Does Maca Root Really Promote Healthy Weight Gain?

Do you struggle with gaining weight? What if we tell you there’s a way to achieve your goal? Maca is a superfood that can make you gain weight safely and naturally. Many people swear by Maca root for weight gain these days but is it really true? Find out in this post.

The majority of us want to get rid of body fat and want to show off those abs and triceps. Although many people are underweight or are ‘all bones’ because of some medical condition or have a fast metabolism, and can’t achieve this goal.

Most teens may actually put on some weight after they hit puberty. However, some don’t put on any weight, and some are ‘late bloomers.’ Teenagers, usually boys, are often disheartened and envious of their muscular and bulky peers.

Some even choose the path of weight gain because they are ambitious about a sport and want to be selected to the team.

Everyone is concerned when they are underweight and try different techniques to help them gain weight. One recent and popular technique used by people is incorporating Maca root in their daily meal plans.

What is Maca root?

Recognized by its scientific name Lepidium meyenii, Maca is a type of cruciferous vegetable that was initially harvested by the ancient Spanish Inca culture. Maca is primarily grown for the consumption of its roots. Maca is found in the high peaks of the Andes Mountains of Peru.

maca root for weight gain

Maca has been housed for over 2,000 years ago, and many cultures have, over the years, passed it down, partly because of its rumored ability to increase fertility and sex drive, especially in men.

In the 1500s, the Spanish Inca tribes recorded the first benefits of the herb, Maca. Maca helped their cattle to reproduce when they suffered from the stress of the highlands. Recently, it has become increasingly popular as a nutritional supplement to put on some weight.

Nutritional value

Maca is a superfood and is full of nutritional value that will help with any nutritional deficiencies you may have.

Dried Maca encompasses 59% carbohydrates, 8.5% fiber, and slightly more than 10.2% protein. It is high in vital amino acids, which are fundamental building blocks for developing lean muscle mass.

Also, it contains fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, for healthy brain function and a lot of other vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, Iron, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Potassium, and Sodium.

Benefits of Maca root 

Because of its incredible nutritional value, Maca has a countless list of benefits such as the following:

  • increases energy
  • reduces stress
  • improves sexual function
  • improves physical and emotional well being
  • enhances mental clarity
  • improves hair growth
  • improves thyroid health
  • balances hormones
  • protects skin against ultraviolet radiation
  • treats PMS
  • improves skin tone
  • raises sperm count
  • helps prevent osteoporosis
  • treats depression

According to Ley’s book, Maca can help those suffering from chronic fatigue and even lower cholesterol. Maca is a thyroid stimulator by some health experts.

Does Maca Powder Cause Weight Gain?

maca root for weight gain

Maca powder can cause increased weight in potentially two ways.

#1. The first way how maca powder causes weight gain involves balancing the body’s natural hormones. Being a cruciferous vegetable, Maca coordinates with the thyroid gland to secrete certain hormones in the body. Only once these hormones become balanced, the body uses this system to process foods, regulate energy levels, and deliver nutrients to the body.

When one’s hormones are in balance and they use more energy, and they may find an increase in appetite. And when they increase the consumption of calories, they may gain more weight. However, this depends on several factors, but adding maca powder to meals can be one way to add on a few pounds.

#2. The second way in which maca powder helps you put on weight is through its anabolic action. Maca powder helps your muscles to burn through calories more effectively. Because of this, one may get more benefit from your workout regimen. This will add muscle mass, thereby increasing a person’s weight.

In this way, getting more exercise helps one to burn more calories, which, in turn, will cause the person to eat more food.

Maca Powder by itself doesn’t always cause a person to gain more weight. It only happens when the Maca powder consumption is paired with diet and exercise, allowing the weight gain to occur.

If you eat incorporate more of right and healthy foods and then start to follow an exercise regimen along with the maca supplement, then chances are you may gain weight.

Maca root can help reduce belly fat from higher cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Less belly fat will eventually reduce your weight, but that also depends on other healthy lifestyle factors.

What you need to know before purchasing Maca root for Weight Gain

If you’re wondering, “Where can I buy Maca? And can I buy organic Maca?” we’ve got your back!

Do your research

Due to its growing popularity, Maca is extensively available at various health stores, pharmacies, and even online retailers. It is available in capsule, liquid, powder, or extract form. All forms are beneficial equally; however, it is best to buy Maca from a quality harvester who guarantees it is 100 percent pure maca root powder.

Do your research on the various brands and choose the product only if it is sold by a reputable company with an established website. Essentially you must try looking for a variety of Maca that is raw and organic.

Know what type to choose

Maca is categorized based on the color of its roots and is usually found in yellow, black, or red colors. All colors of Maca have the same benefits, although some types and colors are more beneficial for specific medical conditions.

Red maca powder is the most common supplement form and is sometimes referred to as maca flour. It has an earthy, slightly nutty taste with a hint of butterscotch like flavor. The flavor can vary depending on the type of Maca. Black Maca is a bit more bitter, and cream-colored roots have a sweeter taste.

How to use incorporate Maca root into the diet?

Maca tends to increase your appetite, hence do not eat excessively along with its consumption. Eat healthy high-calorie foods throughout your day. Whole grain bread, potatoes, soy milk, and wheat pasta are great alterations you could add to your diet.

It will also be beneficial to add some protein shakes or flavored milk powders drink to your diet. Maca in powder form can be added to shakes, smoothies, or on top of cereal. 

In Peru, where maca cultivation is native, locals consume as much as a pound of dried or fresh maca root daily. Most people consume somewhere between 1 to 20 grams daily in powder form. Although there is no official recommended maca powder usage quantity, it’s best to start with about one tablespoon (in powder form) daily and then work your way up to more tablespoons.

Precautions and warnings

Maca is safe for consumption with minimal risk of side effects. However, one must moderate its intake.

  • If you have any thyroid disorders, you should keep maca intake in moderation and avoid consuming it raw because Maca contains substances that can impair thyroid function, especially in those with thyroid issues. And you must check with your doctor before taking Maca if you have hypothyroidism or a history of thyroid problems.
  • Because Maca affects hormone levels, physicians believe that it should not be consumed by those who rely on hormone-altering medications for illnesses like breast or prostate cancer or other serious conditions.
  • Also, those with high blood pressure are advised not to consume Maca root for weight gain. There is limited research on the use of Maca for pregnant or breastfeeding women. So, it is best for children, pregnant or nursing women, not to consume it.

In general, ask your doctor before adding Maca to your diet to ensure it is right for you. Maca may be used as part of a weight gain program as a food supplement. However, the root by itself will not make you gain weight as weight gain is purely down to the ratio of how many calories you are taking in and burning through exercise. Once you achieve your desired weight gain, you can then discontinue the Maca consumption.

References

Maca Root Benefits, Nutrition, Dosage, and Side Effects …. https://draxe.com/nutrition/top-5-maca-root-benefits-and-nutrition/

Maca Nutrition – Secrets, Benefits & Side Effects – Eat Peru. https://www.eatperu.com/maca-benefits-nutrition/

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