Maca, a plant native to Peru, is known for the many benefits reaped from its roots. It holds many chemicals that help the body in its regulation of hormonal levels. Here are five ways women can benefit from a splash of maca powder in a breakfast smoothie:
IT MAKES YOU HAPPY
The maca root is shown to be able to improve mood by combating mood disorders and diminishing depression. Depression and fatigue can often be traced back to hormonal imbalances, particularly the inadequacy of the hormone thyroid. Maca is able to prompt the hypothalamus to quicken the release of thyroid from the thyroid glands. Surprisingly, as maca influences the hypothalamus to regulate thyroid levels (rather than directly arousing the thyroid glands), it rarely causes an overproduction of thyroid. Once thyroid levels are normal, symptoms of hypothyroidism (such as depression, fatigue, weight gain, and forgetfulness) quickly fade in under a week.
IT'S A LIFESAVER THAT TIME OF MONTH (AND WHEN MENOPAUSE BEGINS)
In addition to influencing thyroid levels, maca also affects the levels of the hormone estrogen. As a result, women have noted a difference in both menstrual cycles or menopause when taking maca powder. For women going through that time of month, maca lessens cramping and body pain, even causing some women to experience a lighter blood flow. The regulation of mood during menstruation is an added plus. When menopause kicks in, maca can reduce the number of heat flashes when taken in the correct dosage. Many menopausal women have substituted maca powder for the more invasive and higher cost hormonal replacement therapies.
IT PROVIDES PLENTY OF VITAMINS
Maca packs a punch with its plethora of vitamins. It is a good source of vitamins B, C, and E. It contains plenty of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth, magnesium and amino acids for optimal muscle growth, and zinc for hormonal balance.
IT'S VITALITY FOR YOUR SKIN
As a hormonal regulator, maca is a great way to naturally clear acne and develop healthy, glowing skin. Maca can improve skin elasticity and tone for a fresh looking face. It can even increase healing for burns and scars.
LOVEBIRDS: IT EVEN HELPS IN THE BEDROOM
One of the most touted benefits of maca is its claim as an aphrodisiac. “The zinc, iodine, vitamin C and amino acids it contains may contribute to its libido-enhancing effects,” says Howard Peiper and Nina Anderson, authors of “Natural Solutions for Sexual Enhancement.” A study done on women with sexual dysfunction showed that maca alleviated symptoms of their issues and improved sexual fulfillment. Many doctors recommend it as a natural substitute for pharmaceutical products that are often encumbered with other side effects.
“The Menopause Thyroid Solution”; Mary J. Shomon; 2009
“Natural Solutions for Sexual Enhancement”; Howard Peiper, Nina Anderson; 1999 Dording CM1, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M, Mischoulon D. A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00052.x.
“A Look at South American Medicinal Herbs and Hormonal Health: An Interview with Dr. Viana Muller, Talking about Thyroid Disease and Symptoms, and Effects of Breakstone, Cat’s Claw, Camu-Camu, and Maca”; Mary J. Shomon; 2016