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5 Surprising Benefits Of Maca Root in the Menopause

5 Surprising Benefits Of Maca Root in the Menopause

Tired of living in your Menopausal body? Want to be more like Wonder Women? Maca may be the answer to your woes. Millions of women worldwide are currently experiencing hormonal disharmony, commonly known as the menopause. Of these women that seek medical assistance, a high percentage will be prescribed HRT to keep their symptoms at bay.

But what is available to women if they choose not to use HRT? What other options are there?

“No matter how many hours I slept, each morning I would wake tired and exhausted. I was turning into a frazzled, tired, overweight, working mother. I did not want to go on HRT for various reasons, but also knew that I could not keep living like this.” – Jane B.

Jane is not alone in her quest for alternative therapies for relieving menopause symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. While anti-depressants, painkillers and sleeping pills may be prescribed for various complaints associated with the menopause, these are only short-term solutions. They are only addressing the symptoms; the true root cause of hormonal imbalance is not being addressed.

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Maca is an adaptogenic herb that is cultivated in the central Peruvian Andes at 12-14,000 feet under harsh natural growing and weather conditions. Double blind studies have shown benefits of taking Maca including:

  • Production of sex hormones
  • Enhanced sex drive
  • Stimulation of body metabolism
  • Control of body weight
  • Increased energy
  • Stress reduction
  • Antidepressant activity
  • Memory improvement.

Here are 5 Surprising Benefits of Maca Root in the Menopause in More Detail

1. Bone Health

Hormones have a major affect on bone density. Every day your cells are breaking down old bone (osteoclasts) as well as building new bone (osteoblasts). These cells act under the guidance of hormones and are hence invigorated or slowed down by your hormones.

Oestrogen slows osteoclast function, thus slowing bone loss. Testosterone and progesterone invigorate osteoblasts thus supporting bone growth.

As you approach menopause, bone starts to break down faster than it is being created due to the decrease in oestrogen being produced. Gastrointestinal absorption and metabolism slow down also with increasing age, thus reducing absorption of key minerals such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin K, thus adding to your bone density woes.

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Maca supports the HPA axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis), which assists with having a positive impact on hormone production as well as metabolism, thus increasing absorption of much needed minerals for bone development.

2. Mental Health

Cognitive function, memory loss and mood fluctuations are three symptoms commonly seen in menopause. The cause of these debilitating symptoms is low levels of oestrogen circulating.

Low levels of oestrogen can result in mood changes, memory issues and brain fog as well as impacting on the transmission of serotonin. Serotonin is the most important neurotransmitter for mood regulation, especially depression. Stress is also very common in menopause. Where there is stress, cortisol is released to help the body cope with the stress, which has a myriad of effects on mood also.

Maca has been found to support oestrogen and may reduce cortisol when it is secreted in excess.

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3. Hair, Skin & Nails

Oestrogen plays a major role in regulating the thickness of your skin; its moisture content, suppleness, wrinkle formation and blood flow to the skin.

Oestrogen also affects hair growth. Post menopausal women often find themselves with head hair thinning while facial hair may grow thicker. In these women, oestrogen is decreasing more than testosterone levels leaving the woman with more testosterone than she would like to have.

Maca assists in balancing testosterone and oestrogen, as well as cortisol, resulting in improvements in complexion, skin elasticity and quality of hair growth.

4. Reduces Hot Flushes and Night Sweats

As a hormone balancer, research shows that women taking a maca root supplement enjoyed a reduction in many of the most common menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes, sleep disruptions, night sweats, and depression. It was noted that the gelatinised form, as opposed to powder, of Maca works best in this situation.

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5. Weight Loss

Sudden weight gain is a common complaint in the menopause.

Maca supports your body by balancing and regulating your happy and stress hormone. By aiding your response to stress in menopause, in its adaptogenic role, Maca also helps in the battle of the bulge. Stress can lead to binge eating, especially regarding unhealthy foods interfering with success in losing weight.

Maca assists in helping you gain energy necessary for you to thrive any hectic lifestyle. Your stress levels will be naturally decreased and you will achieve greater control over your eating habits thus reducing the chances of gaining fat.

Please note Maca is not recommended for individuals who have been prescribed or are currently taking Tamoxifen or any medications used to suppress hormone production. As always, be sure to seek medical assistance if you wish to try Maca root, or any other alternative remedy suggested for menopause.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2018

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

“Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

1. Dehydration

If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

2. Lack Of Exercise

A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

3. A Poor Diet

The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

4. Skipping Breakfast

Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

7. Depression

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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8. Hypothyroidism

If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

9. Anemia

People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

10. Cancer

While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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