If you are familiar with superfoods, then you would likely have heard about either or both of the adaptogenic superfoods Ashwagandha and Maca that help the body to reduce stress.
Ashwagandha VS Maca; which one is more popular and why? In this article, I would be sharing with you some key information you need to know about these superfoods.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a small shrub that can be found in India and parts of North Africa. The tiny looking plant with yellow flowers has played a major role in Indian medicine for centuries. The root and berry can be consumed and are used to make medicine.
Systems of the Body Where it Functions
Studies have shown that the powerful herb works on the reproductive, immune, neurological and endocrine system.
Ashwagandha as an Aphrodisiac
The herb whose name translates to “the smell of a horse” is common for use as an aphrodisiac. It has been known to support and improve a healthy sexual function in both adult males and females.
What is Maca?
Just like Broccoli and Cauliflower, Maca Root Powder is a cruciferous vegetable. The only difference is that it is filled with numerous adaptogenic properties. It is found in the Andes region of Peru at high altitudes of more than 13,000 feet.
Systems of the Body Where it Functions
Maca roots are dried traditionally and then ground into a fine powder and can be taken as capsules or liquid. It functions in the reproductive, endocrine, neurological and immune systems.
Maca Roots and its Popularity among Athletes
The ability of this vegetable to boost brain power and energy level has made it common among athletes. There are numerous studies that prove that the supplement truly improves energy levels.
Potential Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
The numerous health benefits of the Ashwagandha supplements include
- Helps in Reducing Inflammation
Studies carried out on human subjects have found it helps in reducing inflammation by increasing the activity of immune cells that help in fighting infection, reducing the risk of heart disease and improving overall health.
- Reduce Anxiety and Stress
The Supplement has been known to help reduce the symptoms in people suffering from anxiety and stress-related disorders.
Potential Health Benefit of Maca
The health benefits of the Maca Root Powder includes
- Boosting Energy Levels
This super food helps improve energy levels in both sportsmen and women including healthy children and adults. It plays a major role in improving endurance also; this is why it is used as an aphrodisiac.
- Boosting Brain Power
In a study performed on subjects suffering from memory impairment, the root was found to improve learning and memory retention. This is why it is a common practice in Peru to give Maca to school children to help improve their learning.
- Reduce Symptoms of Menopause
Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and poor sleep can be greatly reduced by the use of Maca powder. This was discovered in a review of studies into how the superfood can be beneficial to women over the age of childbearing.
When consumed orally (swallowed), the superfood is safe. But it is possible that when it is taken in excess, it could lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
The dosage to take would depend on factors such as age and health condition of the individual. It is, however, unsafe to use the supplements when you are pregnant or breastfeeding as they are speculations that it can cause miscarriage in pregnant women.
When taken by mouth and moderately (up to 3 grams daily) Maca Root Powder is safe as it can be tolerated by a large majority when consumed regularly for up to 4 months.
Just like Ashwagandha, there is no recommended dosage, as the dosage to take would depend on the age and health condition of the individual. And as such, it is best to follow the instruction on the product’s packaging.
There are no known side effects of Maca consumption, but it is best not to use it when you are pregnant and breastfeeding.
Can Ashwagandha and Maca be taken together?
Yes, you can enjoy a good mix of Ashwagandha and Maca powder as there is no evidence of anyone suffering any major complications from consuming both supplements. Just ensure you empty it in a protein drink, smoothie or pudding.
How can you add Maca to your diet? Check this amazing Recipe
Superfoods are becoming a part of a healthy lifestyle and both Maca and Ashwagandha are packed with nutrients that are beneficial to the body. In addition to being safe for consumption, they are also available for purchase in most parts of the world.
If you have any further questions or would like to share your contributions with us, feel free to let us know in the comment section.