MACA! A Superfood for Hormonal Balance
Updated: Feb 13
What if I told you there was a natural substance that promoted fertility, vitality and sexual virility?
Maca has been used for more than 2 millennia by native Peruvians as food and medicine for just that. Maca (Lepiduium meyenii) is a root-like cruciferous vegetable from the Andes of Peru. Maca is available in powder form or in capsules. Capsules tend to be slightly more expensive but a more convenient approach to getting your intake. To receive desired results from Maca it must be consumed on a regular basis.
Maca is incredibly nutrient-dense with 31 different minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc as well as 60 different phytonutrients (I think of these as super nutrients because of their antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and liver supporting properties!)
Maca is considered an “Endocrine Adaptogen” because it contains nutrients that nourish and support hormone balance and production whilst not containing any hormones itself. This is important because it does not alter your hormonal levels directly but instead aids your body in its normal hormone production and balance. Two important hormones to note are Estrogen and Progesterone. These are essential hormones that can affect fertility when there is too much or too little present in a Woman’s body. Maca aids in suppressing Estrogen dominance and supports the balance of Estrogen and Progesterone, which is important in achieving a healthy pregnancy!
Maca lends such a helping hand to the Endocrine system that it has been used to combat PMS, hot flashes, menopause, and stress hormones dating back as far as the 1500s! Now one would understand why it was used for currency back in those days.
A reduction in stress hormones is complementary to a healthy pregnancy.
Is Maca safe DURING Pregnancy? There is currently no scientific research on using Maca during pregnancy, therefore I do not have a definitive answer whether or not it is safe to consume during pregnancy. Acute toxicity studies show no significant results but this study was not specific to pregnant women. It is important to do your own research in order to make the best decision for your body.
But, what are the side effects of this superfood? With the understanding that we are all biologically individuals, some women have had side effects with consuming Maca. Increased PMS, stomach bloating, and gurgling are some of the symptoms women have had. It is important to note that these symptoms can be associated with purchasing poor quality Maca, taking too much, or consuming the wrong strain.
Aside from Maca’s hormone balancing properties, it has also been used to improve mental clarity, increase energy and stamina. Due to the stimulating effects of Maca is it best to consume in the morning. Gelatinized Maca powder is a more concentrated form and is easier for us to digest.
YOUR MACA RULES:
Grown in Peru
Start with 1 tsp per day (in the morning)
HOW TO USE MACA IN YOUR DIET:
Add a teaspoon in your morning green smoothie
Add a teaspoon in your morning glass of water
Add a teaspoon in your coffee
Meissner, H.O. et al., Use of gelatinized maca (lepidium peruvianum) in early postmenopausal women. Int. J. Biomed Sci. 2005; 1(1): 33-45.
Gonzales, G.F., Ethnobiology and ethnaopharmacology of lepidium meyenii (maca), a plant from the Peruvian highlands. Evid. Based Complement Alternat. Med. 2012; 193496.
Natural Fertility Info- http://natural-fertility-info.com/improve-your-fertility-with-maca.html
Paleo Hacks- http://blog.paleohacks.com/maca-drink/#
Scientific Review on Usage- https://examine.com/supplements/maca/
Wellness Mama- https://wellnessmama.com/8254/maca-herb-profile/