Fenugreek Vs Maca
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Both fenugreek and maca are packed with essential nutrients. People often compare fenugreek vs maca based on their potential health benefits especially when it comes to increasing libido and fertility. They share many similarities in terms of nutritional values, making it tricky to pick one of them. If it sounds like you, this article will help you a lot. So, keep reading.
In this article, we’ll compare fenugreek vs maca mainly in terms of their nutritional values and potential health benefits so that you can make a well-informed decision. But before we get into the difference between fenugreek and maca, we’ll need to know the basics of these two herbs a little bit more first. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is fenugreek?
- What is maca?
- Fenugreek vs maca: nutritional facts
- Fenugreek vs maca: potential health benefits
- Fenugreek vs maca: precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is fenugreek?
Fenugreek, scientifically known as Trigonella foenum-graecum and commonly known as methi in India, is a small shrub-like plant species from the same family as legumes, soy, and peas botanically known as Leguminosae or Fabaceae. It’s endemic to India and South East Asia, Central Europe, North Africa, and the Arabian regions. It bears yellowish-brown angular seeds and white flowers.
Fenugreek is widely grown as a medicinal plant, condiment, and leafy vegetable. Fresh soft twigs and leaves are eaten as vegetables and used in salad dressing. Its seeds, whole or ground, are used in cooking as a spice or flavoring agent in nearly each and every dish.
Fenugreek has historically been used in traditional medicines for treating a wide variety of ailments for centuries in several cultures, especially in Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) and traditional Chinese medicine.
What is maca?
Maca, also known as Peruvian ginseng or botanically Lepidium meyenii, is a cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the same family as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. The roots of the plant have been used as a staple food in the mountainous regions of Peru, particularly the Andes mountain range since the ancient ages.
Maca root was primarily used in cooking as a vegetable. It has an impressive nutritional profile. Today, maca root is used as a ground powder which is popularly added to smoothies, meals, and recipes. Due to its high nutritional value maca root is also used as a dietary supplement.
Fenugreek vs maca: nutritional facts
Fenugreek is rich in plant nutrients and biologically active compounds that have many potential health benefits. Some commons nutrients and active compounds may include:
- Amino acids (building blocks of proteins)
- Vitamin A
- B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, biotin, and folic acid or folate)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
All of these nutrients and bioactive compounds have been found to have multiple pharmacological activities in the human body, making it one of the most used medicinal herbs exist in the world.
Maca, on the other hand, is considered one of the richest sources of plant protein. It contains a varying range of other nutrients other than protein as well. Let’s take a look at some of the most common nutritional ingredients of maca:
- Vitamin C
Maca is significantly low in carbs and high in protein, making it one of the best choices for a healthier and stronger lifestyle.
Fenugreek vs maca: potential health benefits
Health benefits of fenugreek
- Boosts production and flow of milk in new mothers
- May help control blood sugar levels
- May help increase testosterone and estrogen levels in men and women respectively
- Helps increase interest in sex and correct sexual dysfunction in both men and women
- Helps manage menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea
- Helps lower cholesterol levels
- Aids in digestion and alleviates digestive issues such as flatulence, acid reflux, and bloating
- Reduces oxidative stress and risks of cardiovascular diseases
- Helps improve skin complexion
- Supports hair health
Health benefits of maca
- Helps protect the skin from sun damage
- Helps balance estrogen levels in women
- Helps with managing menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, irritability, and difficulty sleeping
- Provides high amounts of protein
- Enhances libido
- Boosts fertility in adult males
- Enhances energy and mood
Fenugreek vs maca: precautions and side effects
Fenugreek is truly safe and there are no reported serious adverse effects so far. But people with sensitivity to the pea plant family may experience symptoms of allergic reactions such as swelling and rash. Overdoses may also cause some uncommon and rare side effects as well including stomach upset, diarrhea, dizziness, and headaches. So, it’s recommended to take fenugreek only as advised and not to cross the recommended daily intake.
On the other hand, maca is possibly safe and well-tolerable for most people. But it contains substances known as goitrogens that can interfere with how the thyroid gland works. Therefore, people with thyroid issues should always ask their healthcare providers prior to using maca.
However, like with all herbal remedies and dietary supplements, it’s always important to consult with a certified naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, or dietician prior to adding any herbs or dietary supplements to your diet regimen.
Both fenugreek and maca are packed with vital plant nutrients that offer a wide range of potential health benefits. So, fenugreek vs maca - which is more efficient? It depends on the aims of taking and specific health conditions.
You might consider taking fenugreek if you want to:
- Increase milk production and flow of milk
- Keep blood sugar levels in check
- Increase testosterone and estrogen levels
And, you might consider taking maca if you want to:
- Boost libido and fertility
- Improve hormone balance or combat menopausal symptoms
- Enhance energy and mood
However, it’s important to work with a certified dietician or naturopathic doctor prior to using any herbs and dietary supplements to determine the safety profile.
Here you can see Vorst’s Fenugreek with Sweet Fennel Vegan Capsules
Here you can see Vorst’s pure and natural Maca 500 mg Vegan Capsules