How Amazing Maca Can Upgrade Your Diabetes Diet

It resembles a turnip, resides in the broccoli family, grows mostly in Peru, is considered an aphrodisiac, and it may improve glucose tolerance.

Maca root is a nutrient-dense food that supports our body with more than 20 amino acids, a variety of fatty acids, vitamins B1, B2, C, and E, more calcium than milk, plus an array of vital minerals, and antioxidants.

Maca and Diabetes

Though definitive studies involving maca are scarce, research suggests the root benefits people with type 2 diabetes by:

  • Aiding insulin distribution, and making our cells more sensitive to insulin’s effects.
  • Reducing the inflammation associated with chronic diseases such a type 2 diabetes.
  • Contributing fiber that slows digestion, and glucose absorption.
  • Increasing our energy and endurance for daily activities, and exercise.

In a 2007 study, participants eating a sugar-rich diet also took a daily dose of maca. The researchers found that maca significantly improved the participants’ glucose tolerance, and reduced their blood glucose levels.

Further, taking maca lowered the participants’ levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides—a plus for their cardiovascular health.

More Maca Benefits

Beside its positive effects on insulin function, glucose levels, and blood lipids maca root can help us stay well, focused, and upbeat:

  • Like other highly nutritious, antioxidant rich foods, maca is an immune system booster that helps us ward off, or recover from illness and infection.
  • The energizing properties in maca help to alleviate the fatigue and depression often associated with diabetes. It’s not well understood how maca enhances energy, concentration, and mood, but it’s likely because of the hormone balancing influence.
  • Maca root is considered an adaptogen, a natural substance that supports the body as we face life’s stressful challenges, such as a demanding job, moving, or managing an illness.

Since it positively effects libido, reproductive health, and menopausal symptoms as well, maca is definitely one of the world's most well-rounded super foods.

Buying and Using Maca

Maca can be purchased at most health food stores and online; it comes in powder, capsule, liquid, and extract forms.

All colors of maca - yellow, red, and black being the most common - are considered beneficial, though certain colors are thought more helpful for specific medical conditions. Whatever the color, it’s important to look for 100 percent pure maca from a quality harvester; raw and organic varieties are best.

Maca easily blends into cereals, smoothies, teas, salad dressings, soups, or any recipe that will be complemented by maca’s nutty, and slightly sweet flavor. Maca powder users typically incorporate one to three teaspoons into their daily diet.

Cautions

While there is no guarantee maca will lower our blood sugar, it can. People with diabetes should carefully monitor when trying maca to avoid hypoglycemia, especially if on diabetes medications. People on hormone-altering drugs, those with high blood pressure, and pregnant, or nursing women should consult a doctor before using maca.

Though sold in supplement form, maca is a food—but one with a powerful nutritional punch that affects different people differently. Our age, overall health, and body weight are factors determining its influence. It's best to start with a small maca dose, particularly if we have a smaller build, and increase to an optimal measure gradually.

Sources: Dr Axe, The Maca Perfection, The Maca Team
Photo: Pixabay

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