in physical performance. 

I could not find anything with a scientific study to confirm the claims of muscle or strength gain. 

I did however find one study from 2009 which showed an improvement in time for a small group of cyclists on a 25-mile trek after 14 days of using a Maca supplement. 

http://www.themacateam.com

 

Risk and Side Effects

Overall the belief is that Maca is safe to consume and add to your daily intake. 

Because of the goitrogens found within Maca warnings are stated for people with thyroid issues .

These compounds can interfere with the normal function of the thyroid. 

If you listen to the natives of Peru, boiling your Maca is the recommended method.

They believe consuming it raw can have adverse health benefits. 

 

Conclusion

I will always recommend people listen to their own body on most supplements, diets, and meal plans. 

Personally, after trying out Maca for myself I’ve made the choice in adding it to my diet. 

I have not felt or noticed any adverse effects or any results in regards to strength or gain in muscle. 

Though I have noticed an increase in libido, overall energy, and endurance during my workouts.

 

With Sushi Fitness I try to share all my experiences with the Martial Arts. 

Workouts for the mind and body, history of Martial Arts, nutrition and supplements I’ve discovered.

I would definitely add Maca to my list of diet or supplement recommendations. 

 

Where To Buy

I was able to find Maca at a local health food store.

I’ve also found an online company who specializes in Maca and provides a lower price then where I shop locally. 

The Maca Team has a great selection with very good customer service that can help find the right product for you.

 

If you’re already using Maca let us know the results you’ve noticed.

 

How are you preparing or using it? 

12 Comments

  1. Great article! 

    I love learning about new foods that are good and good for you. This sounds like another type of super food like a lot of fruits but it actually has better attributes. 

    I am going to have to find a way to get it here and mix it into my diet! 

    Hopefully it will become a more popular food item in the US with all of it’s health benefits. 

    1. Travis,

      Thanks for reading.

      If you add it into your diet come back and let us know how you’re preparing it. 

      Take Care 

  2. Hey thank you for the awesome post!  This is great for people like myself, who really like Traditional Medicine.  My wife does as well, and this is something she might be able to use because of her intense sport workouts (I’m more of a weight training guy myself).  That being said, do you think it has any adverse effects on the liver?  My wife cannot take some medications because for whatever reason, they effect her liver.  Thanks in advance!

    1. Thanks for reading Jessie. 

      I can’t speak on it having any adverse effects on the liver. I didn’t come across anything that stated that while I was researching.   But with anything I would definitely recommend asking her doctor or a nutrition specialist if there are any concerns.  

  3. I have been introduced to Peruvian foods from a chef that I worked for, and I can attest to the great flavors available! I was unaware of maca, it sounds like it has some amazing benefits! I always like natural options, especially for things like sun protection, and anything that can give me energy to get through the day without having to drink 15 cups of coffee is OK in my book! Thank you for the information! It is very helpful

    1. My pleasure Travis! 

      Peruvian food is great too.  My mother in law lives with us so I get fed really well! 

      Order some and give it a try, the natural energy you get might save you from drinking 15 cups of coffee 

      Take Care 

  4. The mistake that most people make is that they end up playing with their health by adding anything at all perceived to be good to their menu or food plan. It is not done, there needs to be proper planning and consultation to it. This is great to see here on the benefits of using maca but just like you, I will favor trying it out first before deciding whether it is worth giving a trial to. Thanks

    1. Thanks for reading Rod

      I always try my best to research products or companies before I start using them or recommend them. 

      If you are going to continue researching Maca, or if you try it out please come back and update this with your findings. 

      I’d love to hear back from you! 

      Take Care 

  5. Like you’ve said, not a lot of people have heard about it, even me. Who knew maca is this beneficial to human health, I haven’t actually read so much about it and all those articles I was able to get to were not detailed. Now we know how beneficial it is to human health, since it is very safe, I think it’s demand and popularity will go up a great deal.

    1. Agree, I think we might be pre fad right now. 
      I’m guessing in the next year or so it’ll get popular and then level out. 

      We’ll see

      Thanks for reading 

  6. This is the very first time I’m reading about Maca and it’s uses, I’m actually surprised at how a plant with so much benefits and use can be so unknown to the outside world. Well, research is a gradual process and it’s coming up bit by bit, I think saying that Maca works majorly for sexual improvement because all of its benefits still revolves around that same thing. It’s good to know that Maca is this useful.

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