Maca Root - Is it for You?

Maca root (Updated May 8, 2010) is a potent super food, containing a multitude of hearty nutrients. It takes strength and stemina to weather the extreme conditions in the Andes.

     Maca Root - A Super Food
Maca Root - A Super Food

As you can see, this super food looks like a radish of sorts. It comes from the same family. It's latin name is Lepidium peruvianum and is a cruciferous vegetable.

Due to it's growing location, and tenacity to survive the most bitter cold, it is full of nutritious value unlike all the other cruciferous foods that I have come across.

Note: some other cruciferous vegetables are brocoli, cabbage, bok choy, turnip, cauliflower, etc.

This food is amazing. Some consider it an herb, some use it as a food. It's also known as an adaptogen.


What is an Adaptogen?

You might look at adaptogens as little troopers who go into a area and quickly handle adverse effects, getting things back to normal. They are totally equiped to handle any area if needed.

Now translate this over to a food and it's nutrients - this is my take on it. Adaptogens could be considered stress nutrition. They seem to act as a balancing mechanism.



These nutrients pay specific attention to what the various areas of the body need. They just wouldn't try to fix an area if it didn't needed it.

The result - they end up assisting the various organs to handle stress as it is encountered. In the process, a normalizing of the bodily functions can occur so the effects of stress are reduced.

In terms of maca acting as an adaptogen in the body, take a look at what the various glands and hormones of the Endocrine System do. You will get an idea of how the maca root ingredients can end up supporting the various parts of the body.

Benefits of Maca Root as an Adaptogen

Maca root has been found to be a food for the endocrine glands. These are the glands that release hormones directly into the bloodstream. If you look at how hormones assist the bodily processes you can see how far reaching the benefits might be.

The Hypothalmus establishes the link between the Endocrine System and the Nervous System via the Pituitary gland. The following is an overview of the Endocrine System. The glands interact with each other providing their unique contributions of hormones to ensure functionality of all the various body parts. You might get the idea how adaptogens work to normalize the bodily functions throughout a normal or stressful day.

  • Pituitary - secretes the human growth hormone (HGH) and provides hormonal direction to the other endocrine glands. It also secretes hormones affecting the uterus, blood pressure, intestines, and kidneys .
  • Adrenal - provides hormones that support the body in times of stress but also assist in all life processes.
  • Thyroid - produces a hormone that increases oxidation reactions in the body, thus providing abundant energy, a healthy appetite with little storage of fat.
  • Parathyroid - regulates calcium for sound bones, teeth, blood, and other parts of the body that utilize calcium.
  • Pancreas - provides insulin to properly utilize carbohydrates and fats.
  • Thymus - provides hormones to support the immune system.
  • Overies - produces hormones having to do with womanly qualities and female sexual activities.
  • Testes - produces hormones having to do with manly qualities and male sexual activities.

There are many foods that will affect the above glands. Maca is one that is capable of providing high quality nutrients which do affect these glands in a positive way.

How Maca Root is Used?

As a food, you don't eat very much of it. I purchase the Maca Powder. I have seen it in capsule form as well. I take about 1/2 tablespoon a day. You can take a tablespoon or more but you may overdue. Remember it's a super food.

You are providing nutrition for the various endocrine glands which aren't very large. They are not big eaters like muscle tissue. Too much can be overwhelming.

One good example of this pertains to the sexual glands of the body. Here's what I came across on the Sunfood website.

During the height of the Incan Empire, legend has it that Incan warriors would consume maca before entering into battle. This would make them fiercely strong. But after conquering a city the Incan soldiers were prohibited from using maca, to protect the women from excessive sexual impulses.

In the same Sunfood article they recommend "take a week off during every month of consistent use." You can read the entire article by going to Sunfood - Maca. Just scroll down to read the entire article. it's a good one.



I have found maca to be a very positive addition to my super food list. I don't rely on any one food but a combination of foods and herbs. I've been gettng the benefits that I've wanted to achieve as a senior in life. I like being an active person - able to function mentally and physically.

References

  • Maca Adaptogen and Hormonal Regulator by Beth M. Ley, Ph.D.
  • Biology by Relis B Brown
  • http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/quiros/lab/maca.htm
  • Wikipedia



Please feel free to email me if you have questions or comments. I am always happy to respond.

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