Will Maca Make Me Fat?
Maca root is the highest growing food crop in the world. It is cultivated at elevations above about 12,000 feet (3600 m) in the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia and has been used by populations native to the area as a staple food and as a medicine for thousands of years. Over the past decades it has become more and more popular outside of the Andes due to its numerous potential health benefits. And now it is now considered to be one of the most nutritionally dense and versatile superfoods available anywhere.
As maca has gained a larger audience, one question that many ask is if taking maca will increase a person’s weight or body fat percentage. In this article we’ll explain the science behind how maca affects weight.
The Nutritional Profile of Maca Root
To understand maca’s effect on weight loss or gain, we first need to have a look at its nutritional content. Maca contains a variety of nutrients that support many systems in the body. For starters, it has nearly all essential amino acids, which are responsible for driving several functions in the body at the cellular level. Beyond that it has 20 free fatty acids, including the unique nutrients called macaenes and macamides that are only found in maca root. This simple food also contains several crucial minerals as well as several sterols, which also support smooth bodily functioning. Read more on the complete nutritional profile of maca.
The reason maca benefits people in so many different ways is that it supports overall hormone health. Because of this unique property, it can in a few cases encourage weight gain in people who are abnormally thin due to hormone imbalances. However, maca, in and of itself, can’t make you fat. Here’s why.
Can Maca Make You Fat?
There are 4 main reasons why maca root will not make you fat.
First, maca root is a low calorie and low-fat food. A typical serving of 9g (about 3 teaspoons) contains just 30 calories. That same serving contains no fat. What that means is that maca, by itself, will not support weight gain. It simply does not contain enough fat or calories to make a difference. (1 average chocolate bar contains over 200 calories, by comparison).
Second, maca has been shown to have another interesting property for many people who take it: maca root can reduce appetite. This is mainly because eating maca root increases the sensation of being full and will therefore minimize your desire to eat. Many of our customers report this result and we’ve seen it for ourselves too. In Peru, we have a porridge made with whole maca roots called mazamorra for breakfast. It keeps us satisfied until the mid-afternoon. If you’d like to experience the most maca has to offer on this level, try our maca chips for breakfast.
The third reason that maca won’t make you fat is because it naturally helps to reduce stress. High levels of chronic stress have been linked to over eating, binge eating and a preference for high-fat, high sugar comfort foods. Maca contains sterols that can make you feel better and help reduce stress. Have a look at what a couple of customers have said on this level:
"I am SO beyond grateful for this stuff. I could cry from gratitude. It works so well and I'm only 3 weeks in. I feel happier, I get stressed less, and have way less depression” – Thacia
“After taking maca, I noticed my overall mood was improved, my skin was improved, my stress levels felt lower - and TMI* but my intimate life with my partner has improved, (due to lower stress levels? I've also read about the aphrodisiac properties of maca, and am a believer after the last 2 months)....” Hannah
A final reason that maca won’t make you fat is that maca is a natural energizer. As an adapotgenic herb (like ginseng), maca increases your sense of well-being and vitality. As such many people taking it notice that they are more active and engaged with life. In other words, taking maca is likely to make you want to exercise more and be more active in general.
But What If I Want Maca To Help Me Gain Weight?
If you’re interested in using maca to help you gain weight there is also some good news for you. Weight gain with maca is possible if you are talking about gaining muscle. We have several natural body builders who use maca to increase their muscle mass and size. Also, maca can have a positive effect on curves when used with an consistent exercise program.
Still, in both of these cases, maca won’t add fat to your body. It will simply help you add muscle, provided that you exercise properly.
We’ve seen that eating maca won’t cause you to add body fat, but on the contrary may actually support weight loss. Due to its ability to reduce stress, improve metabolism, reduce appetite and make you more active, maca may indeed help you lose some weight.
Of course, it’s not a magic bullet for weight loss and should not be relied upon for that purpose. But combining maca with a healthy diet can support weight loss.
Discover which maca we recommend for you here and check out our extensive maca recipe section.
Enjoy the day!