In the family of super plants I ask maca. Known a success in recent years, maca is an unknown plant when not interested in food supplements.
Already used during prehistory, this Andean plant has interesting nutritional properties and it would have several health benefits. Only, like many dietary supplements, it is not always easy to untie the truth from the fake.
What are the true effects of maca on our health? We will try to answer them through the lines that follow.
Origins and presentation of maca
The scientific name for maca is Lepidium meyenii . It belongs to the genus Lepidium and the family Brassicaceae . It is a plant with a taproot.
Maca is a plant that can be described as endemic to the Andean Cordillera, since it is mainly grown in this region of the world. It is found mainly in Peru and Bolivia and especially at high altitude (around 3000 to 4000m).
It seems that this plant was already consumed by man and used as a medicinal product in the Neolithic era. However, it will remain a long time unknown in the rest of the world, even if it is evoked in several chronicles of the conquest of America by the Spaniards.
In the 1980s, there was almost nothing left of maca crops. But finally, following a trip to Japan by Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori in the 1990s, a renewed interest in maca begins to emerge. Gradually, the commercialization of the plant will spread internationally, but it is really necessary to wait in recent years for maca to know the success it has today.
Physically, maca has the shape of an onion and the texture of a potato. Rather logical since it is the root, or more precisely the tuber that is consumed.
To understand the benefits of this plant, discover what are its nutritional values.
Maca is above all a plant rich in carbohydrates which represent about 60% to 70% of the composition of this tuber. It also contains 10-14% proteins, fibers (8.5%) and lipids at a rate of about 2.2%. From a nutritional point of view, maca is close to cereals like wheat and rice.
It is also rich in essential trace elements such as iron, iodine, manganese, copper and zinc. Maca also contains potassium and calcium, as well as fatty acids including amino acids, alpha-linolenic acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid.
It is these nutritional values that give maca its health benefits.
Benefits of Maca on health
Now that we have detailed the nutritional properties of maca, discover their effects on our body and on our health.
Maca is recommended to fight against fatigue and to fight against stress. This dietary supplement is also recommended against anemia. More broadly, maca would have a tonic effect on the body.
Likewise, this tuber is often called "Peruvian viagra", because it would stimulate libido and improve fertility in humans. This has been observed in particular in rats.
However, it is still difficult to prove the effects of any dietary supplement and so far, no study has really taken the time to accurately assess the real benefits of maca for our health.
See also dangers or contraindications
Comme tous les compléments alimentaires il est vivement recommandé de ne pas dépasser le dosage prescrit sur l’emballage du produit. Autrement dit, il ne faut pas tomber dans l’excès de maca. Cette plante ne doit pas remplacer une alimentation saine et variée.
Pour le moment, aucun effet indésirable n’a été observé, mais n’importe quel excès est néfaste pour la santé.
Au niveau des contre-indications, elles s’adressent avant tout aux femmes enceintes et allaitantes, aux enfants, mais aussi aux femmes qui suivent un traitement hormonal et aux personnes souffrant d’un dysfonctionnement métabolique.
De toute façon, avant de débuter une cure de complément alimentaire, il est indispensable d’en discuter avec son médecin traitant.
Maca buying tips: our selection
Among the different maca products sold in commerce, we have selected two.
The first is organic Powder Maca powder. Sold 18 € 250g bag, this powder is consumed up to 5g per day. It is composed of 100% maca without allergens or GMOs. For 100g of maca powder the nutritional values are as follows: 355kcal, 2g of fat, 67g of carbohydrates, 14g of protein, 6.5g of dietary fiber and 0.04g of salt. This product is designed by a GMP laboratory (Good Manufacturing Practices in use in the European Pharmaceutical Industry). Note that it is not recommended for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding. It must be kept in a dry, cool place and protected from light.
The second product is maca in the form of organic capsules of the Anastore brand. The box containing 60 capsules is sold 18,5 €. Each capsule contains 500mg of concentrated maca extract, and a tiny amount of magnesium sterate. The capsule is of plant material: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose. No GMOs or allergens are present. This product is designed by a GMP laboratory (Good Manufacturing Practices in use in the European Pharmaceutical Industry). Similarly, it is not recommended for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding. It must be kept in a dry, cool place and protected from light.
MySuperfoods also offers organic maca powder of good quality and not too expensive. It is also a very good value for money, a cheaper alternative to Anastore powder.
How to consume it?
Maca is found in its natural form in some countries. However, in France, it is mainly sold in two different forms: powder or capsules.
In the first case, simply mix a specific amount of powder with a drink or sprinkle it on food.
In capsule form, maca is consumed like any other capsule, that is to say with a glass of water. Each capsule contains a specific amount of maca, which can make this solution more convenient for a cure.
Who is the maca for?
As we have seen in the section on the benefits of maca, this tuber is primarily recommended for people who lack tone. Ideally, it should be consumed when one suffers from certain nutritional deficiencies that will be able to fill the maca.
Similarly, you can also try this solution if you have problems with sex drive or fertility, even if it does not replace existing drugs.
Conversely, maca is not recommended for children, pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding. This is also true for people with metabolic syndrome and for women on hormone therapy.
Should I buy Bio? Our opinion
It is always better to consume organic, as it certifies a certain quality in the way a product has been grown. Thus, the organic label guarantees that no chemical fertilizer or pesticide type has been used. Rely on a French or European organic label.
By cons, it is not because a product does not have the bio label that it is necessarily more toxic. It depends on how it was grown. You must first find out where the maca comes from and check what is written on the package.
It is necessary to be careful, because the maca being a product which is successful, the competition has increased at the level of the Peruvian and Bolivian farmers who produce this tuber. As a result, some people are encouraged to use pesticides and various chemicals to get a better crop and thus increase their income.
Where to buy quality maca at the best price?
Dietary supplements like Maca are not always easy to find when you are not lucky enough to have a specialized trade nearby. Do not hesitate to take a look at organic stores if there are near you.
Otherwise, the best solution is to make your purchase online. In addition, we benefit from a choice of products based on maca more important and prices are generally lower. Among the various online shops selling maca, we recommend the Anastore website. Simply because in addition to offering a good choice of products, they are of very good quality and they are offered at rather interesting prices.