What Are The Health Benefits of Maca Powder?
Maca has received a superfood label and many people are keen to see what the perks are of including it in one’s diet — so what exactly is it and what are the benefits?
What is maca?
Lepidium meyenii, or Maca, is root vegetable that is native to Peru and specifically to the Andes Mountains. The root can be cooked and eaten fresh, however it is more often found in powder form where it is consumed as a dietary supplement.
Why has it surged in popularity?
Maca was a relatively unknown plant before the 1990s and was mostly only recognised within South America. However, it gained global recognition and popularity after it was marketed as a natural food that may help with fertility and menopause; since then, its benefits have been researched and many have bought it as supplements.
What are the health benefits?
It is rich in a number of vitamins and minerals, making it a great natural source of key nutrients.
- It’s rich in calcium and potassium
- Contains B vitamins
- High iron levels — especially great for those wanting a plant-based source
- Great source of copper — a fifth of our recommended daily intake can be found in just 5g of maca powder.
There are no reported side effects, though those with thyroid problems would be advised to avoid consuming maca as the vegetable contains compounds which may affect thyroid function. It is also advised that if you do incorporate maca into your diet, take small amounts each day; due to being rich in minerals like copper, too much can cause liver and kidney problems to be developed over time.
Can it really help with fertility and menopausal symptoms?
The research to support maca powder’s effect on menopause and fertility is actually quite small; though there have been a few studies, there hasn’t been clear-cut and conclusive evidence to prove that it can help with either of these issues. More research is needed to fully determine this; however a small study did show that maca powder reduced blood pressure and anxiety in menopausal women.
Got any other questions about maca? Let us know in the comments and we’ll get back to you.
By Toni Olukiran
Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at her last count) or playing tennis in the park.