Nature takes good care of the needs of the human population with its supply of "superfoods" or fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of nutrients essential to human life. Some of the popular "superfoods" that are readily found in stores include red bell pepper, grapes, and broccoli.
Root crops are not to be outdone as superfoods. While ginseng and ginger have long been known for their health benefits, another little known root originally grown in the Andean mountains has been found to contain at least 60 phytonutrients that are essential to the human body: the maca root.
Though it is not in any way related to the ginseng family, maca is claimed to improve sexual function, increase stamina and boost energy levels gave it the title of "Peruvian ginseng."
Benefits of maca
The root of the maca plant is so rich in phytonutrients that its list of health benefits makes it one of nature's greatest multi-tasking produce. Here are some of the benefits of the maca root:
Strengthens and rebuilds weakened immune system
Maca contains Vitamin C, B vitamins, zinc and other nutrients that work together to boost the immune system, hasten healing of wounds and keep your body free from sickness and disease. Some of the fatty acids that can be found in maca have anti-fungal properties that work along with the other vitamins to fight infections.
Alleviates depression and promotes sense of well being
Vitamins B-1, B-2 and B-12 in maca helps regulate brain function, and relieves anxiety and stress. Adequate levels of Vitamin-B also cause the brain to release serotonin, a feel-good chemical that prevents feelings of depression and downheartedness.
Regulates hormonal balance
Maca works by stimulating hormonal glands to produce the hormones that your body needs. Unlike plant oestrogens, maca does not introduce additional substances that mimic the effects of oestrogen and is not harmful to the body. This makes maca useful for alleviating symptoms of menopause and andropause and is a natural alternative to drug hormone replacement therapy.
Improves fertility in men
Clinical research shows that men who took maca demonstrated an increase in seminal volume, sperm count and sperm mobility, as well as heightened sexual desire without affecting hormonal levels in men.
Improves skin appearance
The combined effect of vitamin-C, iron, fatty acids and other nutrients that regulate hormonal production can leave your skin looking younger.
Good for bone and blood health
Maca contains adequate levels of calcium and iron to help treat and prevent anemia while supporting healthy teeth and bones.
No known side effects
Most health remedies, including some natural ones, cause uncomfortable effects like headache, nausea or bloating. Some herbs which are used for their therapeutic properties are approached with caution because they do may not go well with other nutrients or may aggravate certain health conditions. On the other hand, chemicals found in drug formulations which can treat the symptoms of a health problem are known to cause problems in the kidney, heart or liver after constant use. Such is not the case with maca, as it has been referred to as an adaptogen or a plant that provides general health benefits to the body without leaving any side effects.