Maca is a tuber vegetable found in the Andes and cultivated in Peru and parts of Bolivia. It is a food with many properties and benefits for our body and fits perfectly in diets for athletes and people who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It can be consumed in different ways, which makes it a very versatile product in the kitchen. Even so, the ignorance of its nutritional values can generate some doubts. In fact, many people wonder if maca is fattening or not, as well as what its benefits really are. If you want to find out if this food makes you fat or if it helps you lose weight and other aspects of its properties and benefits, we recommend you read this article.
Does maca make you fat? – the answer
The main property of maca is that it affects estrogen and testosterone levels, favoring their increase. Therefore, maca can make you fat or can help you lose weight, depending on the type of metabolism of each person and the state of health prior to its consumption. Most people are affected by gaining weight if they consume a lot, especially by increasing fluid retention, by raising the levels of sex hormones and by containing carbohydrates, which if abused can lead to weight gain. However, with a moderate consumption of this tuber, in most cases, you do not gain weight. Thus, with these exceptions, maca is NOT fattening : like every food, it depends on the balance you have between diet and sport.
In addition, thanks to this property and others that it has, the consumption of maca is highly recommended for some women because it helps regulate female hormones, such as estrogens, contributing to their balance in menstrual cycles. It is also a great ally for those women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and it is a food that reduces the symptoms of menopause, as it increases energy and reduces hot flashes. It can also help improve depressive states.
After resolving the question of whether maca makes you fat, what may really interest you are its properties and benefits. According to research, the nutritional composition of maca indicates that it has a high amount of protein, amino acids, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins (especially vitamin B and C), tannins, riboflavin, thiamine, terpenoids, sterols, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, sodium, phosphorus and potassium. Other elements of its composition to highlight are alkaloids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, glucosinolates and plant sterols.
The amount of protein that maca contains is different depending on the type, as well as the contribution of other nutrients. In this sense, it has higher levels of certain nutrients that cultivated in Peru than that of the Chinese region of Yunnan. Regardless of where it was grown, the predominant nutrient in maca is carbohydrates: around 50%, sometimes reaching 60% of the total nutritional value. Regarding fiber, it contains 9%.
Maca: properties and benefits
Thanks to this composition, this tuber has properties and benefits for our health that are very useful to us.
Properties of maca
Benefits of maca and its uses
The nutritional components of this food make it an ideal complement to the usual diet, especially if you have certain deficiencies and especially in the case of vegans, people with a tendency to have anemia, women with problems related to menstruation, among other cases. . Among its benefits, it stands out that:
- It helps prevent the premature aging of cells, which is why it is used in both beauty and health treatments, in this case related to the skin, the heart and other vital organs.
- It helps to feel full, which is why many people use it to help regulate hunger and to be able to lose weight more easily with adapted diets and exercise.
- A study determined that maca contributes to increasing sexual desire, both in men and women. This is because it acts in the same way in stimulating the production of estrogens as testosterone, among other aspects.
- Being a source of carbohydrates, protein and being an antioxidant, it is considered a particularly beneficial food for athletes.
- In some women, it serves to regulate some problems with menstruation, such as severe pain or irregular periods, polycystic ovaries and the chances of becoming pregnant, since it increases estrogen and stimulates blood flow to the pelvic area and uterus , for being an emmenagogue.
- By raising estrogen, it also serves to reduce the bothersome symptoms of menopause.
- Being a stimulant, antioxidant and remineralizing agent, it provides a high dose of energy, which is why, among other things, it is widely used by athletes, very active people and those who come out of a disease that has left them with low energy, such as the flu or if They have been in bed for a long time.
Taking into account all these benefits, you can become aware of the healthy food that maca is and its positive repercussions on the body. Even so, you should always consume it together with more products and not as a single meal since it is not a substitute for a daily meal and, if consumed in this improper way, its properties would be insufficient for the daily needs of your body. For this reason, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor whether or not to take it and how it is best for you, whether you want it to lose weight, to improve some aspect of your menstrual or sexual health, etc.
How to take maca
The nutritional richness of maca makes it a food that can be taken both to gain weight and to lose weight. Knowing how to consume it, you can achieve either goal.
How to take maca to lose weight
Maca can help you lose weight as long as your diet is adequate: remember that no food will make you lose kilos by itself, but rather the overall computation of your meals and exercise. There are several ways to take maca for weight loss:
- Maca tea or infusion.
- In flour or powder (dissolved in juices and soups, in some sauces and adding its powder to salads).
- In shakes (mixed with satiating or diuretic fruits, such as melon, pineapple and apple).
- In capsules.
How to take maca to gain weight
Maca can also serve to gain muscle mass or body volume by retaining fluids. 100 grams contain approximately 400 calories, making it a great supplement in diets to gain weight. By not having fat, it favors the clean growth of muscle mass if it is worked frequently and correctly for muscle growth.
In addition, it is very easy to integrate into your meals: you can consume it as a powder by adding it to protein shakes to gain muscle mass. Otherwise, you can also buy it in capsules to take it regularly as a food supplement.
As a guide, the usual dose of maca is between 1 and 5 g of powdered maca per day or a minimum of 2 capsules per day and up to a maximum of 15 per day depending on the case, so the dose should always be adjusted a doctor.