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 into 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. Still, ignorance of its nutritional values may raise 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 discover if this food makes you fat or if it helps you lose weight and other aspects of its properties and benefits.
Can maca make you fat?
The main property of maca is that it affects estrogen and testosterone levels, favouring their increase. For this reason, 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 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, of which, if abused, weight gain. However, with moderate consumption of this tuber, in most cases, it does not get fat. Thus, with these exceptions, maca DOES NOT get fat: 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 is a food that reduces the symptoms of menopause since it increases energy and reduces hot flashes. It can also help improve depressive states.
After solving the question of whether maca is fattening, what really may interest you are its properties and benefits. According to scientists from the National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese CDC, Beijing, China, the nutritional composition of maca indicates that it has a high amount of protein, amino acids, fibre, 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 it is, as is the contribution of other nutrients. In this sense, the cultivated in Peru has higher levels of certain nutrients than that of the Chinese region of Yunnan. Regardless of where it has been cultivated, the predominant nutrient of maca is carbohydrates: around 50%, sometimes reaching 60% of the total nutritional value. Regarding fibre, 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.
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 anaemia, women with problems related to menstruation, among other cases. Among its benefits highlights that:
It helps prevent premature ageing of cells, which is why it is used in both beauty and health treatments, related in this case to the skin, heart and other vital organs.
It helps you feel satiated, which is why many people use it to help regulate hunger and to lose weight more easily with adapted diets and exercise.
A study from the National University of Trujillo, in Peru, determined that maca contributes to increasing sexual desire, both in men and women. This is because it acts the same in stimulating the production of estrogens as testosterone, among other aspects.
Being a source of carbohydrates, protein and being an antioxidant, it is considered an especially 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 with the probability of becoming pregnant, since it increases estrogens and stimulates blood flow from the pelvic area and uterus, for being emmenagogue.
By raising estrogens, it also serves to reduce the bothersome symptoms of menopause.
Being stimulating, antioxidant and remineralizing, it provides a high dose of energy, which is why, among other aspects, it is used a lot 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 all these benefits into account, you can become aware of the healthy food that is maca and its positive repercussions on the body. Even so, you should always consume it with more products and not as a single food since it is not a substitute for a daily meal and, if consumed in this inappropriate way, its properties would be scarce for the daily needs of your body.
For this reason, it is always advisable 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.
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