Maca is a plant that originates in the Peruvian Andes and grows at altitudes of 11,000 feet and above in rocky soils and extreme climatic conditions. This makes it the highest growing food crop in the world.
The plant produces leaves as well as a small root, about the size of a radish. The root has been treasured for over 2,000 years due to its ability to improve health. It has been used as food and medicine, to promote endurance and to boost the overall physical functioning of the body as well as to lift mood.
One of the most interesting traditional uses for maca is that the Inca warriors used it as a strength and energy booster in training and preparation for battle. Recent studies have shown that maca has positive effects on energy, stamina, and mood.
Maintaining positive energy levels is related to having lower levels of anxiety and depression. That makes maca very unique, in the sense that it boosts energy without causing any stress.
Due to its uplifting effects, the root also supports mental clarity and focus.
Maca is believed to restore women’s hormonal balance by supporting the endocrine system. This means that maca does not contain any hormones, but rather it contains the nutrients necessary to support normal hormone production. Having balanced and healthy endocrine system can lead to numerous perceived benefits.
Traditionally, maca has been regarded as a potent aphrodisiac among the native Peruvian population. A 2008 study shows that red maca have the ability to improve mood and increase sexual libido in women, likely due to its positive effects on serotonin levels, the “feel good” hormone.
Scientific studies have found that Black maca have positive effects on sperm production and even increase sperm activity and volume, all important factors of increasing fertility. Maca has earned the nickname “Nature’s Viagra” due to being a fertility enhancer that improves libido and sexual functions in men -- such as overcoming erectile dysfunctions.
Studies show that bodybuilders and athletes who take Black Maca powder as part of their training programs have a great result in naturally increasing muscles without the use of chemicals, steroids, doping or other questionable techniques. Maca is also a great source of quality protein suitable for vegan and raw food vegan bodybuilders. The ancient root raises energy in a balanced way making it conscious choice for both men and women looking for extra stamina and strength.
Maca root has been shown to be beneficial for all sorts of hormonal problems including PMS, menopause, and hot flashes. Red maca specifically helps relieve the symptoms of menopause by boosting women’s mood and decreasing levels of anxiety and depression. Reports show significant reduction in hot flashes and night sweats after using maca powder regularly.
Similar studies show that females given maca respond with increased regularity in cycles and easier ovulation by controlling estrogen levels in the body.
Maca comes in a variety of colors, most commonly yellow, black, and red. All colors of maca have similar benefits, although specific maca types/colors are thought to be more beneficial for certain medical conditions. It is a root vegetable in the Radish family that can safely be taken in small amounts daily –from 1 to 3 tablespoons. It is available in powder form or in capsules.
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