11 Oct Low Sex Drive, Depression, and Stress
Looking for a supplement to help balance low sex drive + hormones, increase libido, decrease depression, and helps you adapt to your stressful lifestyle? Maca root is a regularly consumed superfood by people in the Andes. While this is a food staple for them, for us you will most likely see it in powdered supplement form. I know how hard it can be walking through a health food store and wondering what all these different supplements are, so today I want to break down a famous ancestral used superfood that can help with many problems our society faces.
Health Benefits of Maca Root
One of the first health benefits that stood out to me when I found maca root was the increase of libido. Many people suffer from low sex drive. You don’t find many supplements that specifically help with this issue and it can be a sensitive issue for some. But let’s be real, people do suffer from a low sex drive! A 12-week study that was done with men who took maca root or a placebo showed that after 8 weeks of using maca root sexual drive was increased versus the group that used a placebo. Common antidepressants that are prescribed, such as Paxil & Zoloft, have side effects that cause sexual dysfunction. A study that was done showed that maca root was a well-tolerated supplement that helped with sexual dysfunction side effect of antidepressants. The larger the dose of maca root that was given responded better in the study.
Maca root is an amazing adaptogen, which means that it can support your body to deal with stress in a healthy way. Which, I find that we ALL need that. Because no matter what season of life we are in, we are all dealing with stress in some way. Maca root is also really great for helping boost energy and is a great caffeine alternative. There was improvement with a group of cyclists that used maca root for a pre-workout supplement. They found an increase in their physical performance.
As depression and anxiety rates rise in our society, maca root has been studied to help with reduce depression and anxiety. A study compared postmenopausal women who took maca root versus a placebo had reduced depression and anxiety. Women took 3.5 g/day for 12 weeks.
The nutrients that are in maca root are known to support the thyroid and endocrine system to support a healthy balance of hormones, which we know are the communicators within our body. It’s also a FANTASTIC source of vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system to fight off illnesses. Other nutrients are B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, and copper.
Raw or Gelatinized?
Each type of maca root is great. Raw or gelatinized just talks about the way the maca root is processed. Raw maca root is simply what it says…the raw form. It’s never been heated. It’s been dried and grounded up into a powder form. It has all nutrients intact.
Gelatinized maca root has been heated to some degree by the act of boiling the maca root and pressurizing it. This reduces the amount of starch that is naturally in maca. With this process, it makes digestion A LOT easier. You do lose a little bit of nutrients, but it’s still nutrient-rich. Some nutrients can be considered to be more bioavailable for us to absorb.
So, either one isn’t better than one another. They both have some pros and cons, but the overall use of maca root can be beneficial no matter what form you use.
What I Use
One of my favorite herb companies is Gaia Herbs! They are fantastic at producing some of the best quality herbal supplements on the market. I love how they test each batch to make sure that there isn’t anything else in it, except the herb itself. This is important, as there can be pesticides, heavy metals, among others that can be detrimental to your health. It’s organic and not genetically modified to uphold the integrity of the supplement. Plus, their maca root is so easy to use! You can buy it in pill form or powdered form, which I love to throw a teaspoon into my smoothies or post-workout shakes!
Have you tried maca root before? What are some of the health benefits that stand out to you?