The Superfood Maca root plant is actually a native to the high Andes Mountains of Peru, where it originally grew wild ten to fourteen thousand feet in very inhospitable conditions. Maca has been used for thousands of years by the indigenous people of the region, as a natural-healing plant. It is one of the few natural plants world-wide that has been recognized as an “Adaptogen”.
Wikipedia describes Maca this way; “Lepidium Meyenii, known as Maca, or Peruvian Ginseng, is an edible herbaceous biennial plant of the Brassicacuase Family, that is native to South America in the high Andes Mountains of Peru. It is grown for its fleshy hypocotel that is fused with a tap root, which is typically dried, but may be freshly cooked as a root vegetable. If it is dried, it maybe further processed into a flour for baking, or as a dietary supplement. It is also used in traditional medicine.” For more information from Wikipedia on this incredible Maca plant, read more here.
Maca The Adaptogen
An Adaptogen is a plant, or plant substance, that assists the human body to “adapt” to stressor and the invasion of other harmful substances, by normalizing bodily functions. Adaptogens, in normalizing imbalances and by supporting over-worked adrenal glands, help your body build resistance against stressors, that are not only, physical, but also, against chemical and biological agents. Problems associated with stressors and harmful invasions, are chronic fatigue, weight gain, brain fog and loss of memory, poor sleep habits, acne, allergies, high blood pressure, inflammation, poor digestion, autoimmune disease, and a host of other harmful effects. Andrew Weil, MD, describes the Adaptogen Maca this way, “Maca can tone the body and bring it back to homeostasis, creating a non-specific response to resist stress.”
So, what is in Maca root that makes it such an incredible natural-healing or medicinal plant? Maca is a highly-nutritious whole food organically-grown and cultivated, non-GMO (genetically modified), on small family farms. One ounce (28 grams) of Maca contains the following nutritious substances: 91 calories, 20 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of fat, 133% of RDI vitamin C, 85% RDI copper, 23% RDI iron, 16% RDI potassium, 15% RDI Manganese, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6, 19 essential amino acids, trace minerals zinc, selenium, boron, and others, several glucosinolates plant substances, 20 free fatty acids, and 2 unique plant compounds macaenes and macamides (only found in Maca).
More detailed description of the nutrition ingredients in Maca:
Carbs. Maca is rich in quality carbs, which combined with the alkaloids and other plant nutrients make it very effective in supplying the body with essential carb nutrition.
Protein. Maca is loaded with bio-available plant protein and is easily assimilated by the body.
Fiber. Maca contains high levels of natural cellulose and lignan, and excellent for intestinal function.
Amino acids. Maca contains 19 of the essential amino acids, required for proper cellular function.
free-fatty acids. Maca contains 20 fatty acids, necessary for cellular function also, saturated fatty acids at 40%, and non-saturated at about 59%, with the most dominant adding to Maca’s nutrition, are linolenic, palmiticolic, and steric.
Minerals. Maca contains a higher level of Calcium than whole milk. Calcium is essential in bone development, nerve and circulatory system health. Phosphorus is essential in maintaining homeostasis, balancing calcium, and transmitting electrical stimuli for brain and muscle function. Magnesium is essential for the synthesis of proteins, muscles and nerve function, and heart health. Potassium is essential in the cells to promote healthy osmosis and absorption. Sodium is essential for circulation and transferring oxygen-rich blood.
Trace Minerals. Trace minerals include copper, which supports enzyme health. Zinc enhances clarity of thought and mental function. Manganese supports body and cell growth. Iron is essential to blood hemoglobin, and muscle growth. Selenium protects cell damage from free-radicals and oxidation. Boron is essential for proper metabolism.
Vitamins. Thiamin assists the body to convert carbs into energy, and is essential to heart, muscle, and nervous system function. Riboflavin is essential for body growth and red blood cell reproduction. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) elevates anti-oxidant activity and prevents harmful free-radical damage. Niacin supports healthy circulation.
Sterols. Sterols have a positive effect lowering cholesterol. A recent study showed, by consuming 3 grams of plant sterols and stanols every day over a period of four weeks, lowered cholesterol up to 21%.
Sugars. Raw Maca contains 20% naturally occurring sugar, and gelatinized Maca contains almost 50% natural sugar, but, remember this is natural sugar, not processed sugar.
Glucosinolates. Maca contains aromatic glucosinolates, which act as natural pesticides, and they are released when there is tissue damage to the plant. When chewed by humans, the same reaction occurs, by releasing the glucosinolates in the cells, as they are transformed into bio-active compounds believed to possess anti-cancer cell growth properties.
Macaenes and Macamides. These two substances, unique only to Maca, are polyunsaturated acids, also essential to a wide-range of bodily functions, such as circulation and protection against free radical damage.
The Wide Ranging Benefits of Adaptogen Maca
Now that you have learned of the high nutritional value of this incredible plant, and what is in Maca root, let’s look at the many amazing benefits for your health and well being that can be realized by using this Adaptogen on a daily basis.
- Improved Circulation. Blood flow in essential to the proper functioning of the entire body, particularly, organs, arteries, carrying oxygen-rich blood to all the cells, and veins, carrying blood and waste products from the cells to be excreted from the body.
- Maintaining Alkaline State. It is essential that our body functions in an alkaline base pH of 7.4. Maca, is instrumental, along with eating the proper nutritious foods low in saturated fats, in enhancing our bodily systems to maintain the pH in the alkaline, state.
- Boost Male Fertility. Maca can boost male sperm count and sperm motility, which simply means there is a greater density of sperm in semen. And, the sperm are more efficient in moving quickly to reach the female egg and fertilize it. Improvement in motility are also regarded as an improved efficiency of activity against energy utilization, since the sperm will be moving greater distance without additional energy consumption.
- Mild Erectile Dysfunction The treatment of mild erectile dysfunction requires supporting better blood circulation an enhancing energy levels, and Maca is effective in both cases.
- Effectively Reduces Stress. Maca balances the hormones levels of the Endocrine system, particularly the over-worked adrenal glands, reducing and normalizing stress levels, for overall better body and organ function. Issues like exhaustion, damaging oxidation, inflammation, anxiety, depression, memory loss, and many others, are preventable with the control of stress.
- Support The Immune System. Maca promotes the increased production of anti-bodies such as T-cells, which are cells that destroy foreign invaders that cause infections, illnesses, and also cells that mutate and carry the ability to become cancerous.
- Oxidation and Free-Radical Damage. Maca has anti-oxidant properties and is effective in alleviating an preventing, free-radical damage in the cells, leading to premature aging and cell damage through mutation.
- Enhances Libido. Maca has the ability to increase estrogen levels in women and testosterone in men, for better sexual performance. Also, Maca’s ability to enhance energy levels are effective for better sexual function.
- Boost Memory and Retention. Because of Maca’s ability to enhance energy levels, the brain operates more alertly, clearly, and efficiently in memory and retention. In addition, the ability of Maca to improve circulation, more oxygen-rich blood for nourishing brain cells, allowing better overall brain functioning.
- Lower Blood Pressure. Evidence shows with the use of Maca, a reduction in blood pressure is possible due to two factors. Better blood circulation, and just as important, by reducing stress by synthesizing serotonin, a neurotransmitter, or hormone, that aids the body in relaxing, bringing a feeling of euphoria and happiness, thus reducing and maintaining normal blood pressure. Another way Maca aids in reducing high blood pressure, is when the body is stressed, it releases higher levels of cortisol, which sends out signals to your body to “gain fat”, causing over-consumption of food. Over consuming food, adds to body weight or obesity, which increases blood pressure. With the ability of Maca to regulate cortisol and keep its levels normal, blood pressure level is held in check.
- Reduced Prostate Enlargement. Maca has the ability to reduce prostate enlargement by reducing levels of estrogen, and testosterone metabolite DHT secretion into prostate cells, preventing gland swelling, and the negative side effect of frequent urination.
- Promote Bone Health. Maca supports good bone health preventing the development of Osteoporosis, by regulating and normalizing the Endocrine system and all the hormones, particularly the release of estrogen. The high calcium content and other minerals in Maca are beneficial in promoting the growth of strong bone density, reducing pours size in bones, and bone brittleness.
- Improve Stamina and Athletic Performance. The hormone testosterone when regulated and secreted properly, acts as a natural steroid, increasing endurance, strength, and muscle development. The endocrine system simply uses the testosterone hormone more efficiently and effectively with the use of Maca. In addition, Maca’s ability to enhance energy level also aids in exercising and performance.
- Reduce Symptoms Of Menopause. The natural decline of estrogen level that occurs during the onset of menopause can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms for women. Symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, sleeping problems, and irritability. Maca stimulates the release of estrogen, including HDL, reducing the symptoms of menopause, and makes the symptoms manageable
- Enhancing Energy Levels. Maca boosts the function of the adrenal glands, which regulate our energy level, and it is also effective in stabilizing blood sugar levels. While most people often reach for coffee, or carbonated sugar drinks fix, when they’re trying to manage stress and fatigue, you only get a quick high with these, and then it is a crash that follows, and the fatigue and stress worsens.
- Well Being and Attitude. Maca nourishes and has a calming effect, or normalizing effect, on the nervous system, with the minerals calcium and phosphorus, and vitamins B1, and B12, and the fatty acids, supporting the adrenal glands, preventing the release of the harmful effect of cortisol.
- Reduced Inflammation. Chronic low-level inflammation is harmful to all functions of the body, and are associated with many conditions, such as fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, acne, allergies, and autoimmune disease. The minerals and fatty acids in Maca, reduces inflammation in the body by creating harmony and normalizing functions.
To achieve and maintain your overall health and well being, you should commit and routinely do the following each and every day:
- Get sufficient restful sleep on a regular schedule (minimum 8 hours a night).
- Reduce the intake of caffeine and carbonated sugar drinks, which causes adrenal fatigue.
- Reduce the use of processed sugars, which cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, wrecking havoc on your hormones and bodily functions.
- Calm down by deep breathing exercise, yoga, moderate exercise, and meditation.
- Promote healthy digestion by eating slower, on a regular schedule, and in smaller quantities. Include the use of fermented foods to aid digestion. Reduce the use of processed foods, fast foods, and pre-packaged, and precooked cooked foods.
- As much as possible, eat fresh, organic, well-balanced, nutritious foods, including grass-fed, and free-range lean meats and cold-water, or wild-caught fish, veggies, especially dark green leafy veggies, and fruits. Use healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, etc. (*)
- Supplement your nutritious diet with the all natural organic super food Adaptogen Peruvian Maca.
You might be interesting in reading this article “What Is Natural Health”, which covers simple every-day life changes that you can implement to achieve and maintain your overall health and well being.
Maca Side Affects
Maca is a non-toxic, and considered safe for most people, with one exception. Individuals who have thyroid issues should consult with their doctor before taking Peruvian Maca, because P Maca contains Goitogens, a substance which could interfere with irregular thyroid issues. And, of course, pregnant and breastfeeding women should also consult their doctor.
Are you ready to address your health issues, now that you know what is in Maca root, and how effective it is in treating many wide-ranging health conditions, by normalizing bodily functions, as an Adaptogen? Still not convinced? Here are two more reviews that will give you more detailed information on Peruvian Maca: “What’s Healthy Living?“, and, “How To Relieve Stress From: Hormonal Imbalance“.
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