As a registered dietitian who works with women and men struggling with fertility, I understand how overwhelming the list for different vitamins, minerals and food recommendations can be. When it comes to trying to boost fertility, I’m happy to say that many vitamins, minerals and superfoods can actually help! What works, what doesn’t and when to use them are a few common questions I always seem to get. There are so many things to take and try out there, trust me I know!
Today, I’m here to highlight one of my favorite superfoods that may help to improve fertility for both men and women. Yes, superfoods aren’t just for women you know! One of my favorites and a pretty common one at that, is Maca, a root and adaptogen. Adaptogens help our bodies build strength, immunity and manage stress. They also support the adrenal glands and endocrine system while in turn help your hormonal balance.
The Benefits of Maca
Maca has been used for over 3,000 years to improve fertility by the Incan farmers in the Andes Mountains. So obviously, it’s not a new food, just a newly discovered food you can easily find at your local health food store, on Amazon or at Whole Foods. There are many benefits when taking Maca, some common ones that come to mind are:
- Increases energy (we recommend taking it in the morning, especially if you’ve reduced your coffee consumption)
- Increases sex drive
- Reduces anxiety
- Boosts your immune system
- Hormonal balance
- Improves ovulation
- Increases sperm motility and sperm count
- Prevents erectile dysfunction
I mean, Maca is a superfood and beyond, am I right? Maca is also very nutrient rich and contains several vitamins and minerals that are important for your overall health. This product especially comes into play for individuals with low immune system related infertility. It contains essential amino acids, Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron and phytonutrients. However, you can’t just take Maca and see health benefits right away. You still need to maintain a healthy diet and take your prenatal vitamins, if you are trying to improve fertility. If you’re wondering what fertility superfoods you could incorporate into your diet along with Maca, we recommend:
- leafy greens or leafy vegetables
- sweet potatoes
- avocados ( a great healthy fat!)
- whole grains
- citrus fruits (filled with vitamin c!)
However, the maca benefits will certainly help fill in some gaps while you get on track to a healthy diet!
So go on, take your Maca, and then let me see you stand tall and strut your stuff!
How to Use Maca In Your Everyday Life
So now that we know the benefits of Maca, you’re probably wondering how you can incorporate it into your everyday routine? Lucky for you, there is a version for everyone. Since Maca works best when taken consistently, we encourage you to use a form you will not mind taking day after day. Maca typically comes as a powder, capsules and tinctures. So think of ways you can incorporate this into your everyday routine. If you are trying the Maca powder, try adding it to your smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal or tea. If you’re taking Maca capsules, try setting it out with other vitamins or medications you may have to take everyday. It’s easy, you just have to remember to do it!
Now, you may be wondering “How much Maca should I take everyday?” The answer to this is, start slowly and build up to what feels good for you. I recommend anywhere from 500 – 3000 milligrams. This is a wide range, but everyone’s bodies are different. Just keep in mind, Maca increases energy, just like any other caffeine product. Since adequate sleep is also important when improving fertility, I don’t recommend taking Maca after 3 p.m if you are trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Research studies are limited for this product. However, Maca is considered safe to consume and has no toxicity limit. While I am not a doctor, I will always recommend you speak to your health care practitioner if you have any doubts or further questions. And lastly, (and I think you can agree with me) I think superfoods give you superpowers, so go on, take your Maca, and then let me see you stand tall and strut your stuff!