Maca root and its respective powder, capsule and tea variants, is the dietary supplement of the hour. Also known as Peruvian ginseng and native to the central Andes, this Peruvian cruciferous plant has super gourmets, everyone is passionate about spreading the word about its health benefits. But what exactly are its health benefits?
What is maca powder?
Maca belongs to the cruciferous family, which means that this vegetable is closely related to broccoli, cauliflower, radish and beets. Its powerful properties are found in the root and where maca supplements and powders come from. The taste is a combination of nutty and sweet with a slightly bitter aftertaste. It is classified as an ingredient that improves sports performance and increases endurance. The special feature of maca is that it is rich in calcium and potassium, with a low sodium content. It also contains many essential trace elements, as well as fatty acids such as linolenic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid and 19 amino acids as well as steroidal saponins. In addition to carbohydrates and proteins, maca root contains uridine, malic acid and benzene derivatives as well as glucosinolates, glucotropeoline and m-methoxyglucotropeoline. Many different alkaloids have also been found in maca. Maca also contains selenium and magnesium. Many studies are looking at a potential beneficial effect on sexual function in people with interesting results.
What makes maca so special?
Maca has much more to offer than just an aphrodisiac effect. Since the plant grows at altitudes of up to 4400 metres, it is exposed to extreme climatic conditions: in the high altitudes of the Andes. In this place, temperatures fluctuate greatly and the plants growing there are exposed to strong winds and intense sunlight. It is logical that the maca plant is particularly robust and resistant under such conditions and it needs to enrich its tuber with particularly rich vital substances. The leaves, which have a slightly pungent watercress taste, are also suitable for consumption, but the pear-shaped tubers, which are 2 to 5 cm wide, are mainly used, as most of the nutrients are enriched and stored there. Due to its high content of kolene hydrate, maca root is very nutritious and has a sweet taste. It is suitable for the preparation of sweet and spicy dishes.
What makes it so healthy?
Maca is particularly rich in antioxidants. These reduce oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is thought to be partly responsible for the aging process and is linked to the development of a number of diseases. Maca is rich in calcium and zinc, iodine, iron, copper and manganese. Its vitamins B2, B5, C and niacin make maca a real source of energy. In addition, maca root also contains plant sterols, similar to the hormone testosterone. These naturally promote blood flow to the pelvic tissue and stimulate testosterone and, in women, estrogen production. They also lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine. With this abundance of nutrients and vital substances, Maca Plus is the ideal companion for daily energy intake, especially for sportsmen and women, but also for others who wish to increase their vitality, strength and endurance.
Other benefits of Maca powder
Traditionally, indigenous Peruvians have used maca to improve cognitive abilities in children. New research now links maca to improved cognitive function, useful in combating age-related brain dysfunction and supportive diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This is a result of promoting mitochondrial activity, which improves memory even in cognitively impaired rodents. Maca can also help you if you have mild symptoms of anxiety, depression and low energy, due to its flavonoid compounds. Additionally, if you are often in a bad mood and are looking for a natural mood builder, maca can help. The cruciferous plant can improve mood, which is why it is also used for anxiety and depression symptoms. Maca is also suitable for women in menopause, who are often affected by mood swings and sexual aversion. Basically, it doesn’t matter when you consume maca, as long as you do it consistently. The majority of studies have concluded that the health benefits of maca become apparent only after subjects have consistently consumed the same dose.