A gem full of benefits
Originally from Peru, maca is a plant used for thousands of years in the food and medicine of the people of South America. It grows at an altitude of 4000 meters in the Andes province, in very adverse climatic conditions, with large daily temperature ranges, between 18º and –10ºC. Normally, its root is consumed in powder form, having a very pleasant nutty flavor.
Its use dates back to the Inca empire. Inca warriors ate maca before battles to increase their energy, vitality and resistance, but were prohibited from consuming it after conquering cities.
Peruvian Indians used it to increase energy levels, promote mental health and balance hormones, hence it is now called Ginseng of the Andes or Viagra of the Incas.
It is a turnip-shaped tuber. The edible part is the tuberous root (hypocotyls). It is also in this area of the plant that its chemical compounds are found, which give it its medicinal and nutritional properties.
It is dried in the sun for food use. It has a characteristic flavor and an aroma similar to caramel.
Maca is extremely nutritious
It is a healthy source of carbohydrates, as it has a very low fat content (close to zero). It has an excellent fiber content (25%) and also contains several vitamins and minerals, such as copper, magnesium, calcium, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin.
It also has natural bioactive compounds such as glucosinolates and polyphenols.
Maca can help increase endurance and muscle mass
Due to its protein and carbohydrate content, maca consumption is recommended for athletes. Proteins contribute to the maintenance of normal bones and the growth of muscle mass.
Maca is an excellent source of copper, thiamine and riboflavin
These three nutrients can contribute to:
- Normal energy-yielding metabolism
- Reduction of tiredness and fatigue
- Normal iron transport in the body
- The normal functioning of the nervous system
- A normal psychological function
- Protecting cells against unwanted oxidation
- The normal functioning of the immune system
Maca contributes to healthy bones and teeth
With around 520mg of calcium per 100g, maca is an excellent source of calcium. Calcium is necessary for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth and contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism.