Maca is a tuber vegetable found in the Andes and is grown in Peru and some areas 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, ignorance of its nutritional values can generate some doubts. In fact, many people wonder if maca makes you fat 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, in we recommend you read this article.
Does maca make you fat? – the answer
The main property of maca is that it affects the levels of estrogen and testosterone, 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 increasing fluid retention, by raising the levels of sex hormones and by containing carbohydrates, of which if abused weight is gained. However, with a moderate consumption of this tuber, in most cases, it does not get fat. Thus, except for these exceptions, maca does NOT make you fat: like every food, it depends on the balance you have between diet and sport.
In addition, thanks to this property and others it has, the consumption of maca is highly recommended for some women because it helps regulate female hormones, such as estrogen, 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, as it increases energy and reduces hot flashes. It can also help improve depressive states.
After solving the doubt of whether maca gets fat, what may really 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 number of proteins, 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 contained in maca is different depending on the type it is, as well as the contribution of other nutrients. In this sense, the one grown in Peru has higher levels of certain nutrients than that of the Chinese region of Yunnan. Regardless of where it was grown, the predominant nutrient of maca is carbohydrates: about 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 premature aging of cells, so it is used in both beauty and health treatments, related in this case to the skin, heart and other vital organs.
- It helps to feel satiated, so many people use it to help regulate hunger and be able 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 estrogen and 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 chances of getting pregnant, since it increases estrogen and stimulates blood flow from the pelvic area and uterus, because it is emmenagogue. In this other post you can learn more about how to take maca to get pregnant.
- By raising estrogen, it also serves to reduce the annoying symptoms of menopause.
- Being stimulating, antioxidant and remineralizing, it provides a high dose of energy, so among other aspects, it is widely used by athletes, very active people and those who come out of a disease that has left them with low energies, such as a 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 is maca 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 inappropriate way, its properties would be scarce for the daily needs of your body. Therefore, it is always advisable that you consult with your doctor whether to take it or not and how it is better in your case, either if 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 for weight and weight loss. 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 on its own, but the global calculation of your meals and exercise. There are several ways to take maca to lose weight:
- Tea or infusion of maca.
- In flour or powder (dissolved in juices and soups, in some sauces and pouring their powders into salads).
- In smoothies (mixed with satiating or diuretic fruits, such as melon, pineapple and apple).
- In capsules.
In this other article we show you more about How to take maca to lose weight.
How to take maca to gain weight
Maca can also help gain muscle mass or body volume by retaining fluids. 100 grams contain about 400 calories approximately, 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 in powder by adding it in protein shakes to gain muscle mass. Otherwise, you can also buy it in capsules to take it usually as a food supplement. Here you can learn more tips and tricks to increase muscle mass.
As a guideline, the usual dose of maca is between 1 and 5 g of maca powder per day or a minimum of 2 capsules per day and up to a maximum of 15 daily depending on the case, so the dose should always be adjusted by a doctor.