Maca Root, A Superfood
Peruvian folklores tell of maca being used by warriors to increase their strength and endurance and for thousands of years the maca root has been valued throughout the Incan empire for its ability to decrease cellular sensitivity to stress and nourish and balance the body’s endocrine system. So what exactly is maca? Maca is a vegetable in the broccoli family that looks similar to a turnip in its raw form. It is native to the Andean Mountains of Bolivia and Peru, which has gained it the reputation of one of the only food plants in the world to thrive in extremely high altitudes. Also keep in mind that there are three types of maca that have been widely studied: yellow, black and red.
According to ancient traditions and modern scientific experiments, maca can have a positive benefit on fertility, nutrition, memory and mood. Today we will look at 5 specific benefits of this superfood:
1. Rich in vitamins and minerals: vitamins B1, B2, B, C, D, E, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, selenium, phosphorous and calcium. Maca contains 5 times more protein than a potato and 4 x more fiber.
2. Stress Reducer: When people get stressed a hormone called cortisol is released from the adrenal glands. Maca acts on the pituitary gland, which is the “master gland” that controls all of the other glands. By regulating the pituitary gland all of the stress hormones, including cortisol, maca helps regulate stress.
3. Fertility enhancer in men and women: Black maca has been shown to increase sperm count, motile sperm count, sperm motility and seminal volume without changing hormone levels in men. It has even been called “natures natural Viagra.” It has also been shown to increase fertility in women due to its dense nutrient panel and hormone balancing properties.
4. Helps Prevent Skin Damage: The antioxidants found in maca have been shown to protect skin against UV radiation. They can also help prevent oxidative damage and free radicals that cause aging to the skin.
5. Energy Booster: Maca is often used as a non-caffeinated energy booster. People have reported that they immediately feel their mood and energy levels increase after consumption.
Take charge of your health and experience the wonders of this ancient Peruvian superfood, Maca. It has a sweet, nutty taste and is great added to a breakfast smoothie, in oatmeal or on top of your cereal. If you prefer getting your nutrients in capsule form, maca comes in vegi-caps, non geletan capsules that make it easier for you to have your maca wherever you go! I’ve included a great smoothie recipe for you to try below.
Superfood Green Smoothie
• 1 cup fresh or frozen spinach
• 2 kale leaves
• 1 frozen banana
• a handful of fresh or frozen berries of choice
• 1 tsp. Maca powder (EZIA prefers the local to San Diego Sol Raiz maca) http://www.solraizorganics.com/
• ½ cup coconut/almond/rice milk or water
• 1 small handful of ice-cubes
Until next time! Paige Hilken
Gonzales GF, Gonzales C, Conzales-Castaneda C. Lepidium meyenii (Maca): a plant from the highlands of Peru–from tradition to science.
Gonzales GF, Cordova A, Gonzales C, Chung A, Vega K, Villena A. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) improved semen parameters in adult men. Asian J Androl. 2001 Dec;3(4):301-3.
Hypocotyls of Lepidium meyenii (maca), a plant of the Peruvian highlands, prevent ultraviolet A-, B-, and C-induced skin damage in rats.