What is Maca? Experts tell you the 8 functions of Maca, how to eat Maca, and how to choose it.
What is Maca?
Maca or Peruvian Ginseng, scientific name: Lepidium meyenii, grows in the Andes highlands of Peru, where it has been cultivated as a vegetable crop for at least 3000 years. The most nutritious part of Maca is the root, which looks like a radish tuber. Maca roots come in many colors, such as yellow, red, purple, and black. Different colors of Maca have slightly different nutrients, so the best way to take it Maca of different colors can complement the source of nutrition. Maca root has a butterscotch-like smell and is usually dried and eaten in powder form
What are the nutritional components of Maca?
Maca is a good source of carbohydrates and protein, is low in fat, and contains a fair amount of fiber. It also contains some essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, copper and iron. In addition, there are various plant compounds, including Glucosinolate and polyphenols. There are also certain fatty acids, including linolenic, palmitic and oleic acids, and 19 amino acids. In 1999, American scientists discovered that Maca contains two new types of plant active ingredients, Macamide and Macaene, which are currently considered to be effective substances in Maca ingredients that promote sexual function.
What are the recommended empirical effects and benefits of Maca?
1. Increase libido in men and women
Decreased libido is a common problem among adults. Maca has been heavily promoted.
���According to research, it can effectively improve libido. A 2010 clinical study with 131 participants found evidence that taking maca for six weeks improved libido.
2. Improve male fertility
For male fertility, the quality and quantity of sperm are very important.
���There is some evidence that Maca can enhance male fertility. According to a recent study, Maca can improve the quality of semen in men. One of the studies included nine healthy men. After four months of ingesting maca, researchers saw increases in sperm volume, count and motility.
3. Improve male erectile dysfunction
Maca is also beneficial for those with erectile dysfunction.
���A study showed that taking 2400 mg Maca per day for 12 consecutive weeks, compared with placebo, people who used Maca had significant improvements in erectile function and sexual satisfaction.
4. Relieve the symptoms of menopause in women
Menopause is marked by the last menstrual period in a woman's life. During this period, there are some uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, sleep problems, and irritability due to the drop in estrogen.
���Research has found that consuming 2000-3500mg of Maca per day can help relieve menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, sleep disruption and night sweats. Although the mechanism is unclear, researchers speculate that it may be related to Maca's ability to balance estrogen hormones.
5. Improve Mood and Reduce Anxiety
���Studies have found that Maca contains Flavonoid, which can improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, especially in menopausal women.
���This study of 14 postmenopausal women found that consuming 3300mg of Maca per day for 12 weeks could reduce anxiety and depression while also lowering blood pressure.
6. Boosts Athletic Performance and Energy
Maca is a popular nutritional supplement for bodybuilders and other athletes. Maca can help build muscle, increase strength, enhance stamina, and improve athletic performance.
���A study of 8 male cyclists found that using Maca for 14 days resulted in faster completion times on bicycle rides.
7. Fights Free Radicals
Maca promotes natural antioxidants in the body, which help fight free radicals and help prevent some health problems, such as heart disease and cancer.
���A study in rats with genetic hypertriglyceridemia found that giving maca to rats for 2 weeks as part of a high-sucrose diet significantly reduced VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein), LDL (low Density lipoprotein) and total cholesterol levels, Maca also significantly improved glucose tolerance along with a decrease in the area under the glucose curve and lower blood glucose levels, and hepatic SOD (superoxide dismutase) activity in all cases , GPX (glutathione peroxidase) activity in blood and liver GSH (glutathione) levels were significantly increased, the results show that Maca seems to have a positive impact on chronic human diseases and their prevention.
8. Improves Prostate Hypertrophy
Also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, BPH, it is more common in older men. Prostate hypertrophy will lead to unclean urination, which is prone to concurrent bacterial cystitis, bladder stones and other diseases.
���Several studies have shown that red maca can improve prostate hypertrophy, which may be related to the large amount of glucosinolates contained in maca, which can also reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Maca recommended how to choose? 4 principles to choose the right Maca
1. Gelatinized maca is better absorbed
In addition to the active ingredients, maca also contains carbohydrates such as straight chain and amylopectin, so if you eat fresh maca directly, it is not easy to digest, and you will have flatulence.
Through the process of gelatinization, excess starch is removed, which can reduce the digestive discomfort of eating Maca, and the process of gelatinization can also concentrate the nutritional value of Maca, and the absorption effect is more significant .
2. Multi-color Maca has more comprehensive effects
Maca of various colors, such as black Maca, red Maca, yellow Maca, yellow Maca, etc., all have their own different effects, some are helpful for improving mood, some can enhance sports performance, and some It is what male friends are most concerned about, such as improving sexual function and helping fertility, etc. A balanced intake of various colors of Maca helps to adjust and optimize one's own state.
To sort out the current research, for details on the different colors of Maca roots, please refer to: Introduction to the diversity of Maca varieties.
3. Gelatinized and concentrated hind foot 2400mg
The dosage of maca varies greatly among brands, but how much do you need to take to have an effect? According to research findings, Maca intake should be supplemented with more than 2400 mg of gelatinized Maca per day in order to achieve better efficacy .
4. Compound addition
Maca with zinc: Zinc is an important mineral involved in enzyme synthesis and metabolism in the body. It can regulate physiological functions and is also a nutrient related to reproductive function. If zinc deficiency in the body will lead to poor mental health, physical decline, and even For hypogonadism, the addition of zinc in Maca products can help increase the concentration of testosterone in serum and maintain reproductive health.
Maca with Arginine: Arginine can be used as a precursor of nitric oxide synthesis to promote the production of nitric oxide (NO) to improve erectile dysfunction. The effective dose of arginine is 2500 mg, and it can play a greater synergy with maca.
How to eat Maca? How long does it take to be effective?
There are many colors of Maca, and the nutritional value of Maca of different colors is also somewhat different. It is recommended to take Maca of different colors in multiple ways, and the nutritional value can be obtained. However, because Maca contains a lot of starch and is not easy to digest, you can choose to dry and grind it, and then use special treatment to remove the starch and retain the nutritional content of Maca, which can increase digestion and absorption. The time required for Maca maintenance for different health issues is not certain. For example, energy regulation and supplementation with Maca can be felt in 14 days. For sexual function and hormone balance maintenance, most people recommend 3-4 months.
What is the daily intake of Maca to be effective? Is gelatinization and concentration effective?
The effective dose of Maca used in clinical trials must be at least 2400 mg per day (2.4 grams, the number after gelatinization and concentration, not the number of n-fold concentration). Maca must be "gelatinized and concentrated" The absorption effect of Maca will be better, because Maca contains a lot of indigestible macromolecular starch (59-73%), it is difficult to absorb the nutrients of Maca without gelatinization, and many effective clinical human studies are mostly based on gelatinization The later Maca is used as a research subject.
Different raw material manufacturers will have different gelatinization and concentration technologies. Some manufacturers will say that their products are concentrated, but the maca content is only 400-500 mg, but they will tell consumers that you actually took the reduced dose of maca. There are 2400mg-3000mg. In fact, this description will cause consumers to misunderstand. Therefore, it is meaningless to restore how much maca powder to the weight of fresh maca. What ultimately depends on the amount of maca powder after gelatinization and concentration exceeds More than 2400mg, at the same time, you have to insist on taking it for a period of time before the effect can really show.
Does Maca Have Any Side Effects?
- Pregnancy, breast-feeding and children, there is not enough data on the safety of consuming maca, so it should be avoided.
- Direct consumption of unboiled maca root may have an impact on health.
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