FOODS     TOOLS     ABOUT        

Benefits of Maca for Hair

Maca Root

Maca root is a healthy Brassica vegetable that has been cultivated in South America for hundreds of years. One of the most famous potential health benefits of maca root is its ability to boost fertility, but it also offers a whole host of other benefits, including providing nutrients to support healthy hair growth and to prevent hair loss. These nutrients include:

Protein. Hair is primarily made of a tough protein called keratin. To produce keratin, your body needs amino acids, which you can only obtain from protein in your diet. About 10% of maca powder is protein, which makes maca powder an excellent source of plant-based protein to support healthy hair growth.

Calcium. Maca contains calcium, a mineral that is essential for many bodily processes, including healthy hair growth. When your body lacks sufficient calcium, you can see it clearly in the health of your hair. However, stepping up your calcium intake might not be enough to correct insufficient calcium levels: your body needs help from magnesium and other nutrients in order to absorb calcium correctly. The good news is that maca root is also an excellent source of magnesium!

Copper. Although needed only in small amounts, the trace mineral copper plays an important role in keeping your hair strong and beautiful. Insufficient levels of copper have been linked to hair loss and thinning hair, and copper is also thought to delay graying of hair because it helps your body produce melanin, the pigment that colors your hair. Maca root is an excellent source of copper.

Zinc. Another trace mineral that is important for healthy hair is zinc. Zinc supports healthy cell division, which means the parts of your body that rapidly reproduce – like your hair – need a steady supply of zinc. On a dry weight basis, maca root provides 2.7 milligrams of zinc per 100 grams, which corresponds to 18% of the DV for zinc.

Iron. Rich in iron, maca powder can help boost your iron levels. Iron deficiency has been linked to hair loss, and correcting it may be the key to restoring hair growth. This is not surprising as about 70 percent of your body's iron is found in your hemoglobin, the protein that transports oxygen to your scalp and hair.

B complex vitamins. Research shows that a sufficient intake of the B complex vitamins is necessary for healthy hair, and various B vitamins are routinely added to dietary supplements designed to boost hair growth and prevent hair loss. Maca root contains a variety of B vitamins including thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3) and riboflavin (vitamin B2).

1. A. Dini et al (1994). Chemical composition of Lepidium meyenii. Food Chemistry, 49(4), 347-349.
2. L. Chen et al (2017). The Nutritional Composition of Maca in Hypocotyls (Lepidium meyenii Walp.) Cultivated in Different Regions of China. Journal of Food Quality, Volume 2017, Article ID 3749627.
3. L. Obregon (1999). Maca. Planta medicinal y nutritiva del Peru. Instituto de Fitoterapia Americano.