The maca superfood is trending recently in many social media channels, and it might be the next big thing in the health industry, but for some, it is not actually a new thing.
This ancient superfood has been in fact used since the Incan times and current research shows that this superfood is not only good for the body but can actually help balance the body’s hormones and alleviate some symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance in the body. The maca plant is an adaptogen, which helps the body to adapt to certain conditions by helping the endocrine system release the hormones that the body needs to adapt. By helping the body release these hormones, it allows the body to adapt to stressful situations which otherwise depletes the body’s energy and results to health ailments or conditions.
At certain points in one’s life, the maca is a powerful ally especially during some critical moments, which can affect your overall health. That said, the maca is not for everyone, like other superfoods. There are some details and information that one should know about to understand how the maca can help and how one can optimize this superfood.
The maca supplement is not a magic bullet that can cure all ailments. No one product can solve all the health conditions in the world. Some news about maca claim that it can solve the entire hormonal problems that are afflicting men and women, especially the latter, such as dealing with menopausal and menstrual symptoms. Although the maca can help, it cannot solve the problems entirely.
When Should You Use Maca?
There are 3 times in a woman’s time when she would benefit from using the maca supplement on a regular basis and can be a part of her diet.
- Once she hits 35 and starts entering the perimenopause stage and post-menopausal.
- After coming off birth control pills
- After having a baby and no longer breastfeeding
At times when the body is facing major changes, the body’s hormone production may be compromised especially during menopausal stage or when hormone production is suppressed with the use of pills and even when giving birth and breastfeeding. As an adaptogen, the maca can help the body by supporting the body’s endocrine glands to secrete enough hormones to replace the loss or inadequate production.
Although the maca can help the body, it is not a cure-all. Using it together daily with other foods can help make it an effective supplement to one’s health.
Once a woman reaches the age of 35, using birth control pills and even after giving birth, several hormonal issues pops up which can lead to:
- Decreased energy levels
- Decreased sex drive
- Poor mental and focus, loss of concentration
- Mood swings
- PMS symptoms
When Should One Not Take the Supplement?
Maca is an excellent supplement as our body adjusts to the different life events; that said, for those who are in the 15 – 35 age range, consuming a diet that is rich in hormone supportive food is enough to help the body balance the hormone production and help it regulate menstrual problems.
Those who have allergies to iodine, or have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s or have any thyroid condition should not take the supplement.
What Kind of Maca Supplement to Take?
If you are interested in using the maca, note that there are different brands as well as forms available in many health stores.
One can purchase powdered maca and add it to their favorite smoothie. A spoonful is enough for first time use and build the amount up once the body becomes accustomed.
The maca plant comes in different varieties -- ranging from black, red, cream and yellow with the latter being commonly available and the least expensive. The yellow variety contains the same nutrients, amino acids and minerals that the other variants have.
For those still wondering what product to purchase, the powdered form is better as gelatinized or cooked maca can have decreased amounts of enzymes and nutrients due to it being exposed to heat. That said, for people with sensitive digestive issues, cooked maca is gentler and easier for the stomach. Some powdered products contain the three varieties making them more effective.
Before taking in a new product or supplement, it is important to talk with your health care provider and to know more about the supplement so that you would be able to make a smart and informed decision. This way, you know that you are making healthy choices that would work for you and your body.