Maca has been connected with fertility and pregnancy for millennia. As legend has it, pre-Incan farmers first realised the root’s special effects when their herds became more fertile after eating it. Since then, Maca root has become a prized superfood thanks to its adaptogenic properties, meaning it can help boost energy, memory, relaxation and balance hormones. Researchers believe that the latter benefit means it can potentially help boost fertility and support a healthy pregnancy.
Maca and fertility
Maca has long been linked to improved fertility, with both women and men in the Andes region consuming the supplement when trying to conceive. So how does this superfood work to boost fertility? Researchers believe that the answer lies in its adaptogenic properties. As an adaptogen, Maca has the ability to naturally affect key hormones in both men and women, despite not containing any hormones itself. Maca also contains glucosinolates – alkaloids that are linked with higher fertility. Together, these unique properties help this superfood naturally boost fertility and balance hormones, alongside its long list of other health benefits.
One of the most convincing studird to support these claims came out in 2005, when researchers found that extracts of yellow Maca increased litter size in mice. This was the first scientific study to confirm what many people have known for thousands of years – that Maca can help boost fertility in men and women.
Taking Maca during pregnancy
While Maca is recommended for couples trying to conceive, there’s still a question mark over whether it can offer as many benefits during pregnancy.
On the one hand, Maca is loaded with prenatal vitamins that are important for expectant mothers, making Maca a potential natural alternative to over-the-counter supplements. Some nutritionists also argue that the adaptogenic properties of Maca make it useful for balancing hormones in the early stages of pregnancy.
Finally, Maca’s ability to promote energy could be a big help for pregnant women, especially those suffering from fatigue. Thanks to its adaptogenic credentials and impressive nutritional profile, Maca has been shown to increase stamina and energy (making it a great pre- and post-workout supplement), reduce lethargy and improve sleep. Another bonus for pregnant women is that it provides essential energy-boosting minerals and nutrients, including iron and iodine
However, the case for taking Maca during pregnancy isn’t entirely clear cut. As the superfood can alter hormone balance, there’s a chance that it could increase testosterone production in pregnant women.
That being said, there is no evidence to suggest that Maca is unsafe to take during pregnancy. But before adding the superfood to your prenatal supplement regimen, it’s always a good idea to ask your doctor.
There’s little doubt about the potential of Maca to balance hormones and naturally boost fertility, making this superfood an excellent supplement to add to your diet if you’re trying to conceive. Although more research needs to be carried out, it’s also possible that Maca powder could be a useful support in the early stages of pregnancy thanks to its wealth of nutrients and minerals. Just remember to speak to your doctor before adding Maca to your prenatal supplement regimen, especially if you’ve never taken it before.