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Maca root, a Peruvian remedy and nutritious superfood, can benefit your health in numerous ways. Maca is grown in the mountains of Peru and has been called the Peruvian ginseng, known for its health promoting properties in both supplement and food forms. Maca is said to be an adaptogen, or agent that balances and normalizes bodily functions and systems, helping the body to adapt and restore to overall well being.
Maca increases energy and endurance. It can help with chronic fatigue syndrome, restoring lost vitality and vigor. It nourishes and calms the nerves with calcium, phosphorus, thiamin, and vitamin B12.
Maca is known for its ability to enhance endocrine function in the body. The endocrine system includes all of the bodys glands, and the hormones they secrete, which affect fertility, sexual function, digestion, brain and nervous system physiology, and energy levels. Maca has been known to help balance estrogen levels in the body, aiding with symptoms of PMS and menopause. It has also been shown to improve sperm production and volume, two factors that contribute to male fertility.
In addition, maca supports the adrenal glands so they don’t have to rely on damaging cortisol to fuel the body. Its phosphorus is necessary for the main fuel molecules in the cell, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and glucose-6-phosphate (G6P), which can help with energy levels and increasing stamina.
It is rich in the essential minerals iodine, iron, calcium, selenium, and magnesium, as well as essential fatty acids and amino acids. In fact, maca root powder is made up of roughly 18 percent protein, 75 percent carbohydrates, 5 percent fat and about 8 percent fiber. Maca contains over 20 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids and 20 free-form fatty acids, such as lauric, palmitic and oleic acid. Maca root is also rich in phytonutrients.
Maca root provides natural antioxidant support to the body and boosts levels of glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD), two antioxidants that are important in the detoxification pathways in the body. Glutathione also plays an important role in enhancing the immune system and helping to balance cholesterol levels in the body.
Maca is used to support sexual function and is said to boost libido in men and women.
How to Take Maca
You will most like find maca root in a powder form by itself, or added to supplements that support energy levels, hormone balance, and sexual support. When you begin taking maca, it is best to start by taking smaller amounts and work on building up to a higher dosage.
Start off by adding half a teaspoon to a cold beverage, such as water or even your morning smoothie. Don’t add the maca powder to anything too hot, such as tea, because it will begin to lose its nutritional benefits. If you are new to maca, try and take it first thing in the morning or right before a workout, as it can help with increasing energy levels and stamina.
Maca is available in capsule, liquid, or extract form and comes in yellow, black or red. All of the colors of maca seem to have similar health benefits, however, you should try and look for a raw and organic version of the root to ensure it is 100 percent pure maca powder.