Maca’s history goes back around 3,800 B.C. Ancient Peruvian Indians has used it for food and as medicinal herbs. It has also been used as a currency in the Incan empire because of its value as an energy and libido enhancer.
Maca, whose scientific name is lepidium meyenii, is a starch plant belonging to the brassica family. Its root looks like radish and is related to potato family. It is tuberous and has a spherical shape growing to about 3 to 6 centimeters in diameter and 4.7 centimeters in length. It comes in four colors which also determine its nutritional value, creamy yellow, black, light pink and dark purple.
A superfood that is excellent if both nutritional and medicinal benefits. Maca contains significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and up to 20 essential fatty acids of which 40% is saturated and 55% are non--saturated. Let’s have a breakdown of some of its nutritional value. This ancient root food is packed with 59% quality carbohydrates and 10% of plant based protein to give you sustained energy. Its vitamin content includes Vitamin C that works as an antioxidant, niacin for proper circulation, thiamin in order to have a well-functioning heart, muscle and nervous system by converting carbohydrates into energy. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy digestive system and meca has a very high level of lignan and cellulose that enhances intestinal function.
Do you need an energy boost in the morning?... Just add some maca powder to your warm cocoa or oatmeal to give you that kick! Do you know that ancient Incan warriors would consume a lot of maca as they prepare for a long expedition or going to battle? This is because of its rich content of sterols. Today, it is also being used by athletes as an effective alternative to anabolic steroids in muscle building and strengthening, which is much safer as it does not contain any chemical to interfere with the normal endocrine function. This is the best way to boost your muscles and energy without the negative side effects.
This power root is also touted as an aphrodisiac. It has been shown to increase libido and sexual function. Women experiencing symptoms of PMA and menopause may find relief when using meca, by radically reducing hot flashes and night sweats. It also alleviates anxiety and depression.
Not much is known about the long term use of maca for medical purposes, therefore it’s safe to consult your health provider first or avoid using maca. Relatively safe when take as food except for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Some precaution must be observed by individuals with high blood pressure as eating maca in large quantity may increase blood pressure.
Maca fun fact: High In the Andes Mountain, only two crops are being cultivated at an altitude of 7,000 to 11,000 feet, potato and maca. They’re the highest altitude growing plant on earth.
Add it to your juice, shakes or smoothie and find out the power of this ancient root.
“Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.” – Heather Morgan. MS, NLC
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