Hundreds of years ago, ancient Inca warriors in South America ate the Maca root before battle. It was known to dramatically improve their fighting performance and gave them long-lasting energy. The Incas also consumed Maca root as a dietary supplement in order to regulate hormonal balances in the body, increase fertility, elevate their mood and for many other benefits. What knowledge can we take away from these Ancient civilizations? Maca can provide a healthy, natural boost without the downside of stimulants.
Maca root is full of plant sterols such as sitosterol, campestrol, ergosterol, brassicasterol, and ergostadienol. These are known to lower bad cholesterol levels. The high levels of glucosinolates in Maca provides a natural defense against breast, stomach and liver cancers. These glucosinolates also make Maca act like an aphrodisiac and boost fertility, all while not actually affecting serum levels of testosterone and other luteinizing hormones. Basically, this means that it is an outside “pick me up” that will not have a rebound effect when supplementation is discontinued. Another positive note is that it will not cause dependency because we aren’t stimulated to produce more and more hormones. It is a natural enhancement that has been around for a very long time.
An additional amazing property of Maca: it is an adaptogenic herb. This helps your body deal with the stresses of our lives and will boost your mood. They act as a detox for the mind. Maca supports the adrenal glands, which are responsible for controlling cortisol production. A study also showed a significant improvement in glucose tolerance, helping to manage one’s diabetes. As you can see, it brings your body systems into a balance.
I think the effect I noticed the most would be a good increase in energy. Between our jobs and other activities, we can become very drained by the end of the day and Maca picks me up in the second half of the day without having to use caffeine. Taken in the morning, it can also provide a solid energy boost. Maca gives me infinite fuel to get through my workouts. Definitely can’t complain about the libido boosting effects either, this stuff will give you hormones of a 18 year old person.
Maca is very inexpensive and easy to use as a supplement. Because of some recent research, “gelatinized” maca has now hit the market. Gelatinized Maca is basically a cooked version. Manufacturers started boiling and pressurizing Maca to remove all starch in order to make the product easier to digest. For some people, Maca is hard to digest in the raw form so the gelatinized is all they can tolerate. The downside of gelatinizing/cooking Maca is the loss of some nutrients due to the heating of the flour. Even though the end product may be just a bit less powerful, it is still worth supplementing with and it causes no digestive issues like gas or bloating. If you can tolerate the raw powder, it is recommended because it preserves more of the vital nutrients.
As far as the differences between the types of Maca, there are Red, Black and Yellow. Red is full of antioxidants, helps prostate support, and lifts women’s fertility and libido. Black is great for increasing male fertility and libido, athletic strength and endurance, memory and concentration, bone strength and density. Yellow Maca is jammed full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It provides a ton of protein and fatty acids. All these forms are available in raw and gelatinized versions online. For the last couple of years I have been buying it from the Maca Team. They are very consistent and the Maca is always fresh. This company has direct connections with farmers in Peru so they know exactly how their product is being grown. This is extremely important because of all the potentially dangerous Chinese Maca that has hit the market. Only buy your Maca from The Maca Team.
There is simply no reason to not try Maca if you feel run down from your daily routine. We need to freely utilize Mother Nature and all the gifts that it has given us. I swear by this powder as it gives me so much strength and endurance. I have been taking it for years and get nothing but great results. This Ancient superfood is readily available, so give it a shot!