Peruvians have been using Maca Root as a medicinal and everyday food for centuries.
Grown in the high Andes, this revived superfood is used as traditional medicine to boost energy, stamina and sexual function.
Traditionally, Peruvians use the fresh root in porridge, soups, and jams and mixed with other vegetables in empanadas. Yet, the majority of harvested maca is dried.
However, maca root can be consumed in numerous ways. Typically, you can find maca root as an extract, as a powder or in pill form. Three of the most common types of maca root come in the colors of yellow, red and black.
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Health Benefits of Maca Root
Maca’s health benefits have been long valued by Peruvians dating back at least 3000 years. This rediscovered plant has gained popularity making it a superb supplement and superfood.
Nutritional Value: Maca is high in potassium and calcium but has low sodium content. It also contains trace elements like copper, iodine, iron, manganese and zinc. In addition, maca is comprised of fatty acids including linolenic acid, oleic acids, palmitic acid and 19 amino acids.
Maca is mostly commonly known as an aphrodisiac especially for men. It is said to increase endurance (in the bedroom) and enhance your libido. Moreover, maca boosts fertility and balances your hormones.
Maca is known for increasing stamina and energy levels. In truth, many people report having extra energy within days of using maca. Moreover, countless athletes consume maca for peak performance. If you feel tired often, try maca for a natural energy boost. Additionally, maca is a great coffee or caffeine substitute.
Reports show that maca may help with mood swings, anxiety, depression and stress. Likewise, this amazing superfood may increase focus and mental energy. However, there is not sufficient evidence to support these claims.
Health and Mood Improvement for Women
Maca is said to help with menopause and menstrual problems. It eases cramps, body aches, mood fluctuations, anxiety, depression and hot flashes.
Note: Avoid consuming maca if you’re pregnant or lactating.
There are various people who consume maca for skin problems such as acne and blemishes. Maca is also said to reduce skin sensitivity.
What is more, this amazing plant is said to help your skin withstand extreme temperatures (hot and cold).
Maca supports your health in several ways. It provides you with iron, may restore red blood cells, helps with anemia and supports the cardiovascular system. Maca also helps build strong bones and teeth plus aids in healing wounds faster. Moreover, maca is used by many athletes in combination of a good workout regime to increase muscle mass.
Note: If you have high blood pressure or liver problems, consult a qualified healthcare specialist before taking maca.
Possible Side Effects of Maca Root
Many experts as well as the people of the Andes believe that maca root has innumerable health benefits. Although there are no known side effects of maca, the powerful root should not be in excess amounts. When you first start utilizing maca, start by taking small amounts and then slowly build up.
The average daily dose is 1 tablespoon of powder but ½ teaspoon is a suitable place to start. According to WebMD, maca is possibly safe when consumed in greater amounts (up to 3 grams daily) for up to four months. As well, WebMD reports that maca seems to be tolerated by the majority of people.
Note: Women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding should take precaution. There is not enough documented research on possible side effects. Moreover, an excess of maca is said to imbalance your hormonal system. People who have hormone-sensitive conditions like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine cancer, breast cancer or ovarian cancer. WebMD further adds that if you have any condition that can be made worse by consuming estrogen, do not use maca.
Maca Root Uses
This powerful superfood is great in smoothies, juices, lightly cooked foods, beverages and salads.
Just don’t add maca to extremely hot foods because it’ll lose its health benefits.
Maca has a mild sweet and pleasant malt like flavor.
Some say it taste similar to toasted oats even butterscotch. Depending on what you mix it with, maca can taste a bit odd. For a more palatable mixture, add it to sweeter type foods. Or you can start out with capsules until you acquire a taste.
Botany & History
Lepidium meyenii is commonly known as maca. This amazing herbaceous biennial plant belongs to the cabbage family.
Maca is a native of the high Andes of Peru near Lake Junin and has been cultivated in the area for centuries. Although it is not in the ginseng family, maca is also widely known as Peruvian ginseng.
Maca is typically grown for its fleshy hypocotyl (a fused hypocotyl and taproot). It’s used as a medicinal herb, root vegetable and a possible aphrodisiac. The Spanish and Quechua (native language of the Andes) names include maino, maca-maca, ayak willku and ayak chichira.
Maca’s growth habit, size and proportions are similar to a turnip or radish. Its coarse inverted-pear-shaped body can vary in shape such as flattened circular, rectangular, spherical or triangular. The hypocotyls can also vary in colors of red, blue, gold, cream, green or black. The cream colored roots are the most commonly grown because of their larger size and enhanced sweetness. However, the darker colored roots like purple, black and red are high in natural iodine. The properties of black maca have been deemed the highest for energy and stamina. Additionally, clinical studies have shown that red maca reduces prostate size in rats.
Three of the most popular types of Maca Root come in the colors of red, yellow and black. When buying maca, it’s important to buy only organic so you get full use of this incredible superfood.
Quality Organic Maca
Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Maca Powder, 1 Pound Pouches
Healthworks Raw Certified Organic Maca Powder 32oz (2LB)
Kiva Organic Maca Powder – Non-GMO, RAW and Vegan (16-Ounce)
Raw Organic Peruvian Maca Root Powder – Fair Trade, Gmo-free, Raw & Vegan,, 8 Oz
The statements enclosed herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products and information mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Before starting any diet (including a sugar detox), seek expert advice.
Several maca roots: CIP Headquarters via photopin cc
Close up of maca root: CIP Headquarters via photopin cc
Five maca roots: CIP Headquarters via photopin ccMaca root powder: Zoom’s Edible Plants
Maca root bulb sprout: Buzzle; Maca Root Extract
Maca powder in blender: Fashion Gourmet
Maca smoothie: The Vegan RoadMaca powder and root: The Gaia Health Blog