Nutritional Profile of Maca Powder & its Health Benefits
Maca roots are known to possess a lot of health benefits. Let us learn about the maca powder or the maca root powder and its health benefits in the following array of the article.
What Exactly is Maca and What is Maca Powder?
Maca is a trendy root vegetable, which belongs to the brassicaceae family and is highly nutritious and also contains a lot of potent properties(1). Maca powders are derived from these potent maca roots after being grounded up and properly dried.
How Does The Maca Powder Taste and What Does It Look Like?
The taste of the Maca powder is a blend of both sweet and nutty along with a slight bitter aftertaste(2). Maca comes in typically three colors; red, black or slightly deep purple or yellow(2). The black or the deep purple variety of maca is loaded with more of antioxidants(2). But, regardless of the color of maca, the maca powder is highly potential in offering several health benefits.
Nutritional Profile of Maca:
Maca is considered to be a superfood because of its highly significant nutritional profile. Maca root powder is loaded with several minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc (2). It also contains some vitamins such as vitamin B including niacin or the B3 vitamins(2).
It must also be informed that maca powder is a great vegan source of the mineral iron, and only one 5 g or teaspoon of the Maca powder provides about 10% of the RDA for women and men above 50 years old, and about 5% RDA for women at the age group of 19 years to 50 years.
One teaspoon of the Maca powder also comprises of 10% of RDA of copper for the adult individuals. Copper is required to help trigger the release of the mineral iron so as to form hemoglobin, which carries oxygen around your body and is also known to be involved in the production of RBCs and WBCs.
What Are the Health Benefits of Maca Powder?
As maca powder has a powerful nutritional profile, it also offer you a lot of health benefits. Below we have listed down some of them.
Maca Powder Boosts Your Energy Levels (2, 4)
One of the best health benefits of maca powder is, it helps in enhancing your energy levels. There are many athletes and bodybuilders who supplement their daily nutrition with maca powder as it boosts the energy and the stamina; which in turn, helps them to get the best out of their exercise or workouts; maybe in gaining the muscle mass or in improving strength and their overall workout performance.
Benefits of Maca Powder in Hormone Regulation(2)
One more health benefit of Maca powder is that it helps in hormone regulation(2). The chemical composition of the root of the maca has shown to support in the proper functioning of the endocrine system, and this has in turn shown to be beneficial in hormone regulation, especially in the menopausal women or in improving fertility and libido in men(3).
Maca Powder Might Enhance Thyroid Health(2)
Another health benefit of Maca powder is it may enhance thyroid health. There are few sources that suggest that Maca root powder can stimulate the thyroid gland and it can be really beneficial, in case you are suffering from hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid.
NOTE: We recommend you to always consult with your doctor before using Maca powder for your thyroid problems.
Benefits of Maca Powder in Regulating The Blood Pressure Levels(4)
Another health benefit of Maca powder is that it can regulate the levels of blood pressure, especially in case of postmenopausal women.
Though few studies have shown that Maca root powder can benefit you in reducing the blood pressure levels; it is important for you to speak to your doctor before using it for reducing blood pressure levels; as there are also some sources that suggest against the Maca use for reducing levels of blood pressure.
Maca Powder May Boost Sex Drive(3, 4)
One more benefit of Maca powder is that it may boost the sex drive. Some animal studies show how Maca can enhance the sperm counts in livestock. More research has shown that men who take Maca powder had shown improved sexual desire in about 8 weeks.
Preliminary research even showed how Maca powder can boost libido modestly. There was another study, which showed men who had mild erectile dysfunction when given Maca, showed some great improvement in their sexual performances(4).
Disease Fighting Benefits of Maca Powder
Maca powder has antioxidant plant compounds known as Anthocyanins; which might help in warding off inflammation and also help in protecting you against cancer, various heart diseases and several other chronic diseases.
Maca Powder Helps in Bodybuilding
We already know that Maca powder has a real impressive nutrient profile and this is the reason why athletes take this as their supplements for improving strength and stamina.
Maca powder is loaded with proteins, amino acids, and several important vitamins and minerals, all of which are essential to fuel an exercise routine. Apart from this, the antioxidant effects of Maca powder can also help in preventing delayed-onset muscle soreness. These antioxidants found in Maca powder increases the number of immune cells, which are responsible for repairing of muscle and this in turn helps in relieving exercise-induced muscle damage.
Hair Health Benefits of Maca Powder
Maca powder is also known to have wonderful hair health benefits. It is true that there is no strong evidence that Maca can prevent hair loss; however, it may support the loss of hair by helping to balance your hormones. We know that hormonal balance can result in hair loss, and by addressing this, one can surely prevent hair loss.
Skin Health Benefits of Maca Powder
Maca powder has also some tremendous health benefits. Some sources have suggested that Maca Powder can help treat blemishes and acne. The maca root powder can even reduce your skin sensitivity; and thus it can assist in keeping your skin withstand high temperatures, especially in the cold or hot weather.
Brain & Mental Health Benefits of Maca Powder
Maca Powder Improves Brain Function : Maca powder is known to improve brain function. It is shown that it improves the cognitive ability in case of children. Maca Powder can also help in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
Maca Powder Helps in Elevating Mood(2). Maca powder might even help in case you are having light or moderate symptoms of depression, anxiety or low energy. This is because of the flavonoid compounds present Maca powder. There was a study performed in Australia that showed a notable reduction in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low motivation over a period of 12-week among a particular group of women.
Maca Powder Reduces Stress(2). One of the best mental health benefits of Maca powder is that it reduces stress. It is known as an adaptogen, which means it adapts to the requirements or the needs of human body(2). These adaptogens work by supporting your adrenal function and reducing the stress response.
Theory says that maca powder works in calming the endocrine system so that it produces fewer stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline.
Conclusion: Maca Powder, The Next Big Thing In Health And Nutrition
So, Maca powder is known to be an impressive supplement with a lot of potential health benefits, it might also have some side effects, which must be avoided. It can be problematic for people having a thyroid issues or who are on thyroid medication(4). This is because Maca powder contains goitrogens or the substances which might interfere with the normal functioning of thyroid and thus must be used only after consulting your physician.
You must keep in mind to avoid maca powder during evening time so as to ensure that you are maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. This is because Maca contain energy boosting properties. You can take Maca powder along with your smoothies or oatmeal during the morning or before any workout, so as to maximize the benefits out of it.
NOTE: It is important to note that pregnant women or women who are lactating should always check with their doctor before using the Maca powder.